5 places to wild camp near Edinburgh

As weather conditions soften and summer slowly, but surely returns, dust off the tent and try one of these wild camps in close proximity to Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 8th May 2018, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 12:35 pm
You don't have to travel far from Edinburgh to get a sense of wilderness (Photo: Shutterstock)
You don't have to travel far from Edinburgh to get a sense of wilderness (Photo: Shutterstock)

Note: when wild camping it is vital that campers clean up after themselves and respect any wildlife that may live in the area.

Thieves Road, Pentland Hills

This path scythes through a western section of the Pentland Hills connecting the A70 with West Linton.

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The sprawling path is likely named due to the number of cattle thieves which operated in the area in previous centuries, though today it is typically utilised by dog walkers and hill hikers.

Set over wild moorland, there are ample excellent spots for wild campers to pitch their tent, including the bealach between East Cairn and West Cairn Hill, which is protected by a dry stone wall.

When you rise from your slumber, stroll to the top of East Cairn and marvel at the views of the capital

Traprain Law, East Lothian

Sharply rising above the farmland typical of East Lothian, Traprain Law is a familiar sight to residents of Haddington.

The distinctive hill is said to be the site of an East Lothian myth - in the 6th century, King Loth, from which Lothian takes its name, had his daughter thrown from the cliffs of Traprain when she became pregnant with her cousin's child. A standing stone, known as the Loth Stone can be viewed to the south of the hill.

If conditions are still and clear, the peak of this volcanic lump is an excellent vantage point to view Edinburgh, East Lothian and Fife - ideal for wild camping.

Doon Hill, Dunbar

Approximately two miles south of Dunbar, Doon Hill was the chosen site of a timber hall roughly 6,000 years ago. Today the green, rolling peak is criminally undervisited - this can be taken advantage of by wild campers seeking a quiet space to unwind.

Other than the unsightly Torness Power Station, views to the mouth of the Forth are pleasant.

Yellowcraig Beach, East Lothian

There's nothing quite as relaxing as the sounds of waves gently crashing onto a sandy beach. Camping on the shores of one of East Lothian's gorgeous stretches is a must for any city-based wild campers.

Yellowcraig is one of the best options with its sprawling stretch of sand and views of Fidra. Approached through a wooded area, campers can choose ebtween camping in the secluded forest or above the rolling dunes.

North Esk Reservoir, Pentland Hills

Situated just west of Nine Mile Burn in the Pentland Hills, North Esk Reservoir possesses a palpable sense of wilderness despite its proximity to Edinburgh.

Surrounded by flat greenery this area is ideal for tent pitchers looking to escape the capital. Wild Campers should set up a base camp of sorts on the reservoir's bank, before assaulting the Borestane and taking in the views of Edinburgh which inspired Robert Louis Stevenson among others.