Lake camping near Peebles

In the heart of the Borders, Peebles gives access to the Scottish adventure you didn’t know you were missing.

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Lake camping near Peebles guide

Overview

On the banks of the River Tweed, Peebles offers the perfect base to become immersed in the outdoors, explore the vivid history of a divisive boundary land, and get a dose of culture along a high street packed with independent shops and galleries. Despite its proximity to the Central Belt and North England, the Scottish Borders remains an under-the-radar destination and has something to suit every camper’s tastes: from mountain and quad biking to walking, surfing, and coasteering. The Tweed River—famous for salmon fishing—is a fixture on the landscape and seven woodlands along the river make up the Tweed Valley Forest Park.

Where to go

Upper Tweed

Seek adventure on two wheels as you navigate the downhills at Glentress Forest, one of Scotland’s most renowned mountain bike parks. Later take the 1.6-kilometre-long stroll westward along the Tweed to Neidpath Castle, where a former owner fought for Scotland’s freedom alongside William Wallace. Linger over lunch, a coffee or a cold pint in one of the many restaurants along Peebles High Street before settling in at one of the many forest lodges, tent sites, or caravan parks in the area. 

The Berwickshire Coast

From the border of England north to the hamlet of Cove, the most southern stretches of Scotland’s North Sea coast are just over an hour’s drive from Peebles. Catch waves at Pease or Coldingham Bays, explore St. Abbs Head National Nature Reserve or walk all 45 km along the Berwickshire Coastal Path. Leisure parks and campgrounds can be found along the whole stretch of shoreline. 

Melrose and the National Ways

The Southern Upland Way winds more than 320 miles from Portpatrick in the west to the east coast via the Borders village of Melrose. The town that invented Rugby Sevens is also the start of the St Cuthbert’s Way pilgrimage route as well as a stop-off along the Borders Abbeys Way, a circular walk that takes in the four 12th-century abbey ruins of the area. Camping, yurts and glamping sites are abundant along all these waymarked routes and outside the lively area villages.

When to go

In summer, Peebles and many of the other villages of the Borders host the Common Ridgings, the world’s largest and oldest equestrian festival. As in most of Scotland, the peak tourist season runs from May through October, however the area is a lesser known destination to international visitors than the Scottish Highlands. Autumn can be a wonderful time to experience the foliage throughout the area and provide an excuse to warm up with a dram in one of Peeble’s cosy pubs.

Know before you go

  • Book campsites well in advance during peak season, and be aware many sites and private properties may close up in winter. 
  • Waterproofs are an essential packing item for any season in Scotland, as are warm layers. 
  • If you’re hoping to surf, bike, or participate in any other adventure activity, source rental equipment or book lessons in advance.

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