The capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is on many travellers must visit list. The city itself is full of history with a stunning castle and bustling high street. Outside of town you can experience some of the best of the Highlands with a trip to the famous Loch Ness, or a short drive to explore Glen Affric.
Although there is plenty of accommodation in town, we think the best way to experience the region is by spending the night out in your caravan, camper, or tent at one of the many excellent campgrounds in and around Inverness. You’ll have plenty of choices, each carefully outlined in this guide.
Keep reading to find your perfect Inverness campground and start planning that trip to the Highlands today!
In this Post
Before you head out on your Inverness camping trip there are a few things you’ll want to consider. This includes what to bring, what time of year to camp, and if you need an advance booking. We’ve included all that and more in the following sections, so you have the essential information to plan your trip.
Inverness is unique in that there are two campgrounds located within the city, as well as several in the surrounding countryside. That means you’ll have a variety of options and locations to choose from and ultimately you’ll be able to be close to any of the activities you plan to do in the area.
When to camp near Inverness
As with all of the Scottish Highlands, the most popular time to camp near Inverness are the peak summer months from May – August. You’ll enjoy long days, settled weather, and all of the campgrounds and caravan parks will be fully open and operating.
Of course, this is also when places will be at their most crowded and the midges out in full force. Given that, it will be essential to make advance bookings, especially over the Bank Holiday weekends, and also come prepared with midge spray!
The winter sees most of the campgrounds in this guide close down, although some do remain open for the hardy campers out there.
The spring and fall are often some of the most pleasant times to visit the Highlands and camp near Inverness as you’ll still enjoy relatively good weather, but without the crowds that you’ll find in July and August.
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 covers Inverness, Loch Ness, and Culloden, 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!
Of course, by camping near a large city like Inverness you’ll enjoy easy access to shops in case you forgot anything. There are several good outdoor stores in town as well as supermarkets, petrol stations, pubs, and any other essential service you may need.
The key to finding a good campground for your visit to Inverness is to identify what amenities are essential, as well as which location will be the most convenient. Think about what activities you’re planning on as well as what type of campground you’re looking for. From there, use our detailed descriptions as well as map of Inverness campgrounds to select the best choice for your trip.
The map below gives a sense of each of the caravan park and campgrounds locations included in this guide. 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 around Inverness
There are campgrounds aplenty both within Inverness itself as well as in the surrounding countryside. There are options to suit tent campers, motorhomes, and everything in between, so you’re sure to find the perfect pitch for your trip.
From the in town convenience of Bught Park Caravan & Campsite to the stunning location of Bunchrew Caravan Park on the shores of Beauly Firth we’re sure you’ll find your perfect campsite!
Keep reading to learn more.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 1.5 miles / 2.5 km
Camping Options: Caravan & Camper pitches, Tent pitches
Reservations: Essential during summer months.
If proximity to Inverness is what you’re after than the Bught Park Caravan Park & Campsite may be the perfect option for your trip. Located just a 15 minutes walk from the Inverness city centre, this is a great option if you’re looking to explore the castle or check out the adjacent botanical gardens.
Bught Park Campsite is basic, but can accommodate campervans and tens, and each pitch has access to an electric hookup. The facilities here are very basic and a bit dated, but perfectly function and very clean. Amenities are simple and include WiFi, a shower block, laundry facilities, and a small on-site shop.
The River Ness flows right behind the campground and provides a lovely walking path into the centre of town and this is a popular final stop for those camping on the Great Glen Way.
Bught Park Caravan Park & Campsite is typically open from Easter through mid-September. Although it is possible to show up and find a pitch, we recommend making an advance booking, especially during July and August.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 1.5 miles / 2.5 km
Camping Options: Caravan pitches, Motorhome pitches
Another option located on the edge Inverness is the Torvean Caravan Park. This campground only accommodates caravans and motorhomes, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you’re hoping to pitch your tent. However, if its a caravan pitch right along the Caledonian Canal that you’re after Torvean is a perfect choice.
This is a small campground with just 53 individual pitches available with electric hookups. The facilities are basic but good with a toilet/shower block, dishwashing room, and WiFi throughout. The campground is right next to the A82, so there can be a bit of traffic noise.
Torvean Caravan Park is well located for groups who want to explore both Inverness itself as well as the surrounding Highlands. Its a short drive or walk into the city centre, but you also will enjoy quick access to Loch Ness given your location on the south end of town.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 3.5 miles / 6 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, Campervan pitches, Caravan pitches, Glamping Pods
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
The Ardtown Caravan Park is a well-regarded campground on the outskirts of Inverness. The site enjoys tremendous views out over the Moray Firth and is well located for a visit to the Culloden Battlefield. You’ll find well maintained fields to pitch your tent as well as hardstanding pitches with electric hookups for campers and caravans here. The site is also well-equipped to handle larger motorhomes.
The facilities at Ardtower are top notch, with well-maintained shower blocks (with underfloor heating!), a children’s playground, BBQ hut, and covered dishwashing area for those rainy Scotland days.
There is also an on-site cafe that serves up a lovely breakfast as well as pizza in the evenings.
