Ah, the wonders of wild camping. Fresh air, nice breeze, and freedom to place your tent wherever your heart desires. Logically, many outdoor enthusiasts adore exploring new camping spots. So, if you are one of them and planning a wild camping adventure in the beautiful sceneries of Scotland, you’ve probably wanted to know what are the best wild camping spots near Dundee. As this is a very popular camping place in Scotland.
Some of the best and closest wild camping spots near Dundee are Pitlochry (51.2mi) and Aviemore (30.3mi). But, there are also some other interesting places for your tent in Scotland, you’ll just need a bit more time to get there.
So, today we are talking about choosing amazing camping spots in Scotland, sightseeing ideas, and some important things to bear in mind when heading on this adventure.
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Is Wild Camping in Scotland Legal?
Good news wild campers! Wild camping is legal in Scotland. This is actually the only country in the UK where wild camping is allowed. England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have very strict laws against camping in the wilderness unless you get permission from the landowner. So, Scotland is really a great country to start your wild camping journey.
Even though placing your tent in the wild is considered legal, there are some responsibilities that you should consider during your wild camping in Scotland. Therefore, it’s good to take a look at the Outdoor Access Code. You can also find there some guidelines for landowners, hikers, dog walkers, and campers.
Great Wild Camping Spots Near Dundee
Dundee is Scotland’s hottest and sunniest city. It is a very dynamic place that is becoming very modern, has the title of UNESCO’s City of Design, and is home to the V&A Dundee. And that is the only V&A museum outside of London. So, this city thrives with science, historic ships, art centers, and great bars.
If you’re planning your wild camping somewhere near Dundee, you can find some really interesting places for your tent or bivvy bag. Some areas are closer to Dundee, the others need a bit more traveling. So, take a look at some nice wild camping spots, from the furthest to the nearest to Dundee.
Inverness is located 136.1mi from Dundee. It’s the place of extraordinary Highland landscapes, and home to famous Nessie from the old tales. So, you can easily choose to camp near Loch Ness, and maybe catch a glimpse of this iconic creature. This area also has really great spots for wild camping and presents a real treat for adventure lovers.
You can legally wild camp here as long you are a responsible camper. But, be sure to leave the camping spot with no traces on the landscape.
Things to Do in Inverness
- Visit Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.
- Rent a bike and go for some amazing ride.
- Visit Scottish Highland Art Gallery.
- Go to the iconic Loch Ness spot.
- Enjoy some great shows at Eden Court Theatre and Cinema.
Glen Coe is the second furthest (110.8mi) camping spot from Dundee. It is located within some magnificent Lochaber Geopark in the Highlands. Glen Coe has some deep valleys and mountains that were carved out by icy glaciers and volcanic eruptions.
If you decide to place your tent here you can visit Glencoe village and therefore explore Lochaber, which is known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Besides the heart of an ancient volcano, Glen Coe has a bit out-of-this-world vibe. Because of that, it’s been featured in movies, such as James Bond’s Skyfall, and a few parts of Harry Potter films.
Things to Do in Glencoe
- Enjoy some magnificent Highland scenery, and get to know Scottish wildlife.
- Try some food in the local Glencoe Visitor Centre.
- Climb a few Munros.
- Try some skiing. snowboarding, or mountain biking at the Glencoe Mountain resort.
- Go for a sea kayak ride on Loch Leven.
- Explore some natural wonders such as Parallel Roads of amazing Glen Roy, and beautiful islands of Canna, Eigg, Muck, and Rum.
- Go for a visit to Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
Loch Lomond is 90.1mi away from Dundee. It represents one of the most iconic places in Scotland. The loch lies within the heart of The Trossachs National Park, so you can sightsee beautiful villages, hills, and try various activities.
Hiking can be really fun in these surroundings. Besides sleeping under the stars, you can play some golf or try different water adventures. Hiring a boat is also an option, so you can enjoy this amazing place by water too.
Things to Do in Loch Lomond
- Visit Bird of Prey Center.
- Go to a Loch Lomond Sea Life Center.
- Take TreeZone Aerial Adventure Course.
- Take a walk through some amazing trails.
