neist point wild camping
Want to know more about wild camping in Scotland?! Within minutes, the aurora appeared and moved across the night sky. I was half-expecting Rey and some droids to peer out from behind a crevice. I want to share a few things about each location which you have to consider as a landscape photographer. FYI: Kylerhea and Glendale on Isle of Skye are known for their dark skies. Later that afternoon, after a full day of exploring Carbost and enjoying wonderful coffee, oysters, and whiskey, we arrived back at our tent to discover it was more or less waterlogged and struggling to stay upright in the constant wind. Required fields are marked *. Prior to doing any wild camping in Scotland, it is recommended that you read the Scottish Outdoor Public Access Code: Public Access to Scotland’s Outdoors – Your Rights and Responsibilities. We still had a memorable climb, one that I’ll remember forever, and the fact that we didn’t summit this iconic Cuillin doesn’t change that. We didn’t have any issues driving the campervan on the roads. Our Aero model campervan with Bunk Campers. So we set out with a map full of possible plans and plenty of flexibility, ready for an adventure! Enjoy your summer in the UK. Pretty much the only problem we came across with wild camping was not being able to charge our camera batteries… and we take A LOT of pictures! Definitely inexpensive and convenient. The views from the cliffs at Neist Point are gorgeous! Great article! Mike, the saint that he is, managed to cook our dinners on the camping stove while the sky dumped buckets of rain on him and I stayed warm and dry in the tent (seriously, he’s a saint, and I also think he didn’t want me to forever dislike camping so it was in his best interest to help me stay as warm and dry as possible). Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. Use common sense, park a good distance from any roads, and respect the area you choose to park. On Tuesday morning, we awoke to a steady beat of heavy rain and more howling wind. Dandelion Plant Nature. It was an abandoned former bothy, and had a sign on it instructing hikers to use the brand new bothy on the other side of the bay. The document is 135 pages long, so I’ll summarize it for you: If you believe that you may be camping on someone’s property; don’t assume it’s ok – ask. This sounds like a wonderful trip and a great way to discover Scotland. 70 88 16. But as my friend Kyle pointed out later when I was telling him about our trip, it was probably a great mental exercise in appreciating the journey and not the destination. 59 60 13. The air was astonishingly crisp and smelled like moss and the sea. It’s such a ‘wild and free’ concept and I hope that people continue to respect the area around them when they wild camp, so it can stay legal forever! Skye Wilderness Safaris offers guided day walks through the most scenic and remote areas of Skye. Looks like a fun trip. It is also a very good place for whale watching and catching a glimpse of porpoises and dolphins. There were three structures on the bay – a house (pictured below) that seemed to be occupied judging by the few lights that were on, although there were no vehicles in sight and hardly any drive-able paths on which to travel to and from this house; an abandoned structure on the western rim of the bay; and what looked like a brand new bothy. (I highly suggest anyone looking into renting one do so well in advance as the company from where we booked was about full.) If you’re looking to rent a campervan/motorhome for your next camping adventure, Bunk Campers has pick-up locations in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Scotland), Dublin and Belfast (Ireland), and also in London (England). That being said, we were able to fill our water tank outside a local visitor’s center and dump our chemical toilet contents in a public toilet*, so you may be able to get by for more than just one night of wild camping. Poppy Poppy Flower. Whoever gave permission for this wild camping needs shooting. So, to answer the questions I know you all have about wild camping with a campervan/motorhome, here goes…. Isle of Skye offers some of Scotland’s most scenic landscapes! I think we were most shocked by the other people because we had spent the previous few days almost completely isolated in nature, but I still would only recommend going to the Fairy Pools if you’re already going to be in the area. Just another five minutes of weather on Skye! If we had to pick a favorite view from our wild camping adventures, it would definitely be Neist Point on Isle of Skye. Since we were still getting to know the ins and outs of the campervan, we stayed at campsites for the first 5 nights. English (US) Español; Français (France) 中文(简体) But, how we define luxury can vary immensely. As always, all opinions are our own and are an accurate reflection of the experiences we had. