Author: TMBtent

The Complete Guide to Camping at Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower National Monument is America’s first National Monument and an incredible sight to behold. The stunning butte that rises above the Black Hills is sacred to many of the…

Devils Tower National Monument is America’s first National Monument and an incredible sight to behold. The stunning butte that rises above the Black Hills is sacred to many of the Native American tribes that call the Great Plains home and is sure to inspire visitors to this beautiful place. Climbing, hiking, and taking in the night sky are all quintessential experiences at Devils Tower.

We think the best way to experience Devils Tower is to spend a few nights in your tent or RV taking in this unique landscape.

Devils Tower and the surrounding areas have camping options to suit any style. From the national monuments lone developed campground, to nearby RV campgrounds, and the surrounding Black Hills National Forest, you’ll have plenty of options to find the perfect campsite.

Keeping reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip to Devils Tower National Monument.

Road next to Devils Tower

Camping is the perfect way to experience all that Devils Tower has to offer.

 

In this Devils Tower Camping Guide

 

Devils Tower National Monument Campgrounds

Devils Tower National Monument sits in northeast Wyoming at the edge of the Black Hills and adjacent to the Belle Fourche River. The main attraction of the monument is of course the tower itself, which rises 867 feet from its base to the summit. The entire area of the monument emcompasses over 1,300 acres and features a variety of hiking trails that showcase the beauty of this pristine environment.

There is only a single developed campground at Devils Tower, known as the Belle Fourche River Campground. However, there are several nearby campgrounds that provide additional accommodation options for visitors.

The map below gives you a general sense of where Belle Fourche River Campground is located as well as its relation to the surrounding area. 

Map of the campground in Devils Tower National Monument

Map showing the Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower National Monument. Map credit NPS.

 

In addition to the overview map shown above we’ve also created an interactive map with all of the campgrounds included in this guide displayed.

Campgrounds with a green tent icon are the developed campgrounds within the Monument, the blue camper trailer icon represents RV campgrounds near the park, and finally the red tent icon represents car camping options near Devils Tower National Monument.

 

 

Reservations & Permits

It is not possible to make an advance reservation at the the Belle Fourche Campground at Devils Tower National Monument. This can be both a blessing and a curse as it provides a level playing field for campers, but also prevents you from making advance plans for your trip.

You’ll have the best luck at securing a spot during peak season here by showing up early and being patient. Weekdays are also always better than weekends for campsite availability.

For those who prefer to have a reservation before making what will likely be a long drive to Devils Tower, we recommend checking out one of the nearby campgrounds that accepts reservations.

Camping near Devils Tower at dusk

 

What to Bring

Preparing for your Devils Tower camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping at Devils Tower National Monument:

  • Coleman Camping Stove – This camping classic is perfect cooking up campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver.
  • Cooler – A good cooler makes any camping trip better. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Black Hills Family Fun Guide – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Devils Tower. We like this family-friendly guide that covers Devils Tower, the Black Hills, and Badlands.

When to Camp at Devils Tower

The Belle Fourche River Campground is open seasonally from mid-May through mid-October.

Peak camping season in Devils Tower generally aligns with summer in this part of the world, with most visitors coming between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you’re looking for a bit of solitude during your visit, it is best to try and plan your camping trip just outside of these dates.

Find more information on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter in Devils Tower National Monument here. 

Devils Tower National Monument generally is closed for the winter months, although it does open for 10 days or so around Spring Break. This is typically from about March 19th – April 1st. If you plan to visit in winter, you can always enjoy the outstanding views from Highway 24, which runs adjacent to Devils Tower.

Find more information on opening hours and seasons in Devils Tower National Monument here. 

Snow on Devils Tower

Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to Devils Tower. Photo credit NPS/S. Carter

 

Developed Campgrounds at Devils Tower National Monument

There is a single developed campground in Devils Tower National Monument. For those interested in seeing additional camping options, check out the next section on campgrounds near Devils Tower.

There is a 14-day stay limit for all campers at the Belle Fourche River Campground.

Belle Fourche River Campground

Number of Sites: 46 sites (including 3 tent-only group sites)
Fee: $20/night for individual sites, $30/night for group sites
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 35′. No hookups available.
Reservations: All sites are first-come, first-served.
Season: Open seasonally from May 15th – October 15th
More Information

Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower.

Beautifuls views of Devils Tower from the Belle Fourche River Campground. Photo credit NPS/Avery Locklear

 

The Belle Fourche River Campground is the lone campground in Devils Tower National Monument and is located just off the main park road to the south of the tower itself.

Belle Fourche features 46 campsites organized into two loops, known as Loop A and Loop B. Of the 46 total sites, three are designed as tent-only group campsites that can accommodate up to 20 people each. Additionally, the campground features four accessible sites.

RVs and trailers up to 35′ are welcome at the campground, although you won’t find any hookups available. Individual sites can accommodate up to 8 people, and no more than four cars per campsite are allowed.

The campground is set in a beautiful location adjacent to the Belle Fourche River and many of the sites have stunning views of Devils Tower through the trees. Campsites feature fire rings, picnic tables, and all have access to potable water. Campfires are permitted at the campground, but must be fully contained within the provided fire ring.

Check out the NPS map below to get a better sense of the layout of the Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower National Monument.

Map of the Belle Fourche River Campground

Map of the Belle Fourche River Campground. Map credit NPS/Joe Bruce

 

Camping near Devils Tower National Monument

Given that there is just a single NPS run campground at Devils Tower, it is always possible (and even likely) that you won’t be able to find a campsite in Devils Tower National Monument. However, don’t give up just yet as there are plenty of option in the surrounding area to meet your needs.

Check out your best options for RV campingcar camping, and free dispersed camping near Devils Tower National Monument below:

RV campgrounds near Devils Tower

Those camping in an RV will have several options just outside of Devils Tower. From the KOA campground located just steps from the monument to full service campgrounds in nearby towns, we’re sure you’ll find an RV campground that fits your needs.

Keep reading to learn more.

RV camping at Devils Tower

 

Devils Tower KOA Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $30 – $100/night depending on site, hookups, etc.
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Devils Tower KOA Campground is the most convenient option for RV camping near Devils Tower National Monument. The campground is located just outside the monument, providing for incredibly easy access. Many RV campers may prefer the KOA to the Belle Fourche Campground given the amenities you’ll have access to here.

Campsites feature electric hookups and many have unobstructed views of Devils Tower. In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy the on-site restaurant, heated pool, playground, and more.

 

Devils Tower View Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: Varies depending on site.
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located just a few miles south of Devils Tower National Monument on Highway 24, the Devils Tower View Campground is a great option for RV campers. The campground features sites with 30/50 amp service as well as plenty of space for tent campers. You’ll enjoy great views of the Tower from your campsite as well.

On-site amenities include a popular restaurant, gift shop selling local artisan products, and an outdoor gazebo. We recommend Mountain View for anyone looking for a quieter experience than what the KOA offers.

 

Mountain View RV Park & Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $29 – $46/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 307-283-2270
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Mountain View RV Park & Campground is located approximately 30 minutes from Devils Tower in the town of Sundance, Wyoming. The campground features plenty of RV campsites with electric hookups as well as a huge, 2-acre field to accommodate tent campers. You’ll be a just a few minutes from Sundance, which has bars, restaurants, and other services available.

On-site amenities at Mountain View include a small shop selling necessities, a heated pool, and a snack bar.

 

Car camping sites near Devils Tower

A tent near Devils Tower

 

Devils Tower Tipi Camping

Number of sites: Six tipis available
Fee: $50 – $75/night
Capacity: 4 – 8 people depending on size of tipi
RVs: Not permitted.
Reservations: Required. Contact via website
Pets: Allowed
More Information

A unique car camping option just minutes from Devils Tower is the Devils Tower Tipi Campground. Here you’ll find six traditional Sioux teepees available for rent with beautiful views of the Tower. All teepees come with a camp stove, three gallons of water, a lantern, and coffee, setting you up for a lovely trip.

Devils Tower Tipi gets rave reviews for the friendly and helpful owner. Highly recommended!

 

Black Hills National Forest Campgrounds

Number of Sites: Reuter Campground (24 sites) / Sundance Campground (10 sites) / Cook Lake Campground (32 sites) / Bearlodge Campground (8 sites)
Fee: $14 – $24/night
Capacity: Varies depending on campground
RVs: Most sites have space, but good to check in advance.
Reservations: Recommended for Reuter, Sundance, & Cook Lake. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve
Pets: Allowed.
More Information

The Black Hills National Forest encompasses over 1.2 million acres of land in South Dakota and Wyoming. The National Forest is not contiguous, and a smaller enclave is located just east of Devils Tower. Here, you’ll find several excellent car camping options to suit your needs, outlined below:

  • Reuter Campground (24 sites): The Reuter Campground is located just north of Sundance, WY and is very convenient for visiting Devils Tower. There are 24 campsites here, which can be reserved via Recreation.gov.
  • Sundance Horse Campground (10 sites): The Sundance Horse camp is located north of Sundance and provides 10 campsites specifically designed to accommodate campers with horses.
  • Cook Lake Campground (32 sites): The Cook Lake Campground is located right in the middle of the Black Hills National Forest. Expect a further drive to get to Devils Tower from here, but you’ll enjoy lake access and a bit more seclusion.
  • Bearlodge Campground (8 sites): The Bear Lodge Campground is located in the northern section of Black Hills National Forest, just off Highway 24. You’ll be just a short drive from Devils Tower here, making this a great option for nearby car camping.
Camping in Black Hills National Forest

Black Hills National Forest offers plenty of camping near Devils Tower.

 

Screaming Eagle Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $29 – $46/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 307-283-2270
Pets: Allowed
More Information

A great car camping option near Devils Tower National Monument is the Screaming Eagle Campground located in the town of Hulett, WY. Situated just nine miles north of Devils Tower, this is a great place to pitch your tent. The Screaming Eagle gets great reviews for its grassy pitches, shady trees, and very friendly owner.

You’re also walking distance to the town of Hulett here, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or pick up a few supplies.

 

Free dispersed camping near Devils Tower

Your final option for camping near Devils Tower National Monument is to find a free, dispersed campsite on adjacent US Forest Service land in the Black Hills National Forest. Located to the east of Devils Tower,  this land is overseen by the USFS which manages hundreds of thousands of acres of public land throughout the country and generally allows for free ‘dispersed camping’ on it.

Free dispersed camping near Devils Tower National Monument.

 

If you have any questions about the dispersed camping options outlined below be sure to reach out to the USFS offices that oversee the specific areas, shown below:

Black Hills National Forest Dispersed Camping

Free, dispersed camping is permitted in the Black Hills National Forest near Devils Tower. The best sites seems to be located in the northern section of the Black Hills, just off of State Highway 24. Here you’ll find some gravel and two-track roads that have plenty of pull outs perfect for dispersed camping.

It is also possible to find a free campsites north of the town of Sundance in the Black Hills, but these seem to get worse reviews compared to other options. Check out some of your best bets below:

 

Devils Tower National Monument Camping Must Know

Where to get supplies

There a few good options close to Devils Tower where you can stock up on food, gas, and any other camping supplies you might need. Check out your best options below:

  • Hulett: Hulett, WY is located approximately nine miles north of Devils Tower along State Highway 24. This small town has plenty of services that campers may want to take advantage of, including a small grocery store, gas station, and hardware store.
  • Sundance: Sundance, WY is the largest town near Devils Tower and your best bet to find any last minute camping supplies. Located 30 minutes south of Devils Tower you’ll find a full service grocery store, gas stations, and a popular outdoor store here.

Pets

Pets are permitted at Devils Tower National Monument, but are only allowed in specific areas of the monument. This includes the Belle Fourche River Campground, picnic areas, and in parking areas/along roadways.

Pets are not allowed on any hiking trails at Devils Tower or in any park service buildings.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Devils Tower, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings or on trails.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Devils Tower National Monument  website here.

Devils Tower from a nearby road

 

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on Devils Tower National Monument camping in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

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Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide

The Cleveland Way is a true gem of England’s National Trails. Taking in some of the best walking in the North York Moors National Park, walkers will be treated to…

The Cleveland Way is a true gem of England’s National Trails. Taking in some of the best walking in the North York Moors National Park, walkers will be treated to heather covered mountainsides, charming villages, and stunning coastal views. Along the route there are plenty of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference.

Overnight options include everything from campgrounds, to bunkhouses, charming B&Bs, to luxury hotels. While certainly good to have options, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to stay on the Cleveland Way.

This Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide is designed to solve just that issue. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of your best options at each of the common stopping points along the route to help you get the most from your walk.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

Whitby on the Cleveland Way

 

In This Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide

 

Should I reserve my Cleveland Way accommodation in advance?

Simply put, yes, you should probably reserve your Cleveland Way accommodation in advance.

The North York Moors can be quite a popular destination during the summer months, attracting visitors from all over the UK. This is especially true along the coastal section of the walk where towns like Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough are busy holiday destinations.

While you might be able to get by without a reservation in some of the less visited towns along the route, having made an advance booking will give you peace of mind and assurances that you have a place to rest your head.

As such, we recommend booking your accommodation for the Cleveland Way as early as possible. For the popular coastal villages along the route we recommend making a booking 4-5 months in advance to ensure your first choice is available. Reservations for the non-coastal towns don’t need to be made as far in advance, but we still recommend booking at least a month in advance if possible.

 

English breakfast

 

Cleveland Way Accommodation Cost

The cost of accommodation along the Cleveland Way varies depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, accommodation is more expensive along the cost, and a bit more affordable inland. Additionally, the time of year has a huge impact on what you can expect to pay, with the summer months of July and August being the most expensive.

Of course the length of time you plan to walk the Cleveland Way in also will influence how much you need to budget for accommodation. Some walkers will complete the route in 5-6 days, while other prefer to do it in 12 or more.

Given all of these factors it can be difficult to pin down average costs for the Cleveland Way, but we’ve taken a stab at it below:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £70+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £40+ (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £10+ (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the Cleveland Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £80+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £40-80 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£40 (per person/per night)

Note that not every stop along the walk will feature accommodation that fits neatly into each of the categories above. In those cases we’ve included multiple options in a specific price point based on what is available.

Trail in the North York Moors

 

Cleveland Way Accommodation Directory & Map

Finding your accommodation for the Cleveland Way is not always an easy task. You’ll find a variety of options at each stopping point on the walk, and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you. We’re here to simply your decision making process with our accommodation guide below!

We’ve distilled the best options into an easy to ready format with key details, as well as our recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic Cleveland Way itinerary from Helmsley to Filey.

You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the interactive map below.

Looking for more Cleveland Way resources? Check out our Cleveland Way | Maps & Routes article here.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

 

Helmsley

High-End: Feversham Arms Hotel

The Feversham Arms is a classic boutique hotel in Helmsley and is perfect for those looking to start their Cleveland Way walk with a bit of luxury. The hotel features a stunning outdoor pool, beautiful rooms, and exceptional staff. This is our top option in Helmsley.

Mid-Range: Carlton Lodge

The Carlton Lodge is an excellent mid-range option in Helmsley. This quaint guest house is set in a beautiful stone building among lovely gardens. The breakfast is outstanding and gets great reviews from guests. This is a great option for those looking for a relaxing night without breaking the bank.

Budget: The Royal Oak Hotel

The Royal Oak Hotel is located right in the center of Helmsley and provides great access to all of the amenities of this market town. While certainly in a busier location than your other options, the rooms are quiet and well appointed. The on-site pub and restaurant have great dining options as well.

 

Church in Helmsley

 

Sutton Bank

Mid-Range: Church Farm B&B

The Church Farm B&B is located just south of Sutton Bank in the village of Kilburn. With only two guest rooms, you’ll get excellent service at a very reasonable rate. Breakfast is included and gets rave reviews from guests.

Mid-Range: The Forresters Arms Hotel

The Forresters Arms Hotel provides classic pub accommodation in the heart of Kilburn, just a short distance from the Cleveland Way. The cozy pub is the perfect place to enjoy a pint after the days walk, and the staff are warm and accommodating. Highly recommended.

Budget: High House Farm

The High House Farm offers simple farmhouse accommodation just north of the Cleveland Way. With just two simple rooms available, a night here offers a great opportunity to enjoy the pastoral North York Moors.

 

Osmotherley

Mid-Range: Vane House

The Vane House is a lovely bed & breakfast located in the center of Osmotherley. You can expect very friendly service, clean rooms, and an excellent breakfast here. For those looking for B&B accommodation in Osmotherley, this is your best bet.

Mid-Range: The Queen Catherine Hotel

The Queen Catherine Hotel provides basic accommodation right on the Cleveland Way in Osmotherley. The front patio is a lovely place to relax on a warm day and breakfast gets great reviews. The rooms are a bit dated, but nothing that won’t suit a weary Cleveland Way walker!

Budget: Cote Ghyll Mill YHA

The Cote Ghyll Mill is a YHA run bunkhouse that features hostel style rooms as well as a campground. As with all YHA’s you’ll find a well-run establishment complete with a shared kitchen and lovely common spaces. You can’t go wrong here.

 

Great Broughton/Clay Bank Top

Mid-Range: Wainstones Hotel

The Wainstones Hotel is located in Great Broughton, north of the Cleveland Way. This lovely hotel offers a pick-up service at Clay Bank Top for Cleveland Way walkers, an incredible amenity! You’ll also find friendly staff, a good restaurant, and well-appointed rooms.

