Camping in the Outer Hebrides is the epitome of all good things being wild and free! Pack your van for a rugged adventure that will lead you across causeways, between ferries and from beach-to-beach; Vatersay, Barra, Eriskay, the ‘Uists’, Benbecula and Berneray await. This is your island-hopping guide of the Outer Hebrides; helping you to find your idyllic campervan overnight parking.
Would you prefer to have these points of interest (and more!) pinpointed on your Google Map? Gain access to our Scottish Highlands and Islands Google Map Legend.
Table of Contents
Don’t have time to read this now? Save this blog for later on Pinterest.
Outer Hebrides Campervan Overnight Parking
A Hebridean Road Trip would entail a journey from the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis to a wee island called Vatersay, in the south (or vice versa). Thus clocking a total of 10 islands, 6 causeways and 4 ferry rides – if you don’t deviate from the main route.
On that topic, the Calmac Ferry Terminals can be relied upon to empty and refill your water and waste. But… Where are the best overnight campervan parking spots in the Hebrides?
Of course, there are many campsites with facilities in the Outer Hebrides, but if you are travelling during the off-season or the campsites are fully booked then you might find these overnight park-ups a good alternative. Similar to all places where ‘wild camping’ occurs, the necessary precautions should be considered in order to encourage a sustainable relationship between visitors, islanders and the surrounding natural habitats.
Park-Up Locations on the Isle of Lewis
Melbost Beach Car Park
The beach car park at Melbost is perfect for van lifers who may have a late-night or early-morning ferry from Stornoway. Due to the park-up being situated on a causeway, it lacks substantial shelter from the commonly strong Hebridean Winds. However, there are bathrooms and a chemical waste disposal unit which are free to use.
Hidden at the bottom of a single-track road and overlooking Broadbay, is the working harbour called Brevig. It’s a hidden gem if you’re simply looking for a large, out-of-the-way park-up. Although, you should be prepared to hear the sound of the earliest fishermen heading out to sea before the sun has even risen. This is part of local life.
Reef Beach Viewpoint
The local islanders at Kneep have been blessed with a superb beach on their front door steps. Reef Beach is a 1 mile-long stretch of white sand and pristine waters (if you’re there on a good day – of course!). If you plan to be there for a while, I’d recommend that you book into the campsite. This will allow you the time to enjoy every hidden gem that this corner of the island has to offer.
Overnight Parking Isle of Harris
The North Harris Trust are on-the-ball in managing designated overnight parking spots for campervans. However, visitors should be mindful of overcrowding. If a park-up or particular area contains a mass of people, please refrain from joining to relieve any extra pressure on local communities, landscapes and wildlife.
The Huishinish Gateway Campsite and Beach is my favourite park-up in Scotland! In the area, van lifers have access to five electric hook-ups, recycling bins, fresh water taps, a chemical disposal unit, tourist information, toilets, picnic tables, showers and an incredible view overlooking the beach. Please remember to leave a donation in the honesty box to ensure that such facilities continue to operate for future travellers.
Urgha is an alternative to Tarbert overnight parking for anyone with a ferry service scheduled sooner or later; the terminal is less than a 5-minute drive. There are a few places to park here, all with a great view of the lake and surrounding hills. If you’re into hiking, take some time to enjoy the Postman’s Path between Urgha and Rhenigidale. The hike starts from the smaller car park.
Park-Ups on Berneray
The Berneray Ferry Terminal hosts the Calmac service to Leverburgh. There are just a few parking spots available, so it’s only recommended that you populate these during the later hours of the evening and early hours of the morning when the ferry is not in use. Otherwise, the ferry terminal is a great location to top-up, refill and empty your waste and water too.
Both the East and West beaches on Berneray have so much beauty to offer with their soft white-sand and turquoise-tided coastline, but the East Beach has an overlooking stretch of grass that is suitable for parking vehicles. This is a great location for watching the boats, birds and wildlife pass by; I was lucky to have a close encounter with an otter that snuck up behind me.
The locals invite visitors to stay in this campervan overnight parking area for a suggested donation of £10. Please consider the constant requirement for upkeep and management that the area must undergo whilst you deposit your donation in the on-site honesty box.
