Riverside camping in Glen Nant National Nature Reserve

Find wildlife, hiking, and biking among the peaceful birches, hazels, and oaks in this Argyll hideaway.

86% (14 reviews)
86% (14 reviews)

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Riverside camping in Glen Nant National Nature Reserve guide

Overview

In the rain shadow of mighty Ben Cruachan, a portrait-posing peak between Loch Awe and Loch Etive, lies the woodlands of Glen Nant—and it brims with possibilities. Nature lovers and birdwatchers can take to the forest paths to spot deer and red squirrels, warblers, and woodpeckers, while those wanting to work up a sweat can tackle the steeper 2-mile hiking trail, or extend a visit by bike to include part of the National Cycle Route 78, which passes the nature reserve’s gates. For families and those exploring at a slower pace, the woodland attracts multiple species of butterflies and is a haven for an Ark’s-worth of insects and bugs. Campsites can be found within minutes of the reserven, some riverside with touring and motorhome pitches.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • With close proximity to Oban and the ferry terminal for sailings to the Inner Hebrides, campsites across Argyll get busy in summer. Advanced bookings are recommended.
  • Some smaller sites are only open from April to October.

When to go

Glen Nant National Nature Reserve is open year-round. Most wildlife in the reserve is active in May and June, while autumn sees the forest floor carpeted with a spectrum of colorful leaves and needles, creating the perfect habitats for smaller creatures and bugs. For stunning views of the surrounding mountaintops, climb up through the glen at last light in summer. The woodland is a sanctuary for rarely seen lichens and moss, which are spectacular during the winter’s frost.

Know before you go

  • Finding the nature reserve using GPS can be tricky. The car park is on the west side of a minor road (B845) between Taynuilt and Kilchrenan.
  • Despite Glen Nant’s remoteness, the bus service between Oban and Dalavich passes the entrance. Check the timetable before travel or speak to the bus driver to make sure you can get back in time.
  • There are no services or toilet facilities at the nature reserve. Bring food and drink with you, or plan a stop in nearby Taynuilt, home to public toilets and places to eat and drink.

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