Mid-Range: The Buck Inn

The Buck Inn is located south of the Cleveland Way and the owners are more than happy to pick up weary walkers at Clay Bank Top. The rooms are quaint and the owners attentive. This is a great mid-range option in the area.

Budget: Beak Hills Farm

Located just half a mile off of the Cleveland Way prior to Clay Bank Top, Beak Hills Farm is a great place to stay. The two guest rooms are perfect for walkers and provide an outstanding value for the money. They also allow camping for anyone carrying their tent.

 

Kildale

Mid-Range: The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory is a lovely B&B located in the village of Kildale, right on the Cleveland Way. This family run affair has exceptional service, breakfast, and rooms. The owners will even drive you to the nearest pub for dinner!

 

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

High-End: Brockley Hall Hotel

This boutique hotel is the place to stay if you’re looking for a bit of luxury near the halfway point of your Cleveland Way walk. Brockley Hall has stunning rooms and an excellent on-site restaurant. The location is also perfect, as the hotel sits right on the Cleveland Way.

Mid-Range: The Spa Hotel

The Spa Hotel is a great pick in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The individually decorated rooms are well-appointed and the food gets rave reviews. You’re also only a short stroll from the beach here, making this a great stop on your walk.

Budget: The Victoria

The Victoria is located right in the center of Saltburn-by-the-Sea and provides great value for the money. It can get a bit noisy here at night, but the staff are incredibly friendly and you can’t beat the location!

The pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea

 

Staithes

High-End: Roraima House

The Roraima House is a charming bed and breakfast located just up from the waterfront in Staithes. Period feature architecture complements the friendly service. The food is excellent as well.

Mid-Range: Trig Point 49 and Keel Lodges

This five room lodge is a good mid-range option in Staithes for Cleveland Way walkers. The rooms are simple and clean and the staff very accommodating. One of our top picks in Staithes.

Budget: The Royal George

The Royal George B&B has one of the best locations in town, situated right on the Cleveland Way and just steps from the water. This excellent budget option features three rooms, two of which are en suite. Breakfast is included and the on-site pub is a great place to grab a pint after finishing the day’s walk.

View of Staithes from the Cleveland Way

 

Runswick Bay

Mid-Range: Cliffemount Hotel

The Cliffemount Hotel features stunning views of Runswick Bay from the bright and clean rooms. This small hotel is known for the friendly staff and we highly recommend splurging for a sea-view room with a balcony. You won’t regret it!

Mid-Range: The Runswick Bay Hotel

The Runswick Bay hotel is located right in the center of the village and features six guest rooms. You’ll find great value here with reasonable room prices and caring staff. Be sure to try the fish and chips from the on-site restaurant!

Budget: The Firs Guesthouse

The Firs Guesthouse is a small, family-run affair that comes with excellent reviews. A great breakfast, easy beach access to soak those weary feet, and friendly staff make this a solid option.

Runswick Bay

 

Whitby

High-End: The Dolphin Hotel

With a stunning view overlooking the bay, the Dolphin Hotel is a great option in Whitby. Located right on the Cleveland Way, this well-reviewed hotel features classic rooms, a cozy pub, and a hearty breakfast.

Mid-Range: The Pier Inn

The Pier Inn is centrally located in Whitby right off the main trail and gets rave reviews for its excellent views. The staff is welcoming to walkers and be sure to enjoy a full English breakfast before setting out the next morning.

Budget: The George Hotel

The George Hotel is located just across from the main train station in Whitby, putting you right in the center of the action. The lively pub scene is perfect for walkers who enjoy a bit of revelry. You’ll also enjoy spotlessly clean rooms and very friendly staff.

 

Robin Hood’s Bay

High-End: Fernleigh B&B

The Fernleigh B&B is our top choice in Robin Hood’s Bay. The newly renovated Victorian home features top-notch amenities and beautiful décor on a quiet street near the center of town. The wonderful owners will make sure you feel welcome and well-fed.

Mid-Range: The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor is a favorite accommodation for many Cleveland Way walkers and for good reason. Guests at this charming hotel will enjoy spotless rooms, a delicious breakfast, and a location that’s just five minutes’ to the beach.

Budget: YHA Boggle Hole

Of all the fantastic YHA hostels throughout England, this is surely one of the best. Tucked away in a secluded cove, the main building is set in a recently-renovated historic mill. The entire place embraces a fun nautical theme and boasts excellent facilities and lots of fun activities. Dorms and private en suite rooms are available.

Robin Hood's Bay

 

Ravenscar

Mid-Range: Raven Hall Hotel

The Raven Hall Hotel is perfectly located for Cleveland Way walkers right in the center of Ravenscar. The hotel is situated on a beautiful bluff overlooking the sea and the rooms don’t disappoint. This boutique option is a great place to spend the night.

Budget: Smuggler’s Rock Guest House

The Smuggler’s Rock Guest House provides simple B&B accommodation in Ravenscar, just up the road from the Cleveland Way. The rooms here are immaculately clean and well decorated. The charming garden is the perfect place to relax after a long day’s walk.

 

Scarborough

Mid-Range: The Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel is located in a beautiful old building in the center of Scarborough. The location leaves nothing to be desired and the on-site restaurant serves up a delicious breakfast. A great option for what is likely your final night on the Cleveland Way.

Mid-Range: The Dickens Bar & Inn

The Dickens Bar & Inn provides excellent pub accommodation in the heart of Scarborough. Enjoy a pint in the pub before retiring to your quiet and clean room for the evening. Breakfast is included in the room rate and gets great reviews from guests.

Budget: Argo Hotel

The Argo is your best budget option in Scarborough. Although it is not the most luxurious accommodation available in town, the host Lynn more than makes up for it with friendly service. Breakfast is included and you’re just a short walk from the beach.

Filey

Mid-Range: The White Lodge Hotel

Upon finishing your walk in Filey we highly recommend a stay at the White Lodge Hotel. Set in a stunning building, the White Lodge is known for its incredibly comfortable beds – the perfect place to rest your head after a 100+ mile walk!

Mid-Range: Abbots Leigh Guesthouse

Centrally located in Filey, Abbots Leigh Guest House provides cozy accommodation at very reasonable prices. The rooms are stylishly outfitted and the hosts go above and beyond to make you feel at home. Highly recommended!

Filey, UK

 

What’s Next?

Check out our other great Cleveland Way Resources:

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Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide

The Cotswold Way meanders through some of the loveliest countryside England has to offer. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect backdrop for one of England’s most popular…

The Cotswold Way meanders through some of the loveliest countryside England has to offer. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect backdrop for one of England’s most popular National Trails. For those that walk the Cotswold Way you’ll be treated to beautiful lavender fields, stunning Cotswold stone buildings, and of course some lovely accommodation.

Your options for where to stay on the Cotswold Way are nearly endless as you’ll be able to choose from an array of campgrounds, bed & breakfast inns, and boutique hotels. This means that nearly any budget can be accommodated by the lodging options on the Cotswold Way.

This Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide has been designed to help you understand your options for each stop along the route and get the most out of your walk.

Bed and breakfast on the Cotswold Way

 

In This Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide

Should I reserve my Cotswold Way accommodation in advance?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding yes!

The Cotswolds are a popular tourist destination for both the English as well as international tourists. That means that accommodation is often fully booked for weeks or months in advance, especially during the peak summer season.

So, for those walking the Cotswold Way we highly recommend reserving your accommodation well in advance, especially if walking during the summer.

When booking for peak season in the Cotswolds, the earlier the better. If you are able, we recommend trying to reserve the most in-demand accommodation up to 3-4 months in advance. Even if you plan to incorporate a bit on spontaneity into your walk it is advised to at least phone ahead to your next destination before arriving.

English breakfast

 

Cotswold Way Accommodation Cost

Given that the Cotswold Way rarely strays far from civilization you’ll have plenty of options to create your perfect itinerary. This can mean taking your time and spending two weeks on the walk, or speeding through in 6-7 days.

Whichever your personal preference is, you can rest assured that you’ll have no shortage of itinerary options.

Similarly, you can personalize the cost of the accommodation you select for your walk to meet your budget.

Do keep in mind that the Cotswolds are a very expensive part of England, especially when it comes to lodging. The popularity of visiting the area means that hotel and B&B prices tend to be quite a bit higher than other parts of the country.

Nightly cost also varies widely across the Cotswold Way, with more popular destinations such as Bath costing more than some of the rural areas of the walk. Given all of these factors it can be difficult to pin down average costs for the Cotswold Way, but we’ve taken a stab at it below:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £90+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £50+ (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £15+ (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the Cotswold Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £95+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £50-90 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£50 (per person/per night)

Note that not every stop along the walk will feature accommodation that fits neatly into each of the categories above. In those cases we’ve included multiple options in a specific price point based on what is available.

Path on the Cotswold Way

 

Cotswold Way Accommodation Directory & Map

Looking for accommodation on the Cotswold Way can be overwhelming. There are a plethora of options, many of which can prove difficult to discern their value. In the accommodation directory below we’ve distilled this information into an easy to ready format with key details about your options, as well as our recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic north to south Cotswold Way itinerary from Chipping Campden to Bath.

You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the interactive map below.

Looking for more Cotswold Way resources? Check out our Cotswold Way | Maps & Routes article here.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

Bath on the Cotswold Way

 

Chipping Campden

High-End: Cotswold House Hotel and Spa

If you’re interested in starting your Cotswold Way walk off with a bit of luxury then look no further than the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa. The comfortable beds and on-site spa are just what you need before embarking on your journey. Be sure to stick around for breakfast before setting out!

Mid-Range: Eight Bells Inn

The charming Eight Bells Inn is always a top pick in Chipping Campden. Located in a historic and charming building the friendly staff will have you feeling right at home. However, what really sets the Eight Bells Inn apart is the excellent food available in the on-site restaurant.

Budget: Volunteer Inn

The Volunteer Inn is centrally located at the end of High Street in Chipping Campden and provides excellent value for the money. You’ll be easy walking distance to a host of nearby amenities and be able to retire to your comfortable bed at the end of the night. Highly recommended!

Chipping Campden accommodation Cotswold Way

 

Broadway

High-End: The Lygon Arms Hotel

The Lygon Arms is set in a palatial looking structure constructed from beautiful Cotswold stone. Perfectly blending contemporary and classic design, each of the rooms is carefully curated. This is an excellent option for those looking for bespoke accommodation in Broadway.

Mid-Range: The Broadway Hotel

The Broadway Hotel features 19 well thought out rooms that make a great mid-range option in Broadway. The structure of the hotel dates back to the 16th century, but guests will enjoy modern amenities. Guests give rave reviews to the breakfast, the perfect way to start a day on the Cotswold Way.

Budget: Horse & Hound Inn

A friendly pub-accommodation option in Broadway the Horse & Hound Inn is a great budget option. The convivial atmosphere and friendly staff make this a popular spot for walkers. Enjoy a pint at the pub and mingle with the locals.

 

Stanton

Mid-Range: The Old Post House

The Old Post House B&B offers quiet and private accommodation in Stanton. Choose from a converted shepherd’s hut or the beautiful Garden Room, located in a separate building. There are only two rooms here, ensuring you’ll get great service. Be sure to spend some time enjoying the beautiful gardens.

Mid-Range: The Vine at Cotswold Riding

Set in the center of Stanton and part of the large Cotswolds Riding equestrian center, the Vine offers classic B&B accommodation. A homey spot, the roaring fire and simple guest rooms evoke a classic Cotswold vibe.

 

Winchcombe

High-End: The Lion Inn

Located just off the Cotswold Way, the Lion Inn offers beautiful guest rooms to weary Cotswold Way walkers. Staff go above and beyond to ensure you have a comfortable stay and the rooms are spotlessly clean. While certainly on the higher end of the price spectrum, you’ll get great value for your money here.

Mid-Range: The White Hart Inn

The White Hart Inn is located in the thick of the action in Winchcombe and right on the Cotswold Way. This pub accommodation provides basic rooms with loads of character and incredibility friendly staff.

Budget: Wesley House

The Wesley House is known for its outstanding breakfasts and simple guest rooms. Set in a Tudor style building the Wesley House presents the best value in Winchcombe. With just four rooms available be sure to book early.

 

Cleeve Hill

High-End: Malvern View Bed & Breakfast

The Malvern View B&B offers views of Cleeve Hill from its cozy lounge and features exceptionally friendly hosts. The rooms are thoughtfully adorned, the breakfast excellent, and the grounds well kept. This is an excellent family run B&B, which is what a trip to the Cotswolds is all about!

Mid-Range: Cleeve Hill Hotel

The well cared for Cleeve Hill Hotel features 13 rooms and makes a great mid-range option in Cleeve Hill. The owner ensures all guest’s needs are met and does a splendid breakfast. Views from the rooms are exceptional as well.

Budget: Rising Sun Hotel

The Rising Sun Hotel is a great budget-friendly spot featuring a restaurant/pub and lovely back terrace. The rooms are basic, but all are clean and functional. The Hotel is located just off the Cotswold Way making this a popular place to overnight for walkers.

Cleeve Hill

Cleeve Hill, the high point of the Cotswold Way.

 

Cheltenham

Mid-Range: DoubleTree Cheltenham

The DoubleTree is more convenient than most Cheltenham options for Cotswold Way walkers, as it is located on the edge of town near the trail. You’ll get a predictable experience here with comfortable rooms, a good breakfast, and well-maintained facilities.

Mid-Range: The London Inn

The London Inn offers a classic pub hotel in Cheltenham. You’ll have to walk a bit further off the Cotswold Way to reach the Inn, but you’ll be rewarded with a friendly and cozy place to spend the night. The rooms are basic, but the breakfast is exceptional!

Budget: Colgate Farm B&B

The best located option near Cheltenham for Cotswold Way walkers, the Colgate Farm B&B is located just off the trail. This pastoral B&B has all of the rural Cotswold charm you could ask for along with friendly owners. While not the most luxurious, this is a great place to spend the night.

 

Birdlip

Mid-Range: Royal George Hotel

The only accommodation in Birdlip, the Royal George Hotel offers good value. The staff is very welcoming and there is a great atmosphere in the on-site pub. While the bathrooms could use some updating, the Royal George is overall an excellent option.

 

Painswick

High-End: The Painswick

The Painswick is one of the best hotels on the Cotswold Way and we highly recommend a stay here for anyone passing through. This beautiful hotel does everything right, from the excellent food, comfortable rooms, and friendly staff. A bit of a splurge, but well worth it!

Mid-Range: The Falcon Inn

The Falcon Inn is a cozy and well-run option in Painswick. The rooms are beautifully decorated and a stay here won’t break the bank. Guests give it great reviews for its excellent location right in the center of Painswick as well as for its accommodating staff.

Budget: Troy House

The Troy House is a lovely bed & breakfast that provides an affordable option in Painswick. The friendly owners are very welcoming to walkers and the back garden is a welcome respite for tired legs. Highly recommended.

 

King’s Stanley

Mid-Range: Orchardene Bed & Breakfast

The Orchardene Bed & Breakfast is a classic Cotswold bed and breakfast. Friendly owners, a beautiful building, and a hearty breakfast all make this a great option for walkers in King’s Stanley. Be sure to book early as they only have two rooms.

Mid-Range: Valley Views B&B

The Valley Views B&B is the most convenient option in King’s Stanley as it is located mere steps from the Cotswold Way. Beautiful views, a manicured garden, and excellent owners make this a great mid-range option for walkers.

Budget: The White Hart

The White Hart is a bit further from the trail but provides excellent, budget-friendly accommodation. This free house has clean rooms and a great breakfast, everything the Cotswold Way walkers could need. Although it will require a bit more walking from the trail to reach, we still think this could be your best bet in the area.

 

Dursley

Mid-Range: Woodland House B&B

Accommodation in Dursely is a bit limited, but luckily there is the excellent Woodland House B&B. Set is a peaceful residential neighborhood, the friendly owners will welcome you with open arms. The cozy rooms and tasty breakfast will have you ready for your next day on the walk!

 

Wotton-under-Edge

Mid-Range: The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel provides a good mid-range option for walkers stopping in Wotton-under-Edge. The rooms are very comfortable, with many featuring additional seating areas to relax. Located right in the center of town you’ll also have easy access to shops, restaurants, and anything else you may need.

 

Tormarton

Mid-Range: Little Smithy B&B

Little Smithy sits in the center of the small village of Tormarton, right on the Cotswold Way. This family run B&B hosts plenty of walkers, so you’ll be well taken care of. There are only two rooms here, both located in a small cottage separate from the main house.

Mid-Range: Best Western Compass Inn

This predictable option offers good value for the money on the edge of Tormarton. The Best Western gets mixed reviews, but overall provides an excellent option for Cotswold Way walkers.

 

Cold Ashton

Mid-Range: Cornflake Cottage B&B

The Cornflake Cottage is a lovey, rural B&B just north of Cold Ashton in Pennsylvania. There are only two rooms here, and the outgoing owners will have you feeling right at home. Beautiful pastoral views make this a restful place to spend the night.

