The BEST Fort William, Scotland Camping Guide [2022]

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Fort William is considered by many to be the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. This lochside town enjoys an unbeatable location with easy access to some of the top outdoor activities in Scotland. Whether you’re looking to climb Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, set out for a walk on the West Highland Way, or simply enjoy one of the many shops, Fort William makes for a great base to explore the region.

To truly experience all that Fort William has to offer, we recommend spending a night or two out under the stars in your tent, campervan, or motorhome. There are plenty of options to suit every preference and camper in the area from those seeking peace and quiet, to bustling campgrounds full of amenities.

We’ve created this guide to help simply the process of finding a campground or caravan park in Fort William so you can easily decide where to stay and focus on having a great time exploring all that the area has on offer.

In this Post

The Basics

As you begin planning your Fort William camping trip, there are a few key pieces of information you should keep in mind. Things like when you should camp, what you might bring, and whether or not you’ll need an advance booking. We’ve covered all that and more in the following sections.

First on our list is to clarify is that there are no campgrounds within the town of Fort William itself.

Instead, all of the camping opportunities are located outside of town or in the surrounding countryside. Don’t fret if you’re set on being as close to Fort William as possible though as we’ve included distances to town from each of the campgrounds included in this guide.

Ultimately, the campground that is best for you is often the one that is closest to the activities you’d like to do in the area.

Thinking of camping near Ben Nevis? Head for the Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park.

Looking for a quiet, lochside location? Linnhe Lochside Holidays has you covered.

Walker in the Scottish Highlands

When to camp near Fort William

All things considered, summer is the best time to camp in the Fort William area.

The Highlands enjoy long days and the weather is most settled from May – September, making this the ideal time of year to pitch your tent or park your campervan. Of course, this is also when the famous Scottish midges will be at their worst, but that’s nothing a little bug spray can’t solve!

During the winter months many of the campgrounds in the area close their figurative doors so wild camping is typically your only option. However, this is only for the seriously adventurous out there as a winter wild camp in Scotland will most certainly bring cold, rain, and even snow!

Summer and school holidays tend to make July and August the busiest time of year to camp in the area, so if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds try planning your trip for June or September. Of course, the most popular months also bring the best hiking weather and all services should be up and running.

Bank holiday weekends are another popular time to visit the area, so plan on advance reservations then!

What to Bring

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 for camping in the Fort William and Scotland:

  • 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 Fort William, Ben Nevis, and the surrounding region.
  • Camping Stove – This classic piece of gear is perfect for cooking up deluxe campsite dinners.
  • Cooler – Keeping food and drinks cool is essential when camping.
  • Midge repellent – Camping in the Highlands is almost synonymous with midges. Be sure to pack some bug repellent to fight off these tiny nuisances!

If you’ve arrived and found that you forgot an essential piece of camping equipment at home there is no need to panic. Fort William has several outdoor stores that would be more than happy to sell you any type of camping equipment you may have forgotten.

In addition, you’ll find petrol stations, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, and just about anything you might need in town.

Fort William Camping

Finding the best campground for your Fort William trip will vary for each person and situation. There are so many activities in the area that a big determinant will be which part of the region you want to camp in. Additionally, each of the campgrounds featured in this guide have unique amenities, settings, and facilities.

Our hope is that the detailed campground descriptions below will help you understand your options and pick the best campground for you needs.

As you might expect, a family with a campervan will have different needs than a solo wild camper. Regardless of your specific situation, we’ve got options to meet your needs and the following section should help you pick your perfect campground.

In addition, we’ve also created a section with some information on wild camping near Fort William which is a common question of would be campers. This will be primary for those on a multi-day trek or who are planning to split a climb on Ben Nevis into two days.

Finally, the map below gives a sense of each of the caravan park and campgrounds locations. Note, we do not included any specific wild camping locations on the map, as those are best determined based on the specific conditions you encounter on your trip.

Camping in and near Fort William

If you’re looking for a camping and caravan park in the Fort William, Scotland region then you’re in luck. There are many great campsites, caravan parks, and campgrounds to choose from, and each has their own set of advantages.

From the convenience of Ben Nevis Holiday Park to the beautiful location of the Bunree Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite we’re such you’ll find your perfect campsite!

A popular option for those touring the Highlands in their campervan is to first stop in Fort William before tracing the Caledonian Canal with stops to camp in Fort Augustus before heading onward to Inverness.

Keep reading to learn more.

Trail on Ben Nevis near Fort William

Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 2 miles / 4 km
Camping Options: 
Caravan & Camper pitches, Tent pitches, Camping Pods, Holiday Caravans for let
Reservations:
 Recommended. Click here to reserve.

The most popular campground near Fort William is without a doubt the Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park. This large campground sits right at the base of Ben Nevis, and you can even walk to Fort William from the campground along a segment of the West Highland Way. If you choose to camp here you’ll be just steps from the start of the Mountain Path (aka Tourist Track), the most common hiking route to the summit of Ben Nevis.

If proximity to Fort William and ease of access to Ben Nevis (plus tons of other walking paths) is high on your priority list, then look no further than Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park. You’ll find excellent common amenities here including sparkling clean showers, laundry facilities, and a shop selling food and camping essentials.

