If you’re visiting Loch Ness and really want to immerse yourself in the beauty and nature surrounding this famous loch in Scotland then camping is a great way to do this.
Loch Ness camping includes a mix of camping styles. There’s tent camping, RV and campervan camping with hook ups and more facilities, glamping where you’ll stay in a more solid structure, or a tent with real beds and mattresses such as wigwam tents or yurts and geodesic domes, and wild camping on Loch Ness which is my preferred way to camp by the loch.
The type of Loch Ness camping you choose will depend on how you’re travelligng. Are you in a campervan or RV, or are you walking and hiking, or are you visiting with kids and need more of a base camp?
Below, I’ve gone into detail about all these different types of camping in Loch Ness and given you details on how to book these campsites Loch Ness has, where to find wild camping spots near Loch Ness and more.
If you’re not into camping, be sure to check out these lodges on Loch Ness with hot tubs instead!
Table of Contents
Map of the best Loch Ness campsites
I’ve listed all these camping spots on my Loch Ness campsite map. You’ll also see my list of the best thing to do on Loch Ness such as the best hikes and waterfalls.
Simply click the image below (or here) to open up the map and view it in your own Google Maps app or account.
Best Loch Ness Camping Spots
Though Loch Ness is one of the biggest lochs in the UK, there are limited camping and caravan parks along the banks of the loch.
Three of the main options for camping at Loch Ness are Loch Ness Bay near Drumnadrochit, Inver Coille Camping (just for tents), and Loch Ness Shores Camping & Caravanning Club Site on the loch’s eastern edge.
There are also acouple of other camping areas that are less well known as well as glamping pods and tents and wild camping locations near Loch Ness.
Loch Ness Bay Camping
Loch Ness Bay Camping is in Drumnadrochit and is one of the best and biggest campsites near Loch Ness.
At this Drumnadrochit campsite you’ll get a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills and you’re within walking distance of the loch and the village. In the village you’ll find conveniences such as a small shop for milk and tea and whatever else you may have forgotten.
When you stay here you can choose between electric and non-electric pitches suitable for tents, caravans, and motorhomes. There are also all essential amenities such as drinking water, waste disposal, coin-operated laundry included and there’s free WiFi through the campsite too.
You’re also super close to the faous Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness which is just 15 minutes walk away at this Loch Ness caravan park. Or you can find Loch Ness boat cruises and walks around the loch almost right from the campsite too.
These Loch Ness camping prices are quite reasonable to starting at £28.50 for electric pitches and £20.50 for non-electric. Children under five stay free, and pets are welcome for a small additional fee.
Inver Coille Camping & Glamping
Over on the western shores of Loch Ness, Inver Coille is a family-run campsite located between Fort Augustus and Invermoriston, right off the A82.
You cannot camp here in a vehicle, it’s only suitable for tent campers.
You’ll find modern and clean shower rooms and toilets onsite which is great if you’ve been out walking in the hills all day and are desperate for a shower!
If you prefer, you can also do some glamping here as the site has some glamping pods, domes and timber and bell tents.
The glamping pods and tents here include little luxuries like a bed with a proper mattress, hot water bottles and extra blankets for colder evenings. Some of them also have kitchenettes.
This campsite is pretty close to Fort Augustus and the small, pretty village of Invermoriston which means it’s in a great location for getting some basics while you’re enjoying your camping trip on Loch Ness.
Loch Ness Camping and Caravan Site
Loch Ness Shores is right by the famous Loch Ness as the name would suggest.
Here, you’ll wake up and be surrounded by trees with Loch Ness just a few steps away! Plus, there’s the cute village called Foyers is nearby where you can visit the Falls of Foyers which are one of the best things to see near Loch Ness.
You can bring your tent, van, or mobile home for camping here and there are electric hook ups available too if needed.
There are also some Wigwam cabins that sleep 4-5 people if you’d rather stay in more of a solid structre.
At this Loch Ness campground you’ll find clean showers and bathrooms. And, for kids, there’s a fun play area. They also have shops nearby and there are covered eating areas where you can go to eat of play games if it rains, which, let’s face it, is pretty likely when camping in Scotland.
It’s a beautiful, calm place with awesome views and everything you need for a great camping trip.