Mid-Range: Whittington Farm B&B

Located right on the Cotswold Way in Cold Ashton, is the Whittington Farm B&B. This lovely guest house has just two rooms and anyone who stays here can’t seem to say enough about how great it is. The perfect place to spend what is likely you last night on the Cotswold Way.

 

Bath

High-End: The Gainsborough

Let’s face it, at the end of a long walk there is nothing better than splurging for a luxurious hotel stay. For those with the same mindset, we highly recommend staying a night at The Gainsborough in central Bath. This five star accommodation is sure to be just what the doctor ordered after having just completed the Cotswold Way.

Mid-Range: The Rising Sun Inn

For those who still want a relaxing stay, but without the price tag of some of the fancier options look no further than the Rising Sun Inn. Set just across the river from the center of Bath you’ll enjoy the location as well as the great staff and comfortable rooms.

Budget: Z Hotel

The Z Hotel is a great budget option in a city that is known for its expensive lodging. The more affordable rooms don’t have a window, but you’ll have extra money to enjoy a pint at one of the many pubs. The friendly staff make this our top pick for budget accommodation in Bath.

 

River in Bath, UK

Be sure to spend some time exploring Bath at the end of your Cotswold Way walk.

 

What’s Next?

Check out our other great Cotswold Way Resources:

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South Downs Way Accommodation Guide

The South Downs Way is renowned for its splendid walking, cultural experiences, and ease of access. Walking the entire route you’ll be treated to beautiful views and charming villages, but…

The South Downs Way is renowned for its splendid walking, cultural experiences, and ease of access. Walking the entire route you’ll be treated to beautiful views and charming villages, but you’ll also get to the experience some of the warmest hospitality in all of England.

Accommodation options on the South Downs Way include everything from campgrounds to B&Bs to luxurious hotels. For every budget and preference there is almost always an excellent accommodation option on this National Trail.

We’ve put together this South Downs Way Accommodation Guide to help you understand your options and get the most out of your South Downs Way Adventure.

Let’s get started.

In This South Downs Way Accommodation Guide

Should I reserve my South Downs Way accommodation in advance?

This largely depends on when you plan on walking the South Downs Way, but during the peak season it is a resounding yes! That means that from approximately mid-March through the end of September you’ll be best served by booking your accommodation in advance for the South Downs Way.

This is true even for those bringing a tent along and camping on their walk as many of the campgrounds are quite popular in the summer months.

When booking for peak season, the earlier the better. If possible, try to reserve the most in-demand accommodation 3-4 months in advance, if possible. If you’re more of a last-minute person, don’t despair. Even calling a few days ahead while you’re on the trail could really pay off.

Guest house on the south Downs Way

Advance bookings are recommended on the South Downs Way.

 

South Downs Way Accommodation Cost

One of the great things about the South Downs Way is the variety of itinerary options. Given that the walk passes through many villages, towns, and farming communities, it is possible to find a place to lay your head almost anywhere along the walk.

Just as you can customize your itinerary to suit your needs, you can also choose your accommodation to suit your personal budget.

Prices can vary greatly from place to place, and expect accommodation costs to increase the closer you get to the coast. However, generally speaking, here’s what you can expect to pay for accommodation along the South Downs Way:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £75+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £40 (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £15 (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the South Downs Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £85+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £50-85 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£50 (per person/per night)

NOTE: Camping accommodation is not included in this post. Check out our detailed Guide to Camping on the South Downs Way for camping options on every stage.

English breakfast

B&Bs on the South Downs Way are sure to offer up a full English breakfast!

 

South Downs Way Accommodation Directory & Map

There are wonderful places to stay along the entire South Downs Way route. In this accommodation directory, we’ll give you key details about all of your options, as well as our top recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic west to east South Downs Way itinerary. You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the map below.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

Winchester cathedral

 

Winchester

High-End: The Old Vine

For those looking to start their South Downs Way walk with a bit of luxury, you can’t go wrong with the Old Vine Hotel in Winchester. This centrally located hotel features beautifully appointed guest rooms and excellent service. Don’t forget to check out the on-site restaurant as well.

Mid-Range: The Winchester Hotel

The Winchester Hotel has simple, efficient rooms that provide a good mid-range option in Winchester. While certainly not luxurious, the Winchester Hotel is in a great location and provides good value for the money. The indoor pool and hot tub are perfect for loosening up those muscles before your walk!

Budget: The King Alfred Pub

Tucked away on a quiet corner, the King Alfred Pub in Winchester is the quintessential pub accommodation. This lovely spot features charming rooms set above a lively pub. The staff is incredibly friendly and you’ll enjoy a convivial atmosphere. Highly recommended!

 

Cheriton

Mid-Range: Brick House

The Brick House in Cheriton is a unique place to spend the night on the South Downs Way. The beautiful accommodation shares a building with a bakery school, so be sure to stick around for the included breakfast! This is the most convenient option for those looking to stay in Cheriton.

Budget: The Milburys

You can’t get find a better location than The Milburys Pub, located right on the South Downs Way. There are only two rooms available, but if you’re looking to stop before reaching Exton this is a great option.

 

Exton

High-End: Manor House Exton B&B

Located on the northern edge of the lovely village of Exton, the Manor House B&B offers excellent accommodation at reasonable prices. The Manor House has only two rooms so you’ll enjoy some peace and quiet before enjoying the excellent breakfast the following morning.

Mid-Range: Crossways B&B

The Crossways B&B is a simple, but well run bed and breakfast in the heart of Exton. You’ll have the entire place to yourself and they only feature one room, which can be a great feature for the weary walker.

Budget: Bucks Head Inn

The best bet for budget accommodation in Exton is the Bucks Head Inn, located just south of the main village. This is quintessential pub accommodation with five rooms set above the main pub.

 

East Meon

High-End: Ye Olde George Inn

The Ye Olde George Inn in East Meon offers well appointed rooms above the pub and restaurant. Breakfast is included in the room rate and highly recommended. The Ye Olde George Inn gets great reviews for its friendly staff and comfortable rooms.

Mid-Range: The Long House

The Long House in East Meon is a good fit for those who don’t want the busy atmosphere of pub accommodation. This quiet and tranquil bed and breakfast is known for the owners going above and beyond, even sometimes picking up weary South Downs Way walkers from the trail!

Budget: Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite

Situated just south of East Meon, the Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite offers simple accommodation at reasonable prices. The bed & breakfast features en suite rooms that are small but cozy and set in the beautiful woodlands of South Downs National Park.

 

Buriton

High-End: The Hampshire Hog

The Hampshire Hog is located south of Buriton on the A3. This upscale restaurant and B&B has beautiful rooms that are sure to add a bit of luxury to your South Downs Way walk. The onsite restaurant gets good reviews for its classic pub fare.

Mid-Range: The Village Inn at Buriton

The Village Inn is situated in the heart of Buriton occupying a beautiful white brick building. The rooms were recently redesigned and have a boutique hotel feel while still maintaining their charm. There is an on-site restaurant with an excellent gin selection.

Budget: Copper Beeches

Copper Beeches sits east of Buriton, but just a short walk from the South Downs Way. This farmhouse style B&B features simple rooms and friendly owners. The pastoral setting is what the South Downs are known for!

 

Cocking

High-End: The Blue Bell

This free house is located smack dab in the center of Cocking, making it a convenient option for South Downs Way walkers. You’ll find three B&B rooms available here as well as an on-site restaurant. The rooms are simple, but well designed.

Mid-Range: Hysett House

The Hysett House is a small, family run B&B on the north edge of Cocking. The rooms are basic, but the warm hospitality from the owners is what Hysett House is known for.

Budget: Moonlight Cottage B&B

The Moonlight Cottage B&B features small but functional rooms very close to the main South Downs Way trail. This cozy accommodation is a good value for the money and the helpful owners make it a highly recommended option.

Bignor

High-End: The White Horse Inn

The White Horse Inn offers beautiful rooms a short distance from the South Downs Way in Sutton. This well run establishment has a high-end restaurant and makes a great spot to indulge in a little luxury on your South Downs Way walk.

Mid-Range: Stane House

The Stane House is a classic English B&B located in beautiful countryside just off the South Downs Way. The lovely back garden is a treat on a sunny day and the owner’s bring a warm hospitality only found at English B&Bs!

Budget: Folly Hide

Folly Hide offers some of the most unique accommodation on the South Downs Way. This “tiny house” is a renovated shepherd’s hut set in a beautiful garden. You’ll enjoy privacy while still having modern amenities and getting to experience what life was once like in the South Downs.

 

Amberley

High-End: Amberley Castle

By far the most luxurious accommodation you’ll find on the South Downs Way is the Amberley Castle. A truly unique place to spend the night, the hotel is set within the the Amberley Castle grounds. You’ll pay dearly for a night here, but this could very well be the highlight of your trip!

Mid-Range: Black Horse

For those looking for well run pub accommodation in Amberley look no further than the Black Horse. This excellent establishment has 11 rooms featuring unique furniture and all including breakfast. This is a popular place with the locals as well as travelers making it a great option.

Budget: The Sportsman Inn

The Sportsman Inn sits in a pastoral location just outside of  Amberley. With beautiful views of the countryside this is a great budget accommodation option. Both double and twin rooms are available depending on your needs.

 

Washington

Mid-Range: Holt House

The Holt House is a charming B&B located just off the South Downs Way in the small village of Washington. With only three rooms available it maintains a cozy and communal atmosphere while providing all the necessities. Breakfast is included and room rates are quite reasonable.

 

Upper Beeding/Steyning

High-End: Springwells House

The Springwells House is a boutique bed & breakfast located north of the South Downs Way in Steyning. Featuring six well appointed rooms, this is a lovely option for those looking for a tranquil setting. The beautiful gardens make this a great value for the money.

Mid-Range: The Castle Inn

The Castle Inn is located a short distance off the trail and features a variety of rooms to suit any budget. This B&B style accommodation has a popular restaurant and beautiful back garden. A great option for those looking to stop in Upper Beeding or Steyning.

Budget: YHA Truleigh Hill

Situated immediately off the South Downs Way, the YHA Truleigh Hill is a very popular stop for walkers. Perfect for those who prefer simple accommodation, the YHA Truleigh Hill has both dormitory and private room options. Take advantage of the communal kitchen to prepare your own dinner.

 

Ditchling

High-End: The White Horse

The White Horse Inn in Ditchling is a classic and well-designed guest house near the South Downs Way. This great option includes seven bed & breakfast style rooms as well as a cozy restaurant and bar.

Mid-Range: The Bull

Located right in the center of Ditchling, The Bull is a classic English guest house. One of the oldest structures in the area, The Bull features boutique style rooms set above a well-regarded restaurant. Prices are reasonable, but be sure to book ahead for the summer months.

Budget: Tovey Lodge

The Tovey Lodge is a self-catering cottage located a short distance from the South Downs Way. This is a great option for couples as the cottage features a double bed and plenty of space for relaxing. You’ll enjoy much more privacy here when compared to a traditional hotel.

 

Kingston/Lewes

Mid-Range: Kings Head or Nightingales

You’ll find several good mid-range accommodation options in the Kingston and Lewes area. We outlined your best bets below:

Nightingales:

This simple bed and breakfast is just a short distance from the South Downs Way, making it a great option. The host is friendly and you can enjoy the lovely back garden during your stay.

Kings Head:

Although the Kings Head is located a fair distance from the South Downs Way trail in Lewes, this still makes a good option for walkers. The warm and inviting atmosphere make this a popular stopping point, while weary walkers will appreciate the beautiful soaking tubs in the rooms!

Budget: The Newmarket Inn

The Newmarket Inn is located just a stone’s throw from the South Downs Way adjacent to the busy A27. This is the most convenient option in the Kingston/Lewes area and the new owner gets rave reviews from guests.

 

Alfriston

High-End: Wingrove House

The Wingrove House is one of Alfriston’s best bed & breakfasts. The rooms are well-designed and the restaurant is known for its excellent meals. This is a great place to spend your final night on the South Downs Way!

Mid-Range: Deans Place Hotel

Located just south of Alfriston, Deans Place Hotel is set in a stunningly beautiful country-house. Rooms rate here are quite reasonable and you can take in the pastoral feel of the grounds while still enjoying modern amenities. Highly recommended!

Budget: Ye Olde Smugglers Inne

The Ye Olde Smugglers Inne offers budget friendly pub accommodation in the heart of Alfriston. The friendly staff and convivial atmosphere add to the warmth of the place, while the simple rooms offer great value. This is your best bet if you’re looking to keep you budget in check.

Eastbourne

High-End: The View Hotel

If you couldn’t already tell from the name, The View Hotel in Eastbourne is known for its expansive views. While you won’t experience the same hospitality that comes with rural B&Bs, the View’s staff often goes the extra mile. The perfect place to relax after completing the South Downs Way!

Mid-Range: The Cherry Tree Guest House

The Cherry Tree Guest House features 10 simple rooms set in a beautiful location. The breakfast gets outstanding reviews and is perfect for the hungry SDW walker! This is a great option to rest and relax for a few nights after your walk.

Budget: YHA Eastbourne

The YHA Eastbourne is located on the outskirts of town and is the perfect budget accommodation option in Eastbourne. Choose from dormitory style or private rooms and enjoy the communal atmosphere at this excellent YHA.

The beach in Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

 

What’s Next?

Check out our other great South Downs Way Resources:

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Complete Guide to Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in north-central Colorado, is a truly stunning National Park. Comprised of alpine meadows, 14,000 foot peaks, and meandering streams, RMNP is truly a one-of-a-kind place…

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in north-central Colorado, is a truly stunning National Park. Comprised of alpine meadows, 14,000 foot peaks, and meandering streams, RMNP is truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit. Planning a Rocky Mountain National Park camping trip is the perfect way to experience this environment first-hand.

There is just nothing like spending a night out under the stars in your tent or RV to truly gain an appreciation of this spectacular place.

Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas have more than enough camping options to suit your needs. From the five developed campgrounds in the park, a plethora of backcountry campsites, to tons of nearby RV and car camping spots, and even free dispersed camping, you’re sure to find the perfect campsite.

Keep reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park camping

 

In this Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Guide

 

Rocky Mountain National Park Campgrounds

The first step in planning your perfect camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park is to understand a bit about the geography of the park. RMNP sits in the northern Front Range and is generally divided in half by the continental divide.

On the east side of the park, the main hub of activity is the town of Estes Park, while on the west side you’ll find Grand Lake. Connecting the east and west side of the park is Trail Ridge Road, a spectacular drive that is a highlight for many visitors RMNP trip.

Generally speaking, the east side of Rocky Mountain is more frequently visited, as it is much closer to Denver and the rest of the Front Range.

You’ll find good camping options on both sides of the park, and we’ve generally broken down your options geographically so that you have a good sense of what is available depending on which part of the park you want to explore.

Check out the map below to get a general sense of where the developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park are located.

Map of camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Map of campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

In addition to the overview map shown above we’ve also created an interactive map with all of the campgrounds included in this guide displayed.

Campgrounds with a green tent icon are the developed campgrounds within the park, the blue camper trailer icon represents RV campgrounds near the park, and finally the red tent icon represents car camping options near RMNP.

Enjoy!

 

Reservations & Permits

Of the five developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, three are reservable in advance while the other two are first-come, first-served. Aspenglen, Glacier Basin, and Moraine Park Campgrounds are all reservable in advance, while Longs Peak and Timber Creek Campgrounds are both available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To make a reservation at any of the three reservable campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park visit Recreation.gov, below.

Make a camping reservation in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Camping in RMNP is very popular during the summer peak season, so we highly recommend making a reservation well in advance if at all possible. If  you’re hoping to land one of the first-come, first-served campgrounds during peak season be sure to arrive early as they are very difficult to snag!

Bridge over a creek in RMNP

 

For those interested in exploring the vast backcountry wilderness in Rocky Mountain National Park on a backcountry camping trip you’ll need to secure a wilderness permit and reservation for the specific campsite you plan to stay at.

This is true for the traditional backcountry campsites, those interested in Technical Climbing Bivouacing, or Technical Orienteering Cross-country camping.

To secure a wilderness permit in Rocky Mountain National Park you’ll need to apply through the park’s lottery system, which generally opens on March 1st for the upcoming season. If you have a specific date or campsite you’d like to secure you’ll need to try and reserve as soon as possible!

Get a wilderness camping permit in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Tent at a backcountry campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

What to Bring Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Preparing for your Rocky Mountain National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in RMNP:

  • Coleman Camping Stove – This camping classic is perfect cooking up campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver.
  • Cooler – A good cooler makes any camping trip better. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Map – An essential for any trip, a good map is a must.
  • RMNP Guidebook – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. We like this hiking guide.

When to Camp in Rocky Mountain National Park

The Moraine Park Campground is the only campground in Rocky Mountain National Park this is open year round. However, most visitors will prefer the warmer temperatures and easier access to the park during the peak summer camping season.

Peak camping season in Rocky Mountain National generally begins around late-May and lasts through the beautiful fall weather towards the end of September. On either end of these times you’ll need to be prepared for snow and cold temperatures.

The winter months bring cold temperatures, snow, and generally inhospitable conditions to RMNP. Those who are hardy enough to brave winter camping in Rocky Mountain will need to stay at either Moraine Park or for the even braver, plan a winter wilderness camping trip.

Find more information on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter in Rocky Mountain National Park here. 

