Cabins near the beach in Galashiels

From rugged coastline to roaring waterfalls, there’s much to see within easy reach of this Scottish Borders town.

Popular camping styles for Galashiels

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Cabins near the beach in Galashiels guide


Encircled by green fields, wooded downlands, and river valleys, there’s a good amount for outdoor enthusiasts to discover in the immediate vicinity of this quintessential Scottish Borders town, just an hour outside Edinburgh. Galashiels is a convenient launch point for adventure into the Southern Uplands, Scottish capital, and East Lothian sunshine coast, with several glamping, camping, and caravan sites offering hassle-free alternatives to wild camping. 

Where to go

Around Galashiels

Discover the inland charms of the Scottish Borders at one of the caravan sites, holiday parks, or woodland campsites in Gala’s rural surrounds. A cyclist’s haven, several trails pass through the area, including National Route 1, while city breakers looking for a casual ride or ramble can follow shorter routes, such as the Four Abbeys or Gala Circuit Walk.

Edinburgh & the Pentland Hills

Right on the doorstep of the Scottish capital, the Pentlands are convenient for combining city sightseeing with outdoor exploration. The undulating hillside is a destination for hikers and bikers, with long distance and circular trails providing sweeping views of Edinburgh and beyond. Wild camping is possible within the regional park, while caravan and glamp-sites can be found closer to the capital.

Moffat Hills & St Mary's Loch

To the west of Gala, this rugged range boasts valleys, lochs, and the UK’s highest waterfall—the Grey Mare’s Tail. Wildlife enthusiasts flock here to admire rare upland flora and fauna, while hikers and bikers explore off-road tracks such as the Southern Upland Way, which passes directly through the region via St Mary’s Loch. Accommodation options include lochside campsites, glamping yurts, and caravan parks.

East Lothian Coast

Explore 40 miles of dramatic North Sea coast in East Lothian, Scotland’s sunniest destination. Watersports are a popular pastime here, as is birdwatching, rockpooling, riding, and rambling. Beachside caravan parks and wild campsites provide overnight options up and down the coastline.

Northumberland National Park

This vast and tranquil park just south of the Scottish-English border is an ideal spot for remote region ramblers and stargazers, thanks to its status as a Dark Sky Site. Working farms, no-frills field sites, and touring parks can be found all along the park’s extensive network of walking trails, cycle paths, and bridleways.

When to go

Winter camping is best avoided unless you’re experienced, as nighttime temperatures hover around zero from November through to March and snowfall makes travel tricky. Frosty scenes can still be enjoyed in spring and autumn, while avoiding summer camping crowds.

Know before you go

  • Wild camping is largely permitted in Scotland under a strict leave-no-trace policy, though busier regions often require a campsite booking or permit.
  • Wild camping is not permitted in England, including in Northumberland National Park.
  • The Diamond Cycle Centre in Galashiels offers bike hire with delivery and pickup.
  • Not all sites accept walk-ins, so check in advance.
  • Check out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to learn more about safely and responsibly exploring Scotland’s great outdoors.

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