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Reviews of Tibbie Shiels Inn Campsite

Campsite Search > UK > Scotland > Borders > Selkirk > Tibbie Shiels Inn Campsite > Reviews

Tibbie Shiels Inn Campsite
St Marys Loch
Borders   (Browse area)

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Pitches: 60
Open: 01/04/2024 to 30/10/2024

Rating: Average Review Score: 7/10 from 16 Reviews
                7/10 from 16 Reviews

 No Tents   No Caravans   No Motorhomes   No Campervans 
 No Glamping Units   No Statics for Hire   No Statics for Sale   No Seasonal Pitches 
 No Electric Hookups   No Hardstandings   No Fully Serviced Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Families Welcome   Not Members Only   No Rallies   Not Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome 
 No Toilets   No Showers   No Washing Up Area   No Bathroom 
 No Baby Changing   No Laundry   No Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 No Chemical Disposal   No Battery Charging   No Gas Exchange   No Recycling Facilities 
 No Kitchen Facilities   No Freezer / Fridge   No Motorhome Point   No Wifi Access 
 No Shop   No Bar   No Restaurant  
 No Playground   No TV Room   No Games Room   No Evening Ents 
 No Fishing   No Wild Swimming   No Indoor Pool   No Outdoor Pool 
 No Horse Riding   No Cycle Hire   No Golf   No Tennis 
 No Beach   No Watersports   No Boat Launch 
Other Features
 No Sea Views   Not Working Farm   No Campfires Allowed 
 No Waterside Pitches   Public Transport   No Dog Walk 

Reviews:  16 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: July 2021  Confirmed Booking Unit:  Tent
Nights stayed: 1 Travelling as:  Group
Reviewer: Billw3 1 review from this member

 Brilliant campsite

Peace and quiet

It is a "do your own thing"

Plenty walks,

Worth visiting Grey Mares Tail, Gordon Arms

Alistair, owner, very helpful 

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: JohnFullerton 1 review from this member

 A beautiful isolated location on St Mary's Loch.

We are motorbikers and we wanted to pitch our tents and go to the bar, have a drink and something to eat. Despite the website pictures, there is no bar nor any kind of food. We had to get back on our bikes and ride to the nearest hotel which gave us a lovely meal but of course it was orange juice as we had to ride back to the campsite.

Dark site with vehicles away from tents. Various BBQs on the Lochside edge with singing until late into the night. The field was muddy and covered with sheep droppings.

The sheep roam freely all around your tents and belongings!

In the morning, a million midges helped us pack up our tents.

No showers, just toilets very basic.

We left at 06. 30am Sunday morning. With our tents muddy and covered in sheep droppings, it was a ride to the nearest food outlet to get sustenance. 

Date of Visit: July 2016 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: ZDMG 1 review from this member

 The owner has made the unfortunate decision to allow sheep onto the site, resulting in sheep poo everywhere. This is grossly unhygienic, and ruined our stay. Children could not be allowed to play football for fear of falling over/slipping, and frisbee was out too. Toilets were pretty gross.

Bar/restaurant has closed.

Location still amazing, but poor management of the site means we won't be back. 

Date of Visit: September 2014 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Claremac 2 reviews from this member

 September 18th 2014 I decided to drive over the border for a 3 night solo trip, checking out how the referendum went and taking a few walks. I found the Tibbie Shiels campsite on line, prebooked and turned up at about 5. 00 pm. The place was deserted. The pub was locked, no one about, no other tents, no signs to say where to pitch or what to do if no one around. I stood about for 20 minutes considering whether to move back down the road to an alternative site then I spotted a tent right in the corner of the field behind a tree. As I started towards it to find out what the occupants could tell me, a lady emerged from the pub heading to her car. She advised me to just camp anywhere except in front of the hotel and pay when the pub was open. A sign on the side of the pub could have easily done that and would have been welcome. I grabbed a wheel barrow from the back of the pub and made three trips to my chosen spot right on the banks of the loch and as other reviewers have said, this was amazing. Peaceful, beautiful, serene. With only one other tent it felt very much as though I was away from it all. The owner came back on his motorbike whilst I was pitching and came over for a chat, informing me that they were having a music festival on the Saturday night. What a bonus! after a couple of days peace and walking, Saturday night was not a quiet one and the site was full! I stayed in the pub til 3. 30 but the music and noise was still going on til the dawn and the geography of the loch amplifies and echoes the sound. I wasn't bothered though as this was totally outweighed by the fun, conversations and lovely people that I met.

