Considering wild camping near Glasgow? The city, Scotland’s largest and most populous, is surrounded by natural landscapes in all four directions, particularly to the north and south. As a result, finding a great wild camping spot or a scenic campsite near the city is never a challenge – you’re bound to come across such places as soon as you step out of the urban area.
To make the task of finding these places easier for you, I’ve decided to take a closer look at eight great wild camping destinations and eight well-equipped campgrounds near Glasgow – here’s everything you need to know about them:
Map of Wild Camping Areas Near Glasgow
Click on the map icons for more information about each wild camping area. Red icons mark wild camping areas while the blue ones mark designated campsites.
Best Wild Camping Spots Near Glasgow
One of the best – and the most popular wild camping destinations near Glasgow is Meikle Bin, the second-highest peak of the Campsie Fells. The greatest thing about pitching a tent at the summit is the view: on a clear day, you can see all the way to Ailsa Craig and Bass Rock, Scotland’s iconic west coast and east coast rock islands.
The ascent to Meikle Bin is relatively easy and can be completed by anyone reasonably fit. However, it would help if you came here prepared for high winds (up to 50 mph). Only attempt to wild camp at the summit with a durable tent, at least during the colder part of the year.
One of the two bothies on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond (the other being Doune Byre), Rowchoish is a spacious stone building set in dense lochside woodland. The atmosphere of this place is challenging to describe with words – it is so specific that the bothy was featured in several well-known films, including Under the Skin (starring Scarlett Johansson).
The only not-so-good thing about Rowchoish Bothy is its proximity to the West Highland Way – you’ll be lucky to find it empty when you arrive there. Also, approaching the bothy from the south can be difficult, with the trail full of tree roots, large rocks, and small creeks.
Situated less than 15 miles northwest of downtown Glasgow, Kilpatrick Hills are a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway whether you’re into cycling, hiking, wildlife watching, or wild camping. Here, you will find plenty of small lochs to walk around, hills to climb, and ospreys, otters, and red deer to observe.
Another great thing about this area is that you can easily reach it by train (only £4 for a return ticket). Once there, search for a suitable tent-pitching location with great views. You’ll have no trouble finding a spot with spectacular views over River Clyde, Glasgow, and West Dunbartonshire.
Although closer to Edinburgh than Glasgow, Pentland Hills are still relatively easy to reach from Scotland’s biggest city and have plenty of excellent wild camping spots. The area is so extensive that it can take a whole day of hiking to cross it from north to south on foot – finding the perfect tent-pitching location is as easy as it gets.
One of the best places is the top of East Kip, in the east of Pentland Hills. While camping here, you’ll have a great view of Loganlea Reservoir in front of you and Edinburgh far in the distance.
Great Cumbrae is a small island just off the Ayrshire Coast, two miles wide and four miles long. It is often regarded as the country’s most accessible island. To get here, you only have to take a ferry from the seaside town of Largs (32.5 west of downtown Glasgow).
Wild camping on the island is legal as long as it’s done with consideration for humans and wildlife. One of the best spots is Glaid Stone Viewpoint, situated in the middle of Great Cumbrae – it provides spectacular views in all four directions. Just make sure to pitch your tent well away from the trig point, which is well-frequented by tourists and hikers.
Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
Situated just west of Glasgow, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park covers over 100 square kilometres of breathtaking Scottish countryside. It’s a fantastic destination for any wild camper – here, you will find rolling hills, heather moorlands, and lovely little woodlands, all full of wildlife and natural wonders such as waterfalls.
While there are plenty of tent-pitching opportunities in the area, one of the best is Queenside Loch. Not only is wild camping next to this crystal-clear lake an experience on its own but staying there also means being close to some of the park’s most famous points of interest – Windy Hill (to the east), Barytes Mine (to the north), and Garnock Waterfall (to the south).
While further from Glasgow than the other wild camping spots described above, Loch Doon is among Scotland’s most beautiful lakes and a place worthy of a 1-hour drive from the city. It is situated on the northern edge of the Galloway Forest Park – home to magnificent scenery, incredible wildlife, and one of the best places in the country for stargazing (it is designated as a Dark Sky Park).
The only bad thing about Loch Doon is that it’s very touristy. However, you should still be able to find a secluded wild camping location. Check out the spot marked on the map – it provides absolute isolation on the lake’s eastern shore and is close to exploration-worthy waterfalls, creeks, and dense woodlands.
If you’re looking for something really close to Glasgow but still want to have that “remote” feel, Duncolm is an excellent option. Situated just northwest of the city, Duncolm is a 1,316-foot-high hill offering spectacular views of the lights of Glasgow at night and Loch Lomond.
