Day and night, the south of Scotland lives and breathes adventure, with acres of incredible forest parks and enchanting coastlines to be discovered. Start off with mountain biking, surfing or woodland wanders, followed by stargazing beneath some of Europe’s darkest skies and drifting off to the sounds of the wilderness.
One of the most memorable ways to experience the breathtakingly beautiful southerly regions of Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders is to book a luxury camping experience and absorb the amazing surroundings in total style and comfort.
Dumfries & Galloway
1. Laggan Outdoor
Sleep inside… a ‘Sea View Snug’
Where? Gatehouse of Fleet
Nearest forest to visit… Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, 20 minutes’ drive
Each of the 10 snugs at Laggan Outdoor have their own individuality, with themed decor and a nickname. With incredible coastal views during the day and exceptionally dark skies to admire when night falls, grab your snuggle buddy and be as cosy as can be inside one of these!
2. Galloway Activity Centre
Sleep inside…yurts, safari tents or eco-bothies
Where? Loch Ken, Parton, Castle Douglas
Nearest forest to visit… Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre, 25 minutes’ drive
Sleep on the shores of Loch Ken with several glamping options at the Galloway Activity Centre. The magical selection of properties includes an eco-friendly bothy powered by solar energy with wood-fired hot tub, or try a hand-crafted tent with cosy vibes and a log burning stove for cooking a delicious loch-side dinner.
3. Solway View Holidays
Sleep inside… a wonderful wigwam
Where? Borgue, Kirkcudbright
Nearest forest to visit… Cally Woods, 20 minutes’ drive
Be at home at Solway View inside a wigwam. Each are heated and furnished with comfortable mattresses, a toaster, mini fridge and en-suite bathrooms – all you need to bring is a sleeping bag. When the sun shines, it’s easy to see why this glorious coastline is known locally as the Costa Del Solway!
4. Glenwhan Gardens
Sleep inside… a shepherd’s hut
Where? Dunragit, Stranraer
Nearest forest to visit… Glentrool Visitor Centre, 40 minutes’ drive
The gorgeous gardens at Glenwhan burst into bloom in the spring, as bright colours sweep across this little corner of Galloway. This wee hut in the gardens is dog-friendly and can be booked all year round, with a patio and BBQ to enjoy, as well as views across to the Mull of Galloway.
5. Barnsoul Caravan Park
Sleep inside… cosy camping pods
Where? Shawhead, Dumfries
Nearest forest to visit… Mabie Forest, 25 minutes’ drive
Sometimes a standard tent doesn’t quite do the trick. There’s a range of weatherproof apex pods, bothies and lodges available at Barnsoul, the ideal base for anyone exploring beautiful Dumfries & Galloway.
6. Brockloch Eco Retreat
Sleep inside… an enchanting treehouse
Where? Kirkpatrick Durham, near Castle Douglas
Nearest forest to visit… Dalbeattie Forest, 25 minutes’ drive
Make your childhood dreams come true by spending a night or two living like a forest dweller up in the trees, with just red squirrels for company. The Brockloch Eco Retreat features an eco bothy which appeared on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and a treehouse nestled deep in a bluebell wood with a skylight for star-spotting.
7. Roulotte Retreat Caravans
Sleep inside… a French-style roulotte caravan
Where? Eildon Hills, near Melrose
Nearest forest to visit… Thornielee Forest, 25 minutes’ drive
Here, you will find a selection of brightly-coloured, traditional roulotte caravans, perfect for a truly magical couples retreat, 1800s style! Experience a stay in the charming Horseshoe cottage with the option to use the beautiful bowtop gypsy caravan, Ruby, at the same time – these two are set in their own private woodland garden.
8. Glentress Forest Lodges
Sleep inside… a timber-frame forest lodge
Where? Glentress Forest, near Peebles
Nearest forest to visit… Glentress Forest, 5 minutes’ walk
The Glentress Forest Lodges are handy, budget-friendly glamping options, ideal for catching 40 winks after an invigorating day exploring the forest. These can be found adjacent to the 7stanes mountain biking trails and not far from Go Ape!. They have everything you’ll need, including a drying room, bike storage, heating and a fridge.
9. Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping
Sleep inside… safari tents
Where? Denholm, Hawick
Nearest forest to visit… Yair, 35 minutes’ drive
Deep in the forest, Ruberslaw’s secluded safari tents are made from canvas, and each have fire bowls and front verandahs (for those late-night life chats). It’s not exactly a full-on Bear Grylls survival experience though, with camping luxuries thrown in such as a fully-equipped camp kitchen, logs, cool box and gas hob. Listen carefully for badgers, owls and other forest friends scuttling around.
10. Ettrick Valley Yurts
Sleep inside… spacious Mongolian yurts
Where? Ettrick Valley, Selkirk
Nearest forest to visit… Craik Forest, 40 minutes’ drive
There’s plenty of space for you and the crew, or the family, inside one of the Ettrick Valley Yurts, each standing at 6 m tall and sleeping up to six people. Furnished with bright colours, twinkly lights and fluffy rugs, you’ll be warm and toasty all night long inside this magical space, surrounded by the beautiful Lammermuir hills.
11. Upland Shepherd Huts
Sleep inside… a gardener’s hut or a woodman’s hut
Where? Abbey St Bathans
Nearest forest to visit… Thornielee Forest, 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive
Go for a digital detox deep in the Borders countryside inside a choice of two lovingly decorated shepherd’s huts, built from recycled materials and powered by solar panels, with hot showers and wood burning stoves. With lovely walks nearby and the charming hamlet of Abbey Saint Bathans to explore, these huts are perfect off-the-grid escapes.
12. Borders Glamping
Sleep inside… a cabin in the woods
Nearest forest to visit… Newcastleton, 20 minutes’ drive
Walk through this inviting wee door and find a peaceful cabin, perfect for two. Situated around the back of a working sheep farm, the countryside air, black-out curtains and super comfy bed will ensure a deep night’s sleep. Don’t forget to look up through the glass panels to gaze up at the stars, and wake up to the beautiful countryside with coffee and breakfast cooked on the gas hob.