Wild Camping

Everything You Need To Know About Wild Camping in the UK

When you’re planning a road trip, one thing that will always cross your mind is wild camping. Wild camping can be a great way to save a few quid by cutting out the cost of accommodation. It’s also an amazing way to completely immerse yourself in the wilderness of Scotland and see some incredible places. From forests to mountainsides, beaches to moors, you can set up your tent and sleep in spectacular places, all without paying a penny. There are a few issues that come with wild camping in the UK though, mainly whether or not it’s legal to camp where you’re planning to do so. Before pitching up for a night, it’s important to know that it’s okay for you to do so.

Is Wild Camping Legal in the UK?

Wild camping in the UK is a bit of a grey area legally. The laws also differ quite significantly depending on the area you’re looking to camp in. Most notably, the laws in Scotland are pretty different from those in England and Wales, and it can also differ from place to place within each country.

England & Wales

As a general rule, wild camping in England and Wales is illegal. It is allowed if you ask permission of the owner of the land you’re camping on first though. Camping without the permission of the landowner is classed as trespassing, which you won’t get arrested for, but if you don’t leave when asked to then you can be arrested and prosecuted. Usually though, landowners will let you camp as long as you ask in advance, you’re respectful, and leave the land as you found it. No wild parties unfortunately!

The only place in England and Wales where wild camping is permitted is Dartmoor, where there are large areas of the national park where wild camping is allowed. This is exclusively for the use of tents, so you’ll need to park in a car park, and you have a maximum of two nights before you need to move your tent, but otherwise you’re free to camp where you like in those areas.

Scotland

As with most things, Scotland rules on wild camping are a bit differently to the rest of the UK, mainly that wild camping is almost completely legal. The Land Reform Scotland Act of 2003 allows the public to access land for recreational use, which means wild camping is pretty much allowed anywhere. There are limitations to this, so you can’t just rock up and pitch your tent in someone’s garden or on a golf course or a school, but generally if you’re looking to camp out in the woods or a very rural area you’re fine. Common sense comes into play a bit as well, and if you’re not sure if you’re camping on someone’s farm it may be best to find somewhere else, but you’ll have a lot more options for wild camping if you head to Scotland.

General Tips for Wild Camping

Remember that you’ll often be quite far from any kind of civilisation. Whilst this is the most appealing aspect of wild camping for some people, you do need to be prepared. We would recommend bringing:

  • A blow-up mattress or a roll mat. You don’t want to be sleeping on the hard ground overnight and your back will definitely thank you for this. You’ll also feel the cold from the ground if you don’t bring one so definitely put something between your sleeping bag and the ground.
  • Plenty of water. There won’t be a tap nearby so bring as much as you realistically can. Equipment to purify water from a river is also a great shout.
  • A torch or head torch. I don’t really need to explain why you’ll need it, but you’d be surprised how many people forget one.
  • A trowel and toilet paper, for the previously mentioned personal waste.
  • Cooking equipment. It does get cold out so a hot meal will be great. A camping stove and a kettle will go a long way, especially if, like me, you can’t function without your morning coffee. Make sure your equipment doesn’t leave marks on the ground though.
  • 550 Miles - 7 Nights - 4 Stays

    South Coast

    From£337 pp
    An introduction to Cornwall, Dorset and Devon
    0
  • Weekend Getaway

    Bolton Abbey Weekend Getaway

    From£133 pp
    Post Views: 0
    0
  • north coast 500
    500 Miles - 14 Nights - 7 Stays

    North Coast 500

    From£675 pp
    Take two weeks off to enjoy 500 miles of beautiful Scottish scenery
    0
  • 300 miles - 7 nights - 3 stays

    Western Trooper

    From£337 pp
    Enjoy the Peak District, North Wales and the Cotswolds in a week
    0
  • Salamanca
    2470 miles - 21 nights - 10 stays

    Spain & France: 3 Weeks

    From£1,015 pp
    Three weeks around Spain and France, filled with sun, sea and good times
    0
  • Isle of Skye
    800 miles - 14 nights - 9 stays

    Ireland

    From£675 pp
    Discover the wonders of the Emerald Isle in this two-week adventure
    0
  • 550 Miles - 14 Nights - 5 Stays

    South West Coast

    From£675 pp
    Sun, sea, surf and sand dunes on the South-West Coast
    0
  • 500 miles - 7 nights - 5 stays

    North Coast 500

    From£337 pp
    Looking for an epic adventure but short on time? This one's for you!
    0

Leave a Reply