The summit is easily reached from the southwest via Little Duncolm and Middle Duncolm, two subsidiary peaks. Moreover, it is close to two lochs worth walking around – Loch Lilly to the north and Loch Humphrey to the south. Just remember to pack a quality midge repellent!
Best Campsites Near Glasgow
- Distance from Glasgow: 17.5 miles
- Call +44 7494 144 064 to reserve
Situated at the very edge of the magnificent Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, near the famous West Highland Way hiking route, Drymen Camping provides respite from the hustle and bustle of a big city. To reach this place, follow A81 north of the city, take a left after passing Croy Cunningham Farm (after which you’ll cross a bridge over Endrick Water), and you’ll be there in a few minutes. The campground is just south of the village of Drymen.
The best thing about this campsite is its location – it’s an excellent base for exploring Scotland’s most beautiful national park, full of unique habitats, landscapes, and communities. Its proximity to the “gateway to East Loch Lomond,” i.e., the village of Drymen, is yet another of its advantages. It’s a charming, exploration-worthy place where you can stock up on supplies or have a pint at one of its old inns.
The campsite is exceptionally well-equipped, and its facilities have recently been upgraded. In addition, some new ones have been added, like the glamping pods – you can now also stay at the Drymen Campsite as a glamper. The on-site amenities include dishwashing sinks, potable water, toilets, hot walk-in showers, free Wi-Fi, and charging points. There is also a sheltered communal area.
While staying here, you’ll be only minutes away from the shores of Loch Lomond and its countless islands, viewpoints, castles, and picturesque towns and villages. But even if you’re not interested in exploration and would instead spend a few days relaxing away from the busy streets of Glasgow, Drymen Camping is a fantastic option. The lush, green countryside around the campsite is bound to recharge your batteries.
South Whittlieburn Farm
- Distance from Glasgow: 36 miles
- Call +44 1475 675 881 to reserve
South Whittlieburn Farm, a scenic family-run campsite, is tucked away in the countryside west of Glasgow. It is situated only a few miles from the Firth of Clyde, north of the seaside town of Largs. To reach the farm, follow A737 west of the city, switch to A760 near Lochwinnoch, and drive west to Largs. From there, go north via Brisbane Glen Road, and you’ll see the campsite on your left.
Besides being very close to the shoreline of the lower Firth of Clyde, South Whittlieburn Farm is set in the picturesque Brisbane Glen – an ideal place for a long break away from the city. Those staying here will ” share” the campground with the ponies, horses, and cows grazing the surrounding fields. Moreover, visitors can collect the eggs from a flock of free-range hens roaming the campground, purchase them from the farm owners, and prepare them for breakfast. You can also bring your dog here.
In addition to trailer and tent pitches, South Whittlieburn Farm features hot showers, toilets, charging points, recycling, and free Wi-Fi. On the other hand, some nearby amenities include public transport, a farmer’s market, a bar, and a convenience store – going to other places and stocking up on supplies is as easy as it gets. Guests are also close to several stellar hiking trails and canoeing routes.
In addition to exploring the rolling hills of the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park east of South Whittlieburn Farm, visiting the aforementioned seaside town of Largs (a 10-minute drive from the campground) is highly recommended. There, you can stroll along Largs Bay Beach or take a ferry to the island of Great Cumbrae, which is abundant with magnificent viewpoints.
Clyde Valley Caravan Park
- Distance from Glasgow: 26 miles
- Call +44 1555 663 951
Next up is a campsite situated southeast of Glasgow, on the banks of a small river called Mouse Water near the village of Kirkfieldbank. The Campground provides visitors with back-to-basics camping in a tranquil setting backing onto open countryside, with plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and hiking. As its name suggests, it is best suited for campervan/motorhome/caravan campers.
To get here, follow M74 southwest of Glasgow and switch to Lanark Road (A72) at Larkhall. Keep going southwest until you reach the village of Crossford, where you must switch to Nemphlar Road, which will take you straight to the campground. Clyde Valley Caravan Park is in a peaceful wooded area just north of Kirkfieldbank and west of Lanark (a much larger settlement with plenty of shops, taverns, and petrol stations).
While Clyde Valley Caravan Park is one of the region’s best choices for campers with vehicles, it also offers tent pitches. Regarding facilities, the campsite features drinking water, showers, toilets, and chemical disposal. It makes up for the lack of other amenities (such as free Wi-Fi) with its staff’s friendliness and beautiful location. It is surrounded by lush woodland on three sides, with the fourth (southern) side looking over River Clyde.
One of the best things you can do while staying here is follow River Clyde to the south to check out the Falls of Clyde and Bonnington Weir. These natural wonders are just up the river, south of Lanark. Another of the region’s points of interest worth checking is Craignethan Castle, three miles northwest of the campsite. The easiest way to get there is by following the river in the opposite direction, i.e., downstream.
