ScotlandGlampingNature

Glamping in Scotland | open fires, mountain views and toasted marshmallows

By , 22nd August 2018

Glamping in Scotland means getting close to nature in the rugged Caledonian landscape without sacrificing your creature comforts. We’ve selected some the finest glamping sites where you can breathe in the fresh mountain air and embrace the wilderness in style.

You’ll be able to take a refreshing shower after a hike in the Highlands, toast marshmallows around the campfire in a forest or indulge in some healthy competition with board games together after a day exploring. Our diverse collection of idyllic accommodation offers everything from authentic, fully furnished Mongolian yurts to solar-powered cabins and striking contemporary camping pods.

A modern glamping pod near Scotland’s largest Highland city

Inverness Glamping, Stirling

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Coming back to your cool, contemporary wooden pod at Inverness Glamping is a real treat. You have all the comforts of home and you’re within easy reach of the Highlands and the city. After a long hike in the hills, freshen up in your pod’s shower before settling down around the fire pit. While you trade stories about your recent adventures, you can look out over Moray Firth to the Black Isle. Alternatively, you can put your feet up in the sitting area, catch up on the news over Wi-Fi or watch an old movie on the flat-screen TV.

Just 10 minutes’ drive from Inverness station, this peaceful spot is a lush rural idyll of hilltop views. It’s set in a farmhouse, where a brood of friendly chickens roam free. If you’re looking for wildlife, explore the waters of Moray Firth with a boat trip from Inverness where, with the help of an expert guide, you can spot playful dolphins leaping in the inlet. Don’t miss the city’s sights, from the view at the top of the castle tower to the highland history at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

To really go back in time, visit the atmospheric battlefield where the Jacobite rebels made their final stand at Culloden – immersive cinema takes you into the thick of the fighting in 1745. The battlefield is a quick 5-minute drive from the campsite. TV and history aficionados should also head out to nearby Clava Cairns (an 8 minute drive), this mysterious Bronze Age burial site is also a filming location for the TV series Outlander.

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A cool glamping micro-lodge in Scotland for nature lovers

Glamping Pods | Glencoe

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Glencoe is a magical place for nature lovers, with craggy mountains that are home to the golden eagle. When you’re staying in a stylish, snug micro-lodge, you can easily go in search of these magnificent birds on foot – or hire a bike from the campsite. Roam or ride over undulating peaks and through pine forests, then watch the sun bathe the dramatic summit of Buchaille Etive Mor in glowing reds and pinks as it sets in the evening. There are fast-paced activities to try as well, such as high-speed tubing down the hills in the summer, or sledging in the winter months.

You can bring your own tent, but thanks to the secure, well-insulated glamping pods with beds and comfortable mattresses, all you really need is a sleeping bag for a restful night. Each cylindrical wooden pod can sleep up to four people, so they’re ideal for family breaks or a getaway with friends (pets are welcome too). Charge up your phone and cameras at the electrical points so you don’t miss an eagle sighting and share it with friends over the campsite Wi-Fi. Onsite showers are just the thing to refresh yourself after a long hike.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, head to Fort William, a 45-minute drive away across Highland scenery and the shores of Loch Linnhe. There you can discover the history of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion at the West Highland Museum or take an authentic steam train to the wild west coast.

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A historic yurt for glamping in serene southern Scotland

Ettrick Valley Yurts, Ettrickbridge

Stay under the stars in one of Ettrick Valley‘s plush, spacious Mongolian yurts. These forest green tents blend in seamlessly with the verdant, rolling landscape and offer raised decks where you can sit back and enjoy the serene views of sheep grazing on the slopes.

Behind a traditional painted door (which can be securely locked) you’ll find colourful rugs, sofas with soft cushions and beds complete with fresh linen and plenty of cosy blankets. If you’ve got caught in a downpour mid-walk, you can warm up afterwards by a cosy wood-burning stove. Outside you can relax at a picnic table while you barbecue your camping specialities – whether it’s home-made kebabs or you’re toasting sandwiches. Afterwards, share stories around the fire pit and spot the glittering constellations overhead. Just a short walk from your yurt you’ll find toilets and hot showers. Nearby you’ll find an honesty shop where you can also borrow books and games to keep the family occupied.

Paddle in the stream which flows through the valley in summer, or head to the River Ettrick – if you buy a fishing permit you can even catch yourself some trout or salmon to roast later on. The undulating roads here are made for cyclists, and for the more adventurous, there’s a mountain-biking course through forests at Glentress. On leisurely days, take a 10 minute drive to the Cross Keys pub for real ale and pub favourites such as steak and Guinness pie. Finish up with a dram – it may take some time to decide what to try as there are more than 100 whiskies here. Culture buffs can explore local history with a visit to ruined Dryburgh Abbey, burial place of Ivanhoe author Sir Walter Scott. It’s around a 50 minute drive to this 12th-century gem where you can still see the remains of paintwork and plaster.