Bear Lake in the winter

Winter in RMNP brings frigid temperatures and snow, but camping is still possible!

 

Developed Campgrounds in RMNP

There are five unique developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. These campgrounds vary in size and proximity to different areas of the park and are sure to provide plenty of options for your perfect camping trip in RMNP. Details for all five campgrounds are below.

Aspenglen Campground

Number of Sites: 52 sites (13 tent only, 5 walk to)
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 30′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Aspenglen Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Aspenglen Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Aspenglen Campgrounds is located in the northern section of Rocky Mountain National Park, just past the Fall River entrance on Highway 34. This section of the park gets fewer visitors compared with the Beaver Meadows entrance, and is a great place to stay before exploring Deer Mountain, Lawn Lake, or Old Fall River Road.

Aspenglen features 52 campsites, with 13 tent-only sites and five walk-in campsites. The campground is set in a beautiful location with giant ponderosa pines and douglas fir trees providing shade in the summer. Two of the campsites are also ADA accessible.

Close encounters with the park’s famous elk herds are also very common in this section of the park!

The Aspenglen Campground is open seasonally during the summer months and reservations through Recreation.gov are required. Campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, metal fire grates, and easy access to restrooms and potable water.

Click here to make a reservation at the Aspenglen Campground

Old Fall River Road in RMNP

The Aspenglen Campground is the perfect place to stay before exploring Old Fall River Road. Photo credit NPS.

 

Glacier Basin Campground

Number of Sites: 150 sites (73 tent only, 13 group sites)
Fee: $30/night, group sites more.
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 35′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Glacier Basin Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Glacier Basin Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Glacier Basin Campground is centrally located in one of the most popular areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Situated just off the main road that leads to the Bear Lake trailhead and Sprague Lake this is the perfect place to camp for those looking to take in Rocky Mountain National Park’s quintessential spots.

Take a leisurely stroll around Sprague Lake or hike all the way to Dream Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead to make the most of camping at Glacier Basin!

Glacier Basin is a large campground with 150 total campsites, 73 of which are tent-only and 13 that can accommodate larger groups. RVs and trailers up to 35′ can be accommodated at Glacier Basin and there are four ADA accessible campsites.

The campground is open seasonally during the summer months and is one of the most competitive in the park to secure a reservation at. You’ll want to get on Recreation.gov as soon as possible to try and snag a campsite here.

All of the campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water. There is also an RV dump station available.

Click here to make a reservation at the Glacier Basin Campground

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

A hike to Dream Lake is an excellent day out in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

Moraine Park Campground

Number of Sites: 244 sites (101 tent only, 49 walk to)
Fee: $30/night in summer, $20/night in winter
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 40′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

Moraine Park Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Moraine Park Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Moraine Park Campground is the largest and most centrally located in Rocky Mountain National Park. Situated in a beautiful valley with stunning views, the campground is a short drive from the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Those camping here will be close to the Cub Lake Trailhead as well as a short-drive from many of the other popular destinations in RMNP.

This is a huge campground sporting a total of 244 individual campsites, of which 101 are tent-only and 49 are walk to sites. In addition, Moraine Park features three ADA accessible campsites. RVs are welcome at the Moraine Park Campground, but you’ll be limited to a total length of 40′.

Moraine Park is the only campground in RMNP that is open year round, although anyone interested in winter camping should expect reduced services. As one of the most popular campgrounds in the park, advance reservations are essential here.

All of the campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water, and a stunningly beautiful amphitheater. There is also an RV dump station available.

Click here to make a reservation at the Moraine Park Campground

Moraine Park Campground Amphitheater

The amphitheater at Moraine Park Campground is truly stunning. Photo credit NPS.

 

Longs Peak Campground

Number of Sites: 26 tent only sites
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Not allowed.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Longs Peak Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Longs Peak Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

Located south of the main park entrances, the Longs Peak Campground is the perfect spot for those looking for a quieter camping experience. This campground is situated just off Highway 7 between Estes Park and Allenspark and makes for an excellent camping spot to explore Chasm Lake, Estes Cone, and for the well-prepared, Longs Peak.

This small campground features 26 tent-only campsites tucked away in dense pine forest. Longs Peak Campground is located at an elevation of nearly 9,500′ so you’ll want to come prepared for some high-altitude camping. RVs are not allowed at the campground and unfortunately there are no ADA accessible sites.

The Longs Peak Campground is open seasonally during the summer, and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During busy summer weekends be sure to arrive as early as you can, as the campground is often completely full.

All of the campsites here are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water.

Chasm Lake hike from Longs Peak Campground

The hike to Chasm Lake is a RMNP classic.

 

Timber Creek Campground

Number of Sites: 98 sites (30 tent only)
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 30′. No hookups
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Timber Creek Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Timber Creek Campground. Photo credit NPS.

The Timber Creek Campground is the lone developed campground located on Rocky Mountain National Park’s west side. The campground is situated just off Highway 34 at the base of Trail Ridge Road. The Timber Lake trail leaves just up the road from the campground and you’re also likely to encounter more wildlife in this section of the park.

Timber Creek has 98 campsites, 30 of which are tent-only. RVs up to 30′ are allowed here and there are four ADA accessible campsites. The campground does not offer much shade due to many of the trees having to be removed as a result of the pine beetle, so be sure to bring a small shade canopy.

The campground is open seasonally during the summer months and all 98 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a bit less demand on the campsites since this is a less-crowded section of the park, but we still recommend arriving as early as you can to secure your site.

All of the campsites here are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water. There is also an RV dump station which is open seasonally.

 

Backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

For those looking to get off the beaten path in Rocky Mountain National Park a backcountry camping trip is the perfect opportunity. The expansive park has tons of options for backpacking from traditional, designated backcountry campsites to bivouac sites for climbers, and even off-trail orienteering backpacking. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park website here for more details on wilderness camping.

Backcountry Camping at Designated Campsites in RMNP

The most popular and the best fit for most people who want to explore the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park is to camp at one of the over 120 designated wilderness campsites in the park. These campsites are located in every section of RMNP, as shown on the National Park Service map below:

Map of backcountry campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Map of backcountry campsites in RMNP. Map courtesy of NPS. Click to enlarge.

 

In addition, there is a helpful list of all the backcountry sites in Rocky Mountain National Park at the link here.

Once you’ve decided on a campsite or campsites you’d like to stay at, you’ll need to secure a backcountry wilderness permit for the specific night and campsite you plan to stay at. Permits cost $30 per trip and we highly recommend reserving in advance.

The National Park Service opens the wilderness permit reservation system for Rocky Mountain National Park in late-February or early-March at the website below:

Get more information on Backcountry Wilderness Permits in RMNP here.

Backcountry campsites can accommodate up to seven people per campsite and you are limited to a maximum of 3 consecutive nights at any one campsite.

Note that a carry-in bear canister is required for all backcountry camping below treeline between April and October in RMNP. We like this bear canister from Backpacker’s Cache as it can fit several days worth of food. Alternatively, you can also rent bear canisters from REI stores and locally in Estes Park or Grand Lake.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration or an idea for a trip, be sure to check out our Guide to Lake Verna/East Inlet post.

East Inlet, Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Winter Wilderness Camping

For the brave and experienced it is possible to plan a winter backcountry camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. Campers will need to be prepared with a winter tent, proper footwear, and a good sense of how to keep warm in this harsh environment.

There are a different set of regulations for wilderness camping in the winter, but you’ll still need to obtain a backcountry permit before setting out. It is best to contact the NPS directly for help planning you winter camping trip in RMNP.

Find more information on Winter Wilderness Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Technical Orienteering in Rocky Mountain National Park

For those interested in a true wilderness experience in Rocky Mountain National Park and trained in backcountry travel, a technical orienteering trip might be just what you are after. The NPS divides Rocky Mountain into several backcountry zones where you can camp and explore off-trail in some of the most rugged and remote terrain in the park.

This type of trip is only for experienced backpackers who have off-trail hiking and orienteering experience.

Find more information on Technical Orienteering in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Technical Climbing Bivouac in RMNP

The final backcountry camping experience that is possible in RMNP is for climbers needing to bivouac prior to/during a climb of one of the park’s many climbing routes. The NPS defines a bivouac (or bivvy for short) as an open air, temporary encampment. If you’re not sure what a climbing bivvy is, it is probably not for you!

If you are looking to bivouac before climbing in RMNP, you’ll need to get a technical climbing wilderness permit. These limit group sizes to four climbers and have limits on the number of permits issued for various zones throughout the park.

Find more information on Technical Climbing Bivouac Permits in RMNP here.

A tent in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Must Know

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to ensure you have a great time camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. Before we dive in, there are a few important regulations to note:

  • From May 1st – October 15th you can camp for a total of 7 nights in the park.
    • You can camp an additional 14 nights outside of these dates.
  • Only camp in designated sites.
  • No more than eight people per campsite.
  • Always store your food using the provided food storage locker, in your car, or in an animal proof container.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Detailed information on fires, pets, wildlife, and more can be found in the sections below.

Campfires in Rocky Mountain National Park

Campfires are permitted at all five developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, but they must be fully contained within the provided fire pit. Be sure to adhere to the following regulations:

  • Fully extinguish your fire before going to sleep or leaving your campsite.
  • Do not gather any wood from the park.
  • Purchase wood locally to avoid bringing invasive pests into the park.

Campfires are prohibited in the backcountry of Rock Mountain National Park.

Pets

Pets are allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park, but only in specific areas and under specific rules. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry, on any trail, tundra, or meadows within RMNP.

They are permitted in the developed campgrounds, parking lots, and on the main park roads.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Rocky Mountain National Park, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Rocky Mountain National Park website here.

Where to get supplies

Rocky Mountain National Park is well served on both the east and west side of the park. You’ll have no problem getting anything and everything you could possibly need for your camping trip in the two adjacent towns, outlined below:

  • Estes Park: Estes Park is a hub of activity on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. This lovely town is just a few short miles from multiple entrances to the park and has everything you might need to prepare for your trip. Restaurants, outdoor stores, gas station, and a grocery store are all easily accessed here.
  • Grand Lake: On the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is your best bet for stocking up on supplies. This lakeside resort town has a grocery store, outdoor stores, gas stations, and anything else you might need before your camping trip in the park.

 

Camping near Rocky Mountain National Park

Given the popularity and scarcity of options, it is always possible (and even likely) that you won’t be able to find a campground within Rocky Mountain National Park. However, don’t give up as there are plentiful camping options just outside the National Park boundary!

Check out your best options for RV camping, car camping, and free dispersed camping near Rocky Mountain National Park below:

RV campgrounds near Rocky Mountain National Park

Those camping in an RV will have plenty of options just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. The best option for you will depend on which side of the park you’re planning to explore, and we’ve provided RV campgrounds near on both the east and west side of RMNP below:

RV in Rocky Mountain National Park

 

RV Campgrounds on the East side of RMNP

The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park sees far more visitors than the quieter west side. As such, there are plenty of good options for your RV camping trip here. Read on to learn more.

Elk Meadow Lodge & RV Park

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $75/night for RVs $40-$46/night for tents
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Park is located just a short drive from the Beaver Meadows entrance to RMNP. This location will work great for most visitors, as you will be well positioned to access most of the top sights in the park. Elk Meadow is a large park and features full hookup RV sites, tent camping, teepee rentals, and cabin rentals.

The site features an outdoor swimming pool, laundry facilities, and entertainment at the site lodge.

 

Manor RV Park

Number of sites: 110 sites
Fee: Varies
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Manor RV Park is located just off Highway 36 past the town of Estes Park. You’ll be perfectly situated between Estes Park and RMNP and have access to tons of great amenities. These include free WiFi, a playground, laundry facilities, and free breakfast on Saturdays.

 

Estes Park KOA

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: Varies
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Estes Park KOA is located east of the town of Estes Park, just above Lake Estes. You won’t be as close to the park here as other options, but you will get the predictability of a KOA campsite. Amenities include cable tv, WiFi, and a dog park.

 

Spruce Lake RV Park

Number of sites: 123 sites
Fee: $73 – $79/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Spruce Lake RV Park is located on the banks of the Big Thompson River and makes for a tranquil place to spend the night before exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll be well located for venturing into the park as well as for exploring downtown Estes Park and the plethora of amenities make this is a great option.

RV Campgrounds on the West side of RMNP

The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park sees fewer visitors than the east side, and there are plenty of great options for RV camping. Read on to learn more:

Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort

Number of sites: 48 RV site + 10 tent sites
Fee: $42 – $62/night depending on the site
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort is located just across Highway 34 from the town of Grand Lake. This is a great location for exploring the East Inlet as well as the many shops and restaurants in Grand Lake. You’ll find both tent and RV sites at this well run campground.

Amenities include WiFi, a general store, playground, and the chance to encounter some of the local wildlife!

 

Winding River Resort

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $50 – $75/night depending on hookups
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 970-627-3215 to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Winding River Resort is set in a beautiful and secluded location north of the town of Grand Lake. Situated adjacent to the Colorado River this campground can accommodate RVs, tents, and also features cabins for rent. Those travelling with horses or hoping to do some riding in the park will find this an especially attractive option.

 

Car camping sites near Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re looking for car camping sites near Rocky Mountain National Park you’ll have a lot of good options on both sides of the park.

In addition to the campgrounds listed below, car camping is permitted and recommend at all of the campgrounds listed in the RV camping section above.  Keep reading below to see what your best bets are for car camping near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Campsite near Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Car camping sites on the East side of RMNP

Estes Park Campground at East Portal

Number of sites: 66 sites
Fee: $45 – $55/night depending on the site
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Small RVs and trailers less than 22′ permitted.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Estes Park Campground at East Portal is run by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District. The campground is located in a pristine and secluded location at the end of Highway 66 on the east side of RMNP. The East Portal trailhead leaves from the campground and accesses popular hikes such as the Glacier Basin Loop.

The campground can accommodate small RVs and does offer a few sites with hookups, but you’ll find this is a much quieter campground than the typical RV resort. Highly recommended.

 

Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake

Number of sites: 128 sites
Fee: $45 – $65/night depending on the site
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Small RVs and trailers less than 22′ permitted.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Also run by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District, the Mary’s Lake Campground is a large site located adjacent to Mary’s Lake on the east side of Rocky Mountain. The campground is well located not too far from Estes Park, but also close to the park.

 

Hermit Park Open Space Campgrounds

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $30/night
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Not recommended
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Hermit Park Open Space is owned by Larimer County and there are several great car camping options close to Rocky Mountain National Park. The campgrounds are located south of Estes Park along Highway 36. There are three excellent campgrounds to choose from here: Hermit’s Hollow, Bobcat, and Kruger Campgrounds. All of the campgrounds can be reserved in advance and offer basic amenities.

 

Olive Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 56 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Olive Ridge Campground is a US Forest Service run campground located on Highway 7 just north of the town of Allenspark. The campground is near both the Wild Basin and Longs Peak trailheads in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sites at Olive Ridge typically fill on summer weekends, so advance reservations are a must. Keep in mind that there is no water source at the campground so you’ll need to bring all that you need.

 

Meeker Park Overflow Campground

Number of sites: 29 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: Not stated
RVs: Not recommended due to difficult roads
Reservations: All site first-come, first-served
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Meeker Park Overflow Campground has 29 first-come, first-served campsites that serve as overflow camping for the Olive Ridge Campground. Campsites feature picnic tables and fire rings and many have a food storage locker. The campground is located just north of Olive Ridge on Highway 7.

Similar to the Olive Ridge Campground, there is no water at the Meeker Park Overflow Campground.

 

Peaceful Valley Campground

Number of sites: 17 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: 9 campsite can be reserved, 8 are first-come, first-served. Click here to reserve. 
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Peaceful Valley Campground is located south of Rocky Mountain National Park along the famous Peak to Peak Highway. A very popular campground in the summer, be sure and try to reserve your campsite ahead of time. If you can’t, there are always 8 sites that are held on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Camp Dick Campground

Number of sites: 41 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended, but some sites available first-come, first-served. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located just up the road from the Peaceful Valley Campground, Camp Dick has 41 campsites situated along Middle Saint Vrain Road. Campsites are available for reservation and first-come, first-served here making this a good option if other campgrounds are full.

You’ll be a bit further from RMNP here, but still situated in a beautiful area.

 

Car camping sites on the West side of RMNP

Green Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 79 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Green Ridge Campground is located south of Grand Lake, beautifully situated on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake. This large site can accommodate both tents and RVs and all campsites feature picnic tables and fire rings. From the campground you’re only a short, 15-minute drive to the East Inlet trailhead.

 

Sunset Point Campground

Number of sites: 25 sites
Fee: $26/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Sunset Point Campground is located on the south end of Lake Granby, approximately 30 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find 25 first-come, first-served campsites here that can accommodate both tents and RVs. The campground is typically full on summer weekends, so be sure to arrive as early as you can to get a site.

 

Free dispersed camping near Rocky Mountain National Park

Your final option for camping near Rocky Mountain National Park is to find a free, dispersed campsite on adjacent US Forest Service land located on both the east and west sides of the national park. This land is overseen by the USFS which manages hundreds of thousands of acres of public land throughout the country and generally allows for ‘dispersed camping’ on it. You can find more information on dispersed camping here.

