The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids

We completed the Three Lochs Forest Drive in the Summer of 2019. It is one of those experiences which has really stuck with us and definitely one of our favourite adventures from the past few years. If you love nature, spectacular scenery and the great outdoors, you must add this trip to your bucket list.


The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids



The Three Lochs Forest Drive is a 7-mile forest drive past three beautiful lochs - Lochan Reodhte, Loch Drunkie and Loch Achray. The scenery is some of the best I have ever seen and it really takes your breath away. The area is a haven for wildlife and if you are lucky, you might spot wild deer, red squirrels and osprey.



The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - car parking ticket


The drive opens in Spring - October from 9am (it opens on 1 March 2020 this year) and there is a parking charge of £2 per vehicle which allows you to park throughout the drive. You need to purchase your ticket from the machine as you enter the drive so bring cash.

The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids

One of the reasons I really loved this drive is that you actually feel as if you have the whole place to yourself. We visited in the height of summer and only spotted one other couple the whole way around. It is as peaceful and un-commercialised as days out can get.

The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - playing by loch

The beauty of this drive is, you can pretty much pull over and take a snap or take in the scenery at any point. I think Steve may have been a little tired of me asking to stop every 2 minutes but it was so beautiful. There are also several dedicated parking spots next to the main lochs where you can properly park up and explore.

The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - loch drunkie water

There are several walking trails to try if you fancy stretching your legs (see here for details) , you can go fishing (obtain a Fishing Permit from the Lodge Visitor Centre first) or enjoy a picnic in the countryside. The park is dog-friendly too.


The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids - the view

We loved parking up and seeing the loch up close. As we skimmed stones across the loch and kept our eyes peeled for fish, it really reminded me of our days out when I was younger and had a very similar vibe to Ingram Valley or Plankey Mill in Northumberland.

The one other family we spotted had made a base and had a BBQ going. It looked like bliss and I would definitely recommend doing this (check by-laws regarding fires before you visit).

The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - skimming stones


Wild camping is also available in the National Park here and we all agreed that we would absolutely love to return and do this in a few years.

Local bylaws state that you must purchase a permit first but they are only £3 and you can camp anywhere in the permit area (see image below) so long as you aren't a danger to yourself or others and are well away from the roads. Find out more about buying a camping permit here.

We have dabbled with wild camping before and cannot wait to try this. If you fancy this yourself, check out these wild camping tips as you make your plan. Remember when wild camping, it is super important that you take all litter home with you and leave no trace.


The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - camping permit

The roads are pretty good and easy to drive around. It is a one-way system (you can go around as many times as you like) and you do not need a 4 x 4 vehicle. Our Dacia managed just fine.




The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - photo beside loch



The Three Lochs Forest Drive - A Good Spot for Wild Camping with Kids  - view of the mountains


We spent around 2 hours driving around the Three Lochs. I wish we had brought a picnic/BBQ and spent longer here. If you incorporate one of the walking trails and a stop for lunch,  3-4 hours is a good amount of time to spend here.


We visited the Three Lochs Forest Drive during our stay at Cameron Lodges. It was around 20 miles from our lodge and easy to visit in half a day. 

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4 comments

  1. This looks so beautiful! You can't beat the lochs and pine forests of Scotland. Reading this post has really made me want to go back.

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  2. Your pictures look amazing, we've always wanted to do Scotland but the sun always draws us away elsewhere! Dave loves the idea of wild camping though, so i'll have to show him this!

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  3. Wow, what an adventure, looks like an amazing place to make magical memories!

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  4. Never heard of this! Wow it looks so beautiful - definitely up Simon's street too, he can just sit down and wouldn't have to go outside! He'd probably just park and let me jump out to take the photos!

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