In addition to this space, the Berneray Community Council maintain hot showers, toilets and recycling bins further along the road at the quaint Berneray Harbour.
Overnight Parking on the ‘Uists’
Lucky for us, this island is connected to North Uist via a causeway. Baleshare is a quiet corner with a long beach. This will look rocky at high tide but the low tide will reveal a beautiful white-sand beach that will have a turquoise glow in the sunshine.
The location of this park-up is idyllic! Plus, the locals who maintain the area have also installed a fresh water tap, picnic tables and a rubbish bin too. The road that leads to the area might be a little rough, but it is worth the extra rattles in the van to have such a view overlooking the beach.
It costs £10 to stay overnight at Clachan Sands. With these donations, I personally have admired the local’s commitment to ensuring the track and coastline erosion are taken care of. There is an honesty box next to the water tap.
Committee Road is the track that runs across the heather peatland in the centre of North Uist. The small car park, approximately halfway along the road, has space for 3-4 vehicles. The space in itself isn’t anything special, nor is the surrounding landscape. However, the location is a solid choice for spotting all 10 of the bird of prey species that reside on the island. The area is particularly popular with hen harriers and short-eared owls. But… You should also look out for herds of deer who will probably be watching you from higher ground.
Take an overnight stopover to appreciate one of the many freshwater lochs on the ‘Uists’. You’ll see plenty of local fishermen working during the day, or have the opportunity to spot one of the many bird species that visit South Uist. On the other hand, it should be noted that this park-up is metres away from the main north-to-south road, so fast-moving cars will be in close proximity.
Eriskay Overnight Parking
The Calmac Ferry Terminal on the Isle of Eriskay is a great pit stop between Barra and South Uist. It can be busy during the day with the through traffic but keep an eye on the coastline between each ferry service as it’s possible to spot an otter here – I did!
The area is fairly sheltered with a terminal building and waiting room decorated with local information. The building also contains one coin-operated shower that costs £1 every 5 minutes. You’ll find a chemical waste disposal unit and two freshwater taps to the side of the building.
You will not be the only van as workmen often abandon their vehicles in this car park to catch the ferry for another on the other side. So, if these parking spots happen to be full, you’ll find a few others up the hill towards the village. Please refrain from parking in sight of the houses to respect the locals’ privacy.
Barra is a tiny island of crofts which are fenced off to keep the livestock close by. This means that there are very few places to pull off the road to park-up overnight. Fortunately, there are a handful of great, reasonably-priced small campsites. Consider these facilities above any park-up to avoid the risk of upsetting the community whilst at the same time, contributing to the local economy too.
Ardmhor Ferry Terminal
This is an emergency park-up if you’ve found yourself with no other during the late hours of the evening. The daytime traffic is almost persistent with cars, bikes and lorries coming and going every hour. There is a coffee shop inside the terminal building that is run by a friendly local who sells an array of homemade cakes. This will be your godsend on the dreicht day(s)!
Just north of the Borve Standing Stones lies Hamara Beach. You wouldn’t miss it as you cruise around the bends of the A888, gawking at the beauty of the coastline. There are several parking bays in the area. Keep an eye on the horizon to enjoy a magnificent sunset on clearer days.
Vatersay Overnight Parking
The Vatersay Hall Cafe is attached to a block of community toilets and showers. The door is kindly left unlocked to welcome hikers, bikepackers, campers and van lifers anytime. This includes a large toilet, a sink for washing up, a power socket and two showers which are coin-operated. These facilities were built and are maintained by the local community so please be as kind as to share a donation in the honesty box. Similar to most Hebrides campervan overnight parking, there is a suggested fee of £10.
If you have any additional suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below… It would be great to hear about any other park-ups that have been discovered along the way.
Scottish Highlands Google Map Legend
This Google Map Legend showcases 140+ need-to-know coordinates within our bonnie Scottish Highlands & Islands:
- Awesome Wild Camping Park-Ups
- Best Walks, Viewpoints, Beaches
- Bucket List Locations
- Accessible Showers & Fresh Water Taps
- Relevant Links to Online Travel Guides
Save this on Pinterest
Do you not have time to read this ‘Hebrides Campervan Overnight Parking Guide’? Pin this article for later.