Camping in Rowardennan, Scotland is a lovely way to experience the beauty of Loch Lomond. This small, secluded area has several excellent opportunities for camping, which we’ve outlined in this guide. Whether you’re basing yourself for a climb up Ben Lomond, or pitching your tent while walking the West Highland Way, Rowardennan is one of our favorite camping destinations in all of Scotland.
In this guide, we’ve outlined all of the campground opportunities in one of the area’s loveliest destinations.
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Camping near Rowardennan is popular with walkers, touring campervans, and families enjoying their holiday. The West Highland Way travels right through Rowardennan, so this is a popular spot for thru hikers to pitch their tent. In addition, the main route to the top of Ben Lomond leaves from Rowardennan, so many enjoy a night of camping before and after their climb.
We’ve outlined all of your options for camping here in the following section and you can also refer to the Rowardennan camping map below to get a sense of each campground’s location.
Camping in & around Rowardennan
There are four unique campsites south of Rowardennan that make the most sense for camping in the area. These four all offer a unique experience, including a wild camping area, a basic campsite, as well as two caravan parks. Whether you’re camping on the West Highland Way or simply looking to enjoy a holiday on Loch Lochmond, you’ll find the perfect place to pitch up.
Lochan Maoil Dhuinne Camping Management Zone
Camping Options: Tent pitches only
Reservations: Camping permit required from 1st March – 30th September
Introduced in 2017, the Lochan Maoil Dhuinne Camping Management Zone is part of a network of designated wild camping areas in Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Lochan Maoil Dhuinne is located right on the shores of Loch Lomond, just a short distance south from Rowardennan.
This is a tent-only camping area, and is very popular for those walking the West Highland way, as it is just off the main trail. Lochan Maoil Dhuinne is perfect for those looking for a quiet, secluded experience camping on the shores of Loch Lomond that is within easy walking distance of Rowardennan.
A permit is required to camp at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne from March 1st – September 30th each year, when camping restrictions are in place. Permits can be obtained by visiting the Loch Lomond-Trossachs webpage here.
The permit process basics are outlined below:
- Permits currently cost £4 per tent
- Permits are bookable for up to three nights
- You may camp anywhere in the chosen permit area, there are no specific sites
There are no restroom or drinking water facilities at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne, with the closest facilities located in Rowardennan, approximately 1.5 km north along the West Highland Way.
There is room for a total of five tents here, so it is best to reserve your permit as far in advance as possible.
Camping Options: Tent pitches only
The Sallochy Campsite is located south of Rowardennan on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. This is another popular spot for West Highland Way walkers, but also attracts families looking for a basic camping experience near Rowardennan. Sallochy can be accessed via car, making it a better option than Lochan Maoil Dhuinne for those who aren’t on a multi-day walk.
Sallochy is a basic campground designed to give the feel of wild camping, but with access to a few more amenities. This includes a composting toilet as well as drinking water source. Beach access on Loch Lomond is also nearby, so this makes a lovely place to pitch up and enjoy a few days along the loch.
Advance bookings are essential at Sallochy, given the site is popular with walkers as well as families on holiday. The campsite is open from April 1st – October 31st each year, and bookings can be made below:
Click here to make a booking for Sallochy Campsite
We recommend booking one of the ‘loch-side’ campsites as these are quieter and more secluded compared to the main tent-pitching area.
Each pitch at Sallochy can accommodate up to two tents and four people. Services in Rowardennan are only a 3 mile walk along the West Highland Way, or just a short drive along the C6 motorway.
Camping Options: Tent pitches, campervan & touring caravan pitches
Reservations: Essential during summer months
The closest proper camping & caravan site to Rowardennan is the Cashel Campsite, located just over 4 miles south of Rowardennan. This is a lovely campground located on the shores of Loch Lomond with stunning views out across the water.
There are 168 pitches at Cashel, including many that are hardstanding with electric hookups.
There is also a well-maintained shower and toilet block here along with many walking paths that can be accessed right from the campground. Additionally, you can enjoy access to Loch Lomond directly from your pitch while being close to both Rowardennan and Balmaha both of which have basic services available.
Milarrochy Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Camping Options: Tent pitches, campervan & caravan pitches
The furthest campsite near Rowardennan in this guide is the Milarrochy Bay Camping & Caravanning Club Site, which is located approximately 5.5 miles from Rowardennan. This is a well-regarded campground that is best for those travelling in a campervan, caravan, or with a large tent. The campground is right on Loch Lomond, with a variety of pitches available to suit most needs.
In addition to the camping pithces, Milarrochy Bay also has a boat launch, and easy access to many walks and other outdoor activities.
Although primarily geared towards campervans, walkers are always welcome at Milarrochy and can take advantage of the covered backpacker facilities when the weather turns foul.
This is a convenient place to camp for easy access to Rowardennan as well as the area surrounding Loch Lomond as you’re just off the main road here.
Looking for more camping & caravan parks in the area?
For those interested in more camping options in the Scottish Highlands, check out some of our additional guides below
- Glencoe Camping Guide: Heading north from Rowardennan and Loch Lomond will bring you to this popular outdoor destination.
- Fort William Camping Guide: The final stop along the West Highland Way, Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK and has several excellent campgrounds. You can even camp right at the base of Ben Nevis!
Rowardennan Wild Camping
Traditional wild camping is not permitted along the shores of Loch Lomond near Rowardennan between March 1st and September 30th. However, as mentioned above there are ‘Camping Management Zones’ within Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park where a wild camping experience can be had.
The closet to Rowardennan is the Lochan Maoil Dhuinne Camping Management Zone, which is described in detail in the section above. Outside of this area wild camping is prohibitted in the immediate area surrounding Rowardennan during peak season.
During the winter months (October – February) wild camping is allowed near Rowardennan and along the length of Loch Lomond. However, you’ll need to be prepared for cold, snow, and short days if you plan to wild camping during this time period.
Additionally, wild camping near Rowardennan is only for those who are on a multi-day walk, cycle trip, or other outdoor adventure that will have you setting up late and leaving early.
If you’re on holiday and simply looking for a free place to pitch your tent, you would be much better off simply finding a pitch at one of the many camping & caravan parks in the region.
If you do plan to wild camp with a permit, you’ll want to first familiarize yourself with the main principles of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which we’ve outlined below:
- The Scottish Outdoor 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.
For more information, read the helpful guide published by the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority here.
What to Bring
We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items for camping near Rowardennan:
- 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 Rowardennan as well as much of Loch Lomond.
- 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 along Loch Lomond is almost synonymous with midges. Be sure to pack some bug repellent to fight off these tiny nuisances!
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!