Dave’s Rest is a decent spot for camping near Loch Ness if you have a camper van or caravan.
It’s not exactly a campsite, but it’s a good spot to park and sleep for the night.
You’ll find this overnight parking spot for Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit, it’s a great choice if you’re travelling between places like Fort William and Inverness.
You can’t set up tents here and it’s not the most picturesque spot but there are some facilties which is a bit of a bonus.
You’ll find showers and washrooms, there’s drinking water available as well as RV dumps for waste.
It’s affordable too and for an etra £5 a night you can get an electric hookup. You can’t reserve in advance, just roll up.
Abriachan Cafe & Campsite
For a unique camping experience, check out Abriachan Cafe & Campsite.
It’s off the usual routes that many visitors to Loch Ness visit and can be found along the Great Glen Way so its for those who have been cycling (bikepacking) or walking
The facilties are quite basic, and honestly it’s more like wild camping than the other campsites above, but there is a great onsite cafe. Don’t leave without trying their delicious lemon cake with a cup of tea!
While it might not have all the modern facilities some will want, I personally like this style of camping and the warmth and friendliness from the owners make it worth visiting.
It’s a great place to feel the true spirit of the Scottish Highlands and make friends with locals.
Loch Ness Glamping
Camping Pod Heaven
Camping Pod Heaven is a great place to go camping near Loch Ness.
On the western side of the loch, this glampsite has individual camping pods where you’ll find a bed with a mattress, a heater, light and 6 amps of electricity for charging things like mobile phones. You also have access to a shared washroom and shower area.
Some people call them hobbit huts and they’re pretty cute.
Since it’s glamping have to pack camping including your cooking stove, a headlamp and your sleeping bags. cookers, torches, and sleeping bags. You can rent a bed pack for £10 otherwise.
There’s free WiFi, some picnic tables, and a gorgeous natural setting to enjoy.
Previous guests have said the price is good, the facilities are clean, and the pods are cozy, although they can get a bit too hot in the summer if you want to keep the door shut to keep the midges at bay.
The Cabin Stronua
The Cabin at Stronua is a lovely one-bedroom cabin with scenic mountain views for glamping on Loch Ness.
It’s a peaceful retreat that comes with all the comforts you’d want: a kitchenette, TV, comfy seating area, and a bathroom. It’s also equipped with free WiFi and private parking.
These Loch Ness camping cabins have a great location and are close yet far enough away from Fort Augustus that you’re not affected by the nosie and crowds in the town.
There’s also an outdoor sitting area where guests can relax.
Loch Ness Woodland Pods
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, the Loch Ness Woodland Pods in Drumnadrochit might be just what you’re searching for.
These pods offer a fantastic view of the garden and come with free WiFi and private parking.
Each pod is equipped with a full kitchen, TV, and a private bathroom.
Previous guests have loved the cleanliness of the pods, the peace and tranquility of the location, and the helpfulness of the hosts. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll might also spot birds, squirrels, and get to say hello to a couple of friendly cats!
Loch Ness Glamping
On the expansive grounds of the Great Glen Bed & Breakfast, Loch Ness Glamping offers 6 glamping pods.
Staying here you’re in easy distance to the western shores of Loch Ness so it’s perfect if you want to stay close to the loch but stay somewhere that’s a bit more comfortable than camping.
Each pod has amenities including kitchenettes, underfloor heating, and there’s also a BBQ zone with a picnic table.
For a touch of luxury, opt for the ‘Posh Pod’, complete with a full kitchen, flat-screen TV, and an en-suite bathroom.
Loch Ness Pods
Over in Fort Augustus the Loch Ness Pods glamp site offer a great camping escape with garden views, free WiFi, and private parking.
When you stay here you’re also pretty close to Urquhart Castle as well as the shores of Loch Ness itself.
The accommodation includes a bedroom, bathroom, a TV-equipped dining area, a fully-stocked kitchenette, and a patio with mountain views.
There’s also an outdoor fireplace, a BBQ spot, and a sun terrace for sunny days.
Previous people who’ve stayed here loved the modern, cozy design, especially the power shower and outdoor amenities.