Witches Craig Caravan & Camping Park
- Distance from Glasgow: 30 miles
- Call +44 1786 474 947 to reserve
Behind this interesting name hides one of Scotland’s most-awarded campsites, northeast of Glasgow on the other side of the Firth of Forth. To get there, drive along M80 northeast of the city, switch to A91 before Stirling, and then drive north until you reach the campsite – it’s just to the east of the University of Stirling. You will see the campground on your left-hand side after taking the first exit at the roundabout.
Situated at the foot of the Ochil Hills, Witches Craig Caravan & Camping Park owes its name to a local legend about a coven of witches dancing under the moonlight in the rocky outcrop behind the campground. The same forested hills behind the campsite give this place a very “out-in-the-wild” feel – here, you’ll feel as if you’re far from civilisation, despite the city of Stirling just to the southwest. It’s a serene, tranquil place and an excellent getaway from city life.
Besides its superb location, the reason why Witches Craig is a recipient of multiple awards is the fact that it’s exceptionally well-equipped. Regarding amenities, visitors can expect recycling points, a food preparation area, picnic benches, dish-washing and laundry facilities, electrical hookups, and free Wi-Fi, among other things. Caravans are welcome here – as the campsite’s name suggests – but so are tent campers.
Witches Craig is an excellent base for exploring this part of Scotland. One of the country’s most famous attractions – the National Wallace Monument – is so close that you can see it from the campsite. From here, you can easily explore both shores of the Firth of Forth or head into the wilderness north (the Cairngorms) or west (Loch Lomond) of the campground. However, remember that Witches Craig is not open year-round – only from April to October.
Bonnybridge Eco Camping & Glamping
- Distance from Glasgow: 21 miles
- Call +44 7511 42 0550
Offering camping and glamping, Bonnybridge Campsite has an excellent location for outdoor enthusiasts exploring the central belt of Scotland. It is situated 21 miles northeast of Glasgow, just south of the village of the same name. To get here, leave the city via M80 and switch to A803 between Banknock and Longcroft. Once you reach Bonnybridge, head south through its suburb of High Bonnybridge, and you’ll be at the campsite in no time.
There’s a lot to like about this simple yet spacious and well-equipped campground. It’s an excellent option for tent campers seeking to stay far away from the noise of campervans, motorhomes, and caravans – no such vehicles are allowed at the site (the same goes for motorcycles). And, as its name suggests, this is an eco campsite – almost everything here runs on wind turbines and solar panels.
Besides standard tent pitches and glamping pods, Bonnybridge Campsite provides visitors with several convenient facilities. These include a shower & toilet block, a parent & baby washroom, a recycling station, charging points, fire pits, a playpark, a small shop selling essentials, and a “doggy bar” for canine visitors. Two important things to point out here are that the restrooms are unisex and that there are only 15 pitches at the site, although there’s a lot of space between them.
Bonnybridge Campsite offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is close to several fantastic hiking and cycling trails. From here, you can easily reach both the Firth of Forth and its attractions (like Blackness Castle) and the Campsie Fells north of Glasgow. If you’re seeking a not-so-crowded campground close to most of what southern Scotland offers, this one is an excellent option.
For those who’ve been captivated by the charm of Bonnybridge but are also intrigued by the allure of island camping, the campsites of Isle of Mull beckon. Just a ferry ride away, this enchanting island offers a blend of rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and mystical woodlands. Whether you’re keen on spotting wildlife, exploring ancient castles, or simply soaking in the tranquil sea views, the Isle of Mull provides a magical camping experience that contrasts and complements the mainland’s offerings.
West Highland Way Campsite
- Distance from Glasgow: 11.5 miles
- Call +44 7488 261 730 to reserve
One of the most famous campsites near Glasgow is undoubtedly West Highland Way Campsite. Situated next to this popular hiking trail, the campground is a recipient of multiple awards and a fantastic place to stay if you’re seeking something close to the city. Reaching this place is as easy as it gets: drive north via Balmore Road, switch to Craigmaddie Road at Bardowie Loch, and keep going north until you reach Strathblane – the campsite is just to the west of the village.
Besides its proximity to the West Highland Way, this campground features plenty of other advantages – it is spacious, surrounded by lush woodland, and a short drive from Strathblane, where guests can stock up on supplies. It is an excellent base for exploring the Campsie Fells and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, both of which are close to the campground. This place is situated next to a hotel of the same name – if you ever get tired of sleeping in a tent, book a room.
