Beach campsites in Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve with surfing

This ancient wooded wonderland is a hidden gem with peaceful walks, wildlife and views.

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Beach campsites in Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve with surfing guide


On the east coast of Scotland, between St. Andrews and Dundee, Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve is home to ever-changing landscapes that are ideal for walkers and wildlife lovers. Follow the paths and trails through woodland, over sand dunes and through colorful heathland and marram grass, while looking out for roe deer, red squirrels, seals and osprey. Keen birdwatchers can make use of one of the bird hides to look out for rarities. The views over the River Tay to the Sidlaw Hills are stunning too. Although there are no private campsites inside the reserve, wild camping is a possibility (and especially attractive on the beach). Nearby private sites include Riverview Caravan Park, just outside Dundee, and Nydie Caravan and Camping Site in the St. Andrews area.

When to go

Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve is open to visitors all year round and each season has its own appeal. Spring and summer are the best times for seeing blooming wildflowers, including rare orchids, bluebells and primroses, as well as 20 species of butterfly and migratory birds from Africa. You can spot gray seals with their pups in the fall. Winters are typically not too cold and offer the chance to see snow buntings, eider ducks, pink-footed geese and occasional sea eagles.

Know before you go

  • There is a bus stop next to Tentsmuir's Tayport entrance, served by buses from Dundee and St Andrews.
  • Public restrooms are available by Kinshaldy Beach and in Tayport.
  • Even in summer, the weather can quickly change. Warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy walking boots are essential.
  • If planning to wild camp, be sure to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

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