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  • Campervan overnighting spots, Loch Lomond, Balloch-ish
  • Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    We’re going up to Mull in September, and will be heading up after work on a Friday night to get the ferry from Oban on the Saturday morning. Any recommendations for a reasonable overnighting spot somewhere around Balloch, or just off the A82 along Loch Lomond? Nothing special needed, we’ll literally be parking up about half nine at night, getting our heads down, and leaving at about half eight the next morning. We promise not to poo in any verges, but I can’t promise I won’t wee behind a bush.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
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    Could you drive a bit further up towards or just past Tyndrum? Shorter drive to Oban in the morning too and fish and chip supper from the Real Food Cafe if you make it in time.

    Edit. Somewhere like here would do.

    https://goo.gl/maps/d71VoEiujbHVeUGq9

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Ah, cheers Grum I’ll take a look at that.

    Tyndrum’s a possibility, possibly a little far. Any particular spots around there though?

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Edit. Somewhere like here would do.

    Cheers, but probs too far up.

    Any idea if you can park overnight in the Co-Op car park in Balloch?

    Premier Icon grum
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    It is worth looking at that link. The thing is, I suspect despite the restrictions, a lot of the nice unofficial parking spots around Loch Lomond, at this time of year, on a Friday night will be bam party central unfortunately. Maybe the ban is better enforced these days I dunno.

    Premier Icon fasthaggis
    Full Member

    If you could get to the end of Loch Lomond there is the Beinglas campingsite,might not be as full of Bams and a bit closer to Oban 😉

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Beinglas has a bridge to access with a weight limit of 3T I think, we don’t fit anymore in our new van.

    I think you can overnight at Tarbet Pier and has water & Waste if you need it, it’s outside the management zone.

    Here you go https://www.searchforsites.co.uk/markerMobile.php?id=35191

    Busy apparently but hopefully in September you’ll be OK.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    We promise not to poo in any verges, but I can’t promise I won’t wee behind a bush.

    Sounds like you’ve a van, not a campervan 🙂

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Green Kettle?

    Get breakfast in that way as well?

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    https://goo.gl/maps/EjMaQkAoyzbo48zd6

    I’ve slept there before and there were other vans there at the time. When I went past on Saturday there were a handful of vans there. It’s a cracking spot to wake up and because there’s no beach there’s no bams.

    Premier Icon phil5556
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    Green Kettle?

    Get breakfast in that way as well?

    Green Welly?

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Sounds like you’ve a van, not a campervan

    We’ve a SWB T5, which is outwardly very un-camper like. And, inwardly, ain’t got no bog.

    Premier Icon mashr
    Free Member

    https://goo.gl/maps/EjMaQkAoyzbo48zd6

    I’ve slept there before and there were other vans there at the time. When I went past on Saturday there were a handful of vans there. It’s a cracking spot to wake up and because there’s no beach there’s no bams.

    Unfortunately the bams might just be on the grass instead. 2 weeks ago a bin was on fire when I went past. I’d put Duck Bay in the “hit n miss” category

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Luss Campsite.

    Millarochy Bay Campsite.

    Drymen Campsite.

    Strathblane WHW Campsite.

    Beinghlass Farm Campsite.

    Strathfillan Campsite/Wigwams.

    There is a running theme here. I was speaking to someone on holiday who lived at Helensburgh. Apparently the ‘free stopover’ camping is a huge issue around south Loch Lomond area – people waking up to find campervan/caravan outside their house and someone pee-ing in the garden over breakfast….every. single. night. a. different. van.

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    Maybe the ban is better enforced these days I dunno.

    It’s enforced as well as the laws that existed before the ban that made the problems the ban was meant to address illegal.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    There is a running theme here. I was speaking to someone on holiday who lived at Helensburgh. Apparently the ‘free stopover’ camping is a huge issue around south Loch Lomond area – people waking up to find campervan/caravan outside their house and someone pee-ing in the garden over breakfast….every. single. night. a. different. van.

