Invercaimbe Caravan & Camp Site
Open - March 15th to October 15th
Current fees - Contact site for details
Set on the coast in the west of the Highlands, close to the A830 Road To the Isles and part of a working croft, this quiet and peaceful site is in a really stunningly beautiful location. Access is down a farm track off the B8008, with the site itself being situated on the estuary of the Caimbe burn and with beaches along the side and at the end of the site. The owner, Joyce, lives on site and can often be seen mowing the grass or attending to any other jobs which need doing. She's very friendly and welcoming and quite happy to give any help and advice if needed and to impart any information about places to go and things to do while you're there.
Most of the caravan and motorhome pitches have hook-up and on one side of the site are level and mainly hardstanding - on the other side they are on grass and could be a tad uneven so levelling blocks may be needed. There aren't many set pitches for tents because of the uneven and sloping ground so once Joyce has given you a general idea of where to go it's very much a case of 'pick your spot and pitch your tent', which can actually be to an advantage as small tents can pitch almost on the beach. There are limited hook-ups available though for those tent campers who prefer them - my tent was pitched only 10ft from the beach along the burn, with the hook-up post just a few feet behind.
The facilities, although basic, are spotlessly clean and are housed in a row of small individual 'bathrooms', two with shower and loo and two with basin and loo, and there's one of each for ladies and the same for men. Housed in a separate small building are the pot washing and laundry facilities with washing machine and dryer, and also a chest freezer which the owner doesn't mind campers using if they ask. The cdp is near the toilet block and housed in a separate small fenced and gated compound.
Dogs are welcome and as with any site must be kept on a lead while on the site itself, though once on the beach they can run free as much as they want. Camp fires are allowed on the beach though should be put out at night time before going to bed, and sea kayaking and fishing is possible straight from the site. The views from the site across to the small isles are breathtaking, the sunsets are fabulous, and when you wake in the mornings you'll hear nothing but birdsong and the occasional bleat from a nearby sheep.
Arisaig village is about a mile away over the hill and has a Spar shop, post office, cafe/bistro, information centre, a couple of B & Bs and a hotel/bar/restaurant. A sea kayaking centre is based at the hotel and cruises on the SS Shearwater go from the small harbour to the islands of Eigg, Muck and Rum. For anyone who likes golf Traigh nine-hole golf course is just over a mile north of Invercaimbe, and about three miles further on are the beautiful silver sands of Morar which are definitely a 'must see' for anyone with a camera. Just a bit inland is Loch Morar, the deepest body of fresh water in the British Isles.
Another three miles or so further north is the small town and fishing port of Mallaig, which is literally the end of the road unless you get the CalMac ferry over to Skye. A couple of private operators run boat trips across to the small isles or round the coast to Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula - the village's only pub, the Old Forge Inn, is the remotest pub on mainland Britain. Trains, including the Jacobite steam locomotive which doubles as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films, run from Mallaig station down to Fort William, passing through some lovely scenery on the way. With a small Co-op supermarket, Spar shop, gift shops and several cafes and take-aways Mallaig is a pleasant little place to spend a couple of hours. Fort William is a 35-mile drive east from Invercaimbe along the A830 with plenty of places to stop for photos, including Glenfinnan with its famous monument and the 21-arch viaduct which features in the Harry Potter films.
I can only think of a couple of niggles about Invercaimbe - firstly the lane from the road into the site is only a single track and at one point has quite a sharp bend which you can't see round, so care needs to be taken when driving along as you could meet something coming the other way and there's not a lot of room to manoeuvre, especially if you're towing a caravan. Secondly the sloping and uneven ground in various places could make pitching a tent a bit of a challenge and you may find yourself sleeping uphill/downhill; because of the nature of the ground and the space allocated for tent pitches it means that tent size is restricted to 4-berth or smaller.
If you can accept the uneven ground and basic facilities this site is a little gem set in a little piece of heaven, and well worth any long journey you may make to get there. Would I personally go back? Yes, yes, and YES!!