Loch Katrine Eco Camping

UK Scotland Central Scotland Stirlingshire

Loch Katrine, By Callander, Stirling, FK17 8HZ
Loch-side sleeping and steamship exploring in one of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park's most historic locations.

It’s not always clear which is the biggest attraction at Loch Katrine. The water itself – a nine-mile-long S shape in the heart of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park – or the 100-year-old single screw passenger steamship (the last of her kind) that sails across it. The world-famous steamer Sir Walter Scott came here in 1899 by barge, boat and horse-drawn carriage before being painstakingly re-assembled for her maiden voyage. For today’s vessel visitors it’s a far easier ride. A one-hour drive from Glasgow, a little more from Edinburgh, or the sleeper train from London to Stirling affording you a little less stress on your journey north. From Stirling, it's just a short drive into the spellbinding heart of the Trossachs and the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. A truly magical setting, Sir Walter Scott described 'the scenery of a fairy dream’ in his famous poem Lady of the Lake.

Along with running the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, the Lady of the Lake, the Trossachs Pier, Brenachoile cafe, the gift shop, and visitor centre, the team here at Loch Katrine have also just opened an exciting eco campsite. The brand new facilities are suitably modern, fully accessible and cater for eight camping pitches and up to 12 motorhomes, while a clutch of secluded glamping lodges allow those travelling light to live in luxury but still enjoy the great outdoors. The lodges' prime position means glampers wake up in the long dawn shadows of Ben Venue, soundtracked by the rippling waters of Loch Katrine and the crinkling top of Ben A'an – the mountain in miniature – looming in the distance. As evening descends, the dramatic sunsets enjoyed from the lodge are very special indeed. Inside each eco lodge, a compact kitchen, heating, proper beds, TV and free Wi-Fi come as standard. The largest ones also offer en suite shower rooms and underfloor heating.

As pampered as an eco lodge stay might sound, it’s still a far cry from the delights Queen Victoria experienced when she came to visit the loch in 1859, famously demanding an entire house and jetty be built for her exclusive personal use. Alas, despite the production of the gothic royal cottage and jetty, which can still be visited to this day, Queen Victoria never stayed there overnight. The 21 gun salute that greeted her arrival shattered almost every window in the house.

If you’re not listening to such tales as you take a narrated boat tour across the water, then hiring bikes on site is also a fantastic option. You can grab a one-way boat ticket to the far end of the loch (taking bikes and buggies on board) and pedal back along the quiet and almost car-free, loch-side road. Hiking, meanwhile, is the key attraction for many. Whether it’s a gentle stroll to Glengyle (the birthplace of Scottish legend Rob Roy MacGregor), taking the long route to Ben Lomond or making your way up to the nearby peak of Ben A'an, there are endless opportunities to keep you occupied. The latter even boasts views back down to the loch, where you can see the Steamship Sir Walter Scott departing across the water. From up top you can really understand how Loch Katrine – “highland thief or robber” in gaelic – earned its name. It certainly steals your breath away.

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The Owner Says

It’s not always clear which is the biggest attraction at Loch Katrine, the water itself – a nine-mile-long S shape in the heart of The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park – or the 118-year-old single screw passenger steamship, (the last of her kind), that sails along it. The world-famous steamer, Sir Walter Scott, came here in sections in 1899 by barge and horse-drawn bogies before being painstakingly re-assembled for her maiden voyage at the end of March 1900. For today’s visitors it’s a far easier journey! We are a one-hour drive from Glasgow and just a little more from Edinburgh. The sleeper train from London to Stirling affords you even less stress on your journey north. From Stirling, it's just a short drive into the spellbinding heart of the Trossachs and the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve.                                                                       

It is a truly magical setting!

Along with running the Steamship Sir Walter Scott, the Lady of the Lake, the Trossachs Pier, the gift shop, and visitor centre, the team here at Loch Katrine have just opened our new and exciting eco campsite. The brand new facilities are suitably modern. Our new secluded eco lodges allow those traveling light to live in luxury but still enjoy the great outdoors. Inside each eco lodge, a compact kitchen, heating, proper beds, TV and free Wi-Fi come as standard. The largest lodges also offer en suite shower rooms and under-floor heating.                                                                                                           

The lodges' prime position means “glampers” wake up to the view of Ben Venue, lulled by the rippling waters of Loch Katrine. As evening descends, the dramatic sunsets enjoyed from the lodges are very special indeed. As exciting as an eco lodge stay might sound, it’s still a far cry from Queen Victoria’s experience when she came to visit the loch in 1859, famously demanding an entire house and jetty to be built for her exclusive personal use. Alas, despite the production of the gothic royal cottage and jetty, which can still be visited to this day, Queen Victoria never stayed there overnight. The twenty-one-gun salute that greeted her arrival shattered almost every window in the house making it impossible for her to stay overnight.

All eco lodges include a small kitchenette with combo microwave, fridge and sink, Freeview HDTV, free Wi-Fi, lighting and heating.

The Luxury Loch Lodges have en-suite facilities (including a walk-in electric shower), under-floor heating and sleep up to 4, with 2 in a king-sized bed and up to 2 in a fold down bed.  The Ben Lodges have panel heating and sleep 2 in fixed double bunk beds and 2 in a 'put-u-up' double sofa bed. A toilet and shower block is nearby.  A wheelchair-friendly lodge is available. 

Campers have access to the shared toilet and shower block and some pitches have optional electrical hook-ups. Two camping pitches are wheelchair-friendly.

Campervan/Motor-home pitches are in the car park and have electric hook-ups, water and are close to a toilet block where there is a wet room and shower.                       

All guests receive 20% off sailings on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott or on the Lady of the Lake.

On all of our boat cruises you can hear about the facts and tales relating to Loch Katrine. You can hire bikes on site and purchase a one-way boat ticket to the far end of the loch (taking bikes and buggies on board) and pedal back along the quiet and almost car-free, loch-side road.

Hiking, meanwhile, is a key attraction for many. Whether it’s a gentle stroll from Stronachlachar Pier to Glengyle House, (the birthplace of Scottish legend Rob Roy MacGregor), taking the long route to Ben Lomond or making your way up to the nearby peak of Ben A'an, there are endless opportunities to explore the beautiful landscape. Ben A’an boasts spectacular views across the loch to the west. From here you can see the Steamship Sir Walter Scott steaming across the water. From the summit you can really understand how Loch Katrine – “highland thief or robber” in Gaelic – earned its name. It certainly steals your breath away.

Further information about hiking routes is available from our kiosk.

Other nearby attractions within easy reach from Loch Katrine include the castles at Stirling (01786 450000) and Doune (01786 841742), whisky distilleries at Deanston (01786 843010) and Glengoyne (01360 550 254), the National Wallace Monument (01786 472140), Blair Drummond Safari Park (01786 841456), and Go Ape Aberfoyle (0845 094 9032).

Win a £100 Blacks Voucher!

If you've stayed at Loch Katrine Eco Camping campsite, please take a minute to tell us about your experience. Every month, one lucky reviewer will be picked at random to win a £100 voucher, courtesy of our recommended retailer Blacks. Each review counts as one entry, so get writing!

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