The mention of camping near Glencoe brings up the images of pristine lochs, lovely walking paths, and breathtaking peaks. After all, Glencoe is a quintessential Scottish Highlands landscape.
The best way to experience Glencoe’s wonders is undoubtedly while camping.
Fortunately, there are many phenomenal campsites scattered everywhere around Glencoe. To find the one that fits your personal needs the best, keep reading – I’ll go over each campground in great detail and also take a look at some essential basics related to camping in and near Glencoe.
You’ll want to keep a few things in mind before heading over to Glencoe for your outdoor adventure. Some of these include what to pack for this trip and when is the best time to visit this region of Scotland.
Let’s talk a bit about geography first. One of the essential things you need to understand is that Glencoe isn’t just this beautiful and other-worldly Scottish valley – there is also a small settlement in the middle of it that carries the same name.
To differentiate the settlement mentioned above from the glen itself, folks use the term “Glencoe Village”. It’s a quaint and charming place with a few basic restaurants, cafes, and shops.
To give you some sense of location, I’ve included the distance between Glencoe Village and a specific campground for each of the places listed below.
When Should I Camp Near Glencoe?
Most people visit the Glencoe region in the summertime, and the same is true for most of the Highlands. When it comes to camping, the best time is between May and September.
However, this is also the time of the year when the Glencoe region is the most crowded. If you’re seeking a quieter camping experience, consider pitching your tent here during April and October. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to deal with more unpredictable weather and shorter days.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most caravan parks and developed campsites close down over the winter. In other words, those who decide to camp in Glencoe during this season will likely have to resort to wild camping.
But, as I said above, this means dealing with cold temperatures and the potential for snow, so it’s something only for the hardy and well-prepared outdoor enthusiasts.
The most crowded time to be in this region of Scotland is during July and August. Camping here in the summertime means open services, long days, warm weather, and, unfortunately, midges.
If you head over to Glencoe during these months, pack a good insect spray and make an advanced reservation. After all, this is when the region’s developed campsites are at their fullest – most people tend to come to Glencoe during these popular holiday times.
I love to hike and camp in the Highlands in the autumn months of September and October. The weather is relatively good – at least for Scotland – and most summer visitors have gone home. There are never too many campers to contend with for a spot. For more info, check out my post on the best time to visit Scotland.
What Should I Pack for Glencoe Camping?
I’m sure you already have all the camping essentials, like a comfortable sleeping bag and a sturdy tent. Here are some additional items you’ll want to pack for your Glencoe outdoor adventure:
- Midge Repellent – Summertime camping in the Scottish Highlands means midges – it’s as simple as that. To keep these tiny pests at bay, pack a quality midge repellent.
- Map – Get a good map to learn more about your surroundings and successfully explore the area around your camping spot. I recommend buying an Ordinance Survey map covering Glencoe and Glen Etive.
- Campsite Stove – With this simple but practical piece of camping equipment, you’ll be able to prepare delicious dinners and thus keep everyone’s spirits high.
- Cooler – When camping, keeping drinks and food cool is vital.
Those who arrive in this region and realize that they’ve forgotten to pack an essential piece of camping gear should not despair. Glencoe Village, which I’ve mentioned above, and its neighbor Ballachulish, have several well-supplied shops.
Where Should I Camp in Glencoe?
When choosing the best campsite in this part of Scotland, you’ll want to consider your personal needs, what kind of facilities you require during your stay, and what activities you want to do.
No matter what you come up with, Glencoe has you covered. There are phenomenal camping options everywhere around this valley and even more just outside of it.
Some outdoor enthusiasts may prefer the absolute remoteness of being tucked far away from roads, villages, and towns. Others will prefer the convenience of being situated on the scenic A82, particularly those planning to head further north and pitch their tents near Fort William or Ben Nevis.
No matter your specific situation, the next part of the article should assist you in choosing an ideal campsite for your needs. I’ve described each of Glencoe’s most popular campgrounds in great detail and provided essential info on their amenities.
In addition, I also wrote a short segment concerning wild camping in this Scottish region. You’ll find the wild camping section towards the end of the article, which should help you if you’re planning a multi-day walk through Glencoe or thinking about climbing one of the area’s many peaks.
The Best Campsites Near Glencoe
Glencoe Camping & Caravanning Club Site
- Reservations: Required
- Camping Options: Tent pitches, campervan pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 2 miles
The Glencoe Camping & Caravanning Club Site is close to Glencoe Village – situated just a short distance up the glen.
It’s next to the Glencoe Visitor Centre, managed by the National Trust for Scotland, where it stands as one of the region’s finest options for both RV and tent camping.
Although it’s relatively close to the A82 highway, this campsite is reasonably peaceful and quiet. One particularly great thing about it is that visitors can quickly get from the camp to Glencoe Village via a secluded path that connects the two places.
