Guide to Camping at Loch Lomond
With its stunning scenery and the plethora of activities on offer, Loch Lomond is one of our very favourite places to visit of a sunny weekend, and it seems many of our customers here at Rockinvans agree with us (they have impeccable taste, after all!). With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to put this little guide together for your convenience. Don’t say we’re not good to you!
The banks of Loch Lomond play host to a long list of formal and semi formal campsites. The list is so long, in fact, that the kind folks at Visit Scotland have written it out here, so we don’t have to. Thanks, Visit Scotland!
If you prefer the freedom and flexibility that camping wild brings, and you don’t fancy paying those pesky campsite fees, simply follow these instructions to ensure both your safety and the preservation of the land while wild camping at the Loch.
It is an offence to camp in the East Loch Lomond Restricted Zone at any time of day or night, except if you are using one of the official designated sites. You can find a map of the restricted area below. These byelaws apply from 1 March to 31 October every year, and apply to:
Tents, wigwams, bivouacs at any time
Tarpaulin shelters overnight
Any form of shelter overnight
Sleeping in a motor vehicle overnight.
An overnight period is deemed to be 7pm to 7am, and a maximum fine of £500 applies to breaches of the byelaws (uh oh).
Now that we’ve established that wild camping on the east side of the Loch is a big no-no, what about the non-restricted areas? Wild camping is permitted in such areas of the National Park as part of the public’s right of responsible access. However, this does not allow car or vehicular access to camp. But fear not! ‘Wild Camping, A Guide to Good Practice’ informs us that that while roadside camping is not usually considered wild camping, it does take place, and it is lawful. Hurrah! To make sure that the kind people of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland keep letting us camp by the roadside in our Rockin’ vans, please follow these simple guidelines in order to keep Loch Lomond safe and beautiful:
Ask nearby residents before pitching if you wish to camp near houses.
Remember vehicles have a great impact on vegetation, so park on hard ground or on a safe metalled area.
Avoid sites that are at risk of being overused. Congregational roadside camping can cause significant problems.
Leave camp as you found it! Remove all litter, do not burry or hide it under stones as it can harm wildlife and dirties the beautiful land.
Consider others! The larger the group, the harder it is to keep negative impacts to a minimum, so try to keep groups small, and noise levels low.
Be nice to the wildlife! Food scraps, even when buried, attract scavenging birds and animals, some of which prey on more vulnerable nesting birds, so please take all scraps of food away with you.
Want to light a fire? Use a stove if possible (like the handy one in your Rockin’ van), but if you absolutely have to make an open fire, keep it small and under control, remove all traces before leaving, and never cut down or damage trees for fire wood!
Human waste: Make sure to bury your toilet waste properly and urinate at least 30 metres away from open water.
So go on, unleash your inner Bear Grylls…just be sure to do it in a safe and respectful manner!