Loch Ness Highland Resort
The Loch Ness Highland Resort in Fort Augustus is one of the most luxurious glamping option on this list.
While it doesn’t allow you to pitch up your own tents or campervans, it instead offers glamping pods at Loch Ness.
It’s the ideal for those wanting easy access to Fort Augustus’s shops, eateries, and pubs, while retaining a laid-back camping atmosphere.
The pods either sleep 2 or 4 people overnight and they comewith a functional kitchenette and a full washroom. To add to the comfort, TVs are included along with kitchen essentials like a microwave, kettle, and fridge.
Wild Camping Loch Ness
If you’re thinking about wild camping near Loch Ness, here are some simple guidelines:
Loch Ness wild camping is best for those taking short walking or cycling trips in the Loch Ness area. It means you set up your camp late in the day and leave early the next morning.
If you’re just looking for a free spot to camp in your van while on vacation, Loch Ness might not be the best choice. There aren’t any pullouts off the road, and this sort of wild camping is more frowned upon in Scotland than in North America. If this is the style of camping you want to do, there are many campgrounds nearby (above) or at an Inverness campsite that are better suited for longer stays.
However, if you’re traveling the Great Glen Way or similar paths, wild camping can be a great option
Scotland’s Right to Roam – Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
In Scotland, you can go on to most land to enjoy the outdoors – as long as you behave responsibly, care for the environment and respect the interests of others. You can learn more about the Scotland Outdoor Access Code, and what it means for your activities here.
Before you start, take a moment to understand the rules of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Here’s a quick summary:
- Wild camping means camping in small groups, with lightweight gear, and only staying two or three nights in one place. In Scotland it does not mean camping in your campervan or RV on the side of the road.
- Don’t set up camp in areas with crops or where farm animals are.
- Always camp at a good distance from buildings and roads.
- Remember to leave the place as you found it. Take all trash with you, deal with waste properly, don’t leave any sign of your camp, and avoid lighting campfires.
Great Glen Canoe Trail
The Caledonian Canal, which encompasses Loch Ness, holds the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, typically meaning no wild camping. However, exceptions exist in the form of sanctioned camping sites.
While the distinctions are subtle, both types are pretty similar.
Recognized spots for camping here include:
- Knockie: On the west shore, closer to Foyers
- Foyers: Space for 4 tents on a hill overlooking the shore
- Kytra Loch: Just past Fort Augustus to the south of Loch Ness
- Dochgarroch Lock: To the north of Loch Ness along the Caledonian Canal
It’s crucial to note that wild camping is prohibited in areas outside of these designated spots.
Suidhe Viewport + Loch Tarff
If you’re travelling on the south side of Loch Ness along the B862 road towards Fort Augustus, you’ll come across Loch Tarff.
This spot offers picturesque panoramic views, especially during sunrise, and is a beautiful setting for wild campers on Loch Ness.
There’s a layby nearby so parking while you enjoying some tent camping in Scotland.
Shores of Loch Ness at Inverfarigaig
At Inverfarigaig there are various areas along the shores of Loch Ness which are quite good for wild camping at Loch Ness.
However, finding a secure parking spot might be a challenge so you may need to finding parking in the village of Inverfarigaig and then walk to a spot with your gear. One good parking spot is the ‘Hiking Car Park’ on Farigaig Road.
Do bear in mind that you should always pitch tents considerately, away from local homes and a reasonable distance from the water to preserve the natural beauty and tranquility.
Steeped in history and natural beauty, Glenmoriston is a village in a beautiful river valley.
In this area there are beautiful lochs, forests and walking trails and so many places you can find to do some wild camping near Loch Ness.
Dores Beach is a favored wild camping location where you can camp just back from a stony beachfront. Walk into the woodland to find some more secluded spots.
Things to know before camping at Loch Ness
Before you go camping at Loch Ness, be sure to read through these things you should know which help keep the area beautiful for everyone and go some way to respecting local residents.
- Camping Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code that provides guidance on wild camping in Scotland. Remember that wild camping is for short durations, often just a couple of nights in one place.
- Environmental Respect: Adopt a Leave No Trace approach, which means take all litter with you, dispose of human waste properly, and avoid lighting campfires where they’re not allowed.
