Glamping in Scotland: The best glamping spots
Are in love with the idea of glamping in Scotland? Looking forward to a vacation where you can get out of the city, wake up early to the brisk morning air with the sun peering above the rolling green hills?
Do you want to explore the bonny isles of Scotland and live in another time for just a little while?
Before the world of glamping, if we wanted to enjoy the good outdoors, we would have to take all the bad with it.
That is sleeping on a hard floor, waking up with bugs in our hair, and trying to figure out where we could comfortably go to the bathroom.
Now it is admirable that some folks love camping for these things. They enjoy getting down and dirty with nature. Good luck to them!
If you are like me and enjoy the outdoors, but also mixed in with some class and comfort, then glamping is right up your alley.
What is Glamping?
A nifty hybrid of “glamorous” and “camping,” glamping in the art of being in nature with a bit of luxury thrown in.
Now some people’s ideas of luxuries may differ. To some, glamping is having access to hot water and a fridge.
To others, glamping might include a hot tub, sauna, and underfloor heating.
Glamping can take a variety of forms, including:
- Camping cabins
- Deluxe cabins
- Camping pods
Glamping is what you need to be out in the good old outdoors, while still being comfortable enough to actually enjoy it.
Once you experience your first glamping trip, you will never want to go back to the old days of sleeping in a hot sweaty tent.
What can one expect from glamping Scotland?
Scotland has 80 077 kilometers of beauty to explore. From deep emerald forests to stark coastlines and mystical glens. Scotland is full of treasures of historical and natural beauty waiting for you to discover them.
The history of Scotland stands visible in crumbling castles and forts and standing stones.
Scotland boasts beautiful beaches, mountain-top dioramas, majestic national parks, and over 31,000 lochs (lakes.)
If that wasn’t enough, the starry, starry Scottish night is a haven for star watchers and even has a Dark Sky Park where you might glimpse the northern lights in autumn and winter.
These are perfect to enjoy while glamping in special huts designed for you to watch the shooting stars fly by, while you lie in a comfortable bed with a glass ceiling.
Scottish wildlife is plentiful and includes red deer, pine martens, dolphins, and whales. They even have their Scottish wildcat and a grouse called a capercaillie (which looks like a peacock made a baby with a turkey.)
Let’s face it, Scotland is known for it’s cold weather. This means that if you are looking to go glamping in nice weather, it is better to stick to the summer months.
However, if you love snow and winter. Scotland is home to some of the best winter sports in Europe. It also boasts some of the best value snowboarding and skiing sites in Europe.
Visit one of their five ski centers and get a feel for the snow highland style.
When is the best time of the year to go glamping Scotland?
As Billy Connolly said, “in Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.” Like much of the united kingdom, Scotland is not known as a sun-tanning destination.
The Scottish language abounds with terms for miserable weather like ‘dreich’ and ‘haar’ (which is a cold mist from the sea.) Don’t forget the ‘skirls’ ( the high-pitched sound of strong wind) and ‘lauchin’ rain,’ which is a downpour from a seemingly clear sky!
With this being said, Scotland’s climate is very regional, and temperatures and rainfall vary dramatically from place to place.
If you are planning to stay in a yurt or pod, it is advisable to visit Scotland in the warmer months.
Some glamping resorts also shut down in the winter months due to the lack of tourism.
Spring: March, April, and May
Average Temperature: 7°C (45°F) to 13 °C (55°F)
A glorious time to enjoy the daffodils and bluebells bursting into color. With this more mild weather, one can enjoy many outdoor activities when glamping.
Hikes or river trekking is an option, or you can always visit the museums and galleries for those sudden ‘launching’ rains!
Summer: June, July, August
Average Temperature: 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F)
Take advantage of the long summer days and lingering twilight in Scottish summer.
Enjoy golfing at midnight, with the never-setting sun in the far north.
While places like Lerwick in Shetland have 4 hours more daylight in midsummer than London.
Autumn: September, October, November
Average Temperature: 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F)
The forests will be displaying their most elegant red and gold hues in the autumn months, a great time to take leisurely walks.
It’s the perfect time to spot red deer or roe deer as this is when their mating season begins.
Listen out for the distinctive bellows of the male deer. Red squirrels will be scurrying about collecting their nut stash for winter.
Winter: December, January February
Average Temperature: 5°C (41°F) (Average temperature)
Don’t let the chill stop you from glamping Scotland. Scotland has 5 Great ski centers where you can experience some of the best value snowboarding in Europe.
There are various degrees of winter snow, with the highest snowfall falling in the Highlands’ high peaks and mountains.
Snowsport season falls somewhere between November and April.
If you love the stillness of snow, Scotland is your place to be in the winter.
The Best Glamping Areas in Scotland
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye stretches over 50 miles, and due to its indented coastline, the sea is never further than 5 miles away.
The Isle is dominated by the soaring Cuillin Hills that looms over three thousand feet above sea level.
The Isle of Skye has a rich history, and the remnants still stand in crumbling castles such as Duntulm Castle and Castle Maol, where bloody battles once raged between clans.
Put on a pair of comfy boots and see geological wonders up close, such as the Cuillin, the Old Man of Storr, and the Quiraing.
For the stargazers, the night sky will provide a feast for their eyes of brilliant stars that illuminate the Isle of Skye.
Looking for things to do in the Isle of Skye
Best Places to Stay:
These pods are a great way to enjoy the good old outdoors, all while sleeping in a comfortable bed and enjoying the comforts of home.
