Loch Ericht Wild Camping

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Aug 18, 2020
5
2
44
Lanarkshire
Hi,

Hope everyone is doing ok. Newcomer to the forum looking for some info on Loch Ericht.

I plan to visit the loch in a couple of weeks and wondered If there were many good spots to wild camp close to the loch as I’d like to do a bit of fishing. I’ll be driving to the Loch but don’t mind hoofing it to get to a decent and quiet spot.

There are three of us who are experienced campers aware of the wild camping rules. Any help would be appreciated.

thanks.
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Perthshire
I don't know the area well myself but the later you leave it the better it may be. Friends and colleagues have been relating visitor horror stories the last few weeks. It's adjacent to Ben Alder so maybe a walking site may offer some advice, try

 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,103
140
Cairngorms
I don't know the area well myself but the later you leave it the better it may be. Friends and colleagues have been relating visitor horror stories the last few weeks. It's adjacent to Ben Alder so maybe a walking site may offer some advice, try

Yep, seems it's gone bonkers all over the Highlands, what you hearin the press is the tip of the iceberg, everyday now I'm either seeing it personally or hearing of it.

As Scoman's says, the later you leave it the better, easier on the midge front as well :). Be prepared to walk some distance if you want peace and quite, and/or be ready to change your plans.
 
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Aug 18, 2020
5
2
44
Lanarkshire
Thanks for the replies. Its much appreciated.

Do you mean it wouldn't be wise to arrive early morning due to issues with local community not wanting wild campers?

We would be keen to avoid this so looking for spots well off the beaten track.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,831
907
Bedfordshire
Hey chaps, in the interest of clarity, lets assume that we haven't seen anything in the press about visiting Scotland for some months. What have you been hearing and seeing? What sort of local horror stories? I can take some guesses, but they range from hordes of the sort of inconsiderate yobs that usually go off to give the English tourist a bad name in Spain, to irate locals taking ever more direct measures to encourage said yobs to go home. Not sure what the current situation is.

Cheers

Chris
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,103
140
Cairngorms
Spot on with the 'later' Chris.

Ive really not got time to make a lengthy post now but from my personal experience there's been a lot of litter, abandoned camping gear, hoards of people where it's normally quite, folks defecating inappropriately, car parking that is beyond belief, a total disregard for social distancing, landowners getting abuse and it goes on. ive not heard of anyone taking direct measures personally.
And no, It's not just English folks.
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Perthshire
Ok it would appear most of the Cairngorms are full. The waste, rubbish the inconsideration of visitors has ruined any chance of a highland welcome this year. Many locals operating businesses are wondering if it’s worth it for the abuse. From visitors that do not understand the logistics or the effect of overwhelming numbers, from locals who are giving abuse because ‘if you weren’t here neither would they’. Many near wild camping spots for tents now full of caravans and campers. People staying in one spot for 1-2 weeks. Having a campfire but not understanding that green wood does burn. overwhelming local facilities yet spending little locally so the drain on the council means they shut things down, toilets etc but put up parking fees all year round. Not understanding how single track roads work, not caring about that. One colleague came round a 90 deg turn to find someone had decided not to park in the campsite but instead camp in the adjacent layby. As he looked for his tent in the back of his car he had the rest of his belongings strewn across the road. If there had been an oncoming car coming the other way he reckons someone would have died that night. Certainly a few of his belongings were run over despite him swerving to avoid. I had a caravan going at 40mph on a major east west road artery as a kid hung out the back taking photos. Myself and the 15 other vehicles did not care about the quality of his photos. C19 restrictions appear not to be needed by most visitors. I believe this will damage the psyche of the people that live in these areas for years to come. Visitors will not be welcomed, doors will not be opened, access will be made more difficult. No-one will wait to see if you clean up your fire correctly, no-one will care you took only photographs you just won’t be made welcome.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,831
907
Bedfordshire
Thanks Scoman and Dogoak. I was afraid you would describe the situation that way, but had a shred of hope that it wasn't that bad. :(

I dare say that there is still plenty of empty country when you get away from the roads, but that typically there are very few roads and places to put a car from which to set out walking to get away. I am in mind of the area around Loch Mora and Nevis, lots of roadless mountains, steep and remote enough to put off the casual holiday tripper, but very few places around the edge where you can leave a car. Anywhere that You can leave a car, all the car/caravan bound happy-campers will have set up shop.
 

Ed the Ted

Forager
Dec 13, 2013
127
24
Scotland
...And no, It's not just English folks.
It is indeed a self deprecating myth that bad outdoors practice in Scotland and Wales is always 'the English', anyone who has had a fair share of rowdy bothy experiences, seen trashed wild camping spots (glen etive comes to mind) knows that the badly behaved can come from anywhere (and often the geographically nearby!).
 

Marius Dreyer

Member
May 18, 2020
17
2
Kent, United Kingdom
Myself, my wife and a friend spent last week wild camping in Scotland and found all the locals that we interacted with most welcoming and hospitable. We did drive past many places (tourist hotspots) flooded with cars and people. Naturally, these sorts of places were of no interest to us as we were looking for remote spots for camping. We managed to find legal parking each time we needed and didn't even come across too many people on the trails we hiked. When camping we didn't see anybody around until we were back on the trails.