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A glamping spot at a farm on Scotland’s northern tip

Bower Wigwam | Wick

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Stay on this working farm and you might even get to feed the baby lambs. Bower Wigwam is packed full of back-to-nature experiences – buy fresh eggs from the farm for breakfast and stock up on firewood to stoke the barbecue and fire pit for outdoor cook sessions. Although you’re located in the serenity of Wick, at the northern tip of Scotland, you can keep in touch with the Wi-Fi in your cabin. There’s also a fully equipped kitchenette (featuring a fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle and cooker) in each cabin, plus a full-sized kitchen in the deluxe accommodation. So after you’ve explored the nearby beaches and dunes, you can make some chunky soup to warm up after a late paddle.

Golf courses at Wick and Thursoe are just 10 minutes’ drive away and there’s dramatic surfing on the nearby north coast. Afterwards, you can hang your wetsuit to dry in the farmhouse’s boiler room. The beach and shops are just 4 miles away in Castletown, so it’s easy to stock up with burgers from the local butcher for grilling under the stars. Alternatively, take a break from cooking with a 20 minute drive to Thursoe’s restaurants for locally-landed fish dishes such as crayfish, lobster and salmon at Bydand.

The campsite is right at the top of Scotland’s northern tip, which also means you can take a trip to John O’Groats (around a 25 minute drive). On arrival you’ll see the striking white and yellow Duncansby Head Lighthouse looking out over dramatic spires of rock. From April to July, birdwatchers can spot puffins along the coastline, while in the winter months, if you’re lucky, you can see the vast skies over Caithness illuminated by the elusive Northern Lights.

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A secluded forest retreat for glamping in Scotland

The Prancing Pony | Dornoch

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Located near the flowing waters of Kyle of Sutherland, and set in the heart of the lush 20 acre pine forest, the Prancing Pony offers an exceptionally peaceful experience for you and your companions. This self-sufficient, eco-friendly getaway is constructed from a vintage horse trailer and is completely off the grid, with a log burner for warmth, a shower fed by captured rain and solar panels providing lighting and power. But you don’t need to be completely out of touch: USB ports mean you can still keep your phone charged. There’s also a special area for campfires, so you can set up a comforting blaze to toast your marshmallows on.

Bring your bike along and try out your skills on the rugged mountain trails, or stay grounded by hiking through the untouched woodland to the background of birdsong and deer calls. If you’re a knowledgeable forager, go hunting for mushrooms – you might also meet the crofters’ ponies and piglets and be able pet them through the fence.

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Nearby Bonar Bridge, 6 minutes’ drive away, has an artisan butcher where you can stock up with breakfast sausages or home-made burgers to sizzle on your camping stove. Or treat yourself to a hearty meal out and visit the town’s award-winning Crannag Bistro for dishes such as Shetland scallops. Just 20 minutes away, you can see the annual sight of leaping salmon on the upstream migration at the Falls of Shin. Alternatively, take to the water yourself and kayak along the web of local rivers.

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Not sure if glamping is for you? Then settle on a modernised Highland cottage

BCC Loch Ness | Drumnadrochit

Moments from the rushing waters of the River Enrick, which flows into the legendary Loch Ness, this collection of charming rural cottages make a cosy base camp for exploring the rolling hills and forests of Glen Urquhart. Its peaceful location is only 35 minutes’ drive from Inverness, so you’re in reach of a farmers’ market selling local cheeses and fresh fish, boutique shops packed with cosy woollens and city restaurants serving dishes like Highland beef and Shetland mussels.

Each individually named cottage is pristine white, and set in its own decking or patio area with views of the surrounding hills, river and ancient woodland. Step through the door of Brocks Cottage, and you’ll be greeted by cherry red Italian leather sofas, light oak flooring and stylish contemporary lighting for a luxury ambience. Spend an evening getting competitive at classic family games like Scrabble, or watch a film on the large HDTV before curling up in your tartan-decked four-poster bed.

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A short, 20 minute walk along the winding river you’ll find the shimmering waters of Loch Meikle. Or hop in the car for 15 minutes (camera and binoculars at the ready) to reach the famous Loch Ness. Even if you don’t spot Nessie, the glassy water surrounded by craggy hills still takes your breath away. Stop off at the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle that overlook the loch and discover nearly 1,000 years of Scottish history, including a replica of a medieval siege engine.

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