Wild camping

You might prefer to camp beyond the confines of a campsite and see yourself as a bit of a survivalist camper. If this is the case then the great outdoors might be exactly what you're looking for. If you're planning on a trip that involves a method of travel such as bicycle or canoe camping from place to place, then you might be wondering what your rights are in terms of being able to set up camp. Unfortunately, it's not legal to just set up anywhere, as you'll see below.

Is wild camping legal in the UK?

Technically speaking, all land in England and Wales is the property of someone or an establishment, so you have to ask for permission before you start pitching up your tent. That said, wild camping within reasonable limits is often tolerated in rural areas such as Snowdonia and the Lake District.

Where can you do wild camping in the UK?

Wild camping in Scotland was legalised in 2005 thanks to the walking group known as the Ramblers, provided that you respect any nearby dwellings or livestock. One exception is Loch Lomond National Park, where both camping and drinking alcohol on site was banned in 2010 as a result of antisocial behaviour.

In Dartmoor, camping is allowed for up to two nights in a row provide that you stay in the same spot (longer in a legal camping area) but the catch is that you must be 100 metres away from a public road or a restricted area. Looking after your belongings with camping equipment insurance when staying in the wild is always advised.

Can I camp anywhere in a national park?

Some national parks embrace wild camping, provided that you don't leave any litter or evidence of your stay. Dartmoor has a map of areas where you can camp on common land and the Brecon Beacons provide a list of farms that also permit wild camping. In the Cairngorms, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs everyone has the right to wild camp so long as you follow their rules.

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