For many, the mention of Glencoe conjures up images of spectacular peaks, wonderful walking paths, and pristine lochs. This is, afterall, one of the quintessential landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. A trip to the region is sure to inspire, and the plethora of activities on offer mean that there is something for everyone.
In order to truly experience this landscape, we think spending a few nights under the stars in your tent or camper van makes for the perfect way to experience all that Glencoe has to offer. Fortunately, there are several excellent campgrounds scattered throughout the Glen.
We’ve created this guide to help simply the process of finding a campground or caravan park in Glencoe so you can easily decide where to stay and focus on having a great time in the Highlands!
In this Post
Before you set out to pitch your tent in Glencoe there are a few keys things you’ll want to keep in mind. This includes when to camp, what to bring, and what to expect from a trip to the Highlands.
First and foremost it is important to understand that Glencoe is both a small village as well as a broad valley of the same name. It’s best to think of Glencoe as more of a region than a specific point on a map, as there are tons of walks, climbs, and camping opportunities located the length of the valley.
The village itself is small, but quaint, and has a few basic shops, cafes, and restaurants. For the campgrounds included in this guide we’ve given distances between the specific campground and the village of Glencoe to help give you a sense of location, but keep in mind that the best camp spot will likely depend on what you plan to do in the area.
When to camp near Glencoe
As with all of the Highlands, summer is the most popular time to visit the Glencoe region. This is doubly true for camping, which is best undertaken from May – September. April and October also provide opportunities for a quieter camping experience, although the days will be shorter and the weather more unpredictable.
With many of the campground and caravan parks closing down over the winter months, your best option for winter camping in Glencoe is to wild camp. This is only for the hardy and well-prepared, however, as you’ll contend with short days, the potential for snow, and very cold temperatures!
The summer months of July and August are typically the most most crowded time to be in Glencoe and this is also when the midges will be at their worst. Of course, you’ll enjoy warmer weather, long days, and all the services on offer will be open. These popular holiday times will find campgrounds at their fullest and an advance reservation is often essential.
All things considered, the autumn months of September and October can be a lovely time to camp in the Highlands . Many of the summer visitors have gone home, and you can expect fairly good weather (or at least as good as it can be in Scotland!) and far fewer visitors to contend with for a campsite.
What to Bring
- 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 cover both Glencoe and Glen Etive.
- 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. The village of Glencoe and neighbouring Ballachulish have several shops that should be able to get you what you need. Of the two, Ballachulish is larger with more services, including a well-stocked Co-Op.
When it comes to choosing the best campground in Glencoe, you’ll want to consider your needs, what you plan to do, and what types of amenities will give you the best stay. There are plenty of great options throughout the valley, and many more just outside of Glen Coe.
Some may prefer to be conveniently located on the A82, especially if you’re planning to continue north and camp near Ben Nevis or Fort William. Other may prefer the solitude of being tucked back away from the road on a quiet lane.
Regardless of your specific situation, the following section should help you pick your perfect campground. It includes detailed descriptions of each campground in the Glen Coe region.
In addition, we’ve also created a section with some information on wild camping in Glencoe, which will primarily suite those who plan to climb one of the many peaks in the region or who are on a multi-day walk.
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, as those are best determined based on the specific conditions you encounter on your trip.
Camping in and near Glencoe
If you’re looking for a camping and caravan park near Glencoe then you’re in luck. There are several options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons depending on what you’re after.
Keep reading to learn more.
Distance to Glencoe village: 1/2 mile / 0.8 km
Camping Options: Caravan & Camper pitches, Tent pitches, Camping Pods
Reservations: Recommended during the summer months.
In our estimation, Invercoe Caravan and Camping Park is the best campground in the Glencoe region. Set just outside Glencoe village in a stunningly beautiful location on the shores of Loch Leven and the River Coe this is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area while still being close to services and amenities.
