Ben Nevis towers over Scotland’s deep glacial valleys and glistening lochans with an adventurous spirit, a wild heart, and a flair for drama.
Due to its remote location in the Scottish Highlands, camping near Ben Nevis is the best way to experience everything that this majestic mountain and its surrounding area offer. You will have two options – to stay at one of the region’s few official campsites or set up wild camping on your own. The alternative is to pay for a hotel or Bed and Breakfast in Fort William. I’ll provide essential information for these camping options in the following paragraphs.
And, yes, I walked up Ben Nevis while there. Fort William is the end of the WHW and the start of the Great Glen Way to Inverness.
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Best Campsites Near Ben Nevis
From the unique camping pods at Ben Nevis Holiday Park to Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park’s overall convenience, the region surrounding the UK’s highest peak has something for every type of camper.All of these campsites are near Fort William.
Ben Nevis Holiday Park
- Camping Options:Holiday caravans, glamping pods, tent pitches, caravan pitches
- How Far From Ben Nevis Visitor Centre:3 miles
Although not as conveniently located as its main rival below, Ben Nevis Holiday Park is still an excellent option for those wishing to camp in Glen Nevis close to the mountain.
The best thing about this campground is that it’s pretty small. So, if you’re looking for peace, quiet, and a family-friendly vibe, Ben Nevis Holiday Park istheplace to stay.
Besides its tranquil atmosphere and its location right next to the serene River Lochy, Ben Nevis Holiday Park also accommodates all types of campers. Here, you will find self-catering holiday caravans, beautifully appointed glamping pods, a flat field for tents, and level pitches for caravans.
All these camping spots are well-equipped. For example, the tent campers’ field is dotted with picnic tables. The caravan spots feature electric hookups (some even have greywater drainage and water hookups).
Although not as close to Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, this campground enjoys easy access to Caol and Fort William. From here, you’ll be able to easily visit the shops or grab a bite whenever you want.
As for the amenities, expect clean restroom blocks, coin-operated laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Making a reservation is highly recommended.
Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park
- Camping Options:Holiday caravans, camping pods, tent pitches, camper & caravan pitches
- How Far From Ben Nevis Visitor Centre:½ mile
Most people consider this campsite the best place to camp in the Ben Nevis area. The convenience of its location is unmatched: it’s very close to the start of the Ben Nevis path hiking route and the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre.
The Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park is a genuinely sprawling campground that easily accommodates tents, campervans, and caravans. It is also held in high regard for its amenities.
These include a well-stocked shop, a restaurant, laundry facilities, a clean shower block, and free Wi-Fi. The staff is friendly and professional, and the whole place is regarded as one of the best Ben Nevis campsites for families with kids.
If you’re interested in glamping, check out this campsite’s fully furnished holiday caravans. Also, remember that reservations are crucial – Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park is usually very crowded during the peak camping season.
The overall fun vibe of this place is undoubtedly its greatest asset. You’ll see trekkers and campers on the West Highland Way pitching their tents here, hikers seeking to summit the mountain, and friendly families on holiday.
Great Glen Yurts
- Camping Options:Shepherd’s hut, camping yurts
- How Far From Ben Nevis Visitor Centre:6 miles
On the other side of Fort William, the Great Glen Yurts campground provides visitors with a unique camping experience. As its name suggests, this is not a traditional campsite – here, you’ll be able to stay in a fully furnished yurt.
Each yurt has a wood-burning stove and a plush bed. What is more, each yurt comes with an outdoor kitchen, complete with a fridge, BBQ, gas cooker, and more.
There are a few variants of yurts available at the campground, but they all have sensational views of the mountain’s north face. They are just minutes from some of the world’s best mountain biking tracks, too.
Besides yurts, the campsite also has a reimagined shepherd’s hut: it’s an ideal getaway for couples. The nearby Great Glen farm also deserves mention – it has its very own Hebridean Sheep and Highland Ponies, plus several charming riverside and woodland walks.
Finally, the area surrounding Great Glen Yurts includes magnificent scenery of Ben Nevis, Glen Spean, Loch Linnhe, Glenfinnan, and Glen Nevis. This makes the yurt camp an excellent choice for all interested in mountain biking, hillwalking, kayaking, or just exploring the local wilderness.
For other interesting camping spots in Scotland, read our post on wild camping in Glencoe.
Linnhe Lochside Holidays
- Camping Options:Tent pitches, caravan pitches
- How Far From Ben Nevis Visitor Centre:6 miles
Out of all campsites on my list, this one is the furthest from Ben Nevis. However, Linnhe Lochside Holidays is still a fantastic place to stay, especially if you want a lakeside view while camping.
It’s a particularly great option for touring caravanners. The caravan pitches at Linnhe Lochside Holidays are level, equipped with 10 amp electric hookups, and easily accommodate larger vehicles (up to 40 feet in length).
Moreover, the caravan parking spots are situated among tall trees and provide the feeling of being “out there” and a bit of privacy. On the other hand, the tent pitches enjoy some of the best locations within the campsite – if you’ve ever wanted to camp on a lochside beach, you’ll be able to do so at Linnhe Lochside Holidays.
