Isle of Skye Camping

Isle of Skye Camping

When I was planning my Isle of Skye camping trip in Scotland, all I knew about the country was that the search was still on for the mythical loch ness monster, good whiskey is made there, and that they eat a dish made from sheep’s stomach called haggis. All in all, I knew absolutely nothing with no expectations of what this trip was going to be like. I could never have imagined that this was going to be a trip of a life time, one of my favorite countries I’ve ever been to.

Scotland is a country that seems to have more sheep than people, with green lands stretching out for miles without a house in sight, surrounded by rolling hills, misty covered mountains, lochs, steeped in history and a bit mysterious as you begin wandering. My explorations truly began when I decided to try wild camping on the Isle of Skye. 

The Storr on Isle of Skye, Scotland


Isle of Skye Driving Itinerary

Isle of Skye driving itinerary

Day 1

The drive started from Inverness after finishing up a 4-week house-sitting assignment. Jugo and I really enjoyed driving to Skye which included part of the North Coast 500 route (the Scottish version of America’s Route 66) that has been named one of the top 6 coastal road trips in the world. In case you didn’t already know, Jugo and I love road trips and it’s our favourite way to travel. 

Lonely house in Scotland

One thing I really liked seeing while driving was all the spots where a single house stood amongst the green hills. 

Camping view in Scotland

If you see a parking spot on the route, make sure to stop and check it out!

You are bound to find beautiful scenic areas hidden amongst the trees that you wouldn’t otherwise catch while driving.

Camping Picnic spot driving to Skye

You will also find great places along the way for a scenic picnic lunch or sunset dinner.

Free camping beside the bridge in Skye, Scotland

We spent the first night on Skye in the Cuilin Hills which is known for its rocky mountains with sharp peaks.  

Isle of Skye Camping

There’s lots of designated parking spaces on the side of the road where you can make camp for the night. 

 


Day 2

Glen Brittle’s Fairy Pools 

Once we packed up camp in the morning, our first stop was to head to Glen Brittle and visit The Fairy Pools. This is a magical spot with crystal clear pools of water where those who are brave enough can jump in for some wild swimming. 

 

Glen Brittle Fairy Pools

The fairy pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Oysters Galore 

After getting soaked from the hike to the fairy pools, it was time to warm up with some good food.  

We headed to The Oyster Shed in Carbost where they have their own sustainable oyster farm. 

The Oyster Shed on Isle of Skye, Scotland

Fresh Scottish oysters

We recommend trying the oysters and mussels which were super fresh and delicious to eat.

Fresh Scottish mussels

 

Tip

  • Don’t miss your chance for some scotch tasting and tour in Carbost at Talisker Distillery.

 

Neist Point Lighthouse

After stuffing ourselves with seafood, it was time to explore some more. Our next destination was to Neist Point Lighthouse. We did get lost driving there but the locals are extraordinarily nice and friendly and are happy to help lots tourists along the way. A couple we asked for directions were even nice enough to provide us with a map!   

Neist Point LighthouseNeist Point

 Getting to the top of Neist Point takes about 20-30 minutes where you are rewarded with some amazing views of the cliffs and sea. Watch out for all the sheep poop! 

Neist Point Scenery 

Tip

  • Not far from Neist Point is Coral beach which has a beautiful stretch of white sand to relax on, swim, and even wild camp. Unfortunately, we only made it to the parking lot before it started pouring rain and we decided to make a run back for the car.
  • Also close to Neist Point in Dunvegan Castle which has been occupied by Clan MacLeod for 800 years. You can also catch a 25-minute boat ride to see a colony of seals. 

The Best Wild Camping on Isle of Skye

The day had passed by quickly and it was time for us to find camp. We drove towards Quirang and found the most perfect spot  we’d seen for wild camping on Isle of Skye which literally looked like a movie set!

The best Wild Camping on Isle of Skye

 The location is down a small hill which helps to block the wind on one side. A tiny river runs through and a small fence prevents sheep and other animals from getting too close. I couldn’t have imagined having a better spot, it was absolutely amazing!

 


Day 3

Quirang Walk 

We woke up early the next morning, packed up camp and headed to Quirang known for its jaw-dropping landscape with jagged peaks and the best Isle of Skye trail we hiked. We were there at 9:00 am with the entire place to ourselves! 

Quirang Walk

The Quirang, the best Isle of Skye trail

The Quirang walk takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour (to one end) depending how often you are taking pictures. Be careful with selfies as the winds blow like crazy here and you don’t want to fall down! 

One of the many waterfalls seen walking the Quirang

No matter where I looked I was surrounded by epic views which I just couldn’t get enough of!

Another view of the Quirang on Skye, Scotland

 

Kilt Rock 

Our next stop was Kilt Rock which is a 90 meters high sea cliff with great views of Mealt Falls, a waterfall plummeting 328 feet.

