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Tibbie sure, this Scottish campsite is in a legendary location. Near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, Tibbie Shiels is part of an eighteenth century coaching inn set between the spectacular scenery of St Mary’s Loch and Loch of the Lowes, and is a quick drive from the famous waterfall Grey Mares Tail and the steep slopes of White Coomb.
The area has been drawing visitors for generations: Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson were among guests at the site’s inn when it was run by Isabella (Tibbie) Shiel way back when, and guests rock up to it at all times of year for walking, biking, motorbiking, sailing, gliding or just angling for luck at the local loch (if this too sounds like you, pick up a fishing permit at the Tibbie bar).
These days, family-friendly Tibbie Shiels is the centre of a lively local community (although the campsite itself is still a bit of a well-kept secret: sssh), and the Tibbie team will go out of its way to make guests feel at home, from offering firepits to arranging fishing boat and dinghy hire. Firewood and kindling are also available for a small extra charge.
The basic amenities on site include loos and showers, and guests are also very welcome to order takeaway from the hotel bar and eat at the bar or restaurant (both areas are popular for eating in, so it’s recommended that guests book ahead for meals). To stock up on campfire food before arriving, Selkirk is about 15 miles away.
The ancient royal burgh of Selkirk is one of the oldest settlements in the Scottish Borders, so is subsequently crammed with history: Sir Walter Scott was sheriff of the town for 33 years, William Wallace was declared guardian of Scotland here, and Scotland’s oldest horse racing track, the Gala Rig, is on Selkirk’s outskirts. Delve into the history of it all at the town museum in Selkirk’s oldest building Halliwell's House.
Scott’s courthouse can still be seen in Selkirk’s marketplace, and the remains of the forest kirk where Wallace was declared Scotland’s guardian are in the ancient churchyard, along with the graves of ancestors of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Georgian mansion Bowhill House, three miles to the west of Selkirk, has vast grounds with woodland walks and also hosts the Little Theatre for dramatic evenings out. Selkirk also pulls in shopping sorts who come for its glassware and tweed, and for the Selkirk Common Riding in June, dating back to the sixteenth century and one of the oldest of the Scottish Border festivals.
Elsewhere around the area, you’d have to be a neighsayer not to appreciate Grey Mares Tail, a hanging valley, wildlife haven and the fifth highest waterfall in the UK, shooting down two hundred feet from Loch Sheen into the Moffat Water Valley. It’s about ten minutes’ drive from Tibbie Shiels and can be reached by a ten-minute walk from the car park, or by climbing White Coomb if you can manage it; either way, it’s worth boastful selfies on Facebook before descent.
St Mary’s Loch, the biggest loch in the Borders, is a must for Scottish-based land fans as well as watery sorts: the community woodland March Wood, referred to by Scott, is on its banks, and both the Sir Walter Scott and the Southern Upland Way long-distance routes pass the loch shores. Windsurfing, paragliding, sailing and fishing are all available locally: championships for the first two have been held at the Tibbie Shiels inn and the site has easy access to the area’s sailing and fishing clubs.
Other sights worth seeing are the nineteenth century St Mary's Kirkyard and the ice valley Carrifran just outside nearby Moffat, while urbanites will find plenty of Borders towns to explore including Peebles, Hawick, Galashiels and Jedburgh.
- New Lanark Visitor Centre (26.6 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.
- The Circuit of St Mary's Loch (0.2 miles)
- Craig Douglas to Kirkhouse (4.0 miles)
- Grey Mare's Tail to White Coomb (5.0 miles)
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Overall rating based on 28 reviews
75% would recommend this site to a friend.
71% would stay here again.
|Sorted by stay date (latest first).|
Great weekend 22 Jul 2014
fiona_the_frog (Family with young children, 1 review)
Really? 17 Jul 2014
justthethreeofus (Young couple, 2 reviews)
fine for a night or maybe two 14 Jul 2014
reviewster (Young couple, 2 reviews)
great 4 Oct 2013
richardskead (Family with young children, 1 review) Confirmed
Nice location 26 Aug 2013
Robert_M1 (Extended family, 3 reviews, 3 photos) Confirmed
didnt bother 21 Aug 2013
Linda_K (Family with young children, 2 reviews) Confirmed
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Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Touring and motorhomes
Electrical hook-up points for tourers
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Lake and/or mountain
Mountain biking nearby
D. of E. welcome
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Small (11-25 pitches)
Ordnance Survey maps (GB and Northern Ireland only) are available at lower levels via the drop-down menu.
- Coach stations
Peebles: Eastgate Bus Stop — 12.4mi
Moffat: Town Hall Coach Stop — 13.6mi
Selkirk: Market Square Coach Stop — 15.0mi
- Train stations
Carstairs Rail Station — 23.7mi
Lockerbie Rail Station — 24.9mi
Lanark Rail Station — 26.4mi
- Ferry ports
- Leaplish Ferry Landing — 33.0mi
- Edinburgh Airport — 33.5mi
From the A708 Moffat
Head east on The Holm/A708 toward Duncan Drive and go through the roundabout. Continue to follow the A708 for about 17 miles, past Grey Mares Tail: we are situated between two lochs on the right-hand side.
Head onto the A708 towards Moffat. We are situated about 17 miles between St Marys Loch and Loch of the Lowes.
Head towards Traquair on the B709. Carry on this road until the crossroads (around seven miles). Turn right onto the A708 and follow this road for another eight miles. We are on the left between St Marys Loch and Loch of the Lowes.