Opened in May 2018, Howe of Torbeg is a campsite offering unique accommodation in the heart of Royal Deeside and is surrounded by open farmland and birch woodlands, offering tranquil camping in style with 4 Glamping Pods and 2 tent pitches.
The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the UK (twice as big as the Lake District) and one of the best places in the UK to see wildlife. Nearly half of the land in the National Park is considered ‘wild land’. The National Park contains one quarter of Scotland's native forest and is home to a remarkable 25 per cent of Britain's threatened animal, insect, fungi and plant species, some of which can only be found in the Cairngorms.
Howe of Torbeg campsite is perfectly located in the Cairngorms countryside and only a 7-minute drive from the picturesque village of Ballater with its shops, restaurants & cafes.
It is a great base for exploring the local area or further afield.
How to get there
To drive from Glasgow (on the west) to Howe of Torbeg takes 2 hours 55 and is 126 miles away. From Edinburgh (on the east) the drive to Howe of Torbeg takes 2 hours 50 and is 111 miles. The drive from Aberdeen is 1 hour 15 and 44 miles.
The easiest way to travel is by car. On our round trip from Glasgow and back via Aberdeen, we used one tank of fuel.
What is glamping?
Glamping is luxury camping. In this case, there are wooden pods, complete with bed and heating, there are separate, large and clean washrooms, complete with heating and free, hot water.
What are the pods like?
The pods are handmade from the highest quality wood inside and out and fully insulated, with heating, lights and plug sockets and have fully lockable doors. The pods can be arranged to be single beds or double, and the one luxury pod can accommodate children too with a pull-out bed. All bedding is provided. You wake up to views across the rolling countryside and can hear the river below and sheep in the fields.
Outside there is a small private deck, a share grassy area with picnic bench and a gorgeous Kadai fire bowl which has a grill for BBQ’s and is great for toasting marshmallows.
The washrooms are 2 self-contained shower rooms, each with flush toilet and sink. The showers are gas powered, providing lots of lovely hot water on demand. There are also two covered outside sinks for washing up, also with free hot water and washing up detergent. The cold water is filtered from the mountains and is safe to drink straight from the taps.
You will also find a small office and shop onsite, which stocks snacks, drinks, midge repellent, candles, firewood, postcards & sundries. You can also hire camping cookware and dining sets.
Thoughtfully there is also a stash of games to borrow and a bookshelf for days when you just want to chill in your pod or the weather isn’t cooperating.
With each pod there is also a cute cast iron kettle which you can boil on the fire bowl, just bring your own tea and coffee.
What are the costs?
Tent pitches from £10
Simple pods from £55
Luxe glamping pods from £65
We visited in June- Summertime. The weather can change as you are in the mountains. We had overcast but dry days. The summer also brings midges at night, although they seem to stay clear of the camp fire. The campsite is also open in winter to accommodate skiers for The Lecht & Glenshee ski resorts. Both are approximately half an hour's drive away.
What to do around?
Ballater- a quaint, picturesque village, located just 7 minutes’ drive from the campsite, has a well-stocked Co-op, along with local butchers, deli and bakery, all favoured by the Queen when she stays at nearby Balmoral Castle. The village also has pubs, restaurants and takeaways.
Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve -25-minute drive from Ballater. Walk around Loch Kinord or view it from the view point on the Burn O’Vat trail, where you will complete a 30-minute loop walking amongst the burn and forest. (Free)
-There is various mountains to climb and trek- we chose;
Lochnagar- 7-8-hour return. Strenuous hike to 3,789ft summit. Amazing views, waterfalls and Loch Muick included.
Loch Muick- walking route around loch - 3-4 hours return (40 min drive) Pretty reflections on water and forest trails.
Balmoral- The Royal families Scottish home is located just 15 minutes from the campsite and is open from April until end of July from 10am- 5pm (last entry at 4.30). Tickets cost £11.50 and that includes an audio guide.