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Camping and Motorhome Byelaw Q&As

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is a stunning place to camp or stay with a motorhome or campervan. Whether it’s in a campsite along an idyllic lochshore or river, or for those who prefer the solitude of ‘wild camping’ away from the hustle and bustle, there is something for everyone.

Camping Management Zone Sign

On 1st March 2017 new byelaws were introduced to manage the environmental impact of camping on some of the busiest lochshores in the National Park. These byelaws affect those wanting to stay on and around some lochshores during the summer season in the National Park, whether they are in a tent, motorhome, campervan or caravan.

These Q&As explain how you can enjoy your stay in the National Park.

General information

 
Why were the camping byelaws introduced?

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is visited by over 4 million people every year. The byelaws are needed because the sheer number of visitors to some of our most easily accessible lochshore areas, combined with damage from antisocial behaviour, is causing significant damage to both the environment and to the local communities whose local economies rely heavily on tourism.

The byelaws were approved by Scottish Ministers in January 2016. They will help us to both protect these parts of the National Park from environmental damage and vastly improve the experience for visitors, including for those who come to camp.

What do the camping byelaws cover?

Where you can camp in a tent and stop overnight with a motorhome or campervan along some lochshores in the National Park, from 1st March to 30th September. If you camp outside of these areas you will not be affected by the byelaws. The byelaws cover less than 4% of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Irresponsible fire-lighting and collecting wood, including chopping trees for firewood. If you want to have a fire when you are camping you will need to make sure you build it in a place where it will cause no damage or use a fire bowl. You must bring your own wood, as collecting firewood has a damaging effect on wildlife in the area.

How do the camping byelaws work?

The byelaws create Camping Management Zones along our busiest lochshores, which are easily accessible by road. These Zones include the land from the affected lochshore to the nearby road, and for approximately 200m on the other side of the road, or to the nearest visible feature such as field boundaries or tracks.

When do the byelaws apply?

The byelaws are seasonal and they apply each year from 1st March to 30th September. The rest of the year you can camp in the Camping Management Zone without a permit, in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

What area is covered by these camping byelaws?

There are four Camping Management Zones:

  • West Loch Lomond
  • East Loch Lomond
  • Trossachs West
  • Trossachs North

How much do camping and motorhome permits cost?

The cost of a permit is £3 per tent or motorhome/campervan per night. A camping permit allows the holder to camp within a specific permit area. A motorhome permit assigns the permit holder to a specific location and numbered parking bay. We recommend that you print and display the permit in your windscreen upon arrival. The maximum stay in one permit area is three consecutive nights.

Camping at one of the National Park’s Your Park campsites costs £7 per adult per night, with children aged under 16 going free.

There are a number of other campsites across the National Park. The cost of camping at other campsites varies depending on the level of facilities on offer at a specific location.

Will the byelaws affect me?

Camping

Depending on where you would like to camp you may need to get a camping permit. 96% of the National Park is not affected by the new byelaws, as these seasonal byelaws only apply along the busiest lochshores, from March to September. If you wish to camp in an area which now falls within a Camping Management Zone, (from March to September) you will have to use either an official campsite or a permit area. Please check before you go.

Motorhomes and campervans

There are a permits available for motorhomes and campervans to stay over in the Camping Management Zones at Three Lochs Forest Drive, Inveruglas and Firkin Point.

There are plenty of places within the National Park to stop and rest on your journey. These are unaffected by the new camping byelaws.

Fires

If you want to have a fire you will need to ensure that it will cause no damage or use a fire bowl. Always bring your own wood, as collecting firewood has a damaging effect on wildlife in the area.

Angling

The byelaws do not affect where you can fish, but if you want to camp or stay in a motorhome or campervan you will need to obtain a camping permit or book into a campsite in some locations. You still have to get a valid fishing permit. Find out more about angling in the National Park.

When can I arrive at a permit area and how long can I stay for?

You can arrive at your permit area from 5pm until 11am on the day of departure.

Maximum stay in a permit area is three nights.

What are the penalties for not complying with the byelaws?

National Park Rangers will always offer advice on how and where to camp responsibly but please be aware that failure to comply with the byelaws could result in a report to the Procurator Fiscal and a fine of up to £500. You can view our Visitor Management Engagement and Enforcement Policy here.

Information for campers

 
How and where can I camp in a Camping Management Zone?

In addition to all the existing campsites within the National Park, we have committed to providing at least 300 low-cost camping places through:

  • Your Park campsites – informal campsites, with bookable pitches and parking.
  • Permit areas (some with basic facilities) – specific areas where you can camp with a camping permit.
  • Some of these permit areas allow for motorhomes and campervans to stop off overnight in the Camping Management Zones with a motorhome permit.

Can I still camp and ‘wild camp’ in the National Park?

Yes. The byelaws cover less than 4% of the National Park’s 720 square miles, so responsible ‘wild camping’ as described in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code in most of the National Park is not affected by these byelaws. Camping across the entire Park from October to February is unaffected by the byelaws.

Where are the Your Park campsites?

The National Park has informal camping facilities at the campsite next to The Cabin at Loch Lubnaig, and Forestry Commission Scotland also have Sallochy campsite on East Loch Lomond. A new National Park campsite opened at Loch Chon in the Trossachs on 1st March 2017. Like the sites at Sallochy and Loch Lubnaig, the Loch Chon site offers informal, low cost camping in a picturesque location.

What are the Your Park campsites like?

