A small, romantic loch at the foot of the Cairngorms, with a tiny ruined castle on an island set 100m offshore. Then we headed on to the remote Bay of Skaill on the far-west coast, home to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, and set up camp by the beach before returning to Kirkwall for fish and chips (making sure not to repeat our mistake of the night before). Aviemore Tourism; Aviemore Hotels; Aviemore Bed and Breakfast; Aviemore Vacation Rentals; Aviemore Vacation Packages; Flights to Aviemore; Aviemore Restaurants Camping here meant we could organise our gear as a group the night before and start our hike bright and early. Sometimes at night – especially on Orkney and Sandwood Bay, it got very cold. Willing to risk the changeable Scottish weather for the best possible views, we opted for wild camping, treating ourselves to an Airbnb mid-week to keep things civilised. 8.59 km. There is an excellent Campsite in the ancient forest quite nearby at Coylumbridge, 1 - 11/2 hours walk from Loch an Eilein, where you can leave your tent up during the day for several days. Loch an Eilein is a beautiful loch with a rugged ruined castle sitting on a small island. Dogs are allowed at the sites however owners should prevent their dogs from disturbing ground nesting birds or other wildlife by keeping them on a lead and under close control at all times. In Scotland, you’re permitted to camp on just about any patch of unenclosed land, so you can pitch up in some dazzlingly remote locations, from beaches to mountainsides – just make sure to leave no trace when you head on your way. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. There is a small parking area by Whitewell, as well as the Loch an Eilein car park where you can start the walk from. Next day, follow a good track for 13 miles through Glen Tromie and on to Kingussie where you can rejoin the Lochs & Glens route and cycle 13 miles to Dalwhinnie Station or 38 miles back to Blair Atholl. It’s a great place for a swim into the slowly shelving loch, with surrounding forests. Waterproofs are also a good idea; although we avoided the rain, we were constantly outrunning a storm – if we’d started even a few days later, it would’ve been a very wet holiday. For me, travel represents the excitement of escape and the pure enjoyment of discovering new places. Grid Ref NH 897 084. It’s touted as Scotland’s answer to Route 66 (without the guaranteed sunshine), but having driven the North Coast 500 this summer, I would disagree; it’s a unique experience of its own. The loch is surrounded by native forests. Our first stop was Orkney’s one-of-a-kind, , two Nissen huts transformed into a beautiful place of worship by Italian prisoners of war interned in Orkney. I was less than keen at the prospect of this spot for camping having previously experienced it in summer , and it would be completly sheltered from the wind which would very likely add midges and a flotilla of anchored yachts into the mix. The first designated area is at Loch an Eilein next to the car park. Loch An Eilein Hidden in the forest of Rothiemurchus, this beautiful place is one of the most loved in the UK. The local ranger woke us up and made us pay 5 punds per person and then showed us a tiny sign showing the prices. We agreed it would’ve made an unbelievable camping spot if we’d had more time – just another reason to return to the North Coast 500. We took the ferry back to the mainland in the afternoon, left with the impression that we’d only seen a fraction of what Orkney had to offer, and the strong desire to return one day to discover more of the wild and ancient island. The path is wide and fairly flat although quite muddy! Waking up the next day was a beautiful surprise – no flooding (a near miss) and a crisp view out onto the loch, with no-one else in sight. After a fresh morning swim in the loch, we set off toward Loch Fleet on the east coast, armed with a four-man tent and small camp stove. Aviemore campsites are year round destinations thanks to the incredible snowsports in the area, a popular way to escape to the mountains. One of Britain’s most remote beaches, it has no road access; we parked at Blairmore Carpark and schlepped 6.5km with the tent, camp stove and the warmest clothing we could find. November 2020 Allgemein. Unfortunately, I only had 6 days; a wild, whistle-stop road trip with three friends. Campers should therefore prepare for there being no facilities. Arriving for lunch at Loch an Eilein, it felt as if we’d stumbled into a fairy-tale; a glassy loch surrounded by forest with a castle island in its centre. The cabin at the entrance to the car park was un-manned on Thursday and Friday (with no info about overnight stays) and it wasn't until I returned from a walk on Saturday to drop my tent, that I encountered a (very helpful, friendly) attendant who advised that I owed £5 for the night (£5/adult/night; £2/<16/night; camper vans £10 + 2&pppn). Tweet. Contact Info Reviews/Comments. Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus. Loch an Eilein Cottage is incredibly accessible by road, rail and air. In typical chaotic fashion, we headed up the coast to Loch Fleet and blindly searched along the shore, pitching the tent haphazardly with fingers crossed that the tide wouldn’t rise too far in the night. The Rothiemurchus Camp and Caravan park is a beautiful and fairly wild campsite, ideally situated at the start of the Lairig Ghru trail. Dotted with remote beaches, dramatic mountain passes and hidden lochs, you could spend weeks on the route and still not scratch the surface. Loch an Eilein (loch of the island) with its island castle ruin and stunning surroundings of forest and hill, has seen human use for many centuries. The wild camping laws in Scotland are pretty unique compared with the rest of the UK. Not free, you have to pay to camp and to park!!!! Camped a Friday night recently (in November) as. After breakfast, we explored Skara Brae, an impressively well-preserved 5000-year-old village perched on the edge of the beach; after our wild and windy night in the tent, it was strange to think that people had lived there so long ago, so exposed to the elements. Planning ahead makes everything less stressful and gives you more time to enjoy your surroundings. 27. The site provides an idyllic location, close to the pines on the shores of Loch an Eilein, right next to the car park which serves visitors to the loch and information centre. for the history enthusiasts and breakfast in Wick. We swam out to explore the ruins, then took the hour-long round walk along the shore. We packed up and headed North to John O’Groats, with a quick pit stop at Dunrobin Castle for the history enthusiasts and breakfast in Wick. Because of time limitations, we had to miss out several places I’m still dying to visit – Torridon, Gruinard Bay, the famous, twisting Bealach Na Bà mountain road near Applecross –  but all the same, the home comforts at our cottage in Glenelg were a real treat; I realised I hadn’t properly warmed up since Thurso. Willing to risk the changeable Scottish weather for the best possible views, we opted for wild camping, treating ourselves to an Airbnb mid-week to keep things civilised. Loch an Eilein is a beautiful loch with a rugged ruined castle sitting on a small island. Plan your camping spots in advance. Photograph: Damian Waters/Alamy Author and wild swimmer Joe Minihane fantasises about plunging into the cold water of Loch an Eilein in the Cairngorms The air felt heavy and sticky. This pretty little red-roofed, wooden-porched cottage was beautifully restored as a cosy luxury forest hideaway in 2018, with a homely interior straight out of a Scottish folk tale. The area around Gaick Lodge and Loch an t-Seilich is a good overnight wild camping spot, though again, please observe SNH’s wild camping guidance. p.s. Grid Ref NH 897 084. Cooking should only be undertaken on supervised stoves away from potential flammable materials. 5508, Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information. In video 1, I spend the first night wild camping by the Luibeg burn before walking the Lairig Ghru to Aviemore the following day. Situated a mere 10-minute drive from Aviemore, a 35-minute drive from Inverness through stunning Highland scenery and just over an hour’s flight from London, you can be at the heart of the Scottish Highlands quicker than you may think. Our destination for the night was the wild and secluded Sandwood Bay. Of course you can begin from whichever end of the trail you wish. , so you can pitch up in some dazzlingly remote locations, from beaches to mountainsides – just make sure to leave no trace when you head on your way. A highlight was Ardvreck castle, a striking, tumble-down ruin jutting into Loch Assynt, framed by the surrounding hills. The latter is one of the prettiest in the country with a ruined castle sitting in the middle of the water and beaches fringing its edges. Wild campers are welcome for one night only while back packing. Sometimes at night – especially on Orkney and Sandwood Bay, it got very cold. centre which is presumably locked overnight(?). We got chatting and he told me that the site was only supposed to be used as an "overflow" if other sites in the area were full, but I got the impression that anytime would be OK (inc. Christmas and New Year), but that there was only an attendant at weekends..he gave me a leaflet outlining the set-up which states the t&cs, specifically that stays of only ONE NIGHT are permitted. I then continue to Loch an Eilein where I spend the second night wild camping at Loch an Eilean. The River Feshie The gorge was formed by a feeder stream in winter spate The sky was greying and the wind was picking up it was a dramatic change in such a short time since we’d left Loch an Eilein. You can hire bikes from nearby and meander around the myriad paths, with an easy circular route taking in the twin lochs of Morlich and Loch an Eilein. The low level route around the loch is perfect for families, even if they're pushing off-road buggies. I could’ve even done with a little hat for my nose. Loch an Eilein (loch of the island) with its 13th century island castle, was voted Britain's Best Picnic Spot. The