Another advantage of this campsite’s roadside location is that it allows visitors to quickly and easily access many of this area’s popular outdoor activities.
In terms of size, the Glencoe Camping & Caravanning Club Site is not that big – it’s a smaller campground with an amiable vibe. Those planning to tent-camp here will find plenty of space on the site’s grassy area, while the site’s hard-standing pitches allow RV campers to park their vehicles.
And when it comes to the amenities, you’ll find a drying room, laundry facilities, a basic shop, and a shower block. What more could one want?
Invercoe Caravan & Camping Park
- Reservations: Recommended during summertime
- Camping Options: Camping pods, tent pitches, caravan pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 0.5 miles
No list of Glencoe campsites is complete without this one – the Invercoe Caravan & Camping Park is incredibly popular with visitors for a good reason.
It stands as an ideal base for exploring the region due to its astonishingly attractive location: it is situated on the picturesque shores of the River Coe and Loch Leven, just outside Glencoe Village. It doesn’t get much more scenic than this!
In addition to its proximity to Glencoe Village, this campsite is also very close to the Glencoe Lochan Trail and the Glencoe Lochan Viewpoint. So, it takes only a short walk from your pitch to enjoy spectacular views, start an unforgettable day hike, or go for a pint at a local pub.
The Invercoe Caravan & Camping Park is very roomy and easily accommodates tents, caravans, and RVs. For those interested, the site also offers several mini-camping lodges.
There is a spacious grassy area for the tent-campers, while the one designed for vehicles features hard-standing ground and electrical hookups at each of the parking spots.
As for the amenities, visitors can expect a good Wi-Fi signal throughout the campsite and clean shower blocks. The overall atmosphere is excellent – Invercoe Caravan & Camping Park is visited by hikers, campers, and families who all enjoy spending quality communal time with other outdoor enthusiasts.
There’s a 3-night minimum stay here during the summer holidays and booking in advance is highly recommended. Also, don’t forget to pack a good bug spray. After all, this is a campground with a lochside location, so you’ll probably have to deal with Scotland’s notorious midges.
Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park
- Reservations: Not required
- Camping Options: Holiday caravans, campervan pitches, tent pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 3.5 miles
The Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park has a very convenient location: it is situated halfway between the villages of Kinlochleven and Glencoe. In other words, leaving this campsite to get some provisions – or have a pint in a local pub – is as easy as it gets.
Caolasnacon caters to tent and RV campers, with all of its pitches right next to the beautiful Loch Leven. If you’re looking for a Glencoe campground with truly amazing views, this one is undoubtedly among your best options.
The fact that the site’s pitches are located so close to the loch – rather than to the adjacent B863 road – brings an additional advantage: this place is very peaceful, and there’s little to no traffic noise.
But, as I said above, the biggest strength of the Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park is its geographical location. It’s an ideal base for exploring the area’s idyllic scenery. From here, you’ll be able to easily access the world-famous West Highland Way and the quaint villages of Glencoe and Kinlochleven.
The pitches here are not explicitly designated, meaning getting the best ones requires an early arrival. The campsite is first come, first served.
In terms of amenities, visitors can expect electrical hookups (all of which are free of charge), a dishwashing station, a recently refurbished shower block, and basic laundry facilities. Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi at the Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park.
Red Squirrel Campsite
- Reservations: Not required
- Camping Options: Campervan pitches, tent pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 2 miles
Behind this peculiar name hides one of the lesser-known Glencoe developed campgrounds. It provides visitors with a rustic experience and stands as one of the region’s best options for folks searching for a basic campsite surrounded by breathtaking nature.
The Red Squirrel Campsite is situated right next to River Coe, in a gorgeous forested area. It was built primarily for tent campers, although it also welcomes RV campers on all occasions except during the Bank Holidays.
Like the Caolasnacon Campground described above, the Red Squirrel Campsite is a perfect base for exploring the area. You’ll be able to enjoy a day hike on one of the many nearby walking trails, climb one of the surrounding peaks, and also take a dip in River Coe.
Unfortunately, this campsite is not such an excellent choice for folks with larger campervans, as it features no electrical hookups. There’s also an advantage to this – the Red Squirrel Campground is one of the best options on this list for folks looking for a peaceful respite from the bustling motorhome campsites.
The visitors are encouraged to simply show up – here, no reservations are required. As for the amenities, expect showers, toilets, and a food truck serving locally sourced produce.
Lagnaha Farm Campsite
- Reservations: Recommended
- Camping Options: Tent pitches, caravan & campervan pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 7 miles
The next Glencoe campsite on my list is a bit different. Not only is it much further away from Glencoe Village than all of the campgrounds described above, but it’s also available only for the members of the UK’s most prominent camping organization – Camping & Caravanning Club.