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Now, I know what you’re thinking… what about the practicalities of wild camping with a campervan? The gas is used for operating the stove top and oven and works just fine when you’re not plugged into electricity. Rome2rio makes travelling from Portree to Neist Point easy. According to VisitScotland.com, other locations around the country where you may have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights (on a clear and cold autumn or winter’s night) include: Shetland, Orkney, and Caithness, Aberdeenshire and the Moray Coast, the Isles of Lewis and Harris, Cairngorms National Park, Galloway Forest Park (Scotland’s only Dark Sky Park), Rannoch Moor and Perthshire, and Angus and the coast of Fife. The Mumbles is where we spent our very first night ‘wild camping off-grid' in our motorhome. We spent 3 weeks in Ireland prior to visiting Scotland and drove quite a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way (not in a motorhome, though). I had seen the iconic bay in some articles on the Walk Highlands site, and it looked remote and magical. Since we had our evening dinner reservation to look forward to, we had to make a decision as to whether we were going to try to tough it out in these conditions one more night, and whether the tent would hold up to our plans. View from Neist point. As we walked up, a chill went down my spine and I made sure to stay very close to Mike. Were there any other wild campers when you visited? There is no other thing screaming FREEDOM more than wild camping – i at least enjoyed it a lot! The beginning of the hike gradually ascended along a clear but rocky path, winding its way across a few streams and past a large waterfall. We didn’t get to go to Scotland when we were last there. Just a final thought, can you not get independent USB charges for your camera batteries? We are very much night sky enthusiasts, so another big perk to wild camping is the ability to get away from cities and the light pollution they create. 77 54 6. (We wrote an entire separate post about our adventures of wild camping in Scotland, ... Another item on our list was Neist Point. #9. We arrived at the Elgol carpark to discover that it didn’t allow overnight parking; I was relieved that I had formulated a Plan B for any obstacle. Two other campervans/motorhomes were parked in the same area, but nowhere near our vehicle. Bluebell Flowers Blue. The lake looked just like the lake at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Rey travels afar to a green and rocky island on a distant planet and finally finds [MC Ed. NO SET SCHEDULE – Because it rained A LOT on one particular day of our drive along the North Coast 500, we didn’t make it as far as we had hoped. This is the most westerly point on Skye, and the views are spectacular (hopefully!) Following our brief visit, we now know why everyone raves about it- it’s absolutely stunning. It is certainly not our intention to provide inaccurate information. Fingers crossed that the sun comes out for you so you get to use your solar panel. There was a mixed flock of 50 purple sandpipers and turnstones at Neist Point. Spectacular sunsets here. The trail descends gently across open, grassy terrain but evolves into quite a steep, stair-assisted plummet in the middle. Thought I’d mention though that land access laws don’t apply to motorised vehicles; this article has a good summary – https://wildaboutscotland.com/2014/11/30/wild-camping-in-scotland-camper-vans-and-motorhomes/. While wild camping at an overlook along Loch Carron, we went outside to photograph the stars and got much more than we expected. The USB ports still run off of a back-up battery when the vehicle isn’t on, but we never really needed to charge our phones at night. (We would eventually learn the moral of the story – listen to the local.). The Aero model we rented from Bunk Campers came equipped with everything we needed to survive a few nights of wild camping! The distance and the difference between those two extremes are what makes us happy and what makes us think and what makes us grow.” – Francis Mallman. I am wondering how hard was it to drive the camper van on the roads of Scotland as well as find parking places when you weren’t wild camping. (It does mean that later in the week we were determined to summit a Cuillin peak, and experienced quite an expedition in doing so, so watch out for a future post about that! ADDENDUM: As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’ve received quite a bit of feedback on this particular topic. I had Mike drive back up the road a few miles to a different car park. How fun! Though the weather was off-putting, we didn’t want to spend a whole evening on Skye hidden in a tent. That looks an awesome trip. ), On the way down, we saw so many roaming animals that my disappointment with our decision not to summit the mountain faded away immediately and I was consumed by animal excitement instead! and managed to see some of Scotland but there’s still so many places that I want to visit – like the Isle of Skye! Thanks! For our second evening in Cairngorms, we secured an awesome parking spot overlooking the River Dee on the east side of the park. Spectacular sunsets here. Also a bit out of the way, this turned out to be more than worth the effort to get there! I suggested that we visit Dunvegan Castle after setting up camp, mostly because I wanted to take a photo of a Scottish castle for my friend’s eight year old daughter (mission accomplished). Parking: spacious parking lot at the main spot. He warned that bad weather on Skye is not just your average run-of-the-mill “bad” weather – it can be dangerous and incredibly miserable when a low-pressure system moves across the island and transforms a day of sun into a harrowing environment in less than an hour (or even just a few minutes). Update – April 2018: Well, if it wasn’t awesome enough, it turns out Brothers Point has more than a dozen dinosaur tracks that can be seen at low tide! You would need to contact the company directly for pricing information: http://www.bunkcampers.com/. Can I really park anywhere? We chose Glen Brittle Forest as our next destination, and decided that we would hike a good five or six miles into the forest, camp for the night, and complete the remainder of the circular hike the next morning. Clachtoll I have the best of all worlds – a Ford Autosleeper, a 2-man tent, an electric bike and I live nr Elgin in Morayshire. That being said, there is no entrance fee