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Wild camping in UK
Photograph: Shutterstock

This map shows you where you can go wild camping in the UK

Wild camping is allowed in Scotland and in these allocated areas across England and Wales

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Holidays in the UK are back on the agenda for summer, and don’t all our campsites know it. After months of closures, countless camping, glamping and campervanning sites all over the UK are now almost or entirely fully booked for the foreseeable. 

Where does that leave you if you’re desperate to kip under canvas before autumn comes for us all? 

There are actually a load of new pop-up campsites appearing all the time so do keep a lookout for those. Or you could ditch shower blocks and on-site pizza ovens for something a little wilder. 

Is wild camping – aka camping in a rural spot without the trappings of a standard campsite – allowed in the UK? Well, generally wild camping without permission is illegal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But wild camping in Scotland isn’t prohibited, so that means you can technically pitch up wherever you like – including in the country’s incredible National Parks. 

Wild camping in Scotland
Photograph: Shutterstock

If you want to wild camp in England or Wales, you do have options. Dartmoor National Park does actually allow some forms of wild camping, but unfortunately, because people have been treating certain areas poorly this summer – littering, lighting fires and other kinds of antisocial behaviour – there is now temporary camping ban in the Bellever and Riddon Ridge areas. 

Elsewhere in England and Wales, all you need to do to wild camp is ask the landowners’ permission first – and make sure there’s no trace of your stay when you’re done.  

Then there’s nearly-wild camping: a network of locations ‘willing to host campers who are looking for a wilder, secluded or quieter camping experience’. Handily, this map reveals all the places you can go nearly-wild camping in the UK right now. There are more than 100 options around the UK and you’ll even find added extras like nature walks, fishing or pottery lessons at some of them. Winner. 

Prefer four walls and an actual toilet? Check out these incredible buildings where you can stay the night. Or these UK holiday homes with swimming pools


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