Part of the fun of campervan adventures in Scotland is the freedom to go where and whenever you want. A bit like festivals, wild camping gets smelly after a while so it’s good to throw a few nice campsites into the trip to keep yourself feeling fresh. Scotland has loads of great ones and we’re trying as many as possible. These are our favourites so far:

 

Camusdarach, Arisaig

The most picturesque site we’ve been to. Nice coffee and fresh croissants.

The drive to Camusdarach and the site itself is stunning and there are a few beaches within a very short stroll. Toilets and showers are good and the owners super friendly. Book in advance, it’s often full.

 

Glenmore, Aviemore

On the way up the ski road from Aviemore, this is a spacious site with excellent facilities and a charming wee pub next door.

The toilets and showers here are the cleanest we’ve seen. It’s a short walk to Loch Morlich for a stroll along the beach and handy in the winter for skiing as it’s quite close to the Cairngorm Mountain Resort. Another highlight is that it’s next door to the Pinemartin Bar. A scruffy looking place from the outside, but inside it’s full of alpine charm, including a cuckoo clock. There’s often live music and they were happy to take requests including Wheels On the Bus!

 

Rothiemurchus, Aviemore

Really friendly staff, a nice spot for kids and a not too far from the town centre.

There are a couple of areas to pitch up at this site. If you’re traveling with kids we’d recommend going next to the big grassy bit. It’s great to keep an eye on them playing on the open area or doing lap after lap around it on their bikes. If you’re not with kids we’d recommend a cosy pitch in the trees, closer to the showers!

The staff are great here. On one of the trips the showers got a bit cold and the manager was really appreciative of the feedback, promised to sort it out ASAP and took one of the nights off our bill.

If you’re travelling up and arriving at the site late, be aware that they close the gates about 8ish.

 

Balloch O’Dee, Dumfries and Galloway

Beautiful site at the top of a hill, surrounded by animals and a really relaxed vibe. Cool yogic showers and very friendly owners.

Dumfries and Galloway is often forgotten about as a Scotland tourist destination, with the Highlands, Loch Lomond, Glasgow and Edinburgh some of the main attractions. It’s well worth a visit, has lovely scenery, and plenty to do. If you’re planning a trip here, Balloch O’Dee is an excellent place to base yourselves.

It’s one of the most scenic sites we’ve been to (up there with Camusdarach). Really peaceful with fire pits around the site and ponies and chickens wandering around. The owners are very relaxed and welcoming.

 

Crossburn Caravan Park, Peebles

Central-ish location, handy for pubs and mountain biking trails.

Crossburn was the only local site open in November and I’d recommend it, with nice scenery, a good location and the friendliest onsite staff I’ve ever seen! It was quiet when we were there, with only a couple of other camper vans dotted around. It had excellent views looking away from the town, particularly with the park being so empty. Facilities were good, with clean toilets and showers. It’s about 20 minutes walk to the main street where there are a few choices for dinner and drinks. We had something fairly decent at the Crown Hotel followed by a nice walk back.

There’s not a lot to do for small children around the borders, it’s more suited generally to older kids and outdoor minded grown-ups. The Peebles swimming pool kept my little ones entertained for a couple of hours. For older ones and in particular mountain biking enthusiasts, excellent trails can be found at the Glentress and Innerliethen centres as well as natural stuff in the surrounding area. Go Ape also looks fun!

 

Mortonhall, Edinburgh

On the outskirts of Edinburgh, great as a base for visiting the city and a cosy pub.

We visited this site on a cold night in February and very much enjoyed the warm fire in the pub attached to the site. If you’re touring Scotland and would also like to check out Edinburgh, this is a great place to stay for a couple of days and avoid the hassle of city traffic and parking. It’s about 30 minutes on the bus to the city centre.