A short walk from your pitch will bring you to the Glen Lochlan viewpoint or the Glencoe Lochan Trail. You’re also walking distance to Glencoe village and can enjoy a pint at a local pub or tea at the cafe.
Invercoe can accommodate campers, caravans, and tents at the spacious campground and there are also mini camping lodges on offer if you’re interested. The touring pitches are hard standing with a grassy area adjacent for tents or awnings, and electrical hookups are provided at each pitch.
You’ll enjoy good amenities here as well including clean shower blocks and WiFi throughout the park. There is a great atmosphere at the campground with a mix of families on holiday, walkers, and anyone who enjoy spending time outdoors in the Highlands.
Do come prepared with the midge repellent though as the lochside location means the little buggers are everywhere!
Advance bookings are essential during the summer holidays when there is typically a three night minimum stay.
Distance to Glencoe village: 2 miles / 3 km
Camping Options: Campervan pitches, Tent pitches
Located a short distance up the glen from the village of Glencoe you’ll find the Glencoe Camping and Caravanning Club Site. Set adjacent to the National Trust’s Glencoe Visitor Centre this is an excellent campground for those with tents or campers vans. Although you’re right next to the A82 the site is relatively quiet and there is a secluded path that leads from the campground to the village itself.
The roadside location of Glencoe Camping & Caravanning also means that it’s easy to access any of the dozens of outdoor activities on offer in the area.
This is a smaller campground that caters only to caravans and tent campers which gives it a friendly atmosphere. Pitches are hardstanding for those with a caravan, motorhome, or campervan, while tent campers will have plenty of room to pitch on the grassy field.
Common amenities include a shower block, basic shop, laundry facilities, and a drying room for those wet Highland days.
Distance to Glencoe village: 2 miles / 3 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, Campervans welcome except on Bank Holidays
Reservations: Not needed
The Red Squirrel Campsite offers a rustic camping experience in Glen Coe and is a good option for those in search of a basic campground set in beautiful surroundings. Tucked back away from the road in a beautiful forest next to the River Coe, this simple campground primarily accommodates tent campers.
The location lends itself perfect to those looking to take a dip in the River Coe, climb one of the surrounding peaks, or enjoy a walk on one of the many nearby trails.
There are no electric hookups here, so if you’re in a larger campervan or enjoy having your creature comforts, we recommend looking elsewhere. However, for those in search of a quiet respite from the bustling motorhome campgrounds look no further than Red Squirrel.
There is no need for advance booking here and campers are encouraged to simply turn up. Do keep in mind that while small campers are allowed most of the year, Red Squirrel is not able to accommodate them on busy Bank Holiday weekends.
Distance to Glencoe village: 3.5 miles / 6 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, campervan pitches, holiday caravans for let
Reservations: Not required.
Technically located outside of Glen Coe, but still conveniently situated halfway between the village of Glencoe and Kinlochleven you’ll find the Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park. Catering to campervans as well as tent campers, the pitches here are adjacent to Loch Leven and enjoy beautiful views out over the water. Although right off the B863, traffic noise isn’t bad as the pitches are located closer to the water than the road.
This is a good location to explore the surrounding Highlands as you can head into Kinlochleven to walk on the famous West Highland Way or head back to Glencoe to take in some of the idyllic scenery and walking opportunities.
There aren’t specifically designated pitches here so you’ll want to arrive early to secure the best sites. There are electric hookups available, all of which are all first-come, first-served and are free of charge.
Amenities at Caolasnacon are basic and include laundry facilities, a recently refurbished shower block and a dishwashing station. There is no Wifi at the site, but you didn’t come all the way to Glencoe to get online!
Distance to Glencoe village: 13 miles / 21 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, Camper & Caravan pitches, Camping pods
Reservations: Recommended for everything except tent pitches.
Located at the far end of Glen Coe you’ll find the Glencoe Mountain Resort which provides a decent camping option during the summer months. Situated at the base of the ski hill, this is a popular summer camping location for those taking advantage of the downhill mountain biking here as well as with walkers camping on the West Highland Way.
