Famed for the Fringe Festival, revered for its castle and admired for its Golden Mile – Edinburgh has it all when it comes to culture and entertainment. But if sitting on top of Arthur’s Seat has inspired you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, there are a handful of great campsites within a short drive or train journey. We’ve picked out our favourites and put together all the need-to-know info for your trip.
Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park, Edinburgh
Situated on a peaceful country estate, it’s hard to believe you’re just four miles from the city centre when pitching up at Mortonhall. With grass and gravel pitches with electricity and water hook-ups, as well as wigwam glamping huts and static caravans to hire, you can choose your level of luxury. On-site you’ll find a botanical garden, garden centre, farm shop, bar and restaurant and even a physical therapy centre that runs yoga and pilates classes.
If you’re not local to the area, it’s the ideal base to explore Edinburgh from. If you are and want a break from the city, there are miles of scenic walks on your doorstep alongside golf courses, fishing lakes and Portobello beach.
Address: Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park, 38 Mortonhall Gate, Frogston Road East, Mortonhall, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and the Lothians, EH16 6TJ
Getting There: The number 11 bus that runs from Princes Street in the city centre runs every 10 minutes and stops right outside the park. If you’ve got lots of kit and would prefer to drive or take a taxi, the park is just four miles outside the city.
Linwater Caravan Park, Edinburgh
It’s easy to see why Linwater was named Scotland’s best campsite at the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards in 2018. Welcoming tents, tourers and glampers (check out their luxury huts and lodges), the park exists in a bonnie wee corner of Scottish countryside that feels far removed from the busy city – it’s actually only 12 miles away.
While you’re there, visit the Pentland Hills for a hike or kayak along the Union Canal. There are also some fantastic cycling routes nearby and we’re told the fish always bite on the deliciously named River Almond.
Address: Linwater Caravan Park, Clifton Road, Newbridge, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and the Lothians, EH53 0HT
Getting There: A 20-minute train ride from Edinburgh Waverley to Uphall Station, which is then a short taxi ride of around 5 miles to the campsite. By car, the campsite is approximately 12 miles away from the city centre.
Silverburn Park, Fife
If you’re really good at throwing stones, then Silverburn Park is just a stone’s throw away from the famous Fife Coastal Path. That’s enough to draw in a crowd, but this campsite has so much more to offer. With pitches for tents, motorhomes and glamping eco pods, top features of this stunning site include a walled garden, a café and clean toilets and shower facilities. There’s also a 19-century flax mill that is undergoing a £7m restoration.
The location of the park is paramount to its popularity. Head to the historic town of St. Andrews, the home of golf, potter around the quaint fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife or head to the beach for a bracing swim – go on, I dare you!
Address: Silverburn Park Campsite, 3 Silverburn Cottages, Largo Road, Leven, Fife, KY8 5PU
Getting There: To get to Leven you’ll need to cross the Forth Bridge. It’s around an hour’s drive but can be done in two hours if you’re planning to take public transport. Take the X61 from Princes Street to Leven Bus Station, followed by the 97 from Level to Silverburn Park.
Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park, Fife
Just a mile and a half from pretty St. Andrews, Craigtoun is a five-star campsite with a stellar reputation. Welcoming motorhomes, touring caravans or tents, the site also has glamping lodges for hire. New for 2021, The Smoked Thistle is an on-site restaurant and takeaway that serves up some of the best brisket and ribs this side of the Atlantic. The site is also complete with a large children’s play area, a multi-sports court and two games rooms, making this a popular choice for families.
As well as exploring St Andrews, great countryside walks can be found on Craigtoun Country Park. The picturesque villages of Crail, Anstruther and Pittenweem come highly recommended, as do the two beaches located within a couple of miles of your pitch.
Address: Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park, Mount Melville, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8PQ
Getting There: This journey involves crossing the Forth Bridge and heading towards St Andrews. It usually takes around an hour and 20 minutes in the car. By bus, take the X54 from Princes Street to Glenrothes Bus Station, where you can catch the 64 towards St Andrews, stopping at Craigtourn Country Park.
Wild Camping near Edinburgh
Alright, you caught me! This isn’t an actual campsite near Edinburgh. But it’s worth mentioning that thanks to Scotland’s wonderfully relaxed laws on wild camping, those seeking a truly wild weekend can set up camp in the heart of the country’s rugged countryside. Just make sure you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
The Pentland Hills are a popular spot for wild camping in Edinburgh, as is Doon Hill, an under-the-radar spot that doesn’t attract anywhere near as many visitors as the beautiful scenery might suggest.
So, are you ready to go camping in Edinburgh? Great! Just one last tip – don’t forget your midge repellent!