Beach and dog-friendly campsites in Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve

This Celtic rainforest is a favourite among nature lovers with rare butterflies, wildlife, and easy-on-the-eye walks.

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Beach and dog-friendly campsites in Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve guide

Overview

Sandwiched between the pretty harbor town of Oban and the history-rich Appin peninsula to the north, this wildlife-varied Celtic rainforest is a wonderland of ferns, mosses, and fungi. Where shards of sunlight pierce the oak and ash canopy, otters can be found darting into the shadows and roe deer graze in harmony with skipper butterflies and rarely sighted moths. For more active visitors, the nature reserve’s wild woods are circled by easily navigable trails, while botanists take great delight in some 169 species of lichen, including the wonderfully named Norwegian specklebelly.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Booking is highly recommended for all campsites and caravan parks close to the nature reserve.
  • Many people use Oban and the Appin peninsula as a jumping-off point for the ferry crossings to the Isle of Mull and Lismore. As a result, campsites are particularly busy from Thursday to Monday and during local holidays. 
  • If travelling in the high summer season, reserve at least four weeks in advance.

When to go

A best-in-Britain place to spot butterflies and moths, Glasdrum Wood is most memorably visited in summer (particularly June) when the beautiful chequered skipper is most active. Throughout the other seasons, the nature reserve reveals its assets in other ways—after autumn rains, mists cling to the slopes of Beinn Churlain, providing a great opportunity for the woodland’s ferns and lichens to thrive, while in spring the forest becomes carpeted in multi-colour wildflowers and thistles.

Know before you go

  • Public transport is limited. Travelling by car is the easiest option, with the car park located on the north side of Loch Creran, 1.8 miles east of the nearest bus stop at Creagan Bridge.
  • Entry to Glasdrum Wood is free, but there are no facilities or toilets onsite. For the closest toilets (customers only), visit the nearby Creagan Inn.
  • The nearest train station to the nature reserve is 5.5 miles away at Connel Ferry. It’s a beautiful, if tiring, cycle there and back along the shores of Loch Creran.

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