 

Dispersed campsite near Rocky Mountain National Park

 

If you have any questions about the dispersed camping options outlined below be sure to reach out to the USFS/BLM offices that oversee the specific areas, shown below:

  • US Forest Service Office (east side sites): 303-541-2500 or 970-295-6700
  • US Forest Service Office (west side sites): 970-887-4100

Coyote Hill Road

Your first option for free dispersed camping near RMNP is along Coyote Hill Road, located just outside of Estes Park. Also known as Forest Service Road 119 it is recommend to come with a high clearance 4×4 to reach the campsites.

Parachute Hill/Johnny Park Road

Parachute Hill Road and Johnny Park Road are both good options for free dispersed camping on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. To access the camping area you’ll take Highway 7, which runs between Estes Park and Allenspark to Boulder County Road 82. From here, head east towards the Johnny Park Trail before turning off on FS Road 329.

Pole Hill Road

The Pole Hill Road dispersed camping area is accessed from Highway 36 just south of Estes Park. Look for the Pole Hill Road intersection just before Highway 36 begins its descent into Estes Park. 4WD is a must here and also be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles as there have been many complaints from surrounding land owners.

Stillwater Pass Dispersed Camping

The lone option for free dispersed camping on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is up Stillwater Pass/County Road 4. There are tons of campsites along the road, but be aware that it can get a bit crowded given this is a well known camping area.

 

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on Rocky Mountain National Park camping in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

 

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Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls | The Complete Guide

Shenandoah National Park is full of stunning beauty. This includes the spectacular route along Skyline Drive, incredible sunsets over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and of course the countless waterfalls that…

Shenandoah National Park is full of stunning beauty. This includes the spectacular route along Skyline Drive, incredible sunsets over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and of course the countless waterfalls that dot this landscape. Whether you’re visiting Shenandoah on a day trip, spending a few nights camping, or simply passing through, a visit to one of Shenandoah’s many waterfalls is a must.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Shenandoah National Park’s waterfalls including a complete map and list, the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah, and how to prepare for your visit. Read on to learn everything you need to know to enjoy these beautiful cascades.

Waterfall in Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

In this Post

 

Shenandoah National Park Basics

Before any trip to Shenandoah National Park it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic park information. Below, we’ve included some important information that you’ll need for planning your next trip to Shenandoah National Park.

Permits, Entrance Fees, and Opening Times

 

What to Bring

There are a ton of variables that need to be taken into account when packing for a visit to one of Shenandoah National Park’s many waterfalls. You’ll need to consider the weather conditions (and forecast), length of the hike you plan to undertake, and availability of nearby services.

That being said, there are a few universal items that are essential for all Shenandoah visits:

  • Water: 1 quart per person per hour of hiking is recommended. We like carrying water in a hydration bladder for better weight distribution and easy access.
  • Sturdy Boots: You’ll encounter a variety of trail conditions in Shenandoah, so it’s important to have supportive footwear that is up to the task and protects your feet and ankles. The terrain can also get extremely muddy, so waterproof footwear is a good idea.
  • Layers & Sunscreen: It’s important to dress in layers so you can quickly adapt to the elements. Additionally, the summer sun is strong making it a good idea to pack sunscreen.
  • Backpack: Most hikers will need a comfortable backpack for their outing in Shenandoah National Park.
  • Shenandoah National Park Map – An essential for any trip, a good map is a must.
  • Shenandoah Guidebook – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Shenandoah. We like this hiking guide from Falcon Guides.
  • Tick repellent– Ticks are common throughout Shenandoah, and while it is always a good idea to wear long pants, this tick repellent from Ben’s is worth applying when out hiking or camping.

 

Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls

The map and list below show some of the most popular waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. We’ve done our best to include all of the easy to visit waterfalls in the park, but be sure to let us know if we missed any!

You can also find additional information on Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls on the National Park Service’s website here.

The list and map are designed to give you a general sense of the waterfalls in Shenandoah, with the following section highlighting some of the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah.

 

Overall Run Falls

  • Overall Run Falls are the tallest in Shenandoah National Park at 93′ tall. There is an excellent hike to the falls that leaves from the Mathews Arm Campground, located at mile marker 22 along Skyline Drive.

Rose River Falls

  • Rose River Falls are located at mile marker 49.4 on Skyline Drive. From here it is an approximate 2 mile hike to the 67′ tall waterfalls. The Rose River Falls are located a short distance from Big Meadows.

South River Falls

  • The South River Falls soar to an incredible 83′ high and are the third tallest in Shenandoah National Park. There is an excellent hike to the falls that takes 2-3 hours and is highly recommended. There is also an excellent picnic area just off Skyline Drive near the South River Falls.

Jones Run Falls

  • The Jones Runs Falls are some of the most picture perfect in all of Shenandoah. These 42′ high falls are located near both the Doyles River Falls as well as the starting point for the Browns Gap Waterfall Loop. Well worth a visit.

Whiteoak Canyon Falls

  • The Whiteoak Canyon Falls are located on an excellent hiking loop that let’s ambitious walkers visit a series of stunning cascades. This includes both the Whiteoak Canyon Falls as well as the Cedar Run Falls, described below. Whiteoak Canyon is located in the central part of Shenandoah and just a short drive from the Big Meadows Visitor Center.
Whiteoak Falls, Shenandoah

Whiteoak Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Cedar Run Falls

  • Cedar Run Falls are a popular spot to visit on the Whiteoak Canyon loop trail. If you’re not interested in hiking the entire loop, it is easy to visit the Cedar Run Falls from the Whiteoak Canyon lower parking lot.

Dark Hollow Falls

  • The Dark Hollow Falls arew one of the most visited waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. Located a short .75 mile hike from Skyline Drive, the falls are a beautiful and serene place to visit.
Dark Hollows Falls, Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Doyles River Falls

  • The Doyles River Falls are accessed via a moderately difficult 3.5 mile trail. The falls are located near the Loft Mountain campground and Big Run overlook.
A hiker sits at Doyles River Falls in Shenandoah National Park

Doyles River Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Lewis Falls

  • The Lewis Falls are one of the most accessible waterfalls in Shenandoah, with an easy path leading to the falls from the Big Meadows amphitheater. You’ll be blown away by the impressive 81′ tall waterfall!

Browns Gap Waterfall Loop

  • For those looking for an excellent loop hike to take in several stunning Shenandoah waterfalls, be sure to consider the Browns Gap Waterfall Loop. This 6.5 mile loop takes in multiple cascades in the park and makes for a wonderful day out.

 

Best Waterfall Hikes in Shenandoah National Park

Given the sheer number of waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park it can be difficult to decide which to visit and which to skip. In reality, there is no bad answer to this question are each cascade in the park has its own unique character and allure.

However, for those short on time we’ve highlight five of the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah National Park below. These hikes range in difficulty, distance, and hiking time so be sure to select the best option for your particular circumstances.

For more information on hiking in Shenandoah, visit the NPS website here. 

Enjoy!

Shenandoah National Park waterfall

 

White Oak Canyon & Cedar Run Loop

Distance: 9 miles
Approximate hiking time: 4 – 6 hours
Difficulty: Difficult

The Whiteoak Canyon & Cedar Run Loop is a popular waterfall hike for those looking for a challenge. The 9 mile loop hikes takes hikers deep into the Shenandoah backcountry and visits a series of stunning waterfalls including Whiteoak Falls and Cedar Run Falls.

It is best to start the hike from the Whiteoak Canyon Boundary parking lot, accessed from the town of Syria, VA. Note that the trailhead is difficult to reach from Skyline Drive, so be sure to take that into account if you plan on visiting other sections of the park.

Find more details on the Whiteoak Canyon Loop below:

 

Stream in Whiteoak Canyon, Shenandoah National Park

Whiteoak Canyon. Photo credit NPS.

 

Dark Hollow Falls Hike

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time: 1 – 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The Dark Hollow Falls Trail is one of the most popular trails in Shenandoah. A short, 1.5 mile round trip hike takes visitors to the beautiful Dark Hollow Falls. Keep in mind that although the distance is quite short, the trail to the falls is very steep.

To reach Dark Hollow Falls you’ll park at the Dark Hollow Falls Parking area located at mile marker 50.7 on Skyline Drive. This is very close to the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah. The NPS publishes a helpful map of Big Meadows, including the Dark Hollow Falls trail here.

Find more details on the Dark Hollow Falls trail below:

Dark Hollow Falls in Autumn.

 

Rose River Trail

Distance: 4 miles
Approximate hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Rose River Falls are a stunningly beautiful 67′ waterfall in the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah. The falls are accessed via the Rose River Fire Road, located at mile marker 49.4. From here it is a 2 mile, moderately difficult hike to the falls. You can return the same way you came or create a longer loop to also visit Dark Hollow Falls.

If you opt for this option you’ll return to your car by walking back on the Rose River Fire Road. This adds significant time and distance so be sure you are properly prepared.

Find more details on the Rose River Trail in Shenandoah below:

Lewis Falls Trail

Distance: 3.5 miles
Approximate hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The Lewis Falls Trail leaves from the centrally located Big Meadows Amphitheatre and takes hikers to a stunning viewpoint of the 81′ tall falls. The trail is a popular one in  Shenandoah, so be sure to arrive early on busy summer weekends to avoid the crowds.

The route is approximately 3.5 miles round-trip to the overlook and back, so hikers should plan on spending 3-4 hours on the trail.

Find more details on the Lewis Falls Trail below:

Trail marker for the Lewis Falls Trail in Shenandoah National Park

The Lewis Falls Trail leads to a stunning overlook. Photo credit NPS.

 

South River Falls Trail

Distance: 2.6 miles
Approximate hiking time: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The double cascades of South River Falls are some of the most stunning in Shenandoah National Park. The falls overlook are accessed via a 2.6 mile out and back trail that departs from Skyline Drive at mile marker 62.7. For those who wish to continue on a bit further you can continue past the overlook to reach the falls themselves.

Find more details on the South River Falls Trail below:

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Shenandoah National Park’s waterfalls. Please let us know in the comments below if we missed any of your favorite trails or if you found the information useful! Also, don’t forget to checkout our other Shenandoah National Park guides below:

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Guide to Camping on the Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is an excellent introduction to walking in the Scottish Highlands. The route traces the Caledonian Canal as it makes its way from Fort William in the…

The Great Glen Way is an excellent introduction to walking in the Scottish Highlands. The route traces the Caledonian Canal as it makes its way from Fort William in the south to Inverness in the North. The walk is designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, notable both for its stunning scenery as well as historical interest.

Along the way trekkers will enjoy relatively easy access to services and accommodation. This includes some excellent options for camping, both in developed campgrounds as well as great wild camping spots. These campgrounds are the focus of this guide where we’ll walk you through all your options for camping on the Great Glen Way.

We’ve included detailed information on campgroundscamping itinerarieswhat to pack, and more, in order to help you plan your own Great Glen Way camping adventure!

Green hillsides near Inverness Scotland

 

In this Great Glen Way Camping Guide

Great Glen Way Must Know

The Great Glen Way is a relatively new trail having been established as one of Scotland’s Great Trails in 2002. The route follows the Great Glen, a series of three lochs (Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness) that all connected by the Caledonian Canal. While less popular than its nearby neighbor, the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way offers easier walking and less crowded trails.

The route begins in the beautiful town of Fort William located on Loch Linnhe before makings its way to northeast along the Caledonian Canal all the way to Inverness. Along the walk you’ll enjoy beautiful loch side hiking, stunning Highlands views, and visits to several quaint towns along the path.

Generally speaking most walkers will complete the Great Glen Way is 5 – 8 days, with six days seeming to be the most common. The Great Glen Way camping itinerary we’ve described below is based off a well-paced 6-day itinerary, although there are plenty of options to shorten or extend your walk.

Map showing the location of the Great Glen Way

 

How long is the Great Glen Way?

The Great Glen Way is approximately 125-kilometers or 74 miles from the start in Fort William to the finish at the Inverness Castle.

However, walkers and especially campers, should expect to cover a bit more distance than this as a few of the campgrounds are located slightly off the main trail. Add in a side trips to the local pub or to visit a shop and you should plan on walking well over 75 miles on your own Great Glen Way trip.

Map of the Great Glen Way

 

In addition to the standard route, the Great Glen Way features two excellent high-routes that leave the loch shores and venture into the hills. These high-routes occur between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit and are highly recommend for their stunning views.

For more resources on maps for the Great Glen Way Check out our Great Glen Way | Maps & Routes article here.

How difficult is the Great Glen Way?

In terms of Highland walking the Great Glen Way is a very approachable walk. The route is a great introduction to the longer walks in Scotland and should be suitable for a wide variety of abilities and experience levels.

Generally speaking, the southern half of the walk will be much easier than the northern half as it is mostly flat walking along the lochs. As you venture north you encounter more hills and the difficulty will increase, although it never gets too strenuous.

However, as with any long distance walk those attempting the Great Glen Way will want to be sufficiently prepared for long days on their feet, especially for some of the longer stages towards the end of the walk. Those camping on the Great Glen Way will also be carrying a heavier rucksack, which can significantly increase how difficult a given stage is.

We think most reasonably fit walkers will adjust just fine to the Great Glen Way, but we do recommend a little extra preparation for those camping. Try to take few walks with your fully loaded backpack prior to heading out as a way to prepare your body and adjust to carrying the weight.

Trail in the Scottish Highlands

 

Great Glen Way Weather & When to Hike

The Scottish Highlands are known for their fickle weather. One minute you can be enjoying brilliant sunshine while the next you’re slogging through a torrential downpour. In general, you can expect to experience some rain during any month of the year you plan to walk the Great Glen Way, but rest assured that is just part of the experience.

Besides just the weather you’ll also want to think about Scotland’s most famous pest, the mighty midge!

These tiny, biting creatures, have the potential to wreak havoc on your trip and are especially pesky for campers. They are most present during the peak summer months of July and August, although with a little preparation you can avoid the worst of them.

Below we’ve included general information on when to walk the Great Glen Way by month.

April

Unpredictable weather, but very few crowds and midges. Walkers will need to be prepared for shorter days and therefore fewer daylight hours for walking. You’ll enjoy an uncrowded trail and plenty of places to pitch your tent.

May

May is a great month to walk the Great Glen Way as the temperature warms and the wildflowers come into bloom. Midges are also not yet at their peak, making this one of the best months to complete you walk. However, given these circumstances you can expect the trail to be quite busy and accommodation should be booked in advance.

July & August

Crowds, midges, and rain are all plentiful during peak summer these months. It’s still very possible to have a wonderful time if you trek in July or August, just be sure you’re prepared for the midges and don’t mind sharing the trail with other walkers and tourists.

September

This is a fabulous time to walk the Great Glen Way, although it can be quite wet especially near Fort William. The trail is relatively quiet and the midges tend to be less of a problem later in the season. Be aware of the increasingly shorter days as the month progresses.

 

Great Glen Way Camping

Camping on the Great Glen Way is a wonderful way to experience this incredible trail.

Many of the campsites along the route are designated wild campsites allowing campers to experience this stunning environment first-hand and sleep out under the stars. In addition, you’ll save significantly on accommodation costs and have more flexibility in your itinerary.

We can’t recommend camping on the Great Glen Way highly enough!

In the sections below will give an overview of all the campgrounds on the Great Glen Way as well as provide some information on wild camping. In addition, we’ll also include information on how to utilize some of the facilities along the Caledonian Canal that making camping a much easier endeavor. Finally, we’ll provide a detailed stage-by-stage itinerary for camping on the Great Glen Way complete with distances, where to camp, and more!

Camping at Loch Ness

 

Campgrounds on the Great Glen Way

The map and list below show all of the campgrounds that are in the general vicinity of the Great Glen Way. This includes both developed campgrounds as well as wild camping pitches along the route (known as Trailblazer sites, more on that below).  We’ve done our best to include all of the relevant campgrounds, but if you see any missing let us know!

The list and map are designed to give you a general sense of your options for Great Glen Way camping, but we recommend utilizing our full Great Glen Way camping itinerary in the following section when planning your own trip.

Campgrounds are listed in the order you’ll reach them when walking the route from south to north.

  • Glen Nevis Camping & Caravan Park
    • Located south of Fort William at the base of Ben Nevis this large, well-equipped campground is your best bet for camping prior to starting the Great Glen Way.
  • Moy Bridge Wild Campsite
    • The first campsite you’ll encounter is the Moy Bridge wild campsite. Located next to the Moy Bridge over the Caledonian Canal this is a good option for your first night if you don’t want to stay in a developed campground.
  • Gairlochy Holiday Park
    • The Gairlochy Holiday Park is a good bet for your first night on the Great Glen Way. It is located just up the road from Gairlochy and has good facilities for campers.
  • Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

    • This is our recommend campsite for your second night. Located on the shores of Loch Lochy.
  • Leiterfearn Wild Campsite
    • Located adjacent to the shoreline of Loch Oich, this wild campsite is a good place to stop at the end of Stage 3.
  • Kytra Lock wild campsite
    • One of the Trailblazer designed wild campsites along the Great Glen Way, this site is located adjacent to the canal.
  • Inver Coille Campsite
    • A popular campground on the shores of Loch Ness, this is the perfect place to stop at the end of Stage 4.
  • Borlum Farm Campsite
    • The Borlum Farm Campsite is located on the outskirts of Drumnadrochit and is our recommend stopping point at the end of Stage 5.
  • Abriachan Campsite
    • The Abriachan Cafe and Campsite is located in the hills above Loch Ness. A good place to spend the night if you’d like to split up the final stage.
  • Bught Caravan & Campsite
    • The Bught Caravan & Campsite is located in Inverness and is the perfect place to stay at the end of your trip. That is of course if you don’t plan on splurging for a hotel after walking 75+ miles!

