Bridge of Orchy is a common stop for those camping on the West Highland Way. It is a lovely place to pitch your tent for the evening with a hotel/pub and train stop both nearby.
Read on for all the details on this popular wild camping stop along the West Highland Way.
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Bridge of Orchy Camping
There is no formal campground at Bridge of Orchy, but wild camping is permitted adjacent to the River Orchy on the opposite side of the bridge from the hotel. Here you’ll find a few grassy areas where you’re permitted to pitch your tent, although only for a night or two. This is generally fine, as most folks staying here will continue on their walk the next day.
The map below shows the general area where camping is permitted at Bridge of Orchy:
When you arrive at Bridge of Orchy coming from the West Highland Way (detailed map here), A82 motorway, or the rail station, you’ll continue past the hotel and across the bridge to the free camping area.
You won’t find any camping facilities here, but there is a water tap located next to the main entrance of the hotel. In terms of using the restroom there are a few options:
- First, you can use the wooded area behind the campsite, but please bring a trowel and ensure your waste is properly buried and pack out your toilet paper.
- You can also use the restroom in the hotel if you purchase something from the bar/restaurant or leave donation in the tray near the bar.
In terms of pitching up, we find the best location to be on the southside of the path, near a large shade tree. It tends to get a bit less crowded here, which will make your camping experience at Bridge of Orchy much better. In addition to tents, there is room for a few smaller campervans to park so it is definitely possible to camp here even if you’re not walking.
If the weather is nice, make sure to soak your tired feet in the river while you take in the views of the quaint stone bridge and the green hills beyond.
Here are a few photos on what you can expect when camping at Bridge of Orchy on the West Highland Way:
Services at Bridge of Orchy
There isn’t much in terms of services at Bridge of Orchy, but you will find the following amenities:
- The Bridge of Orchy Hotel: The hotel features 10 rooms in the original building, plus 21 in two annex buildings, and the Orchy Cottage. There is an on-site restaurant and pub.
- Bridge of Orchy Railway Station: Sits on the West Highland Railway line.
- Intercity Bus Stop: Located on the CityLink bus route between both Edinburgh and Fort William as well as Glasgow and Fort William.
Outside of the restaurant at the hotel there are no shops nearby, so you’ll need to bring your own food or be prepared to eat at the hotel.
What to Bring
Below are a few specific items for camping at Bridge of Orchy:
- Map: A good map is essential to exploring the area, and learning more about your surroundings. We always recommend bringing an Ordnance Survey map and this version covers the area around Bridge of Orchy.
- Trowel – As mentioned above, this is essential for properly disposing of human waste.
- Midge repellent – Camping in the Highlands is almost synonymous with midges. Be sure to pack some bug repellent to fight off these tiny nuisances!
Have a great trip!
To summarize, it is possible to camp for free at Bridge of Orchy. You’ll need to be prepared for a basic campsite experience with no facilities, but you’ll enjoy beautiful surroundings and a fun vibe.
Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and be sure to tell us about your trip!