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Wild camping in UK
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Here’s where you can go wild camping in the UK

Planning to swap the city for the wilderness this summer? Pitch up your canvas at one of the UK’s wild camping spots
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Rosie Hewitson

It’s summer holiday season, and while MadeiraIbiza and Majorca might be back on the UK’s green list, many of us are still opting for ‘staycations’ again this year.

So it’s no surprise that many of the UK’s best Airbnbs, holiday cottages and glampsites are already fully booked throughout the summer months, as the country prepares to relax after months spent cooped up in our own homes. 

But if you think that means it’s too late to organise a great summer holiday, never fear – wild camping is the perfect option for those looking for a last-minute getaway with minimal forward planning.

Is it legal to go wild camping in the UK?

Generally, wild camping without the landowner’s 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. There are some restrictions in areas around Loch Lomond. You can find out more on the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park website and Outdoor Access Guide to Scotland.

Is there any way to go wild camping in England and Wales?
Photograph: Shutterstock

Is there any way to go wild camping in England and Wales?

If you want to wild camp in England or Wales, you do have options. Dartmoor National Park does actually allow wild camping in specific areas, with some simple rules in place. Campers must carry all their equipment on foot, and stay a maximum of two nights. Overnight stays are not permitted in vehicles, including campervans and motorhomes, and large tents are also banned. Campers must pitch up out of sight at least 100 metres from the road, and leave no trace behind. For more information, check out the park’s own camping guide, which includes an interactive map showing where wild camping is allowed.

Over the border in Wales, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority provides a list of local farms which allow wild camping.

Elsewhere in England and Wales, including Exmoor, Snowdonia and the Peak District National Parks, all you need to do to wild camp is ask the landowner’s permission first – and make sure there’s no trace of your stay when you’re done.


Not quite ready for fully wild camping?

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. 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.

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