    Yeah, I get your point, but I’m not going to do that, because, well, Rule 1. I’m genuinely thinking of parking in the Co-Op at Balloch, where there’s public loos next door. Given that we’ll be either a) parking it, b) sleeping in it or c) driving it away, we’re not going to be hanging around making breakfast etc, I suppose I’m really asking “where can I park my van overnight, and I’ll just happen to be in it?” rather than “where can I camp for free overnight?”.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Aye, go to a campsite.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Green Welly?

    Nope, Green Kettle is on the Helensburgh – Arrochar Road IIRC, Green Welly is overrated.

    I’d say good luck finding anywhere, don’t fancy your chances. Dunno if checking car parks in Helensburgh is worth a shot.

    It’s enforced as well as the laws that existed before the ban that made the problems the ban was meant to address illegal.

    Yup, now the rangers and volunteers have added the law behind them to the list people can ignore and abuse them for.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    Dunno if checking car parks in Helensburgh is worth a shot.

    IIRC, all Argyll and Bute car parks are now ‘no overnight parking’ everywhere.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Aye kettle. Not that overpriced shitehole.

    Also from memory theres a couple of car parks on that road you could get into from memory.

    Or bridge of orchy on the fire road behind the pub.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Or…

    Beinn a’ Mhanaich Parking
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/KBihLihaJhjTX9gGA

    Premier Icon phil5556
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    Nope, Green Kettle is on the Helensburgh – Arrochar Road IIRC, Green Welly is overrated.

    Ah, didn’t know of another green themed place 👍 Haven’t been in the Welly for years, the last couple of times the Real Food cafe hasn’t been great either.

    people waking up to find campervan/caravan outside their house and someone pee-ing in the garden over breakfast….every. single. night. a. different. van.

    We’ve got friends near Arden, they have a big drive and have woken up to people camping on it.

    Premier Icon grum
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    It’s enforced as well as the laws that existed before the ban that made the problems the ban was meant to address illegal.

    I’ve read this three times and I’m still none the wiser.

    Premier Icon uwe-r
    Free Member

    I suppose I’m really asking “where can I park my van overnight, and I’ll just happen to be in it?” rather than “where can I camp for free overnight?”.

    In a campsite.

    Premier Icon IHN
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    Right, for the sake of £24 and not incurring the wrath of STW, we’re booked into the Beinglas campsite.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    👍

    (FWIW, it isn’t ever a ‘go’ or ‘wrath’, but it does feel that everyone with a van now wants to park somewhere to (incorrectly) make use of Scotland’s ‘open access’, often thinking they are the only person who had an idea to break a long journey up or visit a particular spot for the ‘gram shot in the morning… I think times are changing for roadside camping, it has been spoiled, permanently.)

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    I think times are changing for roadside camping, it has been spoiled, permanently

    I’m hoping all the people that have got excited and bought vans in the last year will decide it’s not for them, and things might calm down again next year.

    I’ve very rarely previously booked anywhere and either just turn up at a site for a night or find somewhere to hide away, but this year we’ve got a fortnight’s worth of sites booked for August / September.

    (Having said that I’m hoping I can find somewher for the next 3 nights as we’ve come away without booking anything).

    Premier Icon paino
    Full Member

    Have you checked the forestry commission website for overnighting in their car parks? There’s loads up that way-depending on which way you’re going to Mull. There’s the Ardgarten one just past Arrochar-handy if you’re heading to Oban via Inveraray (R&BT) or there’s a couple further north on the Loch Awe road. Few quid a night.

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    I’ve read this three times and I’m still none the wiser.

    There were laws on wild camping, littering, antisocial behaviour and so on that weren’t enforced when people broke them. So they introduced a bylaw on wild camping, to stop already illegal behaviour, that affects people who never broke the existing laws. But fortunately they don’t seem to be policing the bylaw that well now anyway.

    Premier Icon mashr
    Free Member

    paino
    Full Member

    Have you checked the forestry commission website for overnighting in their car parks?

    Good shout that one, take your pick

    https://forestryandland.gov.scot/staythenight#map

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    There were laws on wild camping, littering, antisocial behaviour and so on that weren’t enforced when people broke them. So they introduced a bylaw on wild camping, to stop already illegal behaviour, that affects people who never broke the existing laws. But fortunately they don’t seem to be policing the bylaw that well now anyway.