There are separate fields at the campground to accommodate caravans, campervans, and tents on its sprawling grounds. In addition, there are some fun camping pods available as well as fully furnished holiday caravans for let.

There is a fun vibe here as you’ll find families on holiday, friendly walkers seeking to summit Ben Nevis, and pensioners enjoying an extended vacation all pitching their tent here.

Given how popular it is to stay here, advance reservations are essential for everyone except those with very small tents!

Tent at a campground

Ben Nevis Holiday Park

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 2.5 miles / 4 km
Camping Options: 
Caravan pitches, Tent pitches, Glamping Pods, Holiday Caravans for let
Reservations:
 Recommended. Click here to reserve.

The Ben Nevis Holiday Park is almost the same distance from Fort William as the Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park. However, you’ll be located north of town next to the village of Caol and on the banks of the River Lochy here. This means this a great location if you plan to explore some of the outstanding recreation near Loch Lochy or the Glen Roy Nature Reserve. Ben Nevis Holiday Park is also on the smaller side, giving it a quiet and family friendly feeling while still offering great amenities and a wonderful location.

Ben Nevis Holiday Park has standard pitches for caravans, a field for tents, and also has beautifully appointed glamping pods and self-catering holiday caravans. These are perfect for those who want something a bit different than the standard accommodation, but aren’t sure they’re ready to sleep in a tent just yet.

The tent pitches have picnic tables scattered throughout while the caravan spots have electric hookups and a select few enjoy water hookups and greywater drainage.

In addition to the stunning views of Ben Nevis, campers at Ben Nevis Holiday Park also have access showers, coin operated laundry, and clean restroom blocks.

Advance reservations are essential, especially during the summer months.

Campervan near Fort William

Great Glen Yurts

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 5.5 miles / 9 km
Camping Options: 
Camping Yurts, Shepherd’s Hut
Reservations:
 Recommended. Click here to reserve.

A unique experience just a few miles north of Fort William is the Great Glen Yurts. You won’t find traditional camping pitches here but instead visitors stay in a unique and fully furnished yurt or reimagined shepherd’s hut. This makes for a fun holiday getaway without all of the work of packing up your camping supplies.

Each yurt includes a thoughtfully crafted outdoor kitchen complete with gas cooker, BBQ, fridge, and more. The yurts themselves all have plush beds, wood burning stoves, and cozy rugs throughout. There are a variety of yurts available designed to accommodate everyone from couples to families on holiday.

There is also a single shepherd’s hut on offer that is perfect for a couple’s getaway.

Highly recommended if you’re looking for something different near Fort William!

Linnhe Lochside Holidays

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 6 miles / 10km
Camping Options: 
Caravan pitches, Tent pitches
Reservations:
 Recommended. Click here to reserve.

If you’re after something a bit further away from all the hubbub in Fort William but still want to be conveniently located, it is worth checking the Linnhe Lochside Holidays Campground. Although set a bit further from Fort William, it is a well regarded campground that features a privileged location adjacent to Loch Eil. We especially recommend Linnhe for touring caravaners, as the sites are level and can accommodate a variety of setups including up to 40′ motorhomes!

The pitches all enjoy wonderful views and are set amongst tall trees offering a bit of privacy and the feeling of really being in nature. Tent pitches enjoy some of the best locations within the campground, with the ability to pitch your tent right on the beach while caravan sites all have access to 10 amp eclectic hookups.

All campers enjoy access to common amenities such as WiFi, a clean shower block, dish washing room, and plentiful picnic tables. Unfortunately, there is no on-site shop, but you’re a relatively short distance from Corpach or Fort William which have everything you might need.

Linnhe is also a great option if you’re taking a few days to drive the Road to the Isles connecting a stop in Fort William with some camping in Mallaig as well.

Bunree Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 9.5 miles / 15 km
Camping Options: 
Caravan pitches, Camping pitches
Reservations:
 Recommended.

Located approximately 10 miles south of Fort William on the A82 you’ll find the Bunree Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite, a Camping & Caravanning Club site that is only open to members.. Bunree makes a good stop if you’ve spent a few nights camping in Glencoe before heading up to Fort William as it’s right between the two popular Highland’s destinations.

This is one of the most spectacular settings for a campground anywhere in the Highlands, so if you’re a dues paying member this makes an excellent place to pitch in the Fort William area. Set on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Bunree caters to touring caravans and campervans. The campground isn’t equipped for tents, so if you’re hoping to pitch here we recommend looking for a different campground in this guide.

Amenities are excellent as you would except from a Camping & Caravanning Club site and include electric hookups, laundry facilities, WiFi, and a shower block. The facilities are spotlessly clean as well.

Inchree Falls is located a short distance from the campground as well as several excellent walking routes, fishing opportunities, and the National Cycle Track Route 78.

Loch Linnhe
Loch Linnhe makes a stunning camping location.

Bunroy Park Campsite & Lodges

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 13 miles / 21 km
Camping Options: 
Tent pitches, Campervan pitches, Camping pods
Reservations:
 Recommended. Click here to reserve.