Overall, Ardtower Caravan Park is out top pick for camping near Inverness!
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 4 miles / 6.5 km
Camping Options: Caravan pitches, Tent pitches, Motorhome pitches, Holiday caravans for hire
Located west of Inverness and right on the shores of Beauly Firth you’ll find the Bunchrew Caravan Park. This family-friendly campground has pitches for tents, caravans, and larger motorhomes in a well laid out environment. This is a very peaceful setting in the countryside with great views out over the water.
It’s an easy drive into Inverness from here while also being conveniently located to explore the surrounding region. Amenities are well reviewed and include a well stocked shop selling the essentials, clean shower block, and children’s play area. 50 of the sites have electric hookups as well.
There is a nice, flat field for pitching your tent and the hardstanding pitches for campervans enjoy a bit of privacy here. Overall, Bunchrew is a great option for camping just outside of Inverness and is one of our top picks for families.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 4 miles / 7 km
Camping Options: Self-contained caravan pitches
A new caravan park in the Inverness camping scene, the Kessock Caravan Park is located just north of the city on the Black Isle Peninsula. This is a basic, and somewhat unique caravan park given that they do not have any showers or toilet facilities. As such, this is only likely to work for those in a self-contained caravan or motorhome.
Set next to a Christmas Tree farm, Kessock Caravan Park is only a short distance from the small village of North Kessock. That gives you a good option to stop at the pub or grab a bite if you don’t feel like heading all the way in to Inverness.
There is WiFi available, and some of the hardstanding pitches have electric hookups.
We look forward to seeing how this new caravan park is developed in the coming years and hopefully it will grow into a great new camping option near Inverness!
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 8 miles / 13 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, Caravan pitches, Holiday Caravans for let
Auchnahillin Holiday Park is located southeast of Inverness that can accommodate a limited number of tents and touring caravans. This holiday park’s main business is self-contained static caravans, but they are more than happy to welcome tents and campervans if space is available. The pitches are hardstanding and all feature electric hookups. There is also plenty of flat grass for pitching your tent.
The amenities here for campers are basic but include clean showers, laundry facilities, and an indoor kitchen.
This is a good location if you’re heading north from camping in Aviemore as it’s just off the A9 route that connects the two popular camping destinations.
Best of all, well-behaved dogs are welcome!
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Camping Options: Tent pitches, Campervan pitches, Caravan pitches
The Culloden Moor Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite is located west of Inverness near Culloden Moor. A Caravan & Motorhome Club site, this is perfectly located for a visit to the Culloden Battlefield as well as exploring Inverness. There are hardstanding pitches for campervans and caravans as well as well manicured grassy tent pitches.
There isn’t much in the immediate surrounding area of this campground, which will either be an attractive feature or slight inconvenience depending on your point of view.
Amenities are what you would expect for a Caravan & Motorhome Club site and include electric hookups, a shower and toilet block, and very friendly staff. Prices are very reasonable for the area as well.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 5 miles / 8 km
Camping Options: Glamping Pods
Reservations: Recommended. Find on Airbnb
One of a few ‘non-campgrounds’ that we thought was worth including in this guide are the small glamping pods at Go Glamping Loch Ness. You won’t need to pitch a tent or hookup your campervan here, but rather simply relax and enjoy one of the luxury camping pods on this property south of Inverness.
These stylishly appointed pods have everything you need for your stay, plus many have hot tubs! The perfect choice if you’re ready for a break from sleeping in your tent.
Distance to Inverness Railway Station: 6 miles / 10 km
Camping Options: Holiday caravans for let
Although not really a campground, the Coulmore Bay Caravan Park is a good option if you’re looking for a static holiday caravan rental near Inverness. We won’t go into many details since it is a bit outside the scope of this guide, but we do recommend having a look at Coulmore if you’d like to get out of your tent and enjoy a night or two in a holiday caravan!
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 south from Inverness will bring you to Scotland’s most famous Loch. Not only can you try to spot Nessie, but there is excellent camping to be had here!
- 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.
- Fort William Camping Guide: At the southern end of the Great Glen you’ll find the popular tourist town of Fort William. There are many great campgrounds here all within driving distance of Loch Ness. You can even camp right at the base of Ben Nevis!
Inverness Wild Camping
Wild camping is a Scottish tradition and for trekkers, walkers, or just the adventurous out there, a wild camping trip near Inverness is a trip you’ll never forget.
Of course, understanding the rules, regulations, and basics of wild camping is essential to having a good trip. We’ve compiled some ‘must-know’ Inverness wild camping information in the following sections.
Wild Camping near Inverness
The Inverness area benefits from the permissive land access policies which are memorialized in the Scottish Access Code. 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 Inverness 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 costs by simply pitching your tent at the base of a mountain and claiming it as ‘wild camping’ we recommend you consider other options as in our opinion that goes against the spirit of wild camping.
We don’t provide exact wild camping locations as to not spoil the secret and draw unsustainable visitors, however, we can provide a few good starting places:
- Along the Great Glen Way as it traces Loch Ness
- Southwest of Inverness, near the Cairngorms
If you’re considering wild camping in the Inverness 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!