Channel your inner child and seek a glimpse of the famous Loch Ness Monster. There have been reports of this elusive Leviathan surfacing from the loch since the sixth century, and you may add your name to the illustrious list.
The Loch Ness is 700 feet deep and stretches 20 miles and is notably one of the famous lakes in the world.
Once you have visited Nessie, you can stroll ancient Caledonian pine forests in the wildlife-filled Glen Affric nature reserve.
Or you can play golf in multiple courses or visit the medieval Urquhart castle.
Best Places to Stay:
This glamp-ground has a wide range of different levels of glamping you can choose from.
The basic tent starts with a comfortable mattress and basic kitchen, with the deluxe ranging up to a glass ceiling and fireplace.
Situated in the northeast of Scotland, Aberdeen is famous for its granite architecture with the silver mica’s sparkle. With a history of settlements over 8000 years, historical sights abound.
Watch dolphins and whales from the two miles of beautiful sandy beaches or enjoy some history in the 889-year-old Cathedral Church of St. Machar with its striking towers and stained glass windows.
You may have a stroll on the romantic Brig o’Balgownie, or the bridge of Don was built in 1320 and is the oldest bridge in Scotland.
Best Places to Stay:
This is the perfect place to start your glamping experience. They have a wide range of huts/yurts, so you are able to pick your level of comfort.
Fort Williams boasts some of the most iconic natural landscapes in the world and abounds with great walks and historic sites.
For Harry Potter fans, you must ride on the Jacobite steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This site hosted the Hogwarts Express in several potter movies.
If you feel energized, you may climb Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British isles. Or visit Steall Falls, a breathtaking waterfall that drops for 120 meters.
The ruins of the 13-century Old Inverlochy Castle are a haunting site and situated on a beautifully scenic walking trail.
Best Places to Stay:
If you are planning a glamping trip to Scotland, this is the place you want to stay. Walking distance to a major ski resort.
There will be plenty of fun to have in your winter wonderland.
Glencoe is situated in the Lochaber Geopark and is a glen forged in a volcanic past. At the foot of the Glen, Glencoe is hailed as the home of Scottish mountaineering.
You may visit the scene of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692 or climb one of the eight mountains that loom above the glen.
The peaks and cliffs fill with rare flowers and lichens, and the glen is home to the red deer. Voted the most romantic spot in Scotland, it seems the perfect place to travel with your chosen squeeze.
Best Places to Stay:
What to pack for your glamping trip (whatever the season)
Excellent quality (and warm) waterproof jacket. This is a must for any trip to Scotland.
No matter what time of year you go, the one thing you can pretty much guarantee is there will be rain.
Lots of thermal layers to put on or take off according to the Scottish weather
- Sturdy umbrella
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A proper waterproof rain jacket
- A waterproof raincoat
How to get around while glamping Scotland
Scotland is very well connected with road and rail networks, so there are various options to reach your glamping destination.
Public transport connects Scottish towns, villages, and cities. The more remote spots can be accessible by car ferry or plane.
The city to city rail connections in Scotland links many smaller towns and villages on its route. You may purchase train tickets from the station, travel agents, or over the phone.
Discount fares and passes
Scotrail offers many discounts to travelers based on age, groups, advanced bookings, or time of year. The best thing for glamping Scotland on a budget is their flexible travel passes such as:
- Spirit of Scotland Travelpass gives glampers unlimited train travel within Scotland, and you can even use this pass on some buses and ferries.
- Highland Rover and Central Scotland Rover offer unlimited train travel as well as other modes of public transport.
- Rail and Sail tickets combine ferry and rail tickets in one for a reasonable price, and you may purchase the tickets from ScotRail or Calmac port offices.
Rent a Car
Discovering Scotland by car is a great way to travel at your own pace and discover the gems.
Just take note that you need to drive on the left-hand side of the road. There are many places to hire cars, caravans, and motor homes, such as:
- Alamo Rent A Car
- Auto Europe
- Avis Car Hire
- Europcar ; Van Hire
- National Car Hire
- Nationwide Car Hire
- Sixt Rent a Car
- Thrifty Car and Van Rental
The Inner and Outer Hebrides
CalMac ferries sail to over 20 destinations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These include Oban, Kennacraig, Mallaig, and Ullapool.
Its best to book on the CalMac ferries in advance, but you can take a chance and buy tickets on the day.
If you are planning multiple islands, try an Island Hopscotch ticket that combines several journeys or the excellent value Rail and Sail ticket.
Ferries to Orkney and Shetland
Northlink Ferries provide nightly car ferries between Aberdeen and Lweick in Shetland.
The quickest route to Orkney is with Pentland Ferries, who sails from Gill’s Bay and South Ronaldsay.
John o’ Groats ferries carry passengers from John o’ Groats to Burwick. Orkney Ferries also provide services to many Orkney islands.
Bus and coach options
Lothian Buses are a budget-friendly way of exploring Scotland as well as First Bus.
Coach operators such as Scottish Citylink, Megabus, and National Express are also a good option for reaching your glamping spot. You may take advantage of cost-effective multi-journey tickets such as
- Explorer Pass (unlimited travel on Scottish Citylink)
- Megarider by Stagecoach offers unlimited travel in certain areas.
Scotland by air
The quickest route to glamping Scotland is by flying between Scotlands main and regional airports. Scotland has several airport options based in the cities and the islands. For great sites to compare airfare you may use:
- Travel Supermarket
Scotland offers something to everyone, whether you are a nature fundi, history buff, or seeking the home of your favorite dram.
If camping just isn’t your style and you wish to visit a numinous and magical kingdom, you have endless choices glamping in Scotland.