Our Journal

10 June 2021
Kim Pierce

The Best North Coast 500 Campsites in 2021

With so many stunning scenes and adventures to be had, its hard to know where to start when planning your North Coast 500 expedition. As important as the days activities is where you rest your head at night and waking up to the warm orange glow of the sun rising over a stunning Scottish Loch or feeling the warmth of the local hospitality makes your trip that extra special.

We’ve done the hard work for you and researched some of our favourite, lesser know sites to park your Highland Overland truck along the way.

Autumn Sunset Over a Loch in the Highlands – Image lenja.photo via Twenty20

Ardtower Caravan Park, Inverness

This Award-winning, Ardtower Caravan Park is situated in a beautiful highland setting close to the world famous Culloden Battlefield, just outside of Inverness. The facilities are modern and immaculate with free Wifi and beautiful views across the Moray Firth. It’s an excellent first night stop over as you embark on your North Coast 500 journey with all the mod cons and comforts you need to get settled into your journey. It has an out house cafe and a bbq hut and play area for the kids. 95% of the pitches have uninterrupted views towards the Bonnie Black Isle as well as the stunning mountains and hills beyond.

Inver Caravan Park, Dunbeath

Situated in the beautiful Caithness area with its beautiful ragged cliffs and sandy bays tucked between charming little harbour towns, the Inver Caravan Park has hard standing pitches for motorhomes and is open all year round, handy for those looking to brave the North Coast 500 in winter. There is a great modern and clean shower block with underfloor heating and even a bath for anyone needing a relaxing soak after a hard day adventuring.

John O’Groats Caravan & Camping Site

Close to the famous John O’Groats sign where many people start (or finish) their coast-to-coast challenges from John O’Groats all the way to Lands End on the South East of England, the John O’Groats Caravan & Camping site is perched right on the edge of the coast with some fabulous panoramic views of the Pentland Firth, Orkney Islands and the Island of Stroma. Grab your binoculars and look out for seal colonies and puffins with their bright coloured beaks.

Puffins on the Cliffs – Image by @adamaki via Twenty20

Windhaven Cafe, Camping and B&B

With its claim to fame for being the most northerly campsite on the UK mainland, the Winhaven Cafe, Camping and B&B is a family run business headed up by Clare and Phil with a helping hand from Aunty Babs!

Another great point for viewing seal colonies from their viewing point, the site also overlooks Brough Bay and if you’re really lucky you could also be in for a chance of seeing the famous Northern Lights!

With great local Scottish hospitality and beautiful views, this is one that shouldn’t be missed.

The Northern Lights in Scotland – Image by JDfotography via Twenty20

Kyle of Tongue Hostel & Campsite, Tongue

Situated on the shores of the beautiful Kyle of Tongue, the Kyle of Tongue Hostel & Campsite has stunning views of Castle Varich, Ben Hope and Ben Loyal. There’s a well stocked, licensed shop for all your essentials and a fully equipped campervan and motorhome park.

Sango Sands Oasis, Durness

One of the most iconic campsites along the North Coast 500, the Sango Sands Oasis has incredible views from its cliff tops and the award winning beaches below. Keep an eye out for whales, seals and the more elusive Bottlenose dolphin in the seas below.

Next to the campsite is the Sango Sands Oasis Restaurant and Bar where you can indulge on great food and a bar with a range of local whisky.

This little campsite is one of the hidden gems of the North Coast 500.

Clatchtoll Beach Campsite, Lochinver

Located in the stunning area of Assynt with some of the most beautiful scenery in the Highlands, the Clatchtoll Beach Campsite is a small, award winning family run campsite thats only 100 metres away from Clatchtoll beach and the imposing Split Rock.

The campsite is family friendly and with its beautiful beaches and variety of watersports on offer in the bay there’s plenty to do. Choose from a selection of serviced (water and electric) most with views out to sea, and the unserviced pitches with views out to the hills.

The campsite is also dog friendly, so no one needs to be left behind!

Port A Bhaigh Campsite, Near Achiltibuie

The Port A Bhaigh campsite is a family run campsite located in an idyllic location and built on the owner’s mothers croft, which was previously used for stock and growing their own vegetables. It can now sleep up to 42 campervans and motorhomes and 50 tents on hard stands with 26 pitches having electrical hook ups.

The toilet and shower block are open 24 hrs, wifi is available, dogs are welcome and there is also an onsite shop and great pub to keep you well fed and stocked. However, if you fancy catching your own dinner, there is a fishing boat available for rent so you can fish for salmon and sea trout on Loch Oscaig.

For the more adventurous, there is a small port where you can enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking and explore the coast.

Gruinard Bay Caravan Park

Overlooking the bay of Gruinard where you can watch the seal colonies, the Gruinard Bay Caravan Park is one of the quieter sites you’ll find along the North Coast 500 as one as “one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty on Scotlands West Coast” according to their website.

Facilities include free hot showers, small grocers, post office and petrol station just a few minutes walk as well as supplies of gas available so all your essential needs are catered to. They also allow dogs as long as staying in your own campervans and motorhomes and not in their rented accommodation.

This beach-front accommodation is a great stop along your NC500 travels.

The beach at Gruinard Bay, on the west coast of the Ross and Cromarty district – Image by Paul Tomkins via VisitScotland

Sands Caravan and Camping, Gairloch

A stunning and spacious beachside campsite, the Sands Caravan and Camping park on the west coast of the Highlands has beautiful views of the Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides, you have you choice to park up in a sheltered spot within the sand dunes or make the most of the views on one of the raised pitches.

Available within the side is a cafe, shop and restaurant and being just 3 miles from Gairloch there are plenty of services available.

Shieldaig Camping and Cabins, Wester Ross

The new Shieldaig Camping and Cabins are in the perfect location for a stop when traveling the North Coast 500 on an elevated site overlooking Shieldaig Islands by Torridon and the Applecross Peninsula in Wester Ross.

In the heart of a historic fishing village, there are plenty of amenities and services within a 5 minute walk of the campsite and onsite are 20 powered pitches, brand new heated shower and toilet facilities as well as a washing up area.            

A relaxing and welcoming campsite, run by a young outdoorsy family, there are few rules but they do ask for quiet after 10pm so that everyone can enjoy a good nights sleep.    

The village of Shieldaig in Wester Ross – Image by Kenny Lam Via VisitScotland


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