loch is considered to … It has a basic toilet block which is open during the summer but may close at other times. This area is open to tent campers and motorhomes. Rothiemurchus estates have established two wild camping areas in order to encourage responsible wild camping. As the last rays disappeared, reality suddenly set in; it was dark, and we hadn’t yet found a place to camp. We didn't knew this place costs money as it said WILD camping. The day held a whistle-stop tour of other must-see beauty spots on Orkney’s west coast – Birsay, with its tidal island; Yesnaby, home to majestic rock formations (with what looked like fantastic wild swimming spots, but sadly we didn’t have time for a dip), and the mysterious. Grid Ref NH 897 084. Wild campers are welcome for one night only while back packing. We didn't knew this place costs money as it. Campers should therefore prepare for there being no facilities. We set up camp in the sheltered dunes and fought the cold with hot pasta as the sun went down. Rothiemurchus Estate Wild Camping: Rothiemurchus estates have established two wild camping areas in order to encourage responsible wild camping. Created: 25/08/2007 :: Updated: 03/04/2019 :: To report an error please your message and data to this form or simply click the submit button below. Loch an Eilein is a small irregular shaped, freshwater loch in the Rothiemurchus Forest about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of Aviemore, Scotland in Cairngorms National Park.Loch an Eilein comes from the Scottish Gaelic and means 'Loch of the island'. Check weather forecast and pack appropriately. Stretching 516 miles around the coast of Scotland, the North Coast 500 is not just one of the best road trips in Europe, but one of the most spectacular destinations in the world. Although at times a campervan would’ve made it easier to find a spot to sleep (and definitely would’ve been warmer), we were very grateful for our tiny car on the single-track roads. If you don’t have long, make sure you plan well and prioritise; I’d recommend the North and West coasts in particular. Whatever you go for, make sure you feel comfortable driving it; the North Coast 500 majors on narrow, twisty roads. We swam out to explore the ruins, then took the hour-long round walk along the shore. Loch an Eilein . I could’ve even done with a little hat for my nose. Not free, you have to pay to camp and to park!!!! The first designated area is at Loch an Eilein next to the car park. The first designated area is at Loch an Eilein next to the car park. Our North Coast 500 road trip will go down as one of my favourite experiences to date, but 6 days wasn’t long enough to explore as much as we wanted. Day 4 was as much about the spectacular drive across the top of Scotland as the destination; a landscape to rival New Zealand with magnificent peaks and white beaches stretching at every turn, from Dunnett Head to breath-taking Tongue Bay and Loch Eriboll. Loch an Eilein, deep in the forest of Rothiemurchus is sheltered by ancient Caledonian pines and has lovely views of a 13th century island castle, winning the UK’s best picnic spot back in 2010. Glenmore Visitor Centre – An Lochan Uaine Loop from Boat of Garten. The practice of wild camping is simple – take a walk and plonk your tent down near enough wherever you fancy to, whether it’s next to a secret waterfall, or on top of a sketchy, rocky ridge overlooking a loch, or even on a remote beach where your only neighbours are passing seals. There’s something for everyone, whether you fancy Munroe-bagging, history touring, wild swimming, whiskey tasting, fine dining, wildlife spotting or views to die for. re the "other" wild camp 2.5Ks further on - I didn't come across it, as far as I could tell, altho' I wasn't looking that hard.. Rothiemurchus estates have established two wild camping areas in order to encourage responsible wild camping. It turned out okay in the end, but we could easily have been washed away on the first night if we’d pitched a bit closer to the water’s edge – which might’ve put a bit of a dampener on the trip. We decided to press on into Loch Sunart where we knew that there was good flat ground on the south shore of Loch na Droma Buidhe. The day held a whistle-stop tour of other must-see beauty spots on Orkney’s west coast – Birsay, with its tidal island; Yesnaby, home to majestic rock formations (with what looked like fantastic wild swimming spots, but sadly we didn’t have time for a dip), and the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, a 4000-year old stone circle. Warmth comes in bursts now rather than blasting heat all day long. A winter wild camp in mild weather beside Loch an Eilein in Scotland, to catch a picture of the sunrise. Stay in the tranquil heart of the Rothiemurchus Estate, "One of the glories of wild Scotland" - Sir David Attenborough. Our one stop along the way – discounting, of course, the photo opportunities at every turn – was Smoo Cave, a majestic sea cave with a 50ft high entrance, three chambers and a vast natural waterfall. 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