View Full Version : Glen Affric - advice needed
I'm looking at the possibility of spending a week up at glen affric as it looks like a wonderful area on the maps, but i was wondering if anyone with some local knowledge can advise on its suitability for a spot of wild living and any hints or tips on where might be a good area to visit. My main concern is where can i stash my car for a week without it being in the way of others.
Thanks in advance.
Hello Andy, Glen Affric is absolutely stunning. Used to go camping there with my family when i was a kid (early 70's) and pitch our tent on forestry land, in a natural bowl , just off the road. Obviously free camping, we had an open fire every night. The forestry commision obviously did'nt have an isue with this, as on one occasion they pulled our dormabile van back up onto the road , through the snow, using their landrover.Howerver, drove through the area a few years ago, and things have changed. Signs everywhere, saying no camping, no fires etc. Cant say i blame them, as it only takes a few idiots to destroy an area, but must say i was disapointed. Area is still beautiful and if you were on foot, maybe leave your car somewhere in Fort William, you would have a great time. Cant point you to specific areas, as at age 11 i was'nt interested in maps. Someone here will know the area a lot better than me, im sure, good luck, mark
[...] Howerver, drove through the area a few years ago, and things have changed. Signs everywhere, saying no camping, no fires etc. [...]
That's probably changed again since then, thanks to our new access legislation. :)
Just watch out for plantations; they're excluded from the right to have a fire.
Why not contact the local ranger service and ask for advice there too? The Rangers are usually helpful as well as really knowledgeable about their area.
The *Know the Code* handbook is freely available;
One of my friends in SNH emailed me recently; her comment, "The A5 booklet is the 'Full Code' and is free to anyone who wants it. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to order one for themselves via PUBS@snh/gov.uk "
makes it simple.
The book comes as a waterproof and tearproof pocket sized handbook.
Spent 2 weeks in Glen Affric in Sept. Last year. There are a couple of good car parks on the way up the Glen. I suggest you leave your car in the furthest up, near Chisohlm Bridge. I have seen cars parked there for several days at a time. There are also masses of places where you could disappear into the woods for a while,eg.across the loch from the car park. :)
There is no overnight parking allowed in Glenafric anymore, I would be tempted to leave a car down in cannich and get a taxi up the glen.
I've camped in Afric for years and I've found some of the seasonal rangers hell to deal with. They asked me to move when I had bivied next to the loch and I refused. If I was you, I would keep hidden, don't light a fire and keep well off the main trekking routes near car parks and no one will ever know that you have been there.
There is even a youth hostel further up the glen and beyond that a bothy if you need some comfort...(both only accessable on foot)
You are right Affric is a great area and well worth a visit, im not sure Woodsmoke is right about the parking, ive never seen any signs or had any trouble in my many visits. After all this is one of the access routes for some quite challanging and remote Munros I would be suprised if the estate and the forestry commision would put so much pressure on people to be 'off the hill before dark'.
Because of the new access code you can wild camp pretty much anywhere as long as it dosn't interfere with the intrests of others same applies for lighting fires, although one would expect the greatest care to be taken due to the peat rice soil and the risk of a forest fire.
I usually ring the estate to find out about any stalking etc before hand, they maybe able to tell you about a sutible site for bushcraft? The same applies for the forestry commision areas.
It maybe worth while doing a 'traditional' trip either camping or using the bothy/YH then you can suss things out for yourself and perhaps take in some of the hills or explore the corries and glens?
Hope this helps Ed :)
As there has been a few contradicting posts i have emailed the FC recreation officer in the area for clarification. Don't want to find my car covered in parking tickets/towed away LOL
I also don't want to have to be sneaking around and not having !Sensible! fires and darting under bushes if someone comes by. Still got a few months to plan it all out.
Thanks for all teh advice and ideas though. Its really appreciated.
I wasn't trying to teach you to suck eggs about lighting fires, I just see loads of fire scars left from carless outdoor folk. Last year a huge section of Rannoch Moor was set on fire no doubt by a discarded cigarette from the A82 its a real shame folk are so unthinking.
I would be intrested to hear the FC's reply if thats ok as your idea sounds great, ive done all the big hills in this area but as a hillwalker and not doing any bushcraft stuff. Ta Ed
Oh don't worry bud, didn't think you were. Totally know what you meant. I was re-iterating the point with my !'s
We were at a meet organised on here only recently and one of the guys who had a seperate fire just left it when he went home mid-weekend leaving us to clear up after him.
My email has been passed onto the local ranger who will hopefully get back to me with all the details.
If its a negative, then my next question will be.."Where else can you recommend?" LOL.
No reply back from the FC yet. :(
But also emailed the local caravan park and campsite at Cannich to see fi they could give any local information and got a very speedy response back. They basically said that the Foresty Commision DO frown upon the use of their car-parks for overnight use and there are signs that state this, but they do not know of an occasion where this has been policed. However if i wanted a more secure/out of the way location then i can use the car park at the site and just pay what they normally charge visitors for the cars which is £1 per night. So thats one problem solved!
They also said that if at the end of the trip I wanted to clean up or anything then I can use a hammock or whatever on their site, out of the way of the, and use their facilities. obviously for the cost of one nights camping. Sounds like a nice bunch.
So Glen Affric is certainly looking like a likely destination for my adventure this year. LOL.
I've stayed at the cannich campsite a couple of times and the current owners have been very helpful and friendly. Definatley reccomend them if you are looking for somewhere to clean up after your trip.
Even still the campsite can get , well.. like a campsite in the height of the season :rolleyes: . They do have a nice patch of woodland outwith the mainsite though which would be great for hammocks.
Glen Affric is beautiful, but head as far up the glen as you can if you want some peace and quiet (OK that is subjuctive) you won't see too many folk more than 200 mtrs from the carparks anyway :D .
Just to clarify the FC stance on this, i've just recieved this email from them:
You should check out the new Scottish Outdoor Access Code which has been produced by Scottish Natural Heritage which outlines your access rites and responsibilities. You will get a copy on their website and it is worth a look.
You are free to wild camp throughout the forest and hills so long as you do so responsibly. Which is basically taking care not to leave litter, not disturbing the wildlife and leave as little trace of your visit as possible. You should be aware there is no phone reception in the glen.
There are several car parks you can leave your car in and several waymarked trails through the forest. There are also mountain trails to the munros in the area. The glen is stunningly beautiful and I am sure you will enjoy your visit. I hope the weather is kind to you and if you require any other info please do not hesitate to get in touch.
So that pretty much clears everything up.
Thanks to all for their advice and responses. It was most helpful!
Also downloaded a copy of the access laws up there (you lucky so and so's! :) ) from here:
Nice one, hope you have a good trip!