These campsites provide opportunities for visitors looking to camp near a lochshore with basic facilities like fresh water, toilets and parking. Pitches are clearly marked out and can be pre-booked online in advance. Pitches at Loch Chon and Sallochy come with an allocated car parking space.

How do the camping permits work?

Camping in a permit area is ideal for those who prefer to have a ‘wild camping’ experience, as described in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, but want to stay in an area within one of the Camping Management Zones.

What are permit areas with services?

In permit areas with services there are toilet facilities and – in some locations but not all – limited parking. These are locations where there are higher numbers of permits available, so providing basic facilities helps make camping sustainable. Some permit areas have also been located where there are already existing toilet and parking facilities close by (e.g. Inveruglas and Firkin Point on the A82 on the West side of Loch Lomond).

Can organised groups camp in the Camping Management Zones?

Yes. Organised groups such as Duke of Edinburgh, Scouts, and youth organisations who wish to camp in a Camping Management Zone can apply online here for permission. There is no charge for these types of groups to camp in a Camping Management Zone.

Can landowners, businesses or communities get involved in providing new camping facilities?

Yes. We are keen to encourage more camping facilities in and around the Camping Management Zones. Any interested landowners, businesses or community organisations keen to get involved should contact: charlotte.wallace@lochlomond-trossachs.org

Information for motorhome, campervan and caravan users

 
Do I need a permit to stay overnight in the National Park with a motorhome/campervan?

You only need a permit for your motorhome or campervan if you want to stay at Firkin Point and Inveruglas on the west side of Loch Lomond, or Three Lochs Forest Drive near Aberfoyle in the Trossachs between 1st March and 30th September.

A permit costs £3 per night for Firkin Point and Inveruglas and £5 per night at Three Lochs Forest Drive.

You can stay for up to three nights. Check availability and book permits here.

Where can I go if I don’t want to stay in a Permit Area?

There are a number of campsites around the National Park providing pitches and various services for tourers.

Can I wild camp in my motorhome/campervan outside of permit areas or designated campsites within a Camping Management Zone?

If you plan to stay outside of the roads network in an area covered by a Camping Management Zone, you will need to use a permit area or campsite. Many car parks do not permit overnight parking so please check before you settle down for the night.

If you are considering using a car park belonging to a business, you should always check with the proprietor if you are thinking of staying overnight.

You do not require a permit to stop in a lay-by in the National Park. However, please remember that these short stay stopping pull-offs are designed as rest stops and are not suitable for extended stays.

Do I need a permit to stay in a lay-by?

No – official lay-bys that form part of the roads network are there to allow drivers to stop and rest on their journey, including overnight. You do not require a permit to stop in a lay-by in the National Park. However, please remember that these short stay stopping pull-offs are designed as rest stops and are not suitable for extended stays.

If you do choose to stop in a lay-by, please make yourself aware of all road traffic regulations associated with this type of facility.

Please remember: Passing Places, unlike lay-bys, are not meant for stopping and are a crucial part of the single track road network in the National Park. Passing places must be kept clear to allow the free flow of traffic.

Always ensure you are parked responsibly without causing an obstruction to access or passing traffic.

Do I need to pay for parking as well as a permit?

You do not have to pay for parking at Firkin Point or Inveruglas if you have a permit already, but you must park in the designated motorhome bays. At Three Lochs Forest Drive there is a £2 vehicle access charge which is paid in advance when you buy your permit.

What is the maximum size of motorhome that can be accommodated in a permit area?

Motorhomes and campervans come in a wide variety of sizes but we advise that the assigned parking bays allow for a vehicle of approximately 8 metres in length by 2.5 metres wide. You should check the descriptions of each site before booking to make sure it is suitable for your vehicle.

Do the permit areas have water and waste facilities?

Permit areas do not have water or waste disposal points and arrangements should be made elsewhere if required.

Although some permit areas have toilets nearby, these are not equipped to deal with chemical toilet waste and you should not empty toilet cassettes at these locations.

Misusing facilities causes damage which is often costly to repair and may require the damaged facility being closed for a lengthy period of time. This also has an impact on other visitors who use these facilities so please help us to continue to provide the best experience possible in the National Park by following any instructions accordingly.

Where can I get facilities like fresh water waste disposal points?

Many of the formal campsites around the National Park offer touring services and you should check with them directly for specifics.

What do I do if someone has parked in the motorhome permit area?

Rangers are on patrol each day to check visitors have valid permits and provide assistance to campers.

Our Camping Bookings Team can also be contacted on 01389 722 001. If no-one is available please leave a voicemail and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Can I buy a permit for my caravan?

Unfortunately the permit areas at Inveruglas, Firkin Point and Three Lochs Forest Drive are not suitable for caravans due to the ground conditions and in some cases the tight turning areas. There are however many campsites located around the National Park with great facilities for caravans.

I have a vehicle with a roof tent, can I use the permit areas?

Camping permit areas are unsuitable for vehicles with roof tents and they are therefore not permitted.

Due to the wide variety of roof-tent setups available some motorhome permit areas may be suitable however, please contact us on Tel: 01389 722 001 before booking a motorhome permit to ensure your planned stay is possible.

The formal campsites around the National Park will offer more suitable ground for this kind of setup.

Are all the roads in the National Park suitable for motorhomes/campervans?

As with any other area there are a wide variety of roads within the National Park; these range from major trunk roads, capable of handling any size of vehicle, down to single track roads which are less suited to bigger vehicles, especially at busier times. It is worth considering before you decide to use a single track road if this is likely to cause you problems; especially if you are travelling in convoy.


If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, contact us at campingbookings@lochlomond-trossachs.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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