Facilities wise it is basic. The block with 3 toilets in only had 2 working and there is no sense of privacy at all. The sinks are not user friendly - no shelves for putting wash stuff on, the showers are in a container but I didn't mind that so much, the water was decently warm. The only issue with the container was that you have to go up some steps in full view of the customers in the pub. When I emerged from the shower I felt that I should do some sort of dance and take a bow as I seemed to have acquired an audience. The site is pitch black at night time and there are no clear paths or tracks around the field so when emerging from the pub after a few pints there is the potential for getting confused and ending up in the wrong tent, or the loch.

The owner was very friendly and accommodating towards me, the price reflected the facilities and it is worth a visit for a few days if you are able to accept the basics. The no alcohol rule? Just be discreet!

Not sure why but when I packed up my tent and wheel barrowed my equipment back to the car it took me 5 trips. How does camping equipment reproduce like that?

Regarding the pre booking element, I'm not actually sure if anyone actually looks at the website or the bookings. I tried to phone half a dozen times before I went up and never got an answer so it appears that some of the customer interface is a bit casual. 

Date of Visit: September 2013 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Andy75 45 reviews from this member

 A stunning location surprisingly remote for southern Scotland.

This is a very basic site, as with previous reviews facilities are quite rustic and have a huge 'temporary feel' to them. Lucky for me I'm only based an hour or so down the road so didn't require the showers, which looked fairly shocking.

Despite the above the bar staff in the pub were very friendly indeed; I even got a walking guide where to park as it was quite busy! Food was a little late but again they apologized, and when it arrived was faultless considering how busy they were. The live music was very good.

This site wouldn't be ideal for a family stay for over two nights and to be fair there's only so much to do in the area, but for outdoor minded couples or singles this is well suited for an overnight stop whilst touring the Borders.

Will be returning very soon indeed, following a shower first. 


Date of Visit: July 2013 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Fay Fife 14 reviews from this member

 Tibbie Shiels is a beautiful campsite, in a stunning location. Our tent was pitched on the lochside, so the views were gorgeous.

The site was pretty busy, so we were a little anxious about getting any peace. Just as we arrived, the group next to us were being evicted for being noisy the night before. So needless to say, we were glad to see the back of them.

There was also entertainment in the form of a very animated chap, who unable to fathom how to put his tent up, chucked a full scale tantrum, snapping his tent poles in a rage and stamping on them, before he ditched the whole tent by the bins, and took off in his car with much furious crunching of gears. I think it's fair to say that most of us onlookers quite enjoyed that wee drama.

You can't bring your own alcohol on site, you have to buy it at the bar. Two pints of San Miguel set us back 8, so we elected not to buy any more.

The facilities are very basic and rather grubby, but seeing as we were only staying the one night, we didn't mind too much. If you were staying longer they might prove a little tiresome. There didn't seem to be any hot water for washing dishes, for example, and the showers looked grim.

The kids had a whale of a time playing in the loch. There were lots of other children there, and they were all well catered for on a beautiful hot sunny day in July. We were able to sit and relax while they tired themselves out with a tiny rubber dinghy we brought along with us, and couple of fishing nets.

Obviously the fire pits are a big bonus. And it was toasted marshmallows all round, with a crackling camp fire. Bags of logs ( they are small bags I have to say) are 4.

This is a sociable, lively, families and their dogs site. It is not a tranquil haven for romantic getaways, but a place you might visit with friends. It's a site where you have to be a bit noise tolerant and easy going. Although the site did settle down about 11pm.

I liked it, and would go back. Perhaps during the week when it isn't quite so busy.

14 per night wasn't too much of a stretch. 

Date of Visit: June 2013 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Mrdandmrc 4 reviews from this member

 A lovely site with fantastic views across St Mary's loch. It's a great base for exploring the boarders but make sure you buy supplies in advance as there are no shops locally.

The showers and toilets are very basic and when we stayed not very clean, a bag of rotting rubbish stayed in the washing up area the whole 3 days we were there and the bins were over flowing. Okay for a couple of days though.

