The perfect campsites for castles – a Scottish castle tour
Delve into Scotland’s dramatic and varied history with these campsites in Scotland that are perfect for exploring castles.
Lochranza Castle, Isle of Arran
Located on the northern tip of the isle of Arran, Lochranza Castle is a castle dating to the thirteenth century that comprises a tower house and an older medieval building known as a hall house. The castle has atmospheric dungeons and the ruins offer plenty of opportunity for exploration.
There’s a campsite at Lochranza tucked away at the head of a steep-sided mountain glen with views down to the village golf course. Lochranza Campsite welcomes motorhomes, caravans and tents and also has camping pods to hire. Facilities include toilets and showers, hardstanding pitches with electric, a small laundry and a drying room.
One of Scotland’s most famous historic buildings, Edinburgh Castle has been at the heart of history for more than 900 years and has wide-ranging views over the city and Firth of Forth. Also home to the National War Museum, among the highlights of a visit are the Mons Meg gun, which is fired at 1pm daily; the royal palace, the Great Hall, and twelfth-century St Margaret’s Chapel, known as the oldest building in Edinburgh.
The best campsite with easy access to the city is Edinburgh Caravan Club Site located on the western outskirts of the city. It is only a short shuttle bus or taxi ride into Edinburgh meaning you can see the sights without the hassle of driving. The site is open all year and facilities include toilets, showers, a laundry and WiFi.
Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
A clifftop castle near Maybole in Ayrshire that was once the home of the chief of Clan Kennedy. The castle was completed in 1792 and was designed by Robert Adam – the building boats beautiful ceilings and fireplaces created by the renowned architect. The castle stands in landscaped gardens and has a walled garden, a deer park, walks and trails, as well as a children’s playground.
One mile away from the castle is the aptly named Culzean Castle Camping and Caravanning Club Site that is set in the grounds of the castle’s 600-acre country park. A toilet block, laundry, play area and dog walk are among the facilities offered, along with views across to the Isle of Arran.
Eilean Donan Castle, Highlands
Eilean Donan is one of Scotland’s most photographed castles. The castle’s important and stunning position at the head of three sea lochs in the Highlands has meant that it has been bitterly fought over down the centuries. In 1719, it was partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising, lying in ruins for almost two centuries before it was rescued in 1911 and restored.
Seven miles from Eilean Donan’s stunning location you’ll find Reraig Caravan Site. This is a small, family run site that welcomes dogs, situated on the edge of Reraig village. The site has a rural setting beside Loch Alsh and beside a wooded hillside. There are many walks and woodland paths and plenty of wildlife to see.
Urquhart Castle, Highland
Urquhart is one of Scotland’s largest castles, standing on the banks of the famous Loch Ness, where it served as a fortress for more than five centuries. Nowadays, visitors can explore the Grant Tower, with wide ranging views and see the Urquhart Ewer, one of the artefacts discovered at the castle during recent excavations. The castle is beside the village of Drumnadrochit, commanding great views up the length of the loch and is one of the main sites where sightings of the legendary monster are reported!
Loch Ness Holiday Park is 12 miles south of the castle towards Fort Augustus and located at Invermoriston. Peacefully situated on the shores of the loch this is a stunning location in the Highlands. Facilities include a private beach, toilets and showers, plus a restaurant and bar.
Braemar Castle, Aberdeenshire
In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park lies a castle with a dramatic and varied history. Nowadays, the castle is run by the local community as a visitor attraction where you can see the grand dining room, a gracious drawing room and Victorian bathrooms. The castle is also only nine miles from Balmoral Castle, so why not take the time to visit both.
Within walking distance of this castle (under one mile) is a Caravan Club Affiliated Site – Braemar Caravan Park. The site is ideal for walkers and cyclists and anyone wanting to enjoy the winter snow – it’s just nine miles from Glenshee – popular with skiers. Facilities on site include toilets and showers, a laundry and WiFi. The nearby village offers shops and places to eat.
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
A ruined clifftop fortress situated in a dramatic location on the north-east coast of Scotland and just a pleasant two-mile walk from Stonehaven. Visitors can explore the many different rooms including the keep, chapel, lodgings, drawing room and stables, learning the history of the castle that held Cromwell’s forces at bay for eight months, saving the Scottish Crown Jewels.
Stonehaven Queen Elizabeth Park Caravan Club Site is two miles north up the coast, close to the harbour town of Stonehaven. A short walk along the promenade brings you to the historic town and bay, with its shops and restaurants.
Blair Castle, Perthshire
Uncover 700 years of Scottish history across 30 rooms at Blair Castle and Gardens. Dating back to 1269 the castle has undergone many transformations from medieval beginnings, to a fine Georgian mansion and then a Victorian castle. Part of the Blair Atholl estate you can enjoy a castle tour, wander the beautiful gardens and grounds and even take Land Rover safaris or go pony trekking.
Blair Castle Caravan Park is a high-quality Premier Park situated in the grounds of Blair Castle. There is over 30 acres, with facilities including five toilet and shower blocks, a shop, laundry and putting green.
For more campsite inspiration visit the UK Campsite finder on Out and About Live.
Image permissions: Urquhart Castle: Wknight94; Braemar Castle: Kurpfalzbilder.de; Lochranza copyright Sir Gawain; Eilean Donan copyright Moralist; Dunnottar copyright Macieklew.