Machrie Beaches Isle of Arran
Camping,  Isle Of Arran,  Scotland

7 Best Wild Camping Sites On The Isle Of Arran

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Last Updated On 6th February 2024 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Looking to head for a wild camping trip to the Isle of Arran? This post is your complete guide to the best places to wild camp on the beautiful Scottish Isle.

In this post, I will share with you the best places for wild camping on the Isle of Arran and where to find all these spots. You’ll find lots of pictures of the places, detailed descriptions of what to expect at each site and why they make a great place to wild camp. You can also check out all of these wild camping spots and where they are in my Free Guide Map of the Isle of Arran.

I have provided these wild camping recommendations with good intentions to allow travellers to the Isle of Arran who intend to wild camp an idea of different locations which may be suitable during their trip. As a wild camper, you are responsible for your own behaviour while wild camping. I encourage you to wild camp responsibly. If you do decide to camp in any of these places on your trip to Arran, please be a responsible camper!

Traveling to the Isle of Arran? Check out how to travel there with my post: How To Get To The Isle Of Arran From Edinburgh (By Car & Public Transport) Plus Calmac Ferry Review

Complete Guide To Wild Camping On The Isle Of Arran

Discover more posts about travel in Scotland:

FAQs: Wild Camping On The Isle Of Arran

What Is Wild Camping?

One problem is that so many people call parking up by the side of the road with a caravan, motor home or a van and sleeping in the vehicle ‘wild camping’. To me, this isn’t wild camping, and the law agrees. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 both state that access rights (right to roam and wild camping) do not extend to motorised activities. Wild camping is only allowed when on foot, bike or other non-motorised transport. But you can, of course, use your vehicle to get into the outdoors. So, you can use your vehicle to travel and sleep in a tent within the law of access rights.

Wild camping is, therefore (in my opinion and based on the SOAC), where you sleep outside or pitch a tent in the wilderness/remote areas. A place with no formal facilities and certainly where you don’t have to pay. If there’s a place close by to park the car, even better.

In Scotland, there aren’t any formalised/dedicated ‘wild camping spots’ – you are essentially able to wild camp anywhere you want – as long as you do it responsibly.

Wild Camping Responsibly

Remember: if you are wild camping, you can do your bit for nature and the local communities by adhering to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

I have provided these wild camping recommendations with good intentions to allow travellers to the Isle of Arran who intend to wild camp an idea of different locations which may be suitable during their trip.

As a wild camper, you are responsible for your own behaviour while wild camping. I encourage you to:

  • Keep noise to a minimum and do not disturb local residents and wildlife.
  • Leave no trace and take all your rubbish with you.
  • If you light a fire, remove all traces of that as well – see this post (link to Paul Kirtley blog). Do not light a fire in dry conditions or near woods.
  • Use a camping stove.
  • Poo in a loo – or take a trowel and make sure you bury your waste it well.
  • Do not camp in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals.
  • Keep away from buildings, roads and historic structures if you can.
  • Only camp for 2-3 nights in any one place.
  • Travel light.
  • When parking your vehicle, do not block entrances or make it difficult for other people to use the road. Try not to damage the verge and if there is a car park nearby, use it.

Our Trip To The Isle Of Arran

Fiachra and I made a spontaneous trip to the Isle of Arran and our plan was to wild camp. We packed the car with all our camping gear and travelled from Edinburgh, taking the ferry over from Ardrossan to Brodick.

Before we left, we googled ‘wild camping on the Isle of Arran’ yet nothing came up. Anything we did find on any forums and such was vague and unhelpful. So we arrived on the island with no spots in mind of where we could go.

Where Did We Camp On The Isle Of Arran?

Unfortunately, we didn’t end up wild camping at any of these places ourselves.

We went to the Isle of Arran with the intention of wild camping, but by the time we got there, we were so exhausted we didn’t have the energy to look for a spot. If I’d known in advance about all the amazing wild camping possibilities on the Isle of Arran (i.e. this blog post!) we would have definitely wild camped during our trip there.

We camped at a site called Middletons Camping (link to their website) in Lamlash Bay. It was £30 for two people for two nights. It was a nice site with good facilities, but LOTS of midges.

Although we didn’t wild camp, we did cook dinner outside one evening at North Sannox. It was beautiful and I highly recommend some outdoor cooking even if you don’t wild camp.

How Did I Find Out About These Places To Wild Camp In Arran?

This list of recommendations is all places we saw across the island which, if we were wild camping, we would have happily done so. They are all wild places in nature where you can pitch a tent.

These wild camping spots are accessible along the main road which rings around Arran, the A841. Therefore, they are all on the public transport bus route. This means they are also by the sea! Not only is this beautiful and gives you lots of opportunities for a wild swim, it is also great for another reason.