to get into the park, so that can justify the premium a bit! Sounds like you have a great itinerary planned out. Unless you see a ‘No Overnight Camping‘ sign posted, chances are you are probably safe to park your campervan for the evening. We drove first to the small village of Elgol, looking for a car park that was marked on the OS map, from which it looked like we could follow a toe path north along water’s edge to the bay. I’d love to learn more about the independent USB charges you use for your camera batteries. The scenery was comprised of intensely vibrant blues and greens. All in all Neist Point is a breathtaking place with dramatic views, a wealth of wildlife and lots to see. When we arrived back at the campsite to cook dinner, the skies opened up and the winds began howling. As we drove to the Fairy Pools Car Park on the southeastern edge of the forest, the rain pelted our windshield and the sky turned a foreboding dark slate color. Be considerate of others and others’ property, clean up after yourself, and leave no evidence that you were there. This is definitely something I would love to do. We decided to drive a little ways down the road to another car park, and hike a few miles to Camasunary Bay. We admitted to the Kinloch Campsite owner that she had been right, and abandoned camp a night early in exchange for a warm bed and hot shower at my Uncle Andy and Aunt Dorothy’s house. It’s such a beautiful country, I’ll have to pack up the kids and go wild camping soon . Technically, our all-day parking privileges ran out at midnight, though we were prepared to put another £2 into the meter if need be. Note: I know the movie’s been out awhile but I’m exercising editorial liberty and removing spoilers nonetheless]. If you take the B884 up the west side of Loch Dunvegan and follow the road to its end by Loch Mor you will find yourself on the fringe of Neist Point, the most westerly point on the Isle of Skye and another excellent place for sunsets. 78 75 17. Great web-space, We love “Wild Campervanning!” We have a self build Huge Sprinter van and often have a small canoe/Bike trailer in tow, we always find somewhere to park overnight and depart in the morning without leaving a trace of our existence ! This error message is only visible to WordPress admins, Isle of Skye – Coffee, Oysters, Whiskey, and a Gourmet Meal (Part 2 of 3), https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Camasunaryfirstname.lastname@example.org,-6.0651419,17.35z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x488c3ce98ccf5311:0xf7512e5487cc837d!2sCamasunary!3b1!8m2!3d57.194831!4d-6.114964!3m4!1s0x0:0x1878dd6264a86b76!8m2!3d57.1794445!4d-6.0633574. Learning that it was not natural honestly took a bit of magic out of the forest, but we still enjoyed being so remote nonetheless. Love your photos and really enjoyed watching your very inspiring video . Ok, so obviously this won’t be an exhaustive list, as we haven’t been everywhere in Scotland, but we can tell you where we wild camped and places we recommend. This trip required more planning than usual, mostly because we had to have some idea of where we wanted to wild camp each night. I considered it as a wild camping spot, (we'll just have 2 small tents) but was put off by the possibility of lots of other campers! No heat, no toilets, etc!! Location | Glenbrittle. About half-way through the hike, after passing numerous waterfalls and encountering several roaming deer, we set up camp on the edge of the forest overlooking Loch Eynort. We love star gazing, so this option is super appealing to us. While some clouds had rolled in, the weather still seemed clear enough for a hike. More exhausted from our climb up Bla Bheinn than we realized, the hike across Elgol peninsula took us up and down a few rolling “hills” with all of our gear for the night. Thank you for the question! This individual further explained that the chemicals used in chemical toilets kill bacteria whereas a reticulated sewage system needs the bacteria to break down the sewage. Seeing the Northern Lights was certainly an amazing addition! The answer always seems to be highly-obvious-after-the-fact. The goal of our site is to encourage others to explore and appreciate the beautiful world we live in, not trash it. It’s just you and nature and whatever peaceful sounds may come with it- ocean waves crashing against the base of a cliff, lake water lapping gently along the shoreline, sheep bleating or cows mooing in nearby fields, birds chirping in the trees, or simply the sound of silence! 46 51 3. Another awesome trip would be to do the same thing around the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. New rules regarding wild camping mean that campers will have to find an official site to stay. But before we get started with our experiences, let’s talk about the definition and legalities of this popular Scottish leisure activity. Ok, we’ve heard you loud and clear! For the most part wild camping is completely legal in Scotland. And yea, it was definitely chilly during our early April visit! Things to be careful of: - take enough water We arrived in the afternoon to one of the most incredible landscapes we’d ever laid eyes on and within seconds decided that it would be where we would camp for the night. Staying warm was our biggest concern, as our road trip took place during the first two weeks of April, when it was still plenty cold outside! There were 20-30 common dolphins off Neist Point from Barra up to Benbecula and some came across to the Neist side briefly. We had originally planned to drive after dinner to Neist Point, an iconic peninsula with a lighthouse in the northwest of Skye. The castle itself wasn’t much to write home about (this