Caledonian Canal Facilities

One of the great features of camping on the Great Glen Way is the ability to make use of several restrooms along the Caledonian Canal. These facilities are typically locked, but walkers, boaters, cyclists and others users of the canal can get easy access for just £10.

To do so, simply head to the Scottish Canals Corpach (near Fort William) or Inverness office during their opening hours to pay your fee and get a key. You’ll then need to return the key at the Scottish Canals Office in Inverness.

Alternatively, you can also arrange for the key to be posted to you by calling the canal office directly.

You can find more information on accessing these facilities on the Great Glen Canoe Trail website here.

Wild camping on the Great Glen Way

Wild camping is a staple of the Scottish wilderness experience. This type of camping seeks to minimize your impact on the surrounding environment by only staying for a single night and by limiting the size of your group.

Although the length of the Caledonian Canal is considered a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which typically prohibits wild camping, there are luckily several informal wild camping spots provided along the Great Glen Way.

These campsites can be broken into two broad categories: Trailblazer rest sites and canalside informal campsites. For all intents and purposes there isn’t much difference between the two, just be sure to only stay for a night and always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Outside of these designated wild camping spots you are not allowed to wild camp along the route of the Great Glen Way.

For anyone interested in wild camping along the Great Glen Way we always recommend reviewing the Scottish Access Outdoor Code as well.

Stage-by-stage Itinerary for Camping on the Great Glen Way

The following guide is based on a moderately paced 6-day itinerary. Starting in Fort William and finishing in Inverness, there is camping available every night of the route. In addition to the itinerary described below it is also possible to shorten or extend the time you spend walking the Great Glen Way by utilizing the campgrounds between stages.

Reservations are recommended for all of the formal campgrounds along the trail and prices are listed to the best of our knowledge.

Stage 0: Fort William

Distance & Elevation: N/A
Where to stay:
Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park
Description:

The Great Glen Way officially begins in the center of Fort William. The town does not have a campground, but the nearby Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park provides a convenient option. Keep in mind that the campground is approximately 45 minutes walking from the center of Fort William.

For those who plan to camp here prior to starting the Great Glen Way you’ll want to plan on some additional time/distance for Stage 1.

Services at Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park

  • Toilets
  • Potable water
  • Hot showers
  • Laundry
  • Dishwashing area
  • Restaurant/bar
  • Small shop
  • Electronics charging
  • WiFi (£2.00 per hour/£5.00 per day)

Price: £11

Glen Nevis Camping Website

Nearby Glen Nevis and Fort William:  There is a visitor center and a few restaurants in the village of Glen Nevis. Fort William is approximately 45 minutes away by foot. There you’ll find supermarkets, banks, a pharmacy, a hospital, restaurants/bars, an outdoor retailer, a post office, a library, and bus and train connections. 

Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping park

Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park is a short distance from the start of the Great Glen Way.

 

Stage 1: Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park

Distance & Elevation: 11.8 mi // +625 ft, -428 ft 
Where to stay: 
Gairlochy Holiday Park
Description:

The first stage of the Great Glen Way is just under 12 miles and is a great introduction to the walk. The route is relatively flat and will let you get accustomed to hiking with your fully loaded backpack.

You’ll have two options for camping at the end of the first stage, the first being the Moy Bridge wild campsite and the second being the Gairlochy Holiday Park.

Moy Bridge does not have any amenities or restroom facilities and requires stopping a bit earlier in the day, so we recommend that most walkers opt to stay at the Gairlochy Holiday Park. This campground is approximately 15 minutes up the road from Gairlochy.

Services at Gairlochy Holiday Park

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Dish washing area

Price: £7.5/person

Map of Stage 1 from Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park

Stage 1 – Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park.

 

Stage 2: Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 9.9 mi // +1,306 ft, -1,233 ft 
Where to stay: 
Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite
Description:

The second stage of the Great Glen Way takes walkers to their first wild campsite of the trip, and an excellent one at that! Leaving Gairlochy hikers will follow the shore of Loch Lochy as they make their way to the Glad-dhoire wild campsite. This campsite is situated beautifully on the shores of the loch.

Be warned that the midges can be pretty bad here!

Services at Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

  • Small shelter
  • Composting toilets

Price: Free

Map of Stage 2 Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire

Stage 2 – Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire wild campsite.

 

Stage 3: Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite to Leiterfearn Wild Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 7.1 mi // +902 ft, -866 ft 
Where to stay: 
Leiterfearn Wild Campsite
Description:

Stage 3 of the Great Glen Way is a relatively easy one, covering just over 7 miles. The trail reaches the end of Loch Lochy and transitions to following the shores of Loch Oich. You’ll be headed to another excellent wild campsite, this time located at Leiterfearn.

Situated just up from the shore, the Leiterfearn wild campsite has space for eight tents, log seating, and two composting toilets.

Services at Leiterfearn Wild Campsite

  • Composting toilets

Price: Free

Map of Stage 3 from Glas-dhoire to Leiterfearn

Stage 3 – Glas-dhoire wild campsite to Leiterfearn wild campsite.

 

Stage 4: Leiterfearn Wild Campsite to Inver Coille Camping

Distance & Elevation: 11.51 mi // +1,488 ft, -1,537 ft 
Where to stay: 
Inver Coille Camping
Description:

Stage 4 takes walkers to the end of Loch Oich before tracing the route of the Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus at the tip of Loch Ness. Just past Fort Augustus you’ll have the option to take the first high-route variant of the Great Glen Way, which we recommend.

However, do keep in mind that taking the high-route here will require some backtracking on the main trail to reach the Inver Coille Campground. We think it is worth it for the excellent views, but be sure to consider your own situation before opting to take the high route.

Your campground at the end of Stage 4 is the Inver Coille Campground, a lovely spot on the shores of Loch Ness. Keep in mind that given the current situation it is advised to inquire ahead at the campground, as they are unsure if they will be able to accommodate tent campers in 2021.

Services at Inver Coille Camping

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Fire Pits
Map of Stage 4 from Leiterfearn to Inver Coille

Stage 4 – Leiterfearn wild campsite to Inver Coille Campground.

 

Tents at the Inver Coille Campground on the Great Glen Way

Lovely grounds at Inver Coille Camping. Photo courtesy of Inver Coille.

 

Stage 5: Inver Coille Camping to Borlum Farm Camping

Distance & Elevation: 17.11 mi // +2,731 ft, -2,759 ft 
Where to stay: 
Borlum Farm Camping
Description:

Stage 5 presents walkers on the Great Glen Way with another high-route option. This alternative leaves the main trail just past Invermoriston and rewards hikers with excellent views of Loch Ness. Keep in mind that Stage 5 is over 17 miles long, so if you opt to take the high-route be prepared for a full days walk.

Your campground at the end of Stage 5 is the Borlum Farm Campground, located on the outskirts of Drumnadrochit. This large campground can accommodate caravans as well as tent campers and features excellent services.

Services at Borlum Farm Camping

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • WiFi
  • Laundry facilities
  • Dish washing area

Price: Varies. See details here.

Map of Stage 5 from Inver Coille to Borlum Farm Camping

Stage 5 – Inver Coille to Borlum Farm.

 

Stage 6: Borlum Farm Camping to Inverness

Distance & Elevation: 20.1 mi // +2,052 ft, -2,083 ft 
Where to stay:
Bught Caravan & Campsite

Description:

You’ve made it to the final stage of the Great Glen Way!

The route saves the hardest stage for last, with the final day’s walk covering over 20 miles! Early in the stage you’ll leave the shores of Loch Ness and turn inland where a fair amount of climbing awaits. About midway through the stage you’ll pass the Abriachan Cafe & Campsite. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to break up this long final stage, or at least stop to enjoy a cup of tea.

Upon reaching Inverness you’ll have the option to camp at the Bught Caravan & Campsite on the edge of town. Alternatively, Inverness is a great place to splurge on a hotel after spending the past several nights in your tent!

Services at Bught Caravan & Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • WiFi
  • Laundry facilities
  • Small shop

Price: £12/person

Map of Stage 6 from Borlum Farm to Inverness

Stage 6 – Borlum Farm to Inverness.

 

What to Pack for Camping on the Great Glen Way

Packing for a camping trip along the Great Glen Way is an exercise in balancing needs vs wants. While having a few creature comforts can certainly make camping a more enjoyable experience, you’ll want to keep your pack weight as light as possible.

It’s simple- the heavier your pack, the harder your effort.

As such, we recommend focusing on bringing high-quality, lightweight equipment. With a little planning and strategy, you can keep the weight of your backpack manageable while still ensuring you have everything you need for your trip.

We’ve provided some general packing information for camping on the Great Glen Way below.

In general, you should be able to get by with a 40L – 60L backpack and the following essentials:

A hiker on the Great Glen Way

 

What’s Next?

You’re well on your way to an incredible camping experience on the Great Glen Way. However, you still have lots of preparation before you’re truly ready! Be sure to read our entire series on the Great Glen Way to learn everything you’ll need to know for your trip!

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Guide to Camping on the South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is one of England’s most spectacular National Trails. These walks are renowned for their natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical significance. The South Downs Way fits…

The South Downs Way is one of England’s most spectacular National Trails. These walks are renowned for their natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical significance. The South Downs Way fits nicely into all three of these categories at it takes walkers through the beautiful South Downs while visiting charming Sussex villages and grand cathedrals along the way.

The route covers 100 miles from its start in the cathedral city of Winchester to its finish on the coast in Eastbourne. Along the way walkers will have plenty of accommodation options to choose from, including many wonderful campgrounds, which are the focus of this resource.

This guide has been designed to be perfect companion for the walker hoping to camp along the South Downs Way.

We’ve included detailed information on campgrounds, camping itineraries, what to pack, and more, in order to help you plan your own South Downs Way camping adventure!

Let’s get started.

Sign post on the South Downs Way

 

In this South Downs Way Camping Guide

South Downs Way Must Know

The South Downs Way was established as a National Trail in 1972, although the general route has been in use for thousands of years by Romans, pilgrims, and other precursors to modern England. The walk is one of the most popular National Trails in England, due in part to its close proximity to the major population centers of London, Southampton, and Brighton.

However, those seeking solitude shouldn’t be scared off by that fact, as there is plenty of quiet to be found on the South Downs Way, especially for campers!

The route begins in the cathedral city of Winchester before making its way through the South Downs National Park and the counties Hampshire and Sussex before reaching Eastbourne on the coast. Along the way walkers will enjoy highlights like the Winchester Cathedral, rolling Sussex hills, quaint village of Amberley, and the famous Seven Sisters Cliffs.

South Downs Way overview map

The South Downs Way connects Winchester and Eastbourne. (Click to enlarge).

 

How long is the South Downs Way?

Officially, the South Downs Way is 101 miles or 163 kilometers long from the center to Winchester to Eastbourne.

However, walkers should expect to cover a bit more distance, as many of the campgrounds are located slightly off the main trail. Add in a few side trips to the local pub or to visit a shop and you can plan on walking well over 100 miles.

South Downs Way map

Map of the South Downs Way. (Click to enlarge).

 

In addition to the main route which finishes by heading from Alfriston to the coast before taking the stunning pathway along the Seven Sisters to Eastbourne, there is an alternate inland path for the final stage. This route is primarily used by those cycling the South Downs Way, but does allow for a slightly shorter route for those who are interested.

For more resources on maps for the South Downs Way Check out our South Downs Way | Maps & Routes article here.

How difficult is the South Downs Way?

The South Downs Way is a very approachable walk and is suitable for a variety of fitness levels.

However, while the trail never crosses any soaring mountain passes, you should be prepared for the constant up and down nature of walking in the South Downs. Those rolling hills provide a stunning backdrop for the walk, but they can certainly tire you out!

In addition, anytime you set out on a 100-mile walk you need to be prepared for long days on your feet. Most walkers will adjust after a few days walking, but any preparation you can do in advance will be beneficial.

Walking path in the South Downs

 

For those who plan on camping, a little extra preparation will be especially helpful. Carrying the extra weight necessitated by your camping equipment will certainly make the South Downs Way a bit more challenging. We recommend taking a few walks with your fully loaded backpack prior to heading out as a way to prepare your body and adjust to carrying the weight.

South Downs Way Weather & When to Hike

The southeast of England is known for its generally sunny weather when compared to the rest of the country, making it the perfect destination for walkers. The South Downs are renowned for beautiful summers, while the winter months bring cooler temperatures, more precipitation, and even the occasional snow shower!

For these reasons, we recommend walking the South Downs Way anytime from mid-March through the end of September.

Keep in mind that many of the campsites in this guide close down during the winter, so if you’re planning on camping on the South Downs Way you’ll need to do it outside of the colder months.

Generally speaking, here’s what you can expect in each month of the hiking season:

March/April: Cool temps, moderate rainfall, and sparse crowds make this an attractive month to hike. Be aware of the shorter days, which allow for fewer daylight hours on the trail.

May & June: The weather tends to be a bit milder and more settled than in April and the days are longer, but it’s still pretty quiet on the trail. These are great months to walk the South Downs Way.

July/August: School holidays and warm weather mean that these are the busiest months on the South Downs Way. July and August (August in particular) tend to be wetter than May and June, but you can also get some brilliant sunny days, too.

September: With few crowds, mild temperatures, and relatively less rainfall, September is a wonderful time to be on the trail.

October: The days begin to get shorter, colder, and wetter as you enter October. You may get some incredibly clear and crisp autumn days, but you’ll also need to be prepared for harsh conditions. Many of the campgrounds on the South Downs Way may be closed for the season.

South Downs Way in autumn

Autumn brings cooler weather to the South Downs.

 

South Downs Way Camping

Camping on the South Downs Way is a great way to experience this wonderful trail. You’ll save money on your accommodation costs, enjoy increased flexibility, and in many cases avoid long detours off the track to reach your accommodation.

In addition, many of the campgrounds on the South Downs Way are small, family-run farms which will give you a greater connection to the local area.

We can’t recommend camping on the South Downs Way highly enough!

The sections below will give an overview of all the campgrounds on the South Downs Way as well as provide some information on wild camping. Finally, we’ll provide a detailed stage-by-stage itinerary for camping on the South Downs Way complete with distances, where to camp, and more!

Not interested in camping? Be sure to check out our South Downs Way Accommodation Guide for your other options.

Campground on the South Downs Way

 

Campgrounds on the South Downs Way

The map and list below show all of the campgrounds that are in the general vicinity of the South Downs Way. We’ve done our best to include all of the relevant campgrounds, but if you see any missing let us know!

The list and map are designed to give you a general sense of your options for South Downs Way camping, but we recommend utilizing our full South Downs Way camping itinerary in the following section when planning your own trip.

Campgrounds are listed in the order you’ll reach them when walking the South Downs Way from west to east.

  • Morn Hill Caravan Club Campsite
    • Located just outside of Winchester, this is your best option for camping prior to beginning the walk.
  • Holden Farm Camping
    • This is your best option for the first night.
  • Meon Springs Glamping
    • Not a campground per se, but this glamping set-up is located just off the trail.
  • Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite (Sustainability Centre)
    • Most campers will stay here on their second night.
  • Upper Parsonage Farm Camping
    • Located just off the South Downs Way near Butser Hill, this is a good option if the Wetherdown Lodge is full.
  • Manor Farm Campsite
    • Located right on the trail, Manor Farm is the perfect stopping point on Stage 3.
  • New House Farm Campsite
    • New House Farm is located south of the trail just past Cocking. A good option if Manor Farm can’t accommodate you.
  • Graffham Camping & Caravanning Site
    • Quite a ways from the trail, this campground has limited appeal to South Downs Way walkers.
  • Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite
    • Formerly known as the Gumber Bothy, this National Trust run campsite is highly recommended.
  • Slindon Camping & Caravan Park
    • The Slindon Camping & Caravan Park is quite a distance from the South Downs Way. Only useful for those who prefer to not stay at Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite.
  • Foxleigh Barn & Campsite
    • The Foxleigh Barn has an excellent location near the village of Amberley. However, they have limited capacity to accommodate campers so be sure to inquire ahead of time.
  • High Titten Wild Camping
    • Unfortunately this excellent wild camping spot has been purchased by private owners and is no longer open. We’re keeping it on the list in the hopes that it reopens in the future!
  • Washington Caravan & Camping Park
    • The Washington Caravan & Camping Park, or Wash Camp for short, is a great stopping point just off the South Downs Way. We recommend staying here at the end of Stage 5.
  • YHA Truleigh Hill
    • The YHA Truleigh Hill is located right on the South Downs Way and provides excellent facilities for campers.
  • Saddlescombe Farm Campsite
    • Saddlescombe Farm is a National Trust run campsite that we recommend for the end of Stage 6.
  • Ditchling Camp
    • Ditchling Camp is located short distance north of the South Downs Way.
  • South Downs Farm Campsite
    • The South Downs Farm Campsite will only make sense if Ditchling Camp is full.
  • Stoneywish Camping
    • Stoneywish Camping is quite a ways from the South Downs Way near Ditchling. It will not make sense for many campers to stay here.
  • Blackberry Woods Camping
    • This lovely campground is quite a bit north of the main trail and won’t make sense for most walkers.
  • Hackmans Farm Camping
    • Hackmans Farm is a small operation that is conveniently located just off the South Downs Way. This makes sense for those who don’t plan on walking all the way to Housedean Farm.
  • Housedean Farm Campsite
    • The Housedean Farm Campsite is the most common place to stay at the end of Stage 7.
  • Firle Campsite
    • The Firle Campsite is located north of the South Downs Way prior to reaching Alfriston.
  • Alfriston Camping Park
    • The Alfriston Camping Park is the perfect place to spend your final night before completing the walk to Eastbourne.