- Try some Loch Lomond Pony Trekking.
- Go on boat trips and tours.
- Visit Loch Lomond Water Ski Club.
- Walk by Loch Lomond shores.
- Go on a hike to West Highland Way.
Note for Wild Camping in Loch Lomond and Trossachs
Wild camping, as we mentioned, is illegal in England and Wales, except for a special spot in Dartmoor. Luckily, in Scotland, you’ll be free to go. But, even here some seasonal by-laws can limit wild camping adventures.
This particular by-law came into force in 2017, and it means you’ll need to get permission to camp in the most popular sports in the National park, between March and September.
This may sound bad, but actually, this law may reduce the number of campers at that time. So, more space for those who got the permit. Plus, that means less impact on the protected landscape.
Located just 51.2mi from Dundee, Pitlochry is a great spot for a quick wild camping getaway. You can enjoy some fresh air and admire the amazing view. You can experience some traditional pastimes such as fishing, golf, or walking.
But, for some extreme sports lovers, there is an opportunity for bungee jumping and mountain biking. The Highlands of Perthshire and green forests can give you amazing scenery to enjoy.
Things to Do in Pitlochry
- Visit Blair Atholl Distillery.
- Go to Queen’s View sightseeing spot.
- Take a hike to Ben Vrackie.
- Go on a stroll through Faskally Wood.
- Check out the magnificent Black Spout Waterfall.
- Take a look at Scotland’s famous landmark Schiehallion.
- Visit Atholl Palace Museum.
Coming to the closest camping spot to Dundee. Aviemore is nestled 30.3mi from our starting point. It’s surrounded by beautiful Highland scenery, and close to the Cairngorms National Park. So, you can find many wonders of nature here, from towering mountains, clear lochs, and lush forests.
During your time in the wilderness, you can come across its incredible wildlife, such as eagles, capercaillies, and ospreys. As it comes to outdoor activities you can try canoeing or even skiing.
Things to Do in Aviemore
- Visit Badenoch.
- Sightsee Loch Morlich Waterspots.
- Visit Cairngorms National Park.
- Check out Loch Garten Osprey Center.
- Experience Highland Wildlife & Birdwatch Safari in the Cairngorms.
Wild Camping Not So Close to Dundee
If you don’t mind the miles, this may be an amazing wild camping spot in Scotland. The Shetland Islands are 324.9mi far from Dundee. They are located between Norway and mainland Scotland. It is an archipelago made up of 100 various islands. These islands have some amazing landscapes and Viking heritage.
Shetland is considered one of Europe’s top destinations. Wild camping here can provide you with some wonderful seaside views, combined with beautiful clifftops, and crystal-clear blue shores.
When it comes to wildlife, it’s spectacular. From seabirds, seals, to otters and orcas. And, yes, you can come across the famous Shetland ponies.
Things to Have In Mind During Wild Camping in Scotland
When deciding to wild camp in Scotland, be sure to follow the Outdoor Access Code we mentioned earlier. But, besides that here is a shortlist of extremely important things to know when wild camping.
For any outdoor enthusiasts, these things go without saying, but it’s always good to have a recap on something so important as landscape and wilderness preservation.
- Camp only in small groups.
- Stay in one place for a max of 3 nights only.
- Do not camp in enclosed areas of livestock, or corps.
- Place your camp away from buildings, roads, and historic landmarks.
- Take the litter with you.
- Use a stove instead of fire whenever it’s possible.
- Be sure to check advice on fire risk conditions.
- Keep all fires small, under control, and supervision.
- Bury human waste, and go to the “natural” toilet at least 100ft away from open water.
- Remove any tent pitch traces – including campfire debris.
The Bottom Line
Whether you decided to wild camp in Pitlochry or Aviemore, as they are closest to Dundee, or you’ll go a few miles further, always be responsible. Wild camping is an awesome outdoor activity when done right. But, it can also be a disaster if people don’t go by the rules.
So, when planning your next wild camping activity, no matter where you go, remember the rules. Always check Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code before your journey. Try to preserve the natural landscape and leave the camping spot unchanged.
That way you show gratitude to nature, prolong its life, and make a healthier planet.