Suppose you’re a member of this organization. In that case, you’ll find that the Lagnaha Farm Campsite has a genuinely convenient location and can serve as an ideal base for exploring this beautiful Scottish valley.
The campground can be found some 7 miles west of Glencoe Village, along the A82. Compared to the sites described above, it is relatively small but still provides plenty of space for tents and campervans.
Here, you will find a moderately-sized tent field that can accommodate up to ten tents and five hard-standing campervan pitches.
In the campsite’s immediate surroundings, you will find many walking paths you can take advantage of whenever you feel up for a day hike. Moreover, the National Cycle Track Route 78 is just a few miles away from Lagnaha Farm Campsite.
One can expect standard campsite amenities here. These include a covered cooking area, a shower block, and free Wi-Fi.
Glencoe Mountain Resort
- Reservations: Recommended
- Camping Options: Camping pods, caravan pitches, tent pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 13 miles
Glencoe Mountain Resort is situated at the far end of the region, where it provides outdoor enthusiasts with decent camping options during summertime. It’s not the best choice for those who’d like to stay somewhere close to Glencoe Village.
However, it’s a perfect destination for folks interested in mountain biking – it is located a the base of a ski hill. Moreover, it is less than 5 minutes of walking away from the world-renowned West Highland Way.
It’s one of the smaller campsites on the list. Its grassy tent area can accommodate up to 20 tents, and there are only four campervan pitches. These are supplied with hookups, though.
On the bright side, Glencoe Mountain Resort provides its visitors with absolutely stunning views of the pyramid-shaped Buachaille Etive Mor, one of Scotland’s most recognizable mountains, often depicted on calendars and postcards.
One particularly great thing about this place is its lively cafe serving pints of local beer and delicious food.
This is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts who’d like to be a bit further away from Glencoe Village and for all those looking to participate in the summer activities offered at the resort.
Achindarroch Touring Park
- Reservations: Recommended
- Camping Options: Camping pods, tent pitches, caravan & campervan pitches
- How Far from Glencoe Village: 8 miles
The last Glencoe campsite I’ll describe is Achindarroch Touring Park, situated just a bit further west from Lagnaha Farm (described above), along the A82.
A well-run campsite, it stands as one of the best options for outdoor-loving families seeking a quiet experience. You’ll never have to worry about other campers making too much noise during the night – at Achindarroch Touring Park, large groups are not allowed.
It is one of the smaller campsites on the list, although it easily accommodates motorhomes, caravans, and tents. There’s a roomy field for the tent campers and hard pitches for the RV campers, each equipped with an electric hookup.
At the Achindarroch Touring Park, you’ll be just a short drive away from some of the region’s best hiking paths. Moreover, you’ll be only a mile away from Cuil Bay beach.
Finally, one can expect all the standard developed-campsite features at the Achindarroch Touring Park. There are picnic tables, free Wi-Fi throughout the campground, a clean toilet block, and an indoor kitchen.
Wild Camping Glencoe
Wild camping is the way to go if you seek solitude and a deeper connection with nature. Unlike in England and Wales, wild camping in Scotland is broadly permitted as long as you follow the rules set by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Here are three of the best wild camping areas near Glencoe:
Rannoch Moor Bridge
Formally known as Ba Bridge, this bridge provides magnificent views of the Rannoch Moor area. Reaching it is as easy as it gets due to its convenient location: it is situated on the famous West Highland Way.
The area is very rural and wild, so wild camping with great care is highly advised. Moreover, the bridge and its immediate surroundings are notorious for midges.
Behind this curious name hides a collection of three roads facing some of Glencoe’s most prominent peaks. This place is tremendously popular with hikers. On the other hand, those who come here by car or RV can conveniently park their vehicle at the Three Sisters Car Park.
From here, you’ll be able to hike up the path through the Hidden Valley and choose a wild camping spot that suits your needs the best. The views you’ll have there will be unforgettable.
Finally, Glencoe Lochan is a fantastic destination for wild campers who want to have it all – views of the forests, mountains, and loch. What is more, this area is excellent for birdwatching. It’s home to several different bird species.
At Glencoe Lochan, you’ll find a circular trail along which there are many phenomenal wild camping spots. Make sure to pitch as far away from the trail as possible and take down your tent at dawn.
It’s no wonder the spectacular Glencoe Valley is so incredibly popular with campers, hikers, and mountaineers – it’s one of the most picturesque areas in the entire UK.
Those who’d like to spend a few nights in this gorgeous region can do so in one of the many Glencoe campsites. Most of these places are close to the quaint Glencoe Village and have all the necessary amenities.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you choose one of those campsites for your next Glencoe camping adventure. Stay safe, and have a great trip!