The best spots for camping and glamping in Argyll & the Isles!

If you want to get close to nature, unwind and relax amid glorious scenery, then you can’t beat a camping holiday in Argyll. You’ll find campsites in idyllic settings, from perfect pitches on the sea shore to lovely spots by the loch side. And if you’d rather add a touch of glamour to your camping experience, then Argyll has plenty of glamping on offer too. Pods, wigwams, tipis and yurts are a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors in style and comfort. Here are 10 top camping and glamping options in Argyll & the Isles.

1. Woodland camping doesn’t get much better than Glendaruel Camping and Caravan Park on Argyll’s Cowal peninsula. This remote, 22-acre camping escape sits surrounded by trees at the foot of the glen with the pretty River Ruel babbling by. It’s a peaceful spot, with red squirrels often outnumbering campers. There are 10 spacious pitches for tents, as well as a Camping Lodge and two larch-clad bothies for the glampers. These cosy wooden boltholes sleep up to four. Walk, cycle and discover the delights of Argyll’s Secret Coast.

2. If you prefer sea views to forest fun, then nearby Carry Farm is a top spot. Pitch your tent virtually on the foreshore and wake up to the call of oystercatchers, waves lapping the pebbles and views across the Kyles of Bute. In the evening, you can light a fire on the beach by your tent. It feels like wild camping, but you have a toilet and shower block with laundry facilities just a short walk away. Carry Farm is also home to Barney the donkey, a flock of Hebridean sheep and free range hens, which provide a supply of fresh eggs for breakfast!

3. Leave your tent behind and head for Stonefield Farm Holidays near Tarbert on the Kintyre peninsula, for a glorious glamping holiday. This lovely site offers ‘Wigwams’ – comfortable and practical little wooden cabins that sleep up to five people. They even have electric heaters and lights! It’s just a short walk into Tarbert, which is a bustling fishing village with shops, cafés and galleries. Head north from here to explore historic Kilmartin Glen.

4. Now for glamping with bells on. At Machrihanish Holiday Park on Kintyre’s wild west coast you can glamp it up in a luxury furnished bell tent. Say goodbye to blow-up mattresses and sleeping bags and settle down for a good night’s sleep on a comfortable double bed complete with crisp bed linen dressed with Harris Tweed or Indian fabrics. The views across Machrihanish Bay to Islay and Jura are just stunning.

5. At Ardfern Tipis & Yurt stay in a traditional Sioux tipi or a Central Asian yurt by Loch Craignish. The tipis are set in five acres of woodland on a hillside above Ardfern. Further down the hill, the Willow Yurt has a secluded spot by a burn. Imported from Mongolia, the yurt is a work of art, with hand painted door, crown and poles. There’s also a central stove and outdoor fire pit with seating for convivial evenings under the stars.

6. For an island camping adventure, you can’t beat Mull. You’ll find some fabulous campsites on this magical island. Fidden Farm, near Fionnphort on the Ross of Mull, is an idyllic place for a camping holiday. The setting is glorious, with pitches right on the shore looking out to the Atlantic. Children will love exploring the sandy bays and splashing in the crystal clear water. Or how about hiring a campervan with Isle of Mull Campervans?

7. Get away from it all on the remote Hebridean island of Tiree. One of the local watersports schools, Wild Diamond, runs a small campsite at Balinoe on the south west of the island. Combine your camping with a spot of surfing! If you’re walking, cycling or kayaking, you’re welcome to wild camp on Tiree, but if you have a vehicle it’s better to use the croft sites and pitches around the island or camp at Balinoe. This helps to protect the island’s fragile grasslands. Find out more about camping on Tiree.

8. Neighbouring Coll has a small campsite set within a walled garden on the west end of the island. This remote site is surrounded by an RSPB reserve, and free ear plugs are provided during the summer due to the number of corncrakes in the area. Coll is one of the most important refuges for these rare birds. In the evening, you’ll hear their distinctive rasping ‘crex crex’ call from the hay and silage field.

9. How does ‘camping with breakfast’ sound? On the island of Islay you can pitch at Persabus Farm near Port Askaig and enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast in the farmhouse in the morning. It’s ideal for cyclists heading for the morning ferry.

10. Say ‘aye’ to an Argyll Holidays ayePod on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. These clever pods are designed for two, and come complete with a comfy double bed which folds down above the sofa, plus a well-equipped washroom and kitchen. They also have stunning loch views.

Remember that wild camping in Scotland is legal and well accepted – as long as you do it responsibly. Argyll’s remote coastline, islands and mountains are great for wild camping, especially if you are walking, cycling or kayaking. This leaflet by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland outlines good practice when wild camping.

Header photo: Bell tent at Machrihanish Holiday Park in Kintyre.