- Site Selection: Always set up your camp a safe distance from roads, homes, and the shoreline, and steer clear of enclosed fields with crops or livestock, and running water.
- Weather Preparedness: The weather around Loch Ness can change rapidly. Always check forecasts and pack for cold and wet conditions, even in summer.
- Facilities and Supplies: Note the locations of nearby supermarkets, public toilets, and their operating hours, especially if wild camping.
- Beware of Midges: These tiny biting insects are notorious in Scottish Highlands during certain months. Bring repellent and consider a midge net for your face.
- Local Amenities: Research nearby towns, pubs, and restaurants to know where you can get local food, drinks, and other essentials.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Always respect local customs and traditions. When in doubt about where to camp, seek advice from locals.
- Emergency Preparedness: Equip yourself with a basic first-aid kit, know the closest medical facilities, and ensure your phone is fully charged.
- Bogs: Scotland has a lot of bog land and hiking to find a wild camping spot can mean having to traverse/avoid bogs. Expect wet feet!
What to pack for Loch Ness camping
Here’s a general packing list for your camping trip at Loch Ness. You’ll need to supplement it or change things up depending on how many of you there are and what style of camping you want to do.
- Tent: Waterproof with a sturdy groundsheet as well as your tent stakes and guylines
- Sleeping bag: Suitable for the cooler Scottish climate.
- Sleeping pad: For insulation and comfort.
- (Optional) Pillow: A compressible or inflatable camping variety.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers: Essential given the unpredictable Scottish weather.
- Warm clothing: Layering is key; include thermal tops, fleece, and a down jacket.
- Hiking boots: Ensure they’re waterproof and broken in. It’s good to have these as the land can be wet and boggy.
- Extra socks and underwear: Especially wool socks for warmth.
- Hat and gloves: Necessary even in summer evenings.
- Camp shoes: Comfortable sandals or loafers for around the campsite. I like Tevas
- Midge net: To guard against those pesky insects.
- Portable stove: For cooking your meals and fuel or gas.
- Lighter: Waterproof matches can also be handy.
- Cooking utensils: Such as pots, pans, and spatulas.
- Cutlery and crockery: Basics like a knife, fork, spoon, plate, bowl, and mug.
- Food: Plan meals and consider non-perishables.
- Water container: For storage and a purification method if sourcing water.
- Biodegradable soap: To minimize environmental impact.
- Toiletries: Basics like toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant.
- First-aid kit: Stocked with essentials and personal medications.
- Sunscreen and lip balm: Even on overcast days, protection is vital.
- Insect repellent: Critical for fending off midges, Smidge is best!
- Quick-dry towel: Space-saving and efficient.
- Mobile phone and power bank: For emergencies and communication.
- Headlamp: Essential for nighttime.
- Multi-tool: Useful for a variety of camp tasks.
- Duct tape: For any quick fixes.
- Garbage bags: Adhere to the “leave no trace” principle.
- Backpack: Consider daypacks if you plan to explore.
FAQs about camping in Loch Ness
Can I camp on Loch Ness?
Yes, you can camp on Loch Ness both in campsites, glamping areas and you can go wild camping at Loch Ness too.
Can you park a campervan on Loch Ness?
Parking a campervan directly on Loch Ness shores can be restrictive. While wild camping is allowed, many areas have restrictions on motor vehicles. It’s best to park in designated campgrounds and respect local regulations.
Final thoughts on Loch Ness campsites
Camping at Loch Ness is a great way to enjoy the beauty and scenery around the loch while enjoying some budget friendly accommodation.
Whether you’re setting up a tent beside the loch itself and hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie, or simply soaking in the beautiful Scottish landscape from your campervan, Loch Ness is a great spot for camping in Scotland.
Just make sure you always respect the land, local guidelines, and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, to make sure this are remains beautiful for generations to come.
If you want more Scotland travel guides, be sure to check out this guide to the best things to do in Arran, how to plan a weekend Scottish Highland road trip, what to do in Aviemore, the best things to do at Loch Lomond National Park, the best walks in Glencoe, what to do in Glencoe, and the best things to do in the Cairngorms.
Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe, a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada, you’ll find posts on all of this.
Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.