    ^ This is so true.

    A lot of people still are against the byelaws – they have created paperwork for those who are responsible, and made no difference to the meatheads. What was needed (and still is) is enforcement of the existing laws, education and societal change.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    What was needed (and still is) is enforcement of the existing laws, education and societal change.

    How do you propose they are enforced? PS aren’t interested and the rangers just get laughed at or abused.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Full Member

    ^ This is so true.

    A lot of people still are against the byelaws – they have created paperwork for those who are responsible, and made no difference to the meatheads. What was needed (and still is) is enforcement of the existing laws, education and societal change.

    And make more provision for the obvious demand. There’s clearly a need for better thinking around the whole issue.

    And it’s not I want to keep this wee part of the world to myself.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    How do you propose they are enforced?

    I agree this is an issue… Too many police needed in city centre, too few of them to have anyone free to police rural places. In Stirling county area there are usually no police on duty in an evening across the weekend – any that are on duty are in Stirling city, Falkirk etc.

    Besides which you cannot turn up to a rural campsite as one female officer with no phone signal, no radio signal and 18 beered up Glaswegians…(seen that first hand). SO you need a rural team to move folk on, check all the assets they have left (honest officer, a brand new iPhone was in that sh*thole of a tent, you must have lost it clearing my stuff up) etc.

    I think it needs a bunch of police, with council and ranger support, to operate in teams going around enforcing folk and moving on.

    Enforcement is however the thing we are having to do because education and societal pressure has not been brought to bear. 🙁

    And make more provision for the obvious demand.

    This is also an issue – but as we have just demonstrated there are campsites, there is capacity. Some folk just need to choose to use it and pay a few quid.

    That said, I also think that capacity needs increasing, and that huge new sites are not the answer. Using village hall car parks, smaller and more intimate to nature sites, things that benefit the community more are the solution to this.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    That said, I also think that capacity needs increasing, and that huge new sites are not the answer. Using village hall car parks, smaller and more intimate to nature sites, things that benefit the community more are the solution to this.

    This. I know I’ve now booked a site, but I don’t really want one as I don’t really need one; I just want somewhere where I can park the van, have a wee, sleep, have a wee and leave. A village hall carpark with use of the loos would be perfect, and I’d happily chuck them I dunno, a tenner or something.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    I’ve seen the rangers out moving people on around L Lubnaig and L Venachar from unofficial sites at about 4pm on a Saturday. I don’t know how often, or how late they patrol. There was no need for the new bylaws but I dread to think what it would have been like in those parts if they hadn’t happened to have them when the covid rush arrived.

    Paino the FCS scheme is only for vans with toilet facilities. Whilst I’m sure nobody checks worth being aware.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    , smaller and more intimate to nature sites,

    we’ve used the “stay the night” that the forestry commission are doing, it’s excellent. A lot of the time all I want is somewhere I know I can stay without upsetting anyone, and I’m happy to pay a few ££ for that. Better still if there’s somewhere I can tip my poo away, and again happy to pay.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    I just want somewhere where I can park the van, have a wee, sleep, have a wee and leave. A village hall carpark with use of the loos would be perfect, and I’d happily chuck them I dunno, a tenner or something.

    Most farms you pass would be happy to accommodate that, but I’m not sure a tenner would be enough, perhaps if you ask nicely and promise to deal with your own toiletry requirements, the obvious catch there is you want campervan spontaneity, just park up somewhere nice, but it’s gone, there are tens of thousands all with the same idea at the same time, which coincided with facebook and twitter declarations that you can park and roam anywhere in Scotland for free, bit of a perfect storm, and in some places a shiz storm.
    I don’t see local councils providing more facilities as the answer either, campervans come loaded and don’t necessarily contribute what the traditional B+B tourist did without the expense of providing free facilities for them, the hotel business is dying and it’s never been busier, not a great investment there.
    It’s a shame because it was the cool way to do it, but I think now it might be starting to unravel due to the very thing that made it appealing.

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