What Is the Loch Lomond & Trossachs Camping Management Scheme

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs attract thousands of visitors each week and many of those visitors are looking to camp in the area. But the National Park operates a camping management scheme from 1st March till the 30th September each year. In this post, we are going to look at why this bylaw was introduced and what it means for those wishing to camp in the area.

What Attracts So Many People to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs?

If you have never been to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs you may wonder what it is about the area that attracts so many visitors from all around the world to the area. I personally love the area and am a regular visitor although I am only about a 40-minute drive away. This makes it easy for day trips as well as the odd camping trip for us. I do think a visit to this area is a must for everyone at least once.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs was given National Park status in 2002 and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. From picturesque mountains and glens, stunning tranquil lochs and forests that soothe the soul there is something for everyone to fall in love with within the National Park. For us it’s the views and wildlife that bring us the most joy when visiting.

The park covers an impressive area of 1,865 sq km. As well as Loch Lomond itself the park features 22 larger lochs, with numerous smaller lochs, and about 50 rivers.

If the mountains are your passion the park has 21 Munros (mountains above 3,000ft). The highest is Ben More at 1,174m and 19 Corbetts (mountains between 2,500ft and 3,000ft).

Other facts are that around 15,168 people live in the National Park. With 50% of Scotland’s population living within an hours drive of the park.

Loch Lomond from Firkin Point

What About Camping in The National Park?

Camping is very popular in the National Park and there are 3 ways you can camp within the park. This means that there are ways to camp that will suit almost any camper. You can book to stay in one of the 11 campsites within the park. What about a wild camp? you can do this as long as this is out with the camping management zones. You can also buy a permit to stay within these zones. Please be aware that the maximum number of nights you camp in one spot within the camping management zone with a permit is 3 nights.

camping beside loch lomond

Why The Camping Management Scheme Introduced?

The camping management zones within Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park was introduced in 2017 and covers less than 4% of the park. This bylaw has been introduced to stop overcrowding in the more easily accessible areas that surround Loch Lomond and some of the other larger lochs in the area. The aim is to help protect the natural beauty of the landscape. If everyone adheres to these rules and camps responsibly there should be no need to extend the management scheme.

camping management zone sign

Camping Permit Areas

Camping Management Zones include a number of defined camping “permit areas”. Within these areas a number of permits are allocated. A camping permit allows you to camp anywhere within your chosen permit area – you are not allocated a specific space so cannot guarantee a specific spot. Permit areas provide the opportunity to have a ‘wild camping’ experience in popular parts of the National Park and have no formal facilities, so please make sure you go prepared.

Map Key

  •   the camping permit area (tents only)
  •   other camping permit areas (motorhomes/campervans only)
  •   some camping permit areas (tents & motorhomes/campervans)

About Permits for Camping Management Zones

If you do wish to camp in one of the Camping Management areas you can do this online at lochlomond-trossachs.org/camping. At the moment you can only book up to 4 weeks in advance and this year especially this area is going to be busy so try to book as early as you possibly can to save disappointment.

Below are some helpful facts you should know before you book.

  • Permits cost £3 per tent per night. You will need a permit for each tent you intend to put up in a permit area.
  • You can book a camping permit for up to three nights in one area.
  • Bookings can be made up to 4 weeks in advance during 2021.
  • A permit allows you to camp anywhere within your chosen permit area.
  • You can arrive from 1 pm and must depart by 11 am on the day you are leaving.
  • Bookings may be cancelled by contacting campingbookings@lochlomond-trossachs.org up to four weeks prior to the start of the intended stay. No refunds will be given for bookings with a value of less than £7

Another thing worth noting is that, like many places we like to camp there are ticks present within the National Park. You can read about ticks, the disease they carry and how to safely remove them by clicking the link below.

Ticks and Lyme Disease – What You Need To Know

How Will You Enjoy Camping In The Park

Now that you know that some of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is permit controlled, how would you like to camp when visiting?

With camping being available via permits, camping sites and wild camping you are spoiled for choice when it comes to camping in this area. You are also spoiled for choice with what you do once there. Whether you want to enjoy the area by foot, on cycle or even take to the water to explore there is lots to see and do.

The scenery is beautiful and ever changing in the unpredictable weather and you could easily spend an afternoon just watching the world go by. You may want to bag yourself a few munros while in the area or check out the local wildlife.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in the park we are sure you will enjoy relaxing by your tent before getting your head down to start all over again the next day on another new adventure.

Have you ever bought a permit to camp in this area? Why not share your experiences in the comments for others.

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