Wild camping on the South Downs Way

Generally speaking, wild camping is not recommended on the South Downs Way. Unlike their Scottish neighbor to the north, England generally prohibits any form of wild camping on private land without permission of the land owner. Since the vast majority of the South Downs Way crosses private property, it does not make for a great wild camping adventure.

However, a quick Google search will reveal several personal accounts of folks doing just that: successfully wild camping along the South Downs Way.

For our guide we’ve chosen to leave out any details on potential wild camping spots to help limit the impacts this type of camping can bring to the trail. If you’re set on attempting to wild camp on the South Downs Way, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Always abide by Leave No Trace principles and show respect for the environment and local communities.
  • Always enquire with the land owner before setting up camp.
  • If permission is granted be sure to set up your tent after sun down and be packed up by sun rise.
  • Do not widely advertise wild camping as this can increase negative impacts on the trail and surrounding communities.

Stage-by-stage Itinerary for Camping on the South Downs Way

The following guide is based on a moderately paced 9-day itinerary. Beginning in Winchester and finishing in Eastbourne, there is camping available every night with the exception of the finish in Eastbourne. Given the number of campgrounds along the South Downs Way, there are plenty of alternative itineraries possible for those looking to spend more or less time on the trail.

Reservations are recommended for all of the campsites along the trail and prices are listed to the best of our knowledge.

Green tent at a campground

 

Stage 0: Winchester

Distance & Elevation: N/A
Where to stay:
Morn Hill Caravan Club Campsite
Description:

The South Downs Way officially starts in the center of Winchester. Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds directly in this cathedral city, so you’ll either need to camp a bit outside of town or plan to stay in one of the many hotels available. 

Keep in mind it is not necessary to stay in Winchester the night before starting your trek, given that transportation is relatively quick and easy from the London area and your first day is only 7 miles.

For those who would like to camp near Winchester prior to their South Downs Way walk, we recommend staying at the Morn Hill Caravan Club Campsite. This campground is about an hours walk outside of Winchester, although you may be able to take bus number 64 to the campground rather than walking.

Morn Hill is a large campground that is more geared towards caravanners than walkers, although you will find some nice amenities. These include laundry facilities, WiFi, and hot showers.

Services at Morn Hill Caravan Club Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Laundry
  • WiFi

Price: £7.90 per adult.

Nearby in Winchester

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacy
  • Banks/ATMs
  • Post office
  • Outdoor retailer
  • Restaurants/cafes/pubs
  • Train and bus connections
  • Taxi service
Winchester, UK

The South Downs Way begins in Winchester.

 

Stage 1: Winchester to Holden Farm Camping

Distance & Elevation: 7.19 mi // +1,055 ft, -842 ft 
Where to stay: 
Holden Farm Camping
Description:

The first stage of the South Downs Way for campers is relatively easy and a good introduction to the walk. You’ll enjoy walking on some of the undulating hillsides that the South Downs are known for as you cover 7 miles before stopping for the day at Holden Farm Camping.

Holden Farm is a lovely, rural campsite that is geared specifically for walkers and tent campers. You’ll get to choose anywhere in their large field for your pitch, and each comes with a complimentary fire pit for the evening. They also have an excellent shop featuring locally sourced essentials for your trip!

Services at Holden Farm Camping

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Potable water
  • Communal kitchen
  • Electronics charging
  • Small shop

Price: £15 – £20/adult depending on the time of year.

Map of Stage 1 from Winchester to Holden Farm Camping

Stage 1 – Winchester to Holden Farm Camping.

 

Stage 2: Holden Farm Camping to Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 12.43 mi // +1,725 ft, -1,378 ft 
Where to stay: 
Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite
Description:

The second stage of the South Downs Way covers nearly 12.5 miles as walkers wind their way to the Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite. A part of the larger Sustainability Centre, this campground is surrounded by lovely woodland and forest, making for a rejuvenating place to spend the night.

Keep in mind that there are only six pitches at Wetherdown Lodge, so advance bookings are recommended.

Services at Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Solar showers (not always hot!)
  • Wood fired pizza oven
  • Cafe
  • Electronics charging
  • Small shop

Price: £12/person

Should you arrive and find the campsite at the Wetherdown Lodge full, simply continue on to the Upper Parsonage Farm Campsite, described below.

The Upper Parsonage Farm Campsite is located a short distance (.75 miles) from the South Downs Way, just before reaching the top of Butser Hill. This will make your walk on Stage 2 a bit longer, but you’ll be rewarded the next day by getting a head start on the longest stage of the walk!

Services at Upper Parsonage Farm Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Potential for evening meals/breakfast

Price: £10/person

Map of Stage 2 from Holden Farm Camping to Wetherdown Lodge and Campsite

Stage 2 – Holden Farm to Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite

 

Stage 3: Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite to Manor Farm

Distance & Elevation: 17.06 mi // +2,225 ft, -2,523 ft 
Where to stay: 
Manor Farm Campsite
Description:

Stage 3 is a long one! You’ll be covering over 17 miles en route to the Manor Farm campsite, just south of Cocking. Don’t be too intimidated, as the day’s walking is  relatively flat, but you’ll still want to be prepared for a full day’s outing. Your reward for all that walking is a lovely campsite just off the main trail, known as Manor Farm.

This pastoral campground has lovely views and very friendly owners. You’ll have easy access to Cocking for supplies, but we recommend picking up some local delicacies from the on-site farm shop.

Services at Manor Farm Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Farm shop

Price: £10/person

Map of Stage 3 from Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite to Manor Farm

Stage 3 – Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite to Manor Farm

 

Tents at Manor Farm Camping on the South Downs Way

Manor Farm is located just off the South Downs Way and makes an ideal stop for campers.

 

Stage 4: Manor Farm to Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 7.78 mi // +1,114 ft, -1,086 ft 
Where to stay: 
Gumber Camping Bar & Campsite
Description:

Stage 4 is a nice reprieve after a long walk on the previous day. You’ll walk just under 8 miles before reaching the Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite, formerly known as the Gumber Bothy. This National Trust run campsite is a rural and simple campground, perfect for those walking the South Downs Way.

You won’t find any cars or caravans at this car-free campsite and you’ll enjoy a communal atmosphere in a beautiful location.

Note: Traditionally this stage has taken walkers all the way to Amberley where a free wild camping spot was available at High Titten. As of 2021, High Titten Campground has been purchased by a private owner and is not currently open for camping. If the situation changes we’ll update this guide. 

Also near Amberley, the Foxleigh Barn Campsite is a potential option. However, they have limited capacity so we recommend stopping at Gumber Bothy instead. 

Services at Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Kitchen & BBQ
  • Drying room

Price: £15/pitch + £12/person for each additional person

Map of Stage 4 from Manor Farm to Gumber Bothy

Stage 4 – Manor Farm to Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite

 

Stage 5: Gumber Camping Barn & Campsite to Washington Caravan Park

Distance & Elevation: 12.8 mi // +1,402 ft, -1,656 ft 
Where to stay: 
Washington Caravan Park & Campsite
Description:

Stage 5 requires campers to walk approximately 1 mile off the main South Downs Way trail to reach your campground at Washington Caravan Park & Campsite. This isn’t too much trouble, and does take you past an excellent pub, but walkers should be prepared for the extra walking.

The Washington Caravan Park & Campsite is a large site with room for up to 80 tents in addition to caravanners. You’ll find plenty of amenities here as well as easy access to the surrounding area.

Services at Washington Caravan & Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Dishwashing area
  • Laundry
  • Food/meals available during peak season
  • WiFi

Price: £8 – £12/pitch + £6/adult. More information here.

Map of Stage 5 from Gumber Campsite to Washington Camping

Stage 5 – Gumber Campsite to Washington Caravan & Camping Park

 

Camping field at Washington Camping Park.

The camping field at Washing Caravan & Camping Park.

 

Stage 6: Washington Caravan Park to Saddlescombe Farm

Distance & Elevation: 12.95 mi // +1,858 ft, -1,616 ft 
Where to stay: 
Saddlescombe Farm
Description:

This is a lovely stage filled with some of the best scenery on offer in the South Downs. You’ll finish at the rustic, yet lovely campsite at Saddlescombe Farm. This is a National Trust run campsite which retains much of its pastoral character by forbidding cars. You won’t find any glitz and glamor here, but this is what camping on the South Downs Way is all about!

If you’d like to break this stage up, we recommend stopping at the well run YHA Truleigh Hill, located a bit past the halfway mark of Stage 6.

Services at Saddlescombe Farm Campsite

  • Toilets
  • BBQ
  • No showers available – this is rustic camping!

Price: £10/pitch + £10/adult.

Map of Stage 6 from Washington Camping Park to Saddlescombe Farm Camping

Stage 6 – Washington Camping Park to Saddlescombe Farm Camping

 

Stage 7: Saddlescombe Farm to Housedean Farm

Distance & Elevation: 9.91 mi // +1,305 ft, -1,554 ft 
Where to stay: 
Housedean Farm
Description:

Stage 7 is a beautiful walk, although you can expect the trail to be a bit more crowded given how close you are to Brighton at this stage of the South Downs Way. Your campground for the night is the beautiful Housedean Farm Campsite, a very well run establishment.

Although just off the busy A27, you’d never know it from the tranquil countryside surrounding the campground.

Services at Housedean Farm Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Washing basins
  • Communal fridge/freezer
  • Charing points

Price: £14/adult

Map of Stage 7 from Saddlescombe Farm Camping to Housedean Farm Camping

Stage 7 – Saddlescombe Farm Camping to Housedean Farm Camping

 

Housdean Farm Campsite

The lovely campsite at Housedean Farm.

 

Stage 8: Housedean Farm to Alfriston Camping Park

Distance & Elevation: 14.45 mi // +2,068 ft, -2,148 ft 
Where to stay: 
Alfriston Camping Park
Description:

You’re getting close to the end!

Stage 8 takes walkers closer to the coast and the completion of the South Downs Way, with an overnight stay at the excellent Alfriston Camping Park. This large campground has good service and a separate field specifically for families. You’ll find the caravanning crowd here, but there is always plenty of space for South Downs Way walkers.

There are plenty of services available nearby in Alfriston.

Services at Alfriston Camping Park

  • Toilets
  • Showers

Price: £10/adult

Map of Stage 8 from Housedean Farm Camping to Alfriston Camping Park

Stage 8 – Housedean Farm Camping to Alfriston Camping Park

 

Stage 9: Alfriston Camping Park to Eastbourne

Distance & Elevation: 11.12 mi // +2,197 ft, -2,101 ft 
Where to stay: 
YHA Eastbourne or other hotel.
Description:

This is it, your final stage of the South Downs Way!

The route saves the best for last with a stunning walk along the Seven Sisters, culminating at Beachy Head. This is a challenging day’s walk, but we’re willing to bet you’ll be too distracted by the beautiful views to care too much.

Unfortunately there are no campgrounds in or near Eastbourne, although we recommend treating yourself to a hotel anyways. For the budget conscious, you can’t go wrong with the YHA Eastbourne.

View from Beachy Head.

Take in the stunning views from Beachy Head on the final stage of the South Downs Way.

 

Map of Stage 9 from Alfriston Camping Park to Eastbourne

Stage 9 – Alfriston Camping Park to Eastbourne

 

What to Pack for Camping on the South Downs Way

Deciding what to pack for the South Downs Way is an important part of having a successful trip. This is especially true for campers, who can expect to be carrying a much heavier rucksack. It’s simple- the heavier your pack, the harder your effort.

As such, we recommend focusing on bringing high-quality, lightweight equipment. With a little planning and strategy, you can keep the weight of your backpack manageable while still ensuring you have everything you need for your trip.

We’ve provided some general packing information for camping on the South Downs Way below, but for more in-depth information be sure to check out our full packing list for the South Downs Way below.

Read our Complete Guide to Packing for the South Downs Way here.

In general, you should be able to get by with a 40L – 60L backpack and the following essentials:

Hiker on the South Downs Way

 

What’s Next?

You’re well on your way to an incredible camping experience on the South Downs Way. However, you still have lots of preparation before you’re truly ready! Be sure to read our entire series on the South Downs Way to learn everything you’ll need to know for your trip!

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Great Glen Way | Maps & Routes

The Great Glen Way is a classic Scottish walk connecting Fort William in the south with Inverness in the north. The route is a natural extension of the West Highland…

The Great Glen Way is a classic Scottish walk connecting Fort William in the south with Inverness in the north. The route is a natural extension of the West Highland Way, which finishes in Fort William. However, the Great Glen Way features much more loch-side walking, including along the famous Loch Ness, Loch Lochy, and Loch Oich. Traditionally, the walk is completed in 5 – 8 days, with six days seeming to be most common. 

Although the Great Glen Way visits some of the more remote parts of northern Scotland, it is still well served by a variety of small towns and accommodation options. These include quaint B&Bs, hostels, small hotels, and several campgrounds. This post will introduce the Great Glen Way through a series of maps, navigational resources, and more. 

Let’s get started.

Green hillside above Loch Ness

The green hillsides above Loch Ness are a highlight of the Great Glen Way.

 

In this Post

 

Where is the Great Glen Way?

The Great Glen Way is located in northern Scotland and connects the port town of Fort William in the south with Highlands capital of Inverness in the north. Along the way the route passes several idyllic lochs as it traces what is known as the Great Glen fault line. The walk is almost exclusively completed from south to north, although it can certainly be walked in the opposite directions as well.

The route is well served by a variety of small towns filled with friendly locals to compliment the stunning scenery this part of Scotland is known for.

The Great Glen Way is surprisingly easy to get to from the rest of Scotland and the UK, with plenty of rail connections available. Fort William is easily reached from Glasgow via the spectacular West Highland line while Inverness has good rail service to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. From the rest of the UK you can reach both Glasgow and Edinburgh by coach, train, or plane!

Map showing the location of the Great Glen Way

 

Between Fort William and Inverness the Great Glen Way provides some of the best walking in Scotland and is also much less crowded than other popular routes in the area. Highlights of the walk include tracing the length of the Caledonian Canal, walking along the famous Loch Ness, and finishing at the famous Inverness Castle. You’ll walk the length of three different lochs, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way.

The route is traditionally completed in six days walking, although it is possible to shorten or extend your walk to suit your own personal timeframe. It is possible to camp along the Great Glen Way as there are both developed campgrounds as well as some excellent wild camping spots along the route. For those that prefer sleeping indoors, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options at each stop along the way.

Below is the standard route for the Great Glen Way:

  • Stage 1: Fort William to Gairlochy
  • Stage 2: Gairlochy to Laggan
  • Stage 3: Laggan to Fort Augustus
  • Stage 4: Fort Augustus to Invermoriston
  • Stage 5: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit
  • Stage 6: Drumnadrochit to Inverness
Map of the Great Glen Way

 

In addition to the standard route outlined above, there is also the option to take two high-route alternates between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit. These alternate routes leave the lochside trail to climb into the hills adjacent to Loch Ness. These alternates provide exceptional views of the Loch and also provide a bit of variety to the walk and we recommend that most walkers seriously consider taking them.

The high routes are split over two days, with the first option leaving the main trail on stage 4 shortly after leaving Fort Augustus. The route then keeps walkers in the hills before descending back to the main trail just before reaching Invermoriston.

The next day, on stage 5, the second high-level route begins just after leaving Invermoriston and rejoins the main trail about half-way through the stage to Drumnadrochit.

Take a look at the map below for more detail on the Great Glen Way high-level alternate routes.

Great Glen Way High Route

The two high-route alternates on the Great Glen Way. Click to enlarge.

 

Interactive Great Glen Way map

The interactive Great Glen Way map below will allow you to zoom in on the various stages as well as view the traditional stops along the route.

 

How long is the Great Glen Way?

The official Scotland Great Trails website lists the Great Glen Way as 125-kilometers long. While this is certainly an accurate estimate, we measure (via GPS) the Great Glen Way to be 118.8-kilometers or 73.8 miles long from Fort William to Inverness.

If you plan on taking either or both of the high-routes described above you’ll want to plan on covering a bit more distance.

However, the exact measurement of the trail will have little practical value to the average walker. The nature of long-distance walks provides that you will certainly walk further than any official trail length. Evening walks to stretch your legs, short detours to visit the local pub, and even the occasional side trip to a nearby attraction will all add up.

However, it is still helpful for trip planning purposes to have a sense of the total length as well as individual segment lengths on the Great Glen Way. The map below shows just that, with the approximate distances for the standard six stage itinerary shown in kilometers.