There are four sites with hookups for campervans as well as a grassy area that can accommodate up to 20 tents. There are tremendous views of Buachaille Etive Mor from the camping area, although your immediate surrounding are mainly a car park.
There is also a lively cafe on-site that serves up food and pints and is a fun place to enjoy during your stay.
Glencoe Mountain Resort makes a good camping option for those looking to enjoy the summer activities on offer at the resort, or who want to be a bit further from the village of Glencoe.
Distance to Glencoe village: 7 miles / 11 km
Camping Options: Campervan & Caravan pitches, Tent-pitches
A Camping & Caravanning Club site that is only available for members, Lagnaha Farm will be appealing to those who find value in being part of the UK’s largest camping organisation. However, for those who are this is a relatively convenient site for exploring the Glencoe area and tends to be less crowded than other options considering it isn’t open to the general public.
Situated west of Glencoe village along the A82, Lagnaha Farm is a small campsite with room for camper vans as well as tents. There are five hard standing pitches for campervans (we told you it was small!) along with a moderately sized field for up to ten tents.
The National Cycle Track Route 78, which is part of the Caledonia Way, is only a few miles down the road from the campsite and there are plenty of nearby walks to take advantage of.
The amenities here are standard but well-appointed and include a shower block, free WiFi, and a covered cooking area.
Distance to Glencoe village: 8 miles / 13 km
Camping Options: Campervan & Caravan pitches, Tent-pitches, Camping Pods
Located just a bit further west along the A828 from Lagnaha Farm you’ll find the family friendly Achindarroch Touring Park. This well-run campground is a favorite among families and those looking for a quieter experience. Large groups aren’t permitted at the campground, so you won’t have to worry about noise keeping you up at night here – a major plus!
Achindarroch is a smaller campground but can accommodate tents, caravans, and motorhomes. Hard standing pitches are available with electric hookups and a spacious field is the perfect place to pitch your tent.
All the standard campground features are on offer here including an indoor campers kitchen, very clean toilet block, free WiFi throughout, and picnic tables for campers.
You’re only a short drive from many of Glencoe’s best walks here but you’re also not far from the beach at Cuil Bay.
Reservations recommended but not essential.
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:
- Fort William Camping Guide: Heading north out of Glencoe will eventually bring you to the popular tourist town of Fort William. There are many great campgrounds here all within driving distance of Kinlochleven. You can even camp right at the base of Ben Nevis!
- Kinlochleven Camping Guide: A short distance east of Glencoe along Loch Leven will bring you to the village of Kinlochleven, which has great camping options for walkers.
- Oban Camping Guide: Heading south along the coast from Glencoe leads to the port village of Oban and its excellent campgrounds.
Glencoe Wild Camping
For those in search of solitude, adventure, and a deeper connection with the natural environment, it is possible to wild camp away from all the developed campgrounds in Glencoe. There are of course many considerations before setting out on a wild camping trip, which we’ve outlined below.
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 camping in this beautiful area.
Wild Camping near Glencoe
Of course, with its privileged location in the Scottish Highlands, Glencoe is subject to the same rules that permit wild camping throughout the region. Unlike England and Wales, wild camping is broadly permitted and even encouraged throughout Scotland, so long as certain rules outlined in the Scottish Access Code are followed.
We’ve highlighted these general rules below, all of which apply to wild camping in Glencoe:
- 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.
With these base principles in mind its easy to see how one could successfully wild camp in Glencoe. There are many walking paths and climbing routes that will lead you to remote tarns, high meadows, and other areas that a wild camp would be appropriate. 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 worth mentioning.
The most popular, especially for walkers, is adjacent to the Kingshouse Hotel. There are several good pitches across the stone bridge from the hotel, and you are encouraged to make use of their facilities.
If you’re considering wild camping the Glencoe 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!
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!