Exploring Edinburgh and the southeast of Scotland in a campervan is ideal, thanks to the abundance of campsites open throughout the year. With so much to experience in Scotland’s capital, it’s no surprise that 24.8 million people visited in 2019!
Traveling in a motorhome is a great way to get an authentic feel for what the city is like, and as Edinburgh is on Scotland’s east coast, you can find some impressive overnight parking spots. Wild camping is legal in Scotland, so the options for choosing a camp spot for the night are almost endless. Renting a campervan means you can park overnight in the heart of the city on a campsite or head outside the city to a remote forest spot—it’s up to you!
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Edinburgh's charm lies in its harmonious blend of historic grandeur and contemporary flair. With its warm and friendly people, vibrant cultural offerings, and stunning natural beauty, the city embodies the essence of Scotland's spirit and leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. If you visit during winter, you’ll see the city transform into a white, magical wonderland.
Across the UK, many family-run pubs allow campers to park overnight in their motorhome, provided they have a meal or drink inside. Edinburgh is no exception to this, so it’s the perfect excuse to have a cheeky single-malt whiskey and see how the locals like to spend their evenings.
Discover Edinburgh your way by choosing a class of campervan that suits your travel needs.
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Nicknamed “Athens of the North”, Edinburgh is more than just Scotland’s capital; it’s a place to fully immerse yourself in Scottish culture and absorb its deep history. The city's iconic centerpiece, Edinburgh Castle, sits majestically atop Castle Rock, overlooking the city's winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleys. The Royal Mile stretches from the castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and is lined with historic landmarks, charming shops, and traditional Scottish pubs.
Edinburgh is also known as the 'Festival City' due to the number of festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival that transforms the city every August and attracts performers and visitors from across the globe. Its numerous museums and galleries, such as the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery, showcase the country's rich heritage and artistic achievements.
Edinburgh boasts several impressive hikes, many of which offer sweeping views of the city itself. There's no better time to tackle the trails than when you're exploring Scotland in your RV. Many are suitable for a range of fitness levels, children, and furry friends, too, so it's the perfect time to get the family out and soak up Scotland's natural beauty. Be sure to add Arthur's Seat, Water of Leith Walkway, and Caerketton Hill to your itinerary, as you won't want to miss these hikes.
We've put together some recommendations on how to get the most out of your RV vacation here:
Walking through the streets, you'll notice the air occasionally being filled with a sweet, cookie smell that'll make your mouth water. Shortbread is arguably the taste of Scotland, and you'll find plenty of local artisan bakeries here for you to enjoy some shortbread at its finest.
If savory foods are more your thing, this is also the home of haggis, a traditional Scottish meat pudding. You can either head to a restaurant to try it out or pop into a bar and have some haggis with a drop of Scottish whiskey. For plant-based visitors, Edinburgh was voted the best city in the US for vegans in 2022, so you won't have to settle for a salad with a side of fries when you visit!
Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world and offers everything from dance and music to theater and comedy, lighting up the city with color, sound, and energy. The festival usually takes place during the summer, and visitors worldwide travel to see and be a part of it. If you plan to visit, book a campground early, as they will get booked out!
A little south of Edinburgh and away from the hustle and bustle are beautiful nature areas offering impressive views and tranquility. Glencorse Reservoir is a fantastic place to visit if you've spent a few days in the city and are looking for a quieter change. It's the ideal place to escape the busyness of the center and even rent a boat for the ultimate romantic afternoon on the water.
Parking your campervan at Holyrood Park and heading up the hill will eventually take you to Arthur's Seat, the top of an extinct volcano that offers majestic views over the city. The walk to the top isn't too intense, so it's perfect for a range of fitness levels, and you are rewarded with great views from the top.
One of Edinburgh's oldest attractions, Camera Obscura, offers over 100 illusions across several floors. It's a great place to take the whole family, and with tickets starting at £14.95, it's an attraction that won't break the bank! As Camera Obscura is right in the center of Edinburgh, you can make it a full day out and have dinner in one of the nearby restaurants.
Dynamic Earth is a popular attraction in Edinburgh that uses science to give visitors an interactive experience from the beginning of time. Its popularity is unsurprising, as you can't find anything like Dynamic Earth anywhere else in Scotland.
Towering over the city on a 700 million-year-old extinct volcano is Edinburgh Castle. Not only does the castle offer a window into Edinburgh's history, but it also offers epic views over the city. Entry is paid, and an ideal place to park your campervan without it costing too much is at Holyrood Park, where you can walk through the city's streets up to the castle.
With Indian Rhinos, Giant Pandas, and over 1000 endangered species, Edinburgh Zoo is a must for animal lovers. Tickets start at £13.95, and the zoo is spread across 33 acres of land.
The National Museum of Scotland is a one-of-a-kind place featuring everything from art, science, and engineering to world culture and Scottish antiques. Entry is free, so it's worth parking just outside the center and walking to the museum for a fun and educational day out.
Just south of Edinburgh is Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th-century chapel full of mystery and wonder. The chapel became well known after it played a central role in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, and with affordable tickets online and a large parking lot, there's no reason not to add this impressive place to your list.
For nature lovers, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is a place you'll want to add to your list. With over 2,400 plants from all around the world, you'll experience plant science at its best. The gardens are free to visit, but if you want to head inside the glasshouses, there's a $5 fee for adults.
Running through Edinburgh's Old Town is The Royal Mile, a street lined with independent, local shops and eateries that links Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Walking down The Royal Mile has a unique feel as you look up either side and see the towering Gothic architecture protecting the cobblestone street and its visitors below.
When you walk down The Royal Mile, you will come across St. Giles Cathedral, a building welcoming visitors to experience its deep history. Entry is free, and you can expect to be blown away by the cathedral's stained glass windows and intricate details.