In terms of amenities, expect a dishwashing room, a clean shower block, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and many picnic tables. Unfortunately, there are no shops of any type at Linnhe Lochside Holidays. Visitors can buy food and other provisions in Fort Williams or Corpach – these are only a few miles away.
Wild CampingBen Nevis
Besides staying at one of the official campsites described above, you also have the option of wild camping near Ben Nevis. However, planning a wild camping trip in this area requires more preparation. You will need to consider the unpredictability of Scottish weather and the overall rugged nature of this region.
Given that the UK’s highest mountain is located in Scotland, those interested in wild camping near it can only benefit from Scotland’s rules and regulations concerning this kind of camping.
Unlike in England or Wales, you can pitch your tent pretty much anywhere in Scotland. It’s pretty safe to say that wild camping in Scotland is evenencouraged, so long as campers follow the regulations summarised in theScottish Outdoor Access Code.
Obviously, all the rules outlined in this code also apply to wild camping near Ben Nevis and the surrounding area. The most important ones are as follows:
- Stick to theLeave No Trace principles. Avoid campfires whenever possible, remove all evidence of your pitch, properly handle human waste, and pack out all your garbage.
- Don’t set up your campsite close to roads and farms.
- Don’t set up your campsite in enclosed fields of farm animals or crops.
- Wild camping is supposed to be a “lightweight” outdoor activity. Stay for up to three nights in one spot and always camp in small numbers.
Wild camping near Ben Nevis primarily appeals to mountaineers and walkers planning to spend a night on the mountain, i.e. to split their climbs or walks into two days.
Those planning to spend a holiday wild camping near Ben Nevis for a few days only to save on accommodation are better off considering other options. But if you still want to do it just like that, please follow the rules outlined above and respect any “no overnight camping” signs you bump into, no matter how remote they are.
The best area to wild camp on the mountain is around Loch Meall An T-suidhe which is grassy and flat.
Self-sufficiency is the key to having an excellent wild camping experience near Ben Nevis. Consider the sudden weather changes and remember that you won’t always be able to hop down to the shops when needed.
For more wild camping spots in the country, read our post on wild camping in the United Kingdom.
Can You Camp on Ben Nevis?
Yes, you can camp on Ben Nevis. You can even camp at the top of Ben Nevis. However, check the weather forecast, as it can get very windy and foggy. The top of the mountain is all rock and stone and surrounded by dangerous cliffs.
How Do I Get to Ben Nevis?
This is probably the easiest option. You’ll want to drive to Fort Williams, the closest town to Ben Nevis, which can be easily accessed via A82.
From there, you should have no trouble reaching any of the campsites described above. All of them are in close vicinity of the town.
Regular trains are going from Glasgow to Fort Williams. The prices of one-way tickets booked in advance start at about £25.
If you’d like to visit the mountain before checking in at one of the campsites, you can walk there from the train station (a 2-mile walk) or take either the N41 or N42 bus.
When to Camp at Ben Nevis?
While it’s possible to camp near the UK’s highest mountain year-round, most campers do so during the summer. In fact, most of the caravan and camping parks near Ben Nevis are open from March to October, i.e. seasonally.
Outside of this period, most of the region’s campsites shut down their services or close down completely. This leaves you with the option of wild camping, which, as I said above, requires quite a bit more preparation.
The area is the most crowded during July and August. During this time, the campsites are often packed, and it’s nearly impossible to secure a spot without a reservation. Even those planning to wild camp should prepare themselves for increased crowds in the region.
Camping near Ben Nevis during September and October is a good choice. The weather is still reasonably good, the summer crowds are gone, and there aren’t as many midges.
What Should I Pack for my Camping Trip?
Besides the tent, sleeping bags, and other camping essentials, here are a couple of items you’ll want to pack for your Ben Nevis camping trip:
- Midge repellent– The last thing you want is to have your Ben Nevis adventure ruined by these pesky insects. Pack a quality bug spray, and you’ll be good to go.More on midges.
- Cooler– While it’s true that you’ll never have trouble with hot weather in the Scottish Highlands, it’s still a good idea to bring a cooler and keep those drinks fresh and cool.
- Camping stove– The best camping stove is the one that’s easy to use, easy to clean, portable, and sturdy enough to last for years. With it, the sky’s the limit when preparing delicious campsite meals.
- Map– If you’re planning to do a bit of exploration during your Ben Nevis camping adventure, make sure to pack a quality map that covers the whole Fort William area. The Ordnance Survey maps are usually the best choice.
Those wishing to camp near Ben Nevis – the soaring capital of this landscape of breathtaking grandeur and massive proportions – can stay at one of the area’s well-equipped and conveniently located campsites. Hopefully, the information provided above will assist you in choosing a campsite whose size and amenities suit your needs. If you’re more interested in wild camping near Ben Nevis, ensure you have ample supplies and suitable clothes for all weather conditions. Good luck!
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.