So, I think as long as you stay away from the main tourist hotspots it should be alright. I am pretty sure most people on this forum are respectful of their surroundings and the outdoors in general and would prefer to be off the beaten track.
 
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SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
2,180
241
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Perthshire
Myself, my wife and a friend spent last week wild camping in Scotland and found all the locals that we interacted with most welcoming and hospitable. We did drive past many places (tourist hotspots) flooded with cars and people. Naturally, these sorts of places were of no interest to us as we were looking for remote spots for camping. We managed to find legal parking each time we needed and didn't even come across too many people on the trails we hiked. When camping we didn't see anybody around until we were back on the trails.

So, I think as long as you stay away from the main tourist hotspots it should be alright. I am pretty sure most people on this forum are respectful of their surroundings and the outdoors in general and would prefer to be off the beaten track.
I’m sure most people wouldn’t either but it’s the ones that do mean we all get tainted. Glad you had a good time midges are bad this year on Islay and the west where I’ve been
 
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Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,103
140
Cairngorms
Just had a report from someone in the village that's been up in the north and north west for a few days, it's heaving apparently, she'd never seen so many folks, even at this time of year.

Hopefully with the nippers going back to school things will improve.

If you're prepared to walk a distance you should find some solitude :)
 
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Apr 3, 2020
9
7
49
Hebrides
One other thing to keep in mind is the very limited medical services across the highlands and islands and the burden 1000s of people 'getting away from it all' could conceivably have in the event of a medical emergency. That's particularly worrisome in the islands where I live but would be true in many remote communities. When do the English and Welsh schools restart? Scottish schools started last week. For me if you can you'd have a much better experience if you waited till after then and the pressure hopefully drops off? that's not saying dont come now but it is saying please be considerate and plan appropriately.

as to Loch Ericht - there's an estate track in from the north end along the first ~6 miles of the western shore to the lodge, it then turns west to Loch Pattack and the glen running parallel to loch Ericht - there's some lovely wild camping spots if you follow the river pattack north a few miles (total walk in from Dalwhinnie about 10 miles on good tracks ~ 3 hours). i have never been down the east side but for me it doesnt look all that promising. theres a couple of tracks in from south end at Bridge of Ericht and the sw corner of the loch is another area that's worth exploring (thats a slightly shorter walk in but will be harder to reach trail head by public transport). Its worth noting at present MBA advise all bothies are closed.

hope you enjoy, best wishes
 
Aug 18, 2020
5
2
44
Lanarkshire
Thanks for the advice everyone. Its much appreciated. Weather permitting we still plan to go ahead with our trip this weekend and are well prepared. Will take the advice to go down the estate track on the Western side to hopefully find some solitude. Ill post an update when I'm back on Monday.
 

Dougster

Full Member
Oct 13, 2005
5,149
113
The banks of the Deveron.
Thanks Scoman and Dogoak. I was afraid you would describe the situation that way, but had a shred of hope that it wasn't that bad. :(
It is starting to quieten down but it has been awful. We have cancelled everything we tried to do, a walk on our local beach saw me almost step in human waste, being unable to move freely and four by fours shuttling massive tents and stoves to remote areas and damaging the track that had seen nothing more than bicycles. It wasn't the English either.

The big thing we are noticing is motorhomes... my parents is on my drive as we speak, but the grass verge behind Cullen beach that is the council owned land before the gold course has 24 parked up on Saturday night. The places we walk the dogs have them pop up now and again in the most unlikely places, just trying to get space and privacy I think.

I think 99% of those causing the problems just don't have a clue and are stumped having not made it to Ibiza where they are cleaned up after. Most folk on here will have the common sense to adapt and keep looking and are very unlikely to leave any mark they were ever there.

Our world has shrunk and the space we feel we need is just full of other people struggling to escape their own claustrophobia. As my headteacher keeps saying, we all need to be kind to each other. I am, until I see the litter flying.....
 
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Aug 18, 2020
5
2
44
Lanarkshire
Hi,

Well we decided to go ahead with our trip but ended up at Loch Bein a mheadhoin near cannich. Few things thinking back to the trip.

Midgies! I've never seen it so bad, weather was mainly calm so they were out in force to the point on the second morning we had had enough despite us having head nets, sprays etc we left early.

Nearly all the camping spots were taken. We managed to find a decent spot by sheer luck but for the next day or so constantly interrupted by people looking for spots so ended up pretty busy.

Having the canoe really made it though as we could head off to some of the smaller islands for some peace and quiet.

It is a stunning place to visit which is why it is so popular also everyone we met or camped nearby were very considerate in regards noise and clearing rubbish away etc.
 

brambles

Settler
Apr 26, 2012
740
28
Aberdeenshire
Unfortunately there has been far too many mindless morons setting huge fires, burning fences, vandalising outbuildings and toilet facilities and treating wild camping like going to a festival and leaving the place looking like a landfill site , with abandoned gear everywhere. This was near me a coupl eof weeks ago, Loch Muick, brand new gear abandoned after a couple of nights of drunken shenanigans

 
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