Note that these distances do not include the high-level routes and should only be used to get a general idea of distance.

Map of the Great Glen Way with stage distances

Stage distances on the Great Glen Way.

 

Great Glen Way Elevation Profile

The Great Glen Way is certainly not the most challenging walk in the Scottish Highlands, although it still has a not insignificant amount of elevation change.

Much of this is due to the undulating nature of the shorelines of the three Lochs that the route follows. The Great Glen Way has approximately 1,600 meters or 5,250 feet of elevation gain over its 119 kilometers. That averages out to approximately 267 meters of elevation gain per stage, although as you’ll see below it is not so evenly distributed.

The vast majority of the elevation gain occurs on the walk’s final two stages, with the final day being the most difficult in terms of both distance covered as well as elevation gained. The high point of the walk is reached on the final stage just after leaving the shores of Loch Ness and climbing to approximately 370 meters above sea-level.

However, don’t be deceived by the loch-side sections of the walk, as there is still significant elevation to be gained/lost here!

Trail in the Scottish Highlands

 

The elevation profile below will give you an overview of what each stage of the Great Glen Way entails in terms of total elevation change and distance. Elevation is shown on the left side while distance is shown on the bottom. Each blue dot represents a stop along the traditional six-stage walk, with the stop names shown at the top.

The steepness of the line between any two points reflects the steepness of the trail for that particular stage. The distance between the two points shows the length of the stage. For instance, you can see that the stage from Drumnadrochit to Inverness is rather long in distance, while the stage from Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit has a lot of elevation gain.

Keep in mind that the profile below does not include either of the two high-route options, so count on some additional climbing if you plan to take those alternates.

When thinking about how many days or stages you’ll take to complete the Great Glen Way be sure to reference this elevation profile. It will give you a sense of how hard each day is and will let you see which stages may make sense to combine or split up on your walk.

Elevation profile for the Great Glen Way

Great Glen Way Elevation Profile.

 

Which maps should I carry on the Great Glen Way?

The Great Glen Way is generally a very well marked trail. You’ll find the Scotland Great Trails symbol on signposts and at trail junction along the route, making navigation fairly simple. This is especially helpful where different trails intersect with the Great Glen Way, giving the walker clear direction on where to go.

However, it is still quite easy to get turned around or otherwise off-track on the Great Glen Way due largely to the number of trail junctions encountered. For this reason, we recommend all walkers carry a few Great Glen Way maps to ensure they don’t spend an afternoon walking the wrong direction!

Our preference is generally to rely on GPS maps on our smartphones when out on a multi-day walk, and we can highly recommend this method for most walkers. All you’ll need is a GPX file for the route and a GPS app. We like Gaia GPS, although there are many great options available.

In addition to digital navigation methods, we also recommend you bring a paper map or map booklet of the Great Glen Way along on your walk. There is simply no replacement for a physical map, afterall you never know when you may find yourself with a dead battery rendering your GPS app useless!

There are several excellent physical maps available for the Great Glen Way, outlined below:

The Great Glen Way Guide & Map Booklet – Cicerone Guides
In our opinion, your best bet will be to pack this excellent resource from Cicerone Guides. Their Great Glen Way guidebook comes complete with a map booklet that contains helpful maps for the entire route, neatly organized into a small and portable booklet.

 

Harvey Maps Great Glen Way Map
Another convenient and highly recommended option is the Great Glen Way map published by Harvey Maps. This map consists of the entire Great Glen Way route, although it does not include much outside of the trail. It is also a bit larger and easier to read when compared to the Cicerone Map Booklet, which many walkers will prefer.

 

Ordnance Survey Explorer – Great Glen Way maps
Finally, no article on maps for the Great Glen Way would be complete without referencing Ordnance Survey maps. These detailed maps provide an excellent resource for the walk, although you’ll need to carry three OS maps to cover the entire route:

In addition, a weatherproof carrying case like this one wouldn’t hurt to have either.

Stage-by-stage Great Glen Way maps

The Great Glen Way is most commonly walked in six stages, with a wide variety of accommodation options available at each point along the walk. The stage maps below provide a general outline for each of these six stages and we’ve also included the distance and elevation change for each day below.

Stage 1: Fort William to Gairlochy

Distance: 17.43 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +159 m / -132 m

Map of Stage 1 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 1 – Fort William to Gairlochy

 

Stage 2: Gairlochy to Laggan

Distance: 18.73 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +413 m / -407 m

Map of Stage 2 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 2 – Gairlochy to Laggan

 

Stage 3: Laggan to Fort Augustus

Distance: 17.24 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +238 m / -250 m

Map of Stage 3 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 3 – Laggan to Fort Augustus

 

Stage 4: Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

Distance: 11.72 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +507 m / -487 m

Map of Stage 4 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 4 – Fort Augustus to Invermoriston

 

Stage 5: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit

Distance: 23.32 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +701 m / -713 m

Map of Stage 5 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 5 – Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit

 

Stage 6: Drumnadrochit to Inverness

Distance: 30.32 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +653 m / -665 m

Map of Stage 6 of the Great Glen Way

Stage 6 – Drumnadrochit to Inverness

 

Have an excellent Great Glen Way adventure!

We hope this post has given you all the information you need to get a basic overview of the Great Glen Way. Let us know your questions or comments below. Happy trails!

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North Downs Way | Maps & Routes

The North Downs Way is one of the most popular of England’s National Trails. Given the route’s location just south of London, it is easy to understand why. The walk…

The North Downs Way is one of the most popular of England’s National Trails. Given the route’s location just south of London, it is easy to understand why. The walk crosses the North Downs and traverses a number of beautiful landscapes, including the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. Beginning in Farnham in the west and finishing at the coast in Dover, the walk is traditionally completed in ten stages.

Unique to the North Downs Way, you’ll have two options for the last two stages into Dover. The first option, known as the Southern Loop, takes walkers to the coast along the White Cliffs of Dover. Alternatively, the Northern Loop heads through the cathedral town of Canterbury before turning south to Dover. Whichever route you choose you’re sure to have a great adventure!

This post is designed to provide an introduction to the North Downs Way though in-depth maps, elevation profiles, stage-by-stage maps, and more!

Let’s get started.

View of the North Downs in Surrey

The North Downs.

 

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Where is the North Downs Way?

The North Downs Way is located just south of London and connects Farnham in the west with the port city of Dover in the east. The walk is traditionally walked from west to east, although you can certainly walk in the opposite direction as well. Along the way the route visits several lovely villages and explores some of the best countryside this close to London. For those interested in venturing a bit further afield, be sure to consider a walk on the South Downs Way as well.

Given the walk’s location, it is easy to get to the start and finish from London and other parts of England via rail or bus. Farnham sits on the Southwestern Railway which has frequent connections, while Dover is a major transit hub for the southeast coast.

Check out the map below to get a general sense of where the North Downs Way is located.

Overview map of the North Downs Way

The North Downs Way connects Farnham and Dover. (Click to enlarge).

 

Highlights of the North Downs Way include the Rochester Castle, Canterbury Cathedral (for those who opt for the Northern Loop), and White Cliffs of Dover (for those who opt for the Southern Loop).

The walk is commonly completed in ten days, although it is always possible to shorten or extend your walk as you see fit. The North Downs Way is also especially well situated to be completed over a series of trips rather than in a single walk.

Northern & Southern Loops

As alluded to above you’ll have two options to complete the final two stages of the North Downs Way. This is a bit unusual for a National Trail, but gives walkers two attractive options. The route splits at Boughton Lees, and gives walkers the two options described below:

Southern Loop
The Southern Loop is probably the more popular way to finish the walk as it takes walkers along the White Cliffs of Dover. From Boughton Lees you’ll head south to Etchinghill before heading to the coast and finishing in Dover.

White Cliffs of Dover.

The Southern Loop of the North Downs Way finishes with a spectacular walk along the White Cliffs of Dover.

 

Northern Loop
The Northern Loop is a good option for history buffs or anyone who wants to visit the stunning cathedral at Canterbury. From Boughton Lees you’ll head northeast and overnight in Canterbury before continuing on to Dover. This option adds approximately 11-kilometers to the walk.

Canterbury Cathedral

The Northern Loop allows walkers to visit the stunning Canterbury Cathedral.

 

Below is the standard 10-day itinerary for the North Downs Way:

  • Stage 1: Farnham to Guildford
  • Stage 2: Guildford to Westhumble
  • Stage 3: Westhumble to Merstham
  • Stage 4: Merstham to Oxted
  • Stage 5: Oxted to Otford
  • Stage 6: Otford to Rochester
  • Stage 7: Rochester to Hollingbourne
  • Stage 8: Hollingbourne to Boughton Lees
  • Stage 9: Boughton Lees to Etchinghill (Southern Loop)
  • Stage 10: Etchinghill to Dover (Southern Loop)

For those who opt to complete the Northern Loop, the final two stages will look like this:

  • Stage 9A: Boughton Lees to Canterbury
  • Stage 10A: Canterbury to Dover

Check out the North Downs Way map below for a detailed overview of the walk. 

North Downs Way Map

Map of the North Downs Way. Click to enlarge.

 

Interactive North Downs Way map

The interactive North Downs Way map below will allow you to zoom in on the various stages as well as view the traditional stops along the route.

 

How long is the North Downs Way?

When researching the North Downs Way you’re likely to find any number of distances given for the walk by the various guidebooks and websites covering the topic. The distance of the walk is of course highly dependent on whether you opt for the northern or southern loops, as the two have a difference of about 11 kilometers.

We measure (via GPS), the North Downs Way to be 203-kilometers long for those completing the Southern Loop and 214-kilometers long for those opting to take the Northern Loop through Canterbury.  

While this exact measurement provides little practical value to anyone planning a walk on the North Downs Way, it is important to have a general understanding of the distances involved. The two maps below provide the stage distances for each of the 10-stages on the North Downs Way in both kilometers and miles. Use these to help get a sense of the walk and also plan your own itinerary.

Keep in mind that the distances provided here assume no detours, side trips, or other diversions off of the main route. Given this fact, you will certainly end up walking further than the distances we’ve provided.

Map of the North Downs Way with stage distances

Stage distances on the North Downs Way in kilometers. (Click to enlarge).

 

North Downs Way map with stage distances in miles

Stage distances on the North Downs Way in miles. (Click to enlarge).

 

North Downs Way Elevation Profile

The North Downs Way is not known for its difficulty or significant elevation gain. The route has modest hills, making it an ideal first National Trail to walk for someone new to hiking or a great walk for the experienced hiker looking to take things a bit easier.

For those taking the Southern Loop through Etchinghill the route gains 2,535 meters over the course of 203 kilometers. This equates to approximately 253 meters of elevation gain per day, which should be manageable for most walkers. For those who opt to take the Northern Loop via Canterbury, you can expect to gain 2,467 meters over the routes 214 kilometers.

Much of this elevation gain is evenly spread out along the undulating route providing a nice cadance the the walk. The most notable climb on the North Downs Way is the walk up St. Martha’s Hill and Newlands Corner which occurs on day two. 

The high  point of the North Downs Way sits at Titsey Plantation (263m above sea-level) which you encounter after a steep climb to start stage 5 out of Oxted.

View from the Surrey Hills on the North Downs Way

 

The elevation profiles below, displaying both the Northern and Southern Loops, will give you an overview of what each stage of the North Downs Way entails in terms of total elevation change and distance. Elevation is shown on the left side while distance is shown on the bottom. Each blue dot represents a stop along the traditional 10-stage walk, with the stop name shown at the top.

The steepness of the line between any two points reflects the steepness of the trail for that particular stage. The distance between the two points shows the length of the stage. For instance, you can see that Stage 6 from Otford to Rochester is rather long in distance, while Stage 2 from Guildford to Westhumble has a lot of elevation gain.

When thinking about how many days or stages you’ll take to complete the North Downs Way be sure to reference these elevation profiles. They’ll give you a sense of how hard each day is and will let you see which stages may make sense to combine or split up on your walk.

 

Elevation profile of the North Downs Way.

Elevation profile of the North Downs Way.

 

Elevation profile of the North Downs Way.

Elevation profile for the North Downs Way, Northern Loop.

 

Which maps should I carry on the North Downs Way?

As the North Downs Way is a National Trail, walkers can expect the path to be very well sign posted and easy to navigate. However, as with many walks in England, it can be quite easy to get turned around or generally off the correct track.

There are countless trail intersections, bridleways, and footpaths that can be easy to confuse with the North Downs Way. For this reason, we always recommend that walkers bring a few map resources when walking the route.

Our preference is generally to rely on GPS maps on our smartphones when out on a multi-day walk, and we can highly recommend this method for the North Downs Way. All you’ll need is a GPX file for the route (available for free on the National Trails website here) and a GPS app. We like Gaia GPS, although there are many great options available.

In addition to digital navigation methods, we also recommend you bring a paper map or map booklet along. There is simply no replacement for a physical map, afterall you never know when you may find yourself with a dead battery rendering your GPS app useless!

There are several excellent physical maps available for the North Downs Way, outlined below:

The North Downs Way Guide & Map Booklet – Cicerone Guides
In our opinion, your best bet will be to pack this excellent resource from Cicerone Guides. Their North Downs Way guide and map booklet contain Ordnance Survey maps for the entire route, neatly organized into a small and portable packet.

North Downs Way Adventure Atlas
Another convenient and highly recommended option is the North Downs Way Adventure atlas. This map consists of OS Explorer maps for the entire North Downs Way route, but saves you the hassle of assembling all of the Ordnance Survey maps yourself. It is also a bit larger and easier to read when compared to the Cicerone Map Booklet, which many walkers will prefer.

Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps
Finally, no article on maps for the North Downs Way would be complete without referencing Ordnance Survey maps. These North Downs Way maps provide an excellent level of detail , although you’ll need to carry several maps to cover the entire route:

In addition, a weatherproof carrying case like this one wouldn’t hurt to have either.

Stage-by-stage maps for the North Downs Way

The North Downs Way is traditionally completed in ten stages, with a wide variety of accommodation options available at each point along the walk. The maps below provide a general outline for each of these ten stages and include distance and elevation change. Also included are maps for the Northern and Southern Loops, the two options for the final two stages to Dover.

Stage 1: Farnham to Guildford

Distance: 17.33 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +324 m / -353 m

North Downs Way Stage 1 map

Stage 1 – Farnham to Guildford

 

Stage 2: Guildford to Westhumble

Distance: 21.77 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +426 m / -422 m

North Downs Way Stage 2 map

Stage 2 – Guildford to Westhumble

 

Stage 3: Westhumble to Merstham

Distance: 15.89 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +580 m / -521 m

North Downs way Stage 3 map

Stage 3 – Westhumble to Merstham

 

Stage 4: Merstham to Oxted

Distance: 13.5 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +541 m / -475 m

North Downs Way Stage 4 map

Stage 4 – Merstham to Oxted

 

Stage 5: Oxted to Otford

Distance: 19.31 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +488 m / -586 m

North Downs way Stage 5 map

Stage 5 – Oxted to Otford

 

Stage 6: Otford to Rochester

Distance: 28.65 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +751 m / -788 m

North Downs Way Stage 6 map

Stage 6 – Otford to Rochester

 

Stage 7: Rochester to Hollingbourne

Distance: 24.13 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +758 m / -700 m

North Downs Way Stage 7 map

Stage 7 – Rochester to Hollingbourne

 

Stage 8: Hollingbourne to Boughton Lees

Distance: 20.72 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +373 m / -393 m

North Downs Way stage 8 map

Stage 8 – Hollingbourne to Boughton Lees

 

Southern Loop Stage 9: Boughton Lees to Etchinghill

Distance: 22 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +513 m / -460 m

North Downs Way Stage 9 map

Stage 9 – Boughton Lees to Etchinghill

 

Southern Loop Stage 10: Etchinghill to Dover

Distance: 19.6 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +514 m / -628 m

North downs way stage 10 map

Stage 10 – Etchinghill to Dover

 

Northern Loop Stage 9: Boughton Lees to Canterbury

Distance: 20.39 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +502 m / -548 m

North Downs Way Stage 9 Northern Loop map

Stage 9A – Boughton Lees to Canterbury

 

Northern Loop Stage 10: Canterbury to Dover

Distance: 31.95 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +513 m / -523 m

Stage 10A – Canterbury to Dover

 

North Downs Way GPS/GPX

If you are interested in getting access to the GPS data for the North Downs Way head on over to the National Trails website. You’ll find a free GPX download for the walking route.

Click here to access the free GPS data for the South Downs Way

You’ll be able to load the GPX file into the mapping software or GPS phone app of your choice!

Apps and offline mapping

As mentioned above we highly recommend utilizing offline downloadable GPS maps on our smartphones to navigate while walking the North Downs Way. This is a great way to navigate on the trail as it allows you to see your progress for the day and also doesn’t require a cell phone signal (which you may not have) to display the map.

Our How to Navigate on the Tour du Mont Blanc post has all the information you need to get set up using an app for your map. Although written for a different hike, this step-by-step article will teach you how to quickly and easily turn your phone into a GPS device for the North Downs Way.

Have a great North Downs Way adventure!

We hope this post has given you all the information you need to get a basic overview of the North Downs Way. Let us know your questions or comments below. Happy trails!

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