If you want to park your motorhome free in Scotland, you can camp in the wild or a few other select spots. However, certain conditions apply.
Travelling in a motorhome gives you the freedom to go anywhere, anytime you want. So, it should also mean that you can stop or sleep anytime.
So, while travelling around Scotland on a budget and exploring its beautiful and scenic sights, you may be wondering if you can find free parking spots and curtail the travelling expenses.
So let’s get started finding free motorhome parking in Scotland.
Is It Legally Allowed To Park For Free In Scotland?
Scotland is renowned for wild camping. It is probably the best way to explore and enjoy the beautiful countryside.
So, if you are travelling in your motorhome, there are plenty of places you can explore and park your vehicle as well. However, we need to consider the legal aspect of the situation. Free wild camping is allowed in Scotland but does not extend to motorhomes.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code allows the public to camp on land that is not fenced or enclosed by a boundary. However, that only applies to camping with a tent. It does not extend to camping activities based on vehicle use, including parking your caravans or motorhomes.
According to the Land Reform Act of 2003, the Scottish parliament conceded the public’s right to access unenclosed Scottish land. According to this reform, it is important to understand where you can park your vehicle.
You must not create a hindrance, block the field entrance, or make it difficult for others to use the track or road. You must also not damage anything and use a car park area if available.
As per the Road Traffic Act of 1988, you cannot drive a vehicle without legal authority on land which is not part of a road, track, or walkway. If you want to park, you can do so within 15 yards of the public road, but not without seeking the landowner’s permission first.
Most of the wild land is usually private property; you need permission from the owner before parking your motorhome, which would be tolerated for an overnight stay only.
During the past few years, landowners have been less tolerant of motorhomes, while the addition of motorhome routes (NC500) has caused a lot of traffic on the roads, putting a strain on the infrastructure.
Finding Wild Camping Places In Scotland
If you have driven along the NC500, you may have chanced upon some campsites along the way. There is also the option of wild camping. However, summer is a busy time, and it might be challenging to find a parking spot.
Another wild camping option is the Isle of Skye on the western coast of Scotland, but it too is quite busy in the summer season.
If you are cruising in the western Scottish Highlands, check the overnight parking near Fort William. You may not be able to find parking in the town, but there are a few spots just outside, which are quite suitable.
Where To Find Free Motorhome Parking In Scotland
So now that we are clear on the wild camping situation let’s explore your options for free motorhome parking. Here are a few ideas.
Refer to Scottish Forestry and Land Commission-The Forestry and land department of Scotland started an initiative last year called Stay the Night. Per the initiative, self-contained motorhomes or camper vans can stay the night at some of its car parks for free for a certain period.
To avail of this opportunity, your motorhome must have all the facilities inside the vehicle, including a toilet. Pop-up toilets, tents, car camping, or canopies are not allowed in these parks. There is strictly a first-come, first-serve policy, and no allocated spaces or advanced booking facility is available.
Free Parking At Campsites
There are hundreds of campsites in Scotland, and if you are a club member, you will have no difficulty finding a free place to park your motorhome.
Free Parking At Brit Stops
It is a scheme that comprises an app and a book and connects motorhome owners with various stops, pubs, cafes, or restaurants that will let you stay overnight.
You may have to purchase a product from another or order a meal in exchange, but the parking will be free.
You may also interact with the local residents and learn about nearby attractions.
Free Parking At National Parks
Some national parks in Scotland allow you to stay for a very little fee (£3-£4 per night). However, you may need a permit before you can park.
Regardless of where you park, it is important to be mindful of others’ privacy. You must also respect the owners or locals and avoid littering the place or damaging the property and the surroundings.