Western Isles of Scotland - campsites, wilding etc.

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by cbrown1360, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. cbrown1360

    cbrown1360 Funster

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    We're heading off to Arran in late April for a wedding and then plan to explore Kintyre, Oban, Ardnamurchan and possibly Skye if time permits. We're slightly concerned about legality / availability of wild camping in Scotland so would appreciate any advice / suggestions. Also any recommendations of good CC / CCC sites.

    Thanks
     
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  2. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Scotland is a haven for wild camping. We very rarely use a site. Park anywhere sensibly and take your rubbish with you.

    If you like cycling try the Isle of Cumbrae. Ferry fares are cheaper now everywhere too.
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    As said.. there are many great places to stop for a night.. there are also many small sites that I like to use to support the local communities...

    we also like to buy food and provisions from local shops..

    just bear in mind, the laws for parking and or camping on private or public land are the same in Scotland as England and Wales..

    The 'Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, more commonly called the 'right to roam act ' does not apply to a motorhome.

    http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/The-Act-and-the-Code/Legal
     
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  4. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Not quite so simple I believe...

    Under Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 there is a right of responsible non-motorised access, for recreational and other purposes, to land and inland water throughout Scotland with few exceptions. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code sets out where access rights apply and what you can do within access rights. It also describes where you cannot go in exercising access rights, such as fields of crops or the gardens of houses.

    You are not entitled to drive a motor vehicle onto private land. Therefore it follows that you can not drive onto private land to wild camp. I know of at least one landowner who drives around the pubic roads that cross his land and charges any one in a motorhome or campervan who has driven off the public road onto his land to camp.

    You must remember that many roads in the Highlands are unfenced and the land adjacent to the road is actually private.

    Public land is a different matter.

    However always be mindful of what others may think of your activities. Just a few days ago there were people legally wild camping in a tent near to our village and the mess and rubbish that they left behind is a disgrace (I am going to clear it up myself this weekend). Local people often do not differentiate between people camping in a tent or a motorhome so please go out of your way to be polite and reasonable or you (like the idiots in the tent that I have mentioned) may unintentionally spoil things for others.

    Also as Scotjimland mentioned - shop local. Is it any wonder that some people complain of visitors coming up into the Highlands in motorhomes (in increasingly large numbers) clogging up the roads and parking in beauty spots and then NOT spending any money locally.

    Don't be one of them, please come and enjoy our beautiful countryside, but remember that a bit of pay-back into the local community goes a long way. :)

    Oddly enough I often hear people complain that there are not many campsites up here. Well, why would you open one when some people seem to expect to visit the area and camp for free anywhere they please?

    KH

    I suspect this will not be a popular post so I shall retreat to my bunker for a while! :)

    KH
     
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  5. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    @Photo4x4 Parking on someones land would be not sensible just stupid! :)
     
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  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Loch Lomond is perfect example... wild camping, including sleeping in camper vans or cars is now banned on the east side due to the rubbish and mess left behind and the illegal chopping down of trees for firewood..




    I'm afraid there is no such thing as 'common' land.. All land belongs to someone, be they a private land owner, council, church, etc.. they don't take kindly to people camping without permission. . no more than you or I would if someone parked on your garden without permission.

    All that said.. there are plenty of lay-bys and parking places in beautiful locations that no one will bother you provided you don't outstay your welcome or turn it into a campsite.. obey No Camping or No Overnight parking signs whether you think they are legal or not.. as I understand all the illegal ones have been removed in the Highlands.

    Enjoy Scotland.. it is truly a wild and beautiful place with welcoming people.. lets keep it that way..
     
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  7. ambulancekidd

    ambulancekidd Funster

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    Put perfectly Scotjimland, Scots like anyone else are hoping that tourism brings financial gain & the very pleasant ability to meet new people from other parts of our beautiful British isles. When wild camping its always nice to see others doing the same thing but, one of the best bits of a Scottish trip is that total solitude is not difficult to find.

    Please enjoy your stay & hope that the dreaded midges don't pester you too much.

    Robert.
     
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  8. bryandh

    bryandh Funster

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    @cbrown1360 If you are on Facebook, search Scottish Motorhome Wildcampers for as much info as you will ever need.

    Bryan
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  9. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    a little off your planned route for this trip, but I can't recommend the Western Isles too highly

    http://www.westharristrust.org/camping-2/camping/

    they even suggest you wild camp on Harris at selected places with a token donation

    we like to use a mix of sites and wild
     
  10. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Just put some water in the tank, off tomorrow with ferry booked Oban to Castlebay on Monday, don't know when we are coming back. Intend to do Western Isles South to North then Skye. Important stop is Mallaig to get kippers at Race's fish shop near the harbour.
     
  11. sinbad

    sinbad Funster

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    Our first trip was to the Western isles and we had no problem wild camping. If you feel safer with others then you can guarantee there will be other motorhomes at any lighthouse carpark or harbour. There are even places encouraging wild camping and the place on Harris that asks for a donation couldn't be any more stunning.
    I don't know if you will find wild camping near Oban but they do have a very nice campsite south of the town. Had no issues camping in the carparks of some of the towns. The carpark in Portree on Skye said no overnight parking but it was full of motorhomes. I did this all in mid summer so in April it will be a lot less busy.
    I loved it and I am sure you will.
     
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  12. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Know the west coast very well, been trying to get out to the isles for years but the weather always defeated us. This time we have made a decision that if the weather turns bad we'll just sit tight till it clears. For Oban we stay at North Ledaig, we have family in Fort William so can visit them at the weekend.
     
  13. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Currently on North Uist at Balranald Campsite, words cannot describe the weather and scenery. Moving on to Harris Thursday. The dog is getting fed up with beach walks, sitting here waiting for another beautiful sunset. Seen lots of vans, any funster's about?
     
  14. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    I agree with everything @scotjimland and @Photo4x4 have said completely. Being mindful that you are not being a nuisance or taking liberties is the best advice I could give, tidy up a bit before you leave (other folks mess I mean) and move on if it doesn't feel right or any hint of signs that suggest it's not an appropriate place.

    It is difficult sometimes to know if you may have hauled up onto a piece of private land where a landowner or someone else might object to you stopping for the night. Thinking back, probably most of the spots I have chosen have been marked up fairly clearly as a parking area, on tarmac or similar. I would only ever use as long as it's almost devoid of any other vehicles and I'm not hogging it! Sometimes it's just a little pull over from the road and occasionally somewhere magnificent we've just stumbled upon, like this spot almost on the beach on Orkney.

    10502105_735397896552325_9131232300790619162_n.jpg
     
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