sounds absurd, but once you’ve lived in the UK for a while, a castle is a castle), but we enjoyed strolling around the gardens and taking advantage of the rare hour-long period of clear skies. Your photos-especially of the stars looked amazing! Man, there is some gorgeous scenery there! So when the clouds offered a mini-break from the down pour (not so much a break but rather just slightly less rain coming down), we scrambled from our tent into our car and took an evening drive up the coast. Wild Camping Scotland . Gruinard Bay – We only stopped for lunch, but would totally wild camp here! The sheer cliffs are bottomed with rocky coastlines, and its slopes are populated with dozens of sheep. Now, it’s time for you to go start planning your very own road trip of a lifetime! We planned on parking at the Peninsula of Elgol, but when we arrived we found out, just as you have, that there was no overnight parking. Again, we’re going to focus on wild camping in a campervan, as that was our experience! We had a full day of luxurious food planned (lunch at The Oyster Shed in Carbost, a tour of Talisker whiskey distillery, and dinner at the famed Three Chimneys – all stories to come in the next post! 130 138 11. Parking wasn’t an issue either. I’ve never heard of this term but it sounds interesting to say the least. Note: in the moment, I found myself reflecting on how more experienced husbands than I often refer to specific moments in their marriage when they were faced with two options: a more comfortable wife or a less comfortable wife. Mountain and Wild Camping photographer. This parking area sits right off a road, but there was hardly any traffic in the evening. While this news is fantastic, it also means that the peninsula is going to see a LOT more foot traffic as people hike to Brothers Point. (Kind of near where this photo was taken.) Neist Point was our favorite! We could only attempt to hike in the Cuillins if we had a semi-clear day, and we could only camp in certain spots if there was no risk of flooding. Again, we departed early in the morning and left no evidence of our stay behind. This meant we had to change our walking route and walk across the peninsula instead of up the bay, but it was still a lovely walk. Daisy Honorary Award. I am in Northern Ireland which is only 12 miles from Scotland by its closest points. Instead, we dashed out of the car and trudged through boggy wetland (and I mean BOGGY) to get a view of the peninsula, wondered aloud whether the wandering sheep ever get blown over the edge (later confirmed by a local as yes, often), and hopped back in the car to head back to our campsite and call it a night. We encountered a group of people armed with hammers, shovels, and buckets, repairing and restoring a large portion of the path. We did loads of Wild Camping in Australia thanks to the god-send of an app called WikiCamps. Isn’t wild camping all about roughing it, even if just a little?! I love it… it’ll catch on! Yea, it’s a nice freedom for sure. From afar, we noticed a lake to the east and decided make our way over to explore the lake and enjoy our beers. We’re very tall individuals! I love that a pub offers free parking in exchange for a meal and beer purchased. which was situated right on the head of Loch Dunvegan, overlooking the loch and MacLeod’s Tables, two table-top mountains defining the northwest skyline. Honestly, it creeped me out to camp on the bay because the main house felt haunted to me (I know Mike is rolling his eyes again) [MC: Yep.]. Others had clearly camped there before, because there were a few fire pits and some logs for benches. This means you can still cook meals while wild camping, provided you have enough gas. (We would eventually learn the moral of the story – listen to the local.). The contrast allowed us to appreciate each experience far more than if the whole week were dedicated to one or the other. Pembrokeshire Road Trip. EDIT: We’ve received both negative and politely informative comments on this post regarding our definition and promotion of campervan/motorhome wild camping in Scotland. *It was brought to our attention by a reader that chemical toilets should never be dumped into a public toilet. For that reason alone, I would almost recommend wild camping every other night. Being outside and experiencing beautiful natural environments is fantastically luxurious. We’re certainly willing to admit our ignorance and pass along this helpful advice to our readers. Whereas other comments came from perturbed locals who are “fed up with rubbish and human s**t everywhere… and for us to “encourage [campervan wild camping in Scotland] is irresponsible and possibly illegal”. Billions of stars and Northern Lights over Loch Carron, Ok, so now that we’ve talked about the why and the where of wild camping, let’s talk about the how! We came across this helpful post which does an excellent job explaining the differences between true wild camping (in a tent) vs free camping (in a motorized vehicle). Back at the car, tired and sore (but not as sore as we would be the next morning) but invigorated by the surroundings, we surveyed the OS map and I pointed out all of the wild camping sites that I had marked. The biggest challenge in finding a place to wild camp in a campervan is finding level ground! As I signed us in for the next two nights, the cheery campsite owner asked if we were sure we would actually want to stay for two nights. With our Aero model campervan from Bunk Campers, we drove the award-winning North Coast 500 route, visited the Isle of Skye, and explored Cairngorms National Park. Thanks for sharing the additional resource! We need opposites. 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