If you’re travelling to Arran in the summer (June-August), being by the sea is a huge advantage as there are fewer midges by the coast compared to inland. This is because of the lack of still, fresh water which they need to breed. The windy conditions also prevent them from being able to land. So this is definitely worth bearing in mind, whether you plan to wild camp or not!

Find awesome things to do on the Isle of Arran – Click here to search for and book tours and activities (Get Your Guide)

The Best Places For Wild Camping On The Isle Of Arran (With Map & Photos)

Here are recommendations of all the best places we came across which would make great wild camping spots on the Isle of Arran.

These are not ‘formal wild camping spots’, but just places that I have found that I think make great places to camp.

If you decide to camp in any of these places, please be a responsible camper!

Free Guide Map Of The The Isle of Arran: The Best Wild Camping Spots

I have created this Free Guide Map of the Isle of Arran using Google Maps. All the best wild camping spots in this post are marked on the map. Just look for the purple campfire icon so you can easily find them.

1. North Sannox

North Sannox Isle of Arran
North Sannox, Isle of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

In my opinion, North Sannox is THE best wild camping spot we found on the Isle of Arran. This lovely little place has plenty of space to pitch the tent and park the car. It is situated on the northeast side of the island.

Why this is the best wild camping spot on the Isle of Arran:
  • The ground is relatively flat and covered with grass.
  • A large car parking area close by to where you can pitch the tent.
  • It is down a small track, set away from the main roads.
  • It is a secluded, quiet and peaceful area.
  • There is some sheltering from the trees.
  • The space is large with plenty of pitching options.
  • Being by the sea, there’s less chance of being harassed by the dreaded midges.
  • The area has stunning views with the sights of Goat Fell and the sea.
  • There’s running water from the burn.
  • A few benches and some bins, which always come in handy!
  • Walks and things to do close by, in case you want to leave your tent while you do some activities.
North Sannox, Isle of Arran - best places to wild camp on the isle of arran
Cooking dinner in North Sannox, Isle of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

Although we didn’t camp here (we were already pitched in a campsite) we stopped here and cooked dinner one evening. It was a really peaceful spot and we would have definitely enjoyed camping overnight here if we hadn’t already left our tent elsewhere! In fact, I didn’t want to go back to the campsite – I wanted to stay here!

There were a few motorhomes and camper-vans parked up here. We didn’t see anyone with a tent but there were signs campers had been here recently (fire pits in the grass – check out this article (on Paul Kirtley’s blog) here on how to remove all traces of a fire and remember to leave no trace if you wild camp!).

I definitely recommend trying this spot if you are looking for a place to wild camp on the Isle of Arran.

Close by here is the wonderful walk of the North Glen Sannox Pools which I highly recommend!

North Sannox Wild Camping on the isle of arran
Perfect spot for wild camping in North Sannox, Isle of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

2. Silver Sands Beach

Silver Sands Beach Isle of Arran
Silver Sands Beach, Isle Of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

With its golden shore, grassy banks and secluded nature, Silver Sands is easily the best beach on the Isle of Arran. It would make for a peaceful and romantic place to wild camp!

It is my second-best recommendation for wild camping on the Isle of Arran.

Situated on the southeast of the island, close by are Whiting Bay (Undiscovered Scotland), the Giant’s Graves and Glenashdale Waterfalls (Walk Highlands), and Eas Mor Waterfall (Easmor Ecology).

There is parking just by the roadside near this beach. There is space enough for 2 or 3 cars. From there, steps will lead you down to the beach. You can walk along in either direction to explore the bay. If you camp here, you’ll have to carry things down to the beach to pitch. It might take a few trips (if you’re not carrying light!).

Pitch the tent on the sand or there are some small flat, grassy areas.

Enjoy the sea views from your bed and a wild swim in the morning! 🙂

Out to sea, you will see the intriguing, uninhabited Pladda Island with its lighthouse. A short walk along the beach are the ruins of Kildonan Castle (Walk Highlands). It is just visible from the walled garden of a private residence. Across the road from the castle is a tiny art gallery and shop which is quite sweet. Pop in and have a look at all the locally made arts and crafts.

There is actually a campsite visible just down the coast from the beach – this is Seal Shore Campsite (link to their website). So if you don’t want to wild camp, there is an option to stay in a campsite by this beautiful coastline.

3. South of Dougarie

Machrie Beaches Isle of Arran
Looking north from the King’s Caves towards Machrie -© Wild Lovely World

Camp by these stunning beaches on the east coast of Arran, just south of Dougarie and north of Machrie Bay.

Park the car off-road in the small areas beside the beach. There are suitable areas to pitch the tent on the sand or grass areas and set yourself a little back from the roadside.

Although these spots are quite close to the road, I don’t think you would have any trouble camping here. Just take a look at the Google Map street view images. You’ll see others who had the same idea to camp here, so it is not unusual! Make sure you have earplugs so you won’t get woken up by any vehicles driving past in the night.