Loved the fire pits which also helped fend off the midges, which used you as an all you can eat buffet.

Really liked the idea of only been able to buy alcohol from the hotel to drink on site, no rowdy drunken campers who loaded up with cheap booze to spoil the quiet ambiance.

Would recommend you visit just for the view, tents can pitch right beside the loch, it, s a grand sight to wake up to. 

Date of Visit: April 2013 Unit:  Campervan
Reviewer: Fatsdom 4 reviews from this member

 One of the most stunning locations we have stayed.

A beautiful loch in a picture-perfect valley.

The Inn is a warm and welcoming haven and the owner couldn't do more to please. No mention of the no-alcohol rule or deposits we have read about in other reviews.

Hook -up pitches are in the pub field and shower block is a festival-style container unit. Seemed fine but didn't use them on the morning of our stay so can't comment further.

Night time loo was in the rear of the pub (left open for our use).

Log fires and a warm welcome in the pub, complimented by good food was great on the frosty night we stayed.

The owners are working hard to improve as they go. 

Date of Visit: June 2012 Unit:  Motorhome
Reviewer: Bongo2 3 reviews from this member

 I booked this site after making several trips to the area to make sure it covered our needs for a Motorcycle Owners Group Rally. There was a variation of units, ours was a motorhome, others were camping.

Initially my fears that the 'New shower block' would not be finished in time for our visit but Alistair the co-owner with his lovely wife Selina assured me they would. This is an old Trailer or Horse Box converted and painted plywood walls.

I have seen the remarks regarding the shower and toilet blocks and have to say I found them adequate for our needs although the showers were lukewarm at best, but regularly cleaned. Alistair did warn us about the temperature which he told us he had to turn down as folk were standing in them for 20 mins when the water was hot. I managed but my wife is less hardy stock and complained bitterly (to me not the owner!)

In fairness, we were cooking our own food for the entire group on the Friday and due to pretty foul weather on Friday night, the owners very kindly let us serve it in their restaurant dining room at no extra cost. Most of us ate in the pub the following night and found the food to be very good quality, tasty and value for money, however a couple in the group were astounded at paying 90 pn B&B.

As a biker group, none were too happy about the alcohol rule which I thought was more to do with profit than managing consumption. I know of another pub that does free camping, a modern shower block (Coin operated) and still turns a healthy profit, so it can be done.

A few of our group revolted at the 20 deposit but to be fair, for a biker group they had not met before it was understandable, although we were not told of the deposit before when we booked so it came as a bit of a shock.

Overall, we had a cracking stay and Alistair joined us for a 3 hour jamming session on his bass guitar on Saturday night! I would definitely visit again but beg that they turn the heat up on the showers or put in Coin operated electric ones?

I have to mention the staff too, all of whom were very friendly and welcoming. With a little investment in a proper shower block, this could be a 10/10 site.

I have not ticked child friendliness as we had none with us and was not relevant, I did notice 3 families with kids camping all who seemed to be enjoying their stay 

Date of Visit: April 2012 Unit:  Campervan
Reviewer: Vanterrier 28 reviews from this member

 Beautiful location and could be a great site. I had read previous reviews and saw that the facilities had been upgraded recently but was very disappointed in what I found. Toilets were of the venue-portaloo style on a trailer and were clean-ish at best. The showers (shower) was built into an old Van unit and was painted in a zinc oil based paint that doesn't dry, so everytime you touched anything it came off. There was no mop to clean the floor nowhere to put your soap or shampoo and the water was luke warm at best after running for about five minutes.

Then there was a deposit to pay ? you paid for your stay in advance AND paid a deposit ? what for ? I didn't ask. The site fee was OK at 10 but then there was hook-up at 5 per night. And finally there is a rule, which to be fair they were up front about, which states you cannot consume your own alcohol on site unless you have bought it from their bar ? what? you cant even have a glass of wine with your meal in your own van ? ridiculous. If its to cover them against idiots getting drunk on the site and making a mess, fine, but surely they can spot those that are not likely to cause trouble?

Overall disappointed and will not be back, which is sad as the location is A1. 

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Common Questions

Is Tibbie Shiels Inn Campsite child friendly?  YES, it accepts children  View all facilities

Is Tibbie Shiels Inn Campsite dog friendly?  NO  View all facilities

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