Located a dozen or so miles northwest of Fort William along the A82 is the Bunroy Park Campsite & Lodges. Situated in the village of Roybridge, the campground is tucked on the back of the village adjacent to the River Spean. We recommend Bunroy if you want the convenience of a small town without being too close to Fort William.

Bunroy excels at keeping a clean and tidy campground, and all of the reviews rave about how immaculately maintained the facilities are. This is a small, family-run operation so there’s no surprise the service is excellent.

There are hardstanding pitches for caravans and campervans, while tent campers can choose from three different fields to pitch in. Camping amenities including a shower block, drying room, fridge and freezer, as well as free WiFi. Best of all, it’s just a short walk into the village where you’ll find a number of pubs and restaurants.

We recommend Bunroy Park for those looking for a quiet and family-friendly camping experience near Fort William.

Gairlochy Holiday Park – CLOSED FOR 2022

Distance to Fort William Railway Station: 12 miles / 19 km
Camping Options: 
Caravan pitches, Tent pitches
Reservations:
 Recommended.

Heading north of Fort William at the start of Loch Lochy you’ll find the Gairlochy Holiday Park, a popular first stop for those camping on the Great Glen Way. This popular campground has pitches for tents, touring caravans, and motorhomes. Unfortunately, they are only accepting static touring caravans in 2022, so tent campers are out of luck.

If you do decide to stay here there is tons to do in the area. You can check out the Caledonian Canal or ride the Nevis Range gondola, all just a short distance from the campground.

Here’s to hoping that Gairlochy is open to all campers soon!

Camping pods in Scotland
Looking for more camping & caravan parks in the area?

For those willing to drive a bit, you’ll find many more great options just outside of the Loch Ness area. Some of our helpful camping guides for the region will help you find a great pitch for your next trip:

  • Loch Ness Camping Guide: Heading north out of Fort William and following the Great Glen will eventually lead you to Scotland’s most famous Loch.
  • Fort Augustus Camping Guide: Want to stay near Fort Augustus at the southern end of Loch Ness? Check out this guide to see all your options.
  • Ben Nevis Camping Guide: Want to camp at the base of Britain’s highest peak? This helpful guide will outline all of your options.
  • Mallaig Camping Guide: Heading onward from Fort William en route to Skye and the Islands? A stopover near Mallaig is a great way to experience some of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Kinlochleven Camping Guide: Especially relevant for those on the West Highland Way, the village of Kinlochleven has great camping options for walkers.

In addition, our Fort William Glamping Guide is the perfect starting place if you’re after a bit more luxury.

Fort William Wild Camping

Any camping guide for a destination in Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a mention of wild camping, and Fort William is no different. For the trekkers, climbers, and walkers out exploring some of the best wilderness on the British Isles, there is no doubt the allure to set-up a wild campsite on your adventure.

We’re here to tell you that it is definitely possible to wild camp near Fort William, as long as you are prepared and take into consideration a few important factors before setting out

The rugged nature of the Highlands and constantly changing weather means that wild camping is only for the most-prepared and experienced among us, but with a little preparation anyone can successfully wild camp in this beautiful area.

Wild camping near Fort William

Wild Camping near Fort William

Fort William and the surrounding area is subject to the same rules that permit wild camping throughout Scotland. Unlike England and Wales, wild camping is broadly permitted and even encouraged here, so long as certain rules outlined in the Scottish Access Code are followed.

We’ve highlighted these general rules below, all of which apply specifically to wild camping in Fort William as well as all of Scotland:

  • The Scottish Access Code permits wild camping.
  • Wild camping is lightweight, done in small numbers, and only for two or three nights in a single place.
  • Avoid camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals.
  • Keep your campsite well away from buildings and roads
  • Always Leave No Trace by packing out litter, property handling human waste, and removing evidence of your pitch, and avoiding campfires.

Keeping these important principles top of mind is the first step to have a successful wild camp. The mountains, munros, and tarns that dot this landscape often have all the making of a great campsite if you’re looking to spend a night in the wild.

However, if you’re coming for holiday and hoping to save on accommodation by simply pitching your tent at the base of a mountain and claiming it as ‘wild camping’ we recommend you consider other options.

Although we don’t typically provide specific wild camping locations to help minimize the overuse of sensitive areas, there are a few spots near Fort William worth mentioning.

The first is the Moy Bridge wild campsite which is north of Fort William along the Great Glen Way. This is a popular spot for walkers, as it is a good stopping place at the end of a walk from Fort William.

There are also several popular areas near the base of Ben Nevis that can accommodate a single tent for those seeking to summit the mighty peak.

If you’re considering wild camping in the Fort William region, please ensure you are adequately prepared for all weather conditions and have ample supplies. Weather changes quickly in the Highlands and you won’t be able to simply amble down to the shops if you find yourself in need.

Come prepared to be self-sufficient and you’re sure to have a wonderful wild camping experience.

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope we’ve provided all of the information you need to plan a fantastic camping trip, 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 and be sure to tell us about your trip!

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