These spots are also quite open and exposed, but they are not too close to any houses along the road so you won’t be disturbing the local residents.

wild camping isle of arran google maps
Image from Google Maps
wild camping isle of arran google maps
Image from Google Maps

Just down the road are the start of the walks to the Machrie Moor Standing Stones (Walk Highlands) and the King’s Caves (Walk Highlands), both of which are well worth a visit. You may also get an excellent view of the Doon Fort at Drumadoon Point (Walk Highlands) with its impressive cliffs.

4. North of Thundergay (Tinkers Campsite)

Further along the west coast heading north is the area of Thundergay.

By the roadside is a small track where you can park off-road and pitch the tent.

Named Rubh Arigh Bheirg (link to Google Maps), the scenic coastal area is important geologically. The spot is locally known as the ‘Tinkers Campsite’ as it is a popular spot for Travellers (although this is offensive to the Traveller community!).

The area is currently under controversy as the location where the Isle of Arran Distillery was granted a licence to dump liquid waste into the sea. Plans were drawn up in 2017 to build a big tunnel (marine outfall) to dispose of the waste. You can read an updated report on this from 2018 on the Voice for Arran.

From Thundergay you can walk to a beautiful loch up in the hills called Coire Fhionn Lochan. See lots of pictures of this walk on Love Exploring Scotland.

5. Catacol Bay

google maps isle of arran wild camping
Image from Google Maps

On our drive to Lochranza along the west coast, we came across this lovely wild camping spot in Catacol Bay. We saw a couple of tents here so a few people had the idea to camp here too.

There’s a lot of space to pitch, with lots of flat grassy areas. You’ll be camping close to the sea, along with the Glen Catacol River.

A couple of houses are nearby, but if you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code you will be fine.

There is a small area to pull up the car beside the road. I also saw a couple of small tracks where you can pull your car in closer to where you want to camp.

From Catacol Bay you can begin a walk to Loch Tanna (link to Walk Highlands), a wild, beautiful and remote loch and Arran’s biggest.

6. The Sailor’s Grave

lochranza bay with boats isle of arran
Lochranza Bay, Isle of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

Just outside of Lochranza, on the northwest of the island, is a place marked the Sailor’s Grave. You can read more about the history of this place on Waymarking. If you don’t mind camping next to a grave site, this is an excellent spot!

To get to the Sailor’s Grave, a small section of the road separates from the main road. This makes it a nice camping spot because it is more secluded by the section of grass/bush that separates it from the A841. It’s possible to park the car and camp here along the grassy banks.

I noticed this was a popular spot for campervans and motorhomes.

7. South of Corrie

Corrie village Isle of Arran
The village of Corrie, Isle of Arran – © Wild Lovely World

Just outside the charming village of Corrie, I spotted a couple of nice wild camping spots.

Corrie is just north of Brodick, which is where you might arrive to Arran from the mainland. This spot is the closest to Brodick in my recommendations list. If you’re looking for somewhere to wild camp as soon as you get off the ferry, this is a good place!

Corrie is such a cute little village which is well worth a visit during your stay on Arran. Look out for the little workshop of local sculptor Marvin Elliott (link to his website). You might see him making large wooden carvings of seals. There’s a pretty waterfall hidden behind the Corrie and Sannox Village Hall. If you’re hungry, Mara Fish Bar and Deli (link to their website) looks an absolute delight and gets very good reviews!

Although these camping spots are close to the main road, there is space to park the car off-road. Pitch the tent with a little distance on the small patches of grass right by the sea. You can wake up to that refreshing sea air! There is also a spot with a picnic table and bins, which can always be useful!

wild camping isle of arran google maps
A place to wild camp south of Corrie, Isle of Arran. Image from Google Maps

Free Guide Map Of The The Isle of Arran: The Best Wild Camping Spots

I have created this Free Guide Map of the Isle of Arran using Google Maps. All the best wild camping spots in this post are marked on the map. Just look for the purple campfire icon so you can easily find them. Happy camping! 🙂

Travelling to the Isle of Arran? Find out everything you need to know in this must-read post – How To Get To The Isle Of Arran From Edinburgh (By Car & Public Transport) Plus Calmac Ferry Review

Find awesome things to do on the Isle of Arran – click here to search for and book tours and activities on Get Your Guide.

Have you wild-camped on Arran? If there is somewhere you recommend, please share it in the comments!

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The Best Places To Wild Camp On The Isle Of Arran – Thanks For Reading!

Thanks for reading this post! We have looked at the best places for wild camping on the Isle of Arran. There are many beautiful spots to wild camp on Arran, many along the coastline. Remember, if you do wild camp on Arran, following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code will keep you looking after yourself, the environment and the community. – Lauren x

wild lovely world thanks for reading end of blog post
Thanks for reading! 🙂 – © Wild Lovely World

Read more about Scotland & The Isle of Arran:

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Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com

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