Camping Road Trip Idea: Glasgow to Edinburgh Through Southern Scotland

The rivalry between Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, and Edinburgh, its capital, is often intense – though jokey. These cities are geographically rather close, but culturally, and atmospherically, they are a world apart. While you could drive directly, or take a train, between the two cities, those who are on a camping road trip could also consider taking an lazy loop southwards to catch some highlights of the region.

Camping Near Glasgow

The Red Deer Village Campsite is one campsite option handy for exploring Glasgow. It is just north east of the city centre. Campsites on the shores of Loch Lomond, a little to the north, are just a half-hour drive from the city, and there are plenty of other campsites over towards Stirling.

Head southwards from Glasgow to reach New Lanark.

New Lanark

The New Lanark World Heritage Site offers a unique opportunity – the chance to see into the lives of those who lived and worked here, in this 18th Century mill village. It offers the chance to learn a lot about Scotland's industrial history. New Lanark was founded in 1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills along with housing for the mill workers. The mills were built here to take advantage of the water power provided by the only waterfalls on the River Clyde.

Clyde Valley Caravan Park is just over a mile away from New Lanark, and Newhouse Caravan and Camping Park is around 3.5 miles away.

Glentress Forest, Tweed Forest Park

Heading broadly eastwards, you can reach Glentress Forest. Glentress Forest, in the Tweed Valley Forest Park, offers plenty of chances to explore the area on foot or by bike. The area is famous for its 7stanes mountain biking trails but there are also five excellent walking trails to choose from, on which you can explore the forest's varied wildlife and rich history.

There are lodges in the Glentress Forest, but camping for tourers is available back in Peebles, nearby, or a little further on in Innerleithen at the Tweedside Caravan Park.

Innerleithen & Traquair House

The main reason to visit the quiet country town of Innerleithen is to see Robert Smail's Printing Works. This Industrial Heritage museum shows the operation of a fully functional Victorian era letterpress printing works, as well as still carrying out orders for printing and stationary.

Just to the south of the town you will find Traquair House. This is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland! It dates back to 1107 and has been visited by no fewer than 27 Scottish Kings and Queens since that time. The Stuart family has lived here since 1491. The building is closed to the public (except for B&B accommodation) during the winter months, but welcomes guests from around the world for the rest of the year.


Before you make your way north to Edinburgh, you should also consider a visit to Melrose. Melrose Abbey is one of the most important ecclesiastical ruins in the country. It was founded by Cistercian monks for King David I of Scotland, and was the foremost structure for that religious order until the Scottish Reformation.

A short distance to the west of Melrose along the A6091 you will find Abbotsford, the 19th Century home of the writer Sir Walter Scott. This baronial country mansion houses the study of the author, and a sporran that belonged to legendary Scottish hero/ outlaw Rob Roy.

There is a campsite in Melrose at Gibson Park, as well as several more options in the surrounding area.

While there is plenty more to see and do around the Scottish borders, a short 2-5 day camping road trip could now be concluded by heading northwards to reach Edinburgh.