If it's your first time renting a campervan, driving into the city in search of a place to spend the night can seem daunting. Campsite prices in and around Edinburgh vary depending on the season, but on average, they cost around £25 per night.
Staying on a campsite a bit further away from the center can be a cheaper option and means you're away from the buzz, as the city doesn't sleep during the night! We've compiled a list of the top 10 private sector campervan-friendly sites near Edinburgh that are perfect for those who want to get in on the action and those who want a quiet night instead.
Price: From £20.50/night
It’s hard to beat the location of the Edinburgh Club Campsite, as it is effortless to reach the heart of the city. On-site, you will find restroom and shower facilities, a dishwashing area, and silver-rated WI-FI to keep you connected. BBQs are also permitted at the site to cook up a feast outside your campervan on a summer’s day.
Price: From £20/night
It's hard to imagine Drummohr Camping and Glamping Site is only 16 miles from Edinburgh, as it is nestled in some of Scotland's finest scenery. On-site, there's an abundance of facilities, such as a store, book exchange, and BBQ, to keep you entertained during your stay. With views across to Fife, you can wind down and relax, watching the world go by.
Price: From £10.20/night
Beautiful ocean views will accompany your stay at Dunbar Camping and Caravanning Club Site. With lots to do in the local area, you can experience even more of Scotland than you originally planned. The campsite has everything needed for a comfortable stay in an RV, such as a service point, showers, gas, and a designated dog walk area.
Price: From £20/night
South of Edinburgh, located just outside Peebles, is the idyllic Glentress Forest Lodges. The site offers stays for campervans and boasts facilities such as a shower room, drying room, and communal kitchen area. There's also a bike store ideal for keeping bikes safely tucked away when you've been adventuring in the mud.
Price: From £25/night
Linwater Caravan Park has achieved several impressive awards for its outstanding facilities. The campsite boasts an indoor camping kitchen with features such as games, books, and a TV, and standard kitchen facilities such as a microwave and stove. The reception at Linwater Caravan Park also offers inclusive vegan and vegetarian food, snacks, and drinks.
Price: From £30/night
With a great location for heading into the city, Lothian Bridge Caravan Park offers disabled access, a children’s play area, electric hook-up, laundry facilities and even a bar and restaurant. Around the park are various walking paths and hiking trails for enjoying the gloriously green surroundings. The park is less than 10 miles from Edinburgh, so it's easy to navigate into the center from the site.
Price: From £20/night
The spectacular facilities at Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park make it an ideal place to stay on your campervan trip to Edinburgh. With a TV room, game room, laundry services, storage lockers, and contemporary restrooms and showers, the campsite is the perfect place to slow down the pace for a little while. There are also handy transport links nearby for venturing into the heart of Edinburgh.
Price: From £22/night
With fresh water points, laundromat, toilets, and showers, Seton Sands Holiday Village has everything needed for a campervan holiday in Edinburgh. The stunning coastal location a little further east of Edinburgh will provide a serene break from the hustle and bustle in the center of the city. The site is less than an hour from Edinburgh, so transport to the center is hassle-free and easy.
Price: From £27/night
Station Park Caravan Park is best suited to self-contained campervans as there are no showers or toilets on the site. Facilities such as electrical hook-up, campervan service point, and coin-operated laundry are available. The onsite farm shop offers locally produced eggs, meat, and essentials to keep you well-fed during your stay.
Price: From £21.70/night
Yellowcraig Club Campsite is a family and dog-friendly site offering a quiet respite from the bustling city. Standard facilities such as showers, restrooms, electrical hook-up and WI-FI are all available, and there’s a wooden playground for children too. With sandy beaches nearby, it’s hard to imagine a more peaceful campsite less than an hour away from Edinburgh.
This immersive itinerary will guide you through rugged highlands, serene lakes, and ancient forests as you delve deep into the heart of Scotland's most majestic and unforgettable landscapes.MORE: 7-Day Edinburgh Itinerary
Soar around Edinburgh and then on through the highlands and both national parks in Scotland before heading over to the west coast so you can catch a little bit of everything on this epic trip.MORE: 14-Day Edinburgh Itinerary
While there are no rentals available right at the terminal at Edinburgh Airport, most rental centers are just a short drive away.
Many rental companies offer a complimentary shuttle along with your camper rental. There is also the option of a paid shuttle or public transportation.
The VW California camper is a favorite for campervan vacations and is offered for rent by several UK brands. Use our search tool to check availability and prices across multiple companies.
In general, vintage VW campervans are not offered by the major motorhome rental companies. However, they may be available from specialized rental companies.
Generally, no. Land in the UK is usually privately owned, and it is not possible to wild camp without obtaining prior approval. Doing so without approval is a breach of the law.
As wild camping (free camping) laws can vary in the UK, it pays to check in advance to find out the rules and regulations for the area you’re planning on traveling to. In England and Wales, it is illegal without prior approval, but in Scotland, for example, the laws can be much more relaxed.
Campsites are widely available in the UK, however, and are quite affordable, starting at around £12 per night. Many national parks also allow you to camp overnight. Details can be found here: https://www.nationalparks.uk/visiting/outdoor-activities/camping.
Check with the local government or a visitor information center if you are unsure of the regulations in a specific area.
All drivers must have a current and full driver’s license to rent a vehicle. If your license is from the UK it must entitle you to drive a category B vehicle up to 3500kg. If you have demerit points on your license or any convictions, extra fees or restrictions may apply.
Foreign licenses are acceptable if they are in English or accompanied by an accredited English translation, otherwise, an International Driving Permit is required.
Yes, a large number of rental companies allow for one-way rentals. Our comparison tool will automatically factor in any additional fees and show you which vehicles are available on your preferred route.