Whether you’re up for a relaxing retreat by the sea, a bit of music and whisky or muddy adventures in a vast, dramatic landscape, glamping in Scotland can take care of it for you. There’s so much to do and see in a country that combines history and nature with culture and fun from the peaks of its highland mountains to the scattering of western isles and the huge expanse of Britain's largest National Park.
Here’s our take on the best things to do while you’re glamping in Scotland, including some great hiking, winding road trips and surprising sandy beaches:
Walking is almost a must when you’re glamping in Scotland, and wherever you base yourself, you'll find trails to suit your style, from challenging mountain climbs to gentle pub strolls. A stunning and simple option is the Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail, made famous by the Harry Potter Films, or the low-level two mile walk around Nevis Gorge, that's perfect if your fitness isn't what it could be.
For something a little more strenuous, the popular Quiraing walk on the Isle of Skye is a 6.8km loop on which you might spot deer, highland cows, seals, dolphins, and even a wildcat or two, if you’re lucky. Alternatively, Goatfell mountain, standing sentinel above the ruins of Brodick castle, is a solid climb that rewards you with breathtaking views of the rugged landscape below. Serious hikers may wish to become one of the 3000 people who make it up the slopes of Ben Lomond each year. At only 11km, the walk isn’t too long, but the gradient makes it a decent challenge.
While you might think of glamping in Scotland for a summer seaside trip, the country is home to what are arguably some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the UK. If you pick carefully you can end up with the whole beach to yourself, bar the odd seal or seabird…
Some of the best beaches in Scotland can be found on its islands, from the spectacularly sandy Luskentyre on Harris to the wide, shallow, sandy bay of Fidden beach at Mull - perfect for a picnic and paddle. Claigan Coral Beach on Skye is a hidden gem, where you can go seabird and seal spotting in the colourful surf. Berneray West Beach, in North Uist on the Isle of Berneray, also deserves a mention, with its superb views across the water to the mountains of Harris. Then there's the jewel of the Highlands, Achmelvich beach - a vast stretch of white sand on the mainland west coast north of Ullapool. Popular with water skiers, it’s also close to plenty of attractions, including the rugged ruins of Hermit Castle.
With remote stretches of white sand, towering mountains, charming blackhouse villages and incredible wildlife, almost any of the 900+ islands around the coast, are a great way to add to the adventure of glamping in Scotland.
Arran’s landscape is rugged in the north and softer in the south, with both dramatic peaks and peaceful glens. Lochranza, the island’s largest village, has an atmospheric ruined castle, and there are cliffs, caves, and beaches to explore along the pretty coastline. With its magnificent mountains and extraordinary landslips, Skye is one of Scotland’s most atmospheric islands. Dotted with pretty pastel-coloured houses, lonely lighthouses, and glittering ‘fairy pools’, it’s a paradise for budding photographers.
Lewis and Harris are two parts of the same island. To the north, Lewis’ peaty lands are rich in history, with fascinating blackhouse villages, brochs, and standing stones to explore. To the south, Harris has some of the most pristine beaches in Scotland - perfect for a private, peaceful getaway. Last but not least, Mull’s rugged coastline features dramatic cliffs, natural arches, and sandy bays. Feast your eyes on the colourful harbour village of Tobermoray, before feasting your belly on fresh local seafood, then head on over to see Glengorm, one of the most famous castles in Scotland.
Scotland is big. Really big. So when you're trying to plan an itinerary, you have two choices - pick a small region and base yourself there, or take to the road. We love turning glamping in Scotland into a proper road trip, so here are a few itinerary ideas to get you thinking.
The South West Coastal 300 is best for getting off grid. It takes 4-5 days and includes attractions like Sweetheart Abbey, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, and Moat Brae, Peter Pan’s birthplace. The North Coast 500 is the Route 66 of Scottish road trips, hailed as one of the best coastal touring routes in the world. Running 500 miles through Scotland’s North Highlands, it takes in miles and miles of sandy beaches, ancient castles, and awe-inspiring coastlines.
Lasting 2-3 days, the 130-mile Argyll Coastal Route combines both mountains and coastline, and is perfect for gaining an understanding of traditional Scottish culture. Cruise through lochs and mountains, and wind your way along some breath-taking coastline. Touring the western isles means depending on ferries and can make for some slow travel, but if you've got the time they offer some of the finest scenery and unspoilt, empty coast you'll ever find.
What is glamping?
Glamping is like traditional camping in that it takes you into the great outdoors, but so much better in that you stay in somewhere a far cry from a clammy tent and a moth-eaten sleeping bag. Glamping in Scotland will bring you to some of the wildest locations that Canopy & Stars has to offer, but this doesn’t mean that accommodation is basic. In fact, our Scottish locations are amongst the most unusual and sought after on our books, allowing you to explore from a comfortable and stylish base.
What can I expect from Glamping?
Each of our glamping locations in Scotland is different. We've personally inspected every single one, making sure that you'll have memorable stay and feel a deep connection to nature. They're all ideal for eco conscious travellers who want to keep an eye on the environmental impact of their adventures, but while some have only a wood burner to heat and cook on, others have induction hobs and power showers. So think about the type of your stay you're after, have a look through our collection and head off into Scotland to enjoy anything from a frontier cabin to a gypsy wagon.
Why book with Canopy & Stars
We bring you a carefully curated collection of the most memorable places to stay, in the most wonderful locations for going glamping in Scotland. Because we've personally inspected every single one, our knowledgeable team can help you find the perfect place for that special occasion or relaxing weekend away. We also plant a tree for every booking and have established a charitable trust that uses its share of our profits to support environmental causes, so booking with us is as green as it is great.
About Canopy & Stars
Canopy & Stars is an independent travel company, part-owned by its employees, the founding family and a charitable trust in a unique ownership model. Sustainability is central to our work, and we strive to provide travel options that are as low impact as possible, alongside providing our guests with a range of unique accommodation and meaningful experiences that connect them with the natural world. We've been at the forefront of glamping since it began, finding great places to stay since 2010.
We’re majority employee owned, with a shared commitment to fair, ethical business practices
Our Charitable Trust uses 24% ownership of the company to support environmental causes
We plant a tree for every booking through the charity Treesisters and get our hands dirty in many local initiatives