Campsites in the Cairngorms - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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cairngorms national park landscape view

Camping in the Cairngorms

Campsites in the Cairngorms

Famous for its royal connections and Balmoral Castle, the Cairngorms National Park is great for those looking to camp in the north east of Scotland. Discover our campsites near the Cairngorms here.

Cairngorms camping FAQs

Where are the best campsites in the Cairngorms?
Situated just outside the Cairngorms National Park, our Tarland by Deeside campsite is a stunning location to enjoy a perfect vacation away. The area surrounding the site is exceptionally beautiful, rich in historic and pre-historic sites. There is also Tarland village just a five-minute walk away.
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023
Which campsites in the Cairngorms are dog-friendly?
Our Tarland by Teeside Camping and Caravanning Club Site is dog-friendly, and even has a designated dog-walk for you and your pooch to enjoy!
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023
Which campsites in the Cairngorms are open all year round?
Our Tarland by Deeside campsite, situated just outside the Cairngorms National Park is shut over the winter months, closing in November and opening in March. View all of our year round campsites, including those in Scotland.
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023
Which campsites in the Cairngorms are near the pub?
Our Tarland by Deeside campsite is situated just a short walk or drive away from the Aberdeen Arms Hotel, a quaint little pub based in the village of Tarland, with the usual tasty pub food.
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023
Is wild camping legal in the Cairngorms?
Wild camping is legal in the Cairngorms due to Scotland's progressive access laws, however the rules are complex. Read our guide to wild camping to learn more.
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023

Things to do and see in the Cairngorms National Park

Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the national park includes Aviemore, the Angus Glens, Atholl, Glenshee and the Royal Deeside and Donside area. This gives those camping in Cairngorms a huge area to explore and plenty to do.

The parks native forest, moorland, wetlands and tranquil lochs are home to many endangered species including the golden eagle, water vole and red squirrel. Cairngorms’ camping gives you a real look into the nature of Scotland and all it has to offer.

Exciting days out in the Cairngorms

Nine miles west of Balmoral is the village of Braemer with its imposing castle and the Braemar Highland Heritage Centre. When camping at Tarland by Deeside you’ll be surrounded by plenty of history and cultural heritage (there are castles, fortified houses and estates to explore).

There are plenty of local distilleries to explore which pride themselves in making authentic Scottish tipples like Caorunn Gin and chocolate whisky.

Balmoral Castle and Gardens to the south west of our Tarland Club Site has been the holiday home of the Royal Family since 1852. Explore the grounds and enjoy a guided walk or Land Rover safari.

Find out how whisky is made at the Royal Lochnager Distillery Visitor Centre near Balmoral Castle.

Nine miles west of Balmoral is the village of Braemer with its imposing castle and the Braemar Highland Heritage Centre, you’ll find the ruins of Kindrochit Castle here also.

Head north to see the striking Corgarff Castle with its star-shaped fortification and the Glenlivet Estate which offers a wide range of visitor attractions and places of interest including the Tomintoul Museum, Glenlivet Distillery and Blairfindy Castle.

Lochs of the Cairngorms

1. Loch an Eilein

With its Island Castle and stunning forest and hillside surroundings , Loch an Eilein has seen human use for many centuries and is a truly unique place to visit.

2. Loch Morlich

Arguably the most well-known loch in the Cairngorms is Loch Morlich. Boasting a golden beach and glorious views, this loch is a popular visitor attraction. It is also a great spot for water sports.

3. Loch Muick

Loch Muick is a majestic fresh-water loch. Embrace the glorious views by embarking on a circular trail around the loch, which takes on average just over 3 hours to do.

4. Loch Garten

Nestled in beautiful Abernathy, the Loch Garten Nature Centre is the ideal spot to experience this incredible forest.

5. An Lochan Uaine

Coined “the green loch” for its enchanting emerald-green colour, legend has it the loch is such a beautiful colour because the fairies wash their clothes in it! Head to Loch Uaine to experience a sprinkle of magic.

6. Lily Loch

With its Island Castle and stunning forest and hillside surroundings, Loch an Eilein has seen human use for many centuries and is a truly unique place to visit.

7. Loch Insch

Well-known for its water sports centre and restaurant, Loch Insch is a great family-day out. This is a great spot to learn how to sail or canoe on the Loch Insch!

8. Loch Pityoulish

The beautiful Loch Pityoulish is the perfect place to fish for brown trout or pike.

9. Avie Lochan

Popular amongst birdwatchers, this tiny loch offers a gorgeous view of the Cairngorms most stunning views and wildlife.

10. Loch Alvie

Just three miles from Aviemore, Loch Alvie is a favourite of ours. The stunning parish church overlooks the enchanting loch. 

Outdoor adventures in the Cairngorms

It’s not just the loch’s of the Cairngorms that boast plenty of resource for exciting activities, Cairngorms is a great place for all outdoor pursuits.

1. Mountain biking

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, the Cairngorms National Park offers plenty of different stunning trails for every type of cyclist! Situated closely to our Tarland-by-Deeside Club Site both Dummy Woods and Tarland Trails are great for cyclists and suitable for all ages and abilities.

2. Climbing

The Cairngorms National Park is the perfect place to refine your climbing skills or try it out for the very first time. There are some excellent training centres in the Cairngorms, including the popular Glenmore Lodge. Equally, there are some small and independent providers running some great courses and group trips to boost your skills and have some fun.

3. Pony-trekking in the Cairngorms

What better way to take in the captivating Cairngorms scenery then on horse-back. With plenty of pony-trekking and horse-riding opportunities in the Cairngorms, this is must-do activity.

4. Deeside Activity Park

Situated not far from our Cairngorms campsite, Deeside Activity Park has plenty of exciting activities that cater for small groups, including kart racing, quad biking, and archery. The park also has a restaurant and farm shop, making it a great day out for the family.

5. Guided walk

Active campers in the Cairngorms National Park can get involved in organised guided walks, talks and other outdoor events.

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