A Quick Guide to Wild Camping in the UK

A Guide to Wild Camping in the UK - Quick guide with do's and don't for wild camping in England, Scotland and Wales.

While there's certainly a charm to traditional campsites, the allure of wild camping is an entirely different thrill. Picture it: just you, your tent, some rugged coffee, and the raw elements of nature. In the UK, an array of splendid opportunities awaits for those seeking the wild camping experience. You might find yourself in the vast expanses of a national park or nestled amidst the cozy ambiance of a farm.

Delve into our guide to wild camping in the UK, and you'll unearth all the essential insights to get you start on your wild camping adventure!

Is it legal to wild camp in the UK?

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, wild camping without the landowner's consent is typically considered unlawful. However, the landscape changes in Scotland, where wild camping is not strictly forbidden. This implies that you hold the freedom to set up camp wherever you please, even within the breathtaking boundaries of Scotland's National Parks. While certain limitations apply to regions surrounding Loch Lomond, further details can be gleaned from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park website, as well as the Outdoor Access Guide to Scotland.

Is there anywhere in England and Wales for wild camping?

If you're keen on venturing into wild camping territory within England or Wales, you're not without choices. Dartmoor National Park has carved out specific areas for such experiences, along with easy guidelines to follow. Adhering to the following rules:

  • No overnight stays in all vehicles (including campervans & motorhomes)
  • No large tents
  • Campers setup 100 metres from the road
  • Leave behind no trace of their presence
  • Limit stay to two nights
  • All equipment must be carried on foot

For an in-depth understanding, explore the park's camping guide, complete with an interactive map pinpointing authorized wild camping zones.

Venturing across the Welsh border, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority offers a roster of local farms that extend their embrace to wild camping enthusiasts.

In other areas of England and Wales such as Exmoor, Snowdonia and the Peak District National Parks, securing permission from the landowner for your wild camping escapade is the primary protocol.

What are the do's and don'ts of wild camping?

So now we know where we should wild camp, lets finish with a few do's and don'ts to make sure your trip is an enjoyable one:

  • Arrive late and leave early:
    • Set up camp in fading light.
    • Pack up and leave before others are around.
  • Never light an open fire:
    • High risk of fire in many wild camping areas.
    • Avoid causing damage to landscapes and ecosystems.
  • Be considerate of others:
    • Respect privacy and livelihood of others.
    • If asked to move on, comply.
    • Avoid main tracks and paths.
  • Camp high:
    • Choose ground away from properties.
    • Keep your camp discreet.
  • Choose your toilet carefully:
    • Find a sheltered spot 50 meters from water.
    • Downstream of popular camping areas.
    • Dig a 6–8-inch deep hole.
    • Replace earth after use.
    • Carry out toilet paper with your rubbish.

Finally, when your campfire tales come to an end, make certain your presence leaves no mark behind. We hope you enjoyed our quick guide, if you have any tips or locations that are great for Wild Camping in the UK, please leave a comment below!

Happy Camping!

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