Wild Camping

Wild camping can be a laid-back, low cost exciting way to discover the countryside, especially in a VW Camper. We love to roam the open road and discover new hidden places off the beaten track. Unlike wild camping with a tent, a campervan has limited access to completely remote places. However, there are still an abundance of lanes, car parks, beaches and coves that are possible to get to and often deserted making fantastic overnight stops.

 

WILD CAMPING GUIDELINES

There are guidelines for wild camping – that is, simply setting up camp where you are, rather than in a specific area put aside for camping – in England and Wales (the laws are a little different in Scotland, but on in the UK they won’t affect you, obviously). The thing you need to consider is the fact that someone – be it a private individual or the National Parks – owns every acre of ground. So that means that at least in theory, you need someone’s permission to make a camp.

In practical terms, though, that doesn’t apply. You’ll find that in most instances, as long as you’re out of sight of farmhouses and on higher ground, you should have no problem – make sure you’re above the intake walls, and you don’t stay for more than two nights. In those cases, wild camping is generally accepted.

Within the National Parks, you actually have a fairly free hand when it comes to wild camping, since it’s covered in the Access Act of 1949. Under that, unless you’re on a campsite, you can only set up a wild camp in the same place for two consecutive nights, and you have to be more than 100 metres from a road, and you can’t be in an enclosure. Other than that, it’s fine, with a few small exceptions.

Of course, you should observe the usual rules of camping and clean up after yourselves, making sure you don’t leave any traces when you walk on. All your toilet duties should be performed at the very least 30 metres from any water, and you should bury them carefully using a trowel (so remember to carry one with you!).

You should find that if you approach the situation with proper care and diligence, then you should have no problem, although sticking to the higher ground will be your best bet (which should be no problem as you hit Snowdonia, where you’ll also be in a National Park).

You’re undertaking a long walk, and the wild camping means you’ll need to take a fair amount with you, and there’s a long climb at the end of it all. Pace yourselves, enjoy it, and good luck!

ENGLAND

Unfortunately in England and Wales it is not permitted to camp anywhere you like, unless you first ask the landowner’s permission. However, in some upland and remote areas wild camping is tolerated.

The Forestry Commission is very strict on not allowing wild camping as is the national trust and national parks authority

WALES

See England for general rules. wild camping does tend to be discouraged but with a responsible approach to the forestry commission (no naked flames) the wooded areas are a possibility.

Avoid anywhere where there is lots of fog!

Again the forestry commission is very strict on not allowing wild camping as is the national trust and national parks authority

SCOTLAND

Scotland is just brilliant for wild camping, the law is different in Scotland and wild camping is permitted and well accepted. the current access legislation is explicit about people’s right to camp on hill land – usually more than 100 metres away from a public road, some landowners do take exception, but thankfully they are few and far between. if you’re near a dwelling it’s also a good idea to ask permission and not just set up camp on their doorstep!

for more information go to: http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/default.asp

IRELAND

In Ireland there are not as many campsites as in other countries mainly due to the weather so wild camping is tolerated in more remote areas, again always be discreet and ask permission if you’re unsure. As in England and Wales, wild camping is not permitted in Ireland unless you have the landowners consent.

There are some beautiful areas in the south and west the Northern Ireland forest service allows camping by permit at its ‘touring in the woods sites’ only. see http://www.coillte.ie/

 

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