Various accommodation options are available at the West Highland Way Campsite. These include wild camping pitches (located in the woodland), non-electric grass pitches, electric hardstanding pitches, furnished bell tents, and a romantic shepherd’s hut. Regarding facilities, guests can expect a communal BBQ, electric & water hookups, drinking water, showers, toilets, laundry, TVs, and a laundrette. A cosy on-site restaurant also provides visitors with breakfasts, lunches, and evening meals.
One particularly good thing about the West Highland Way Campsite is that it allows guests to arrange their participation in various activities right there at the campground. The best include golf, yoga, fishing, horse riding, falconry, and 4×4 Highland tours. The campsite is open year-round and is held in high regard by both WHW campers and people who want to get off the grid for a few days – it is, after all, one of the best places of this type near Glasgow.
For adventurers seeking a deeper connection with the Scottish wilderness, camping along the West Highland Way is an unparalleled experience. These designated wild camping spots allow trekkers to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the highland landscape up close. It’s a truly authentic way to immerse oneself in the heart of the region.
Seal Shore Campsite
- Distance from Glasgow: 60 miles
- Call +44 1770 820 320 to reserve
Are you looking for something a bit more adventurous? If so, Seal Shore Campsite, situated on the southern shore of the Isle of Arran, should be at the top of your list. Out of all the campsites described in the article, this one is the furthest from Glasgow, but undertaking a 3-hour trip by car, ferry, and bus to get there is worth it. Providing its visitors with unsurpassed sea views and many convenient facilities, Seal Shore Campsite is a unique place to spend a few days and make unforgettable memories.
As mentioned above, getting here from Glasgow is trickier when compared to journeys to the other campgrounds discussed in this article. Leave the city west via A737, switch to B714 at Dalry, and then drive south to Saltcoats. There, you’ll want to take a ferry at the Ardrossan Ferry Terminal (a 1.5-hour ride) and get out at Brodick, the island’s capital. You can take a bus (322, 323, or 323A) or drive south via A841 (the route that circles Arran) to the campsite.
Once you get there, you will encounter a small, quiet, family-run campground featuring a beach and providing guests with magnificent views stretching to the coast of Northern Ireland. Moreover, visitors can also see the coast of Ayrshire, the Ailsa Craig (a volcanic plug of granite), the Kintyre peninsula, and Pladda Island with its (still active) 18th-century lighthouse. Seal Shore Campsite is undoubtedly a dream come true for those seeking majestic views.
Campers can choose between tent and motorhome pitches. Both types of pitches are supplied with electric hookups. There are also glamping units and convenient facilities such as drinking water taps, showers, on-site laundry, an on-site shop, chemical disposal, toilets, recycling points, a kid’s playground, and Wi-Fi access. Regarding activities, guests can engage in table tennis, wild swimming, fishing, or just relaxing at the beach – all available on-site.
If the allure of island camping has piqued your interest, imagine pitching your tent amidst the dense woodlands of Dumfries & Galloway Forest Park. As an alternative, this vast forested expanse offers an enchanting backdrop for wild camping enthusiasts. Dive deep into its serene lochs and whispering trees, and discover a camping experience that’s both intimate and wildly liberating.
- Distance from Glasgow: 25 miles
- Call +44 1360 870 234
The last on my list of campsites near Glasgow is Cashel Campsite, nestled on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. As an open campground in Scotland’s most famous national park, this place provides guests with unrivalled access to everything this country offers: from crystal-clear lochs to ancient Highland forests. It’s one of the best campsites in this part of Scotland and an ideal spot for a weekend break from city living.
To reach Cashel Campsite from Glasgow, head north via A809 and switch to B837 at Drymen (where you can also stay at Drymen Camping, which I’ve described above). From there, keep driving northwest until you reach the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and then follow the shoreline northwards till you reach the campground. It’ll be on your left-hand side, right next to the famous West Highland Way trekking route.
The best thing about this place is its unforgettable views of the loch and the surrounding mountains. Moreover, those staying here have direct access to Loch Lomond – you can easily rent a boat or a canoe and embark on an island-exploring adventure all over the lake. And while it’s undoubtedly an excellent option for the more adventurous campers, Cashel Campsite is also a great destination for folks seeking peace and harmony. It offers ultimate seclusion and tranquillity due to its lochside location.
Cashel Campsite welcomes tent, campervan, caravan, and motorhome campers – it has pitches for everyone. Its facilities include drinking tap water, dishwashing, wash basins, charging sockets, laundry, a chemical waste disposal point, a children’s play area, showers, toilets, special accessible facilities, and fishing spots. There is also an on-site shop (serving coffee, among other things) and two pubs approximately four miles away. Dogs are welcome at the campground.
Where to Next?
A few of the wild camping spots/campsites described above are in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, one of Scotland’s most cherished natural treasures.
To learn more about the best tent-pitching spots in this breathtaking nature reserve, check out my guide on wild camping at Loch Lomond.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.