Kilt Rock on Isle of Skye, Scotland

 

Driving to Glasgow

 Sadly, it was time for us to leave Skye and make our way to Glasgow where we would be flying out the next day.

 

View of Eilean Donan Castle on the way to Glasgow

Along the driving route though there was still plenty to see like the Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most iconic pictures of Scotland. 

Camping Wildlife

We also spotted a pack of wild Scottish goats in the bushes! 

 

I could go on forever talking about the beauty of Skye. For now, I hope that I’ve convinced a few of you that Scotland is definitely a trip worth taking. 

An amazing walk at the Quiarang

 


Plan Your Trip 

Don’t just read about it, get out there for your own wild camping trip. Here’s what you need to know:

Free Camping in Scotland 

Camping in Scotland

In Scotland, there is the Right to Roam which allows for free camping all across Scotland and an amazing opportunity to explore the country.

Isle of Skye Weather

It does rain a lot and even in the peak of summer which I was there for, it only got up to 18 degrees. On the plus side, the sun doesn’t set until around 10:00 p.m. so you’ll have a lot of daylight hours for your activities! 

Camping Gear

Camping gear for Scotland

If you aren’t bringing your own gear with you, you have two options. Purchase your gear or rent it. I was camping for only three days so renting was the cheaper option but if you are planning to go for a week or more, you can often purchase gear for less than renting it. Also you may get lucky and be able to sell it after to get some money back. Choosing to purchase gear, can easily be done online with free delivery from Argos and Halfords. You can expect to pay between $100-$150 for the basics. 

I went with renting through OutdoorHire which was a fair price and easy to do. They offer a camping package which includes the tent, 2 sleeping mats and sleeping bags, a mini stove with 2 pots, 1 pan and a kettle for $115. They can ship the gear to whatever location you like and a courier will pick it up after. 

Tip

  • If sleeping in a tent isn’t your thing, there are a few companies that rent out camper vans or places where you can spend the night in a yurt or cabin. 

What to Pack for Scotland 

It tends to rain a lot in Scotland so make sure to bring a waterproof jacket with a hood. Although I didn’t have waterproof pants, those would also be great to have if you plan on doing any hiking. Also, a good pair of runners or even better, hiking boots are essential. Finally, make sure to pack some warm clothes. I was wearing 2-3 light sweaters to bed every night because it gets cold. 

Getting Around Skye

Getting around Skye

The three best ways to travel while camping are:  car, cycling or walking. Surprisingly we saw many campers who chose the hiking option. We met a couple from Germany whose plan was to explore Skye by foot for 10 days. We also saw many cyclists brave enough to cycle up the tough hills. As it does rain often, traveling by car was the only option for me. I was actually lucky enough that I got my rental for free with my Aeroplan points after years of collecting. Everyone should have points cards because one day, it actually will pay off! If you are still waiting to cash in on your points you can find great deals through Skyscanner.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. If you are driving in another country you will need an international driving permit. However, if you are a Canadian driving in the UK  you will only need a local drivers license. 
  2.  Many credit cards often offer car insurance for rentals so check if your’s provides this option to avoid insurance fees at the rental office which can often cost you more than the rental itself!

Flying into Scotland

Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness are all major airports where you can easily fly into to get to Skye. Inverness is the shortest distance being only 2 hours 45 minutes center to center of Portree on Skye.


Want to know more about Scotland?


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The ultimate guide to wild camping Scotland



8 thoughts on “Isle of Skye Camping

  • Wow. What a trip! Thank you for sharing. We were in Scotland in April and LOVED it! However, we only saw the Highlands and Edinburgh, we fully intend to go back to the region you were in – West of Inverness (which we did see), the Isle of Skye etc. I am saving your post for later. P.S. The Oyster Shed is making my mouth water. We appreciate the tips! Cheers!

    • Thanks for your comment! Glad to hear you loved your trip to Scotland. I spent 4 weeks in the highlands and loved everything except the midges. Hope you get a chance to return to visit Skye and the Oyster Shed!

    • Hi Clazz, Thanks for your comment. At least you are from Scotland so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make a trip over there 🙂

  • Hi there and thank you so much for this article, I was looking for theses exactly tips 🙂 Your photos are stunning !!
    I was wondering, is that easy to find some facilities on the isle of Skye ? My boyfriend and I are used to wild camp, but we’ll be with my sister ^^
    Thank you very much for your advices !!

    Karène

    • Hi Karène, thanks for your comment. When you say facilities, are you referring to accommodation? If so, there’s plenty of options available in Portree which you can use as a base for exploring the island. If you go to the website Visit Scotland (https://www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/oban/accommodation/) they will have a full list of options. If you aren’t referring to accommodation, just let me know what you are looking for and I’d be happy to give some recommendations!

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