good wild camping spots southern Scotland

Gotte

Nomad
Oct 9, 2010
395
0
Here and there
Both my niece and my daughter are keen to go wild camping, and really loving Scotland but not wanting to drive too far for what will be probably only a weekend camp - anyone know any good places in Southern Scotland (either borders or Dumfires/galloway) for wild camping. Ideally it would be in forest but near some water (Lochside)

As a side issue, I read somewhere that wild camping is only in wilderness areas, for one, is that correct, and for two, if so, are there any in south/central Scotland?

Thanks
 

Lupis

Forager
Dec 12, 2009
158
2
Scotland
Can't help with good sites in those areas I'm afraid, but this pdf may be a good place to start with the wild camping rights etc. Hope you find a good spot!
 

BigMack

New Member
Mar 3, 2012
17
1
Scotland
We wild camped at the Loch Bradan Reservoir last July and it was a cracking spot. Right in Galloway Forest Park - fantastic for stargazing due to the park being a 'Dark Area' and right at the lochside. Grid reference is NX 42287 96865: Latitude 55.240696 Longitude -4.4820836

This the link to the google map: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=loch%20bradan&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=677&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

We made camp on the south of the loch, the loch cuts inland and south on a kind of V shape and the area we went to was at the top left of the V shape on the map. Coming off the B road that goes south of the loch, you take the left before the first wee bridge then follow a single track road that has very soft verges (our transit got stuck when pulling in to let a jeep pass) then there is a kind of cross road as the road become more rubble strewen. You take the road that goes north and straight ahead towards the loch. You pass a make shift parking area off the road to the left and carry on to another small parking area that overlooks the loch. If you have a regular car then here is about as far as I would recommend driving as the road going down to the loch is nothing more than a rubble, rocky dirt track and you really need the clearance of a jeep for it (although we did manage in the transit) This road is abut 1/4 mile and if you drive there is a place to park where you can unload and take your gear down the hill to the beach. As you can imagine it is very secluded and there is only enough space for one or two tents. There is very little sound apart from the odd bird and no light at all. On the last road down to the loch there is plenty of dry fire wood and if you fish you can get a permit in the gunshop in Ayr although take your bait with you as they told me on more than one occasion they had bait and it turned out they didn't!!

Heres a pic from our camp:


And a pic from the map:


I'd recommend it for the quiet, scenery and fishing. For one or two nights it is brilliant and remember to take a camera for pics of the Milkyway on a clear night. I left mine behind last time and regret it as it was like nothing I'd ever seen before.

Hope this is of some help and there are other places to camp at the south end of Loch Doon. Many of the fishing forums have good advise for wild camping in these areas so a Google search for fishing forums and wild camping will do the trick.

Paul
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gr1nder3d

Gotte

Nomad
Oct 9, 2010
395
0
Here and there
hey, thanks for that. I appreciate the reply. It looks a great place, and you sound like you had a great time. It looks just right for us. Thanks again for the input. I'll definitely check it out.
 

Big Geordie

New Member
Jul 17, 2005
416
2
67
Bonny Scotland
One of my favourites is Loch Ken. You can camp by the lochside where there may be a fisherman, or in the substantial woods behind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ken
It is one of the areas where if you should accidentally catch the signal american crayfish you have to despatch it (and eat it!!) Lovely cooked up with some of its pals and some white wine.
You're not supposed to catch them intentionally, but they cant be put back or transported either. Yum.
 

pango

Nomad
Feb 10, 2009
380
4
66
Fife
Big Mack, I appreciate your good intentions in giving over information of this sort in response to an honest enquiry, and believe that the more responsible people using our access rights, the better.

We do have a significant minority however, who are unappreciative and disrespectful of the rights others have won for them, and these people are placing the legislation which makes access possible under threat, with more and more rural communities questioning the right of others to infringe upon their right to peace of mind and a quiet and safe life. They, quite rightly, object to drunkenness, bonfires, vandalism, disrespect, bad behaviour and noise, and are asking for exemption for their area from the rights provided for in the Scottish Countryside Bill, 2003.

It seems preferable to reply to such posts by PM, as provided on this forum, as opposed to running the risk of posting that detailed information on an open forum, so giving easily accessed detail of a "quiet spot" to those who have sabotaged all free camping in another area.

My apologies for spoiling the ambience of an otherwise idyllic thread.

Pango.
 

Jinsin456

Settler
Nov 14, 2010
725
0
Maybole, Scotland
There are lots of places in the Galloway forest.

Loch Bradan is a very nice spot with some stunning views.
Anywhere round Loch doon is good with good fishing and there is a wee tearoom open during the summer months which can be quite handy for bits and bobs.
Forest drive (Stinchar Bridge to Loch Doon) has some great spots just off the road, most passing places will have a beautiful spot.)
Tunskeen bothy is a few miles walk from forrest drive.
The Caldons site at the bottom of Glentrool is also a great bit, kind of a Southern Scotland meeting point for us Southern Bushcrafters :D.

You can't really go wrong in the Galloway Forest, you will find it hard not to see a spot if you go a drive through there.
 

BigMack

New Member
Mar 3, 2012
17
1
Scotland
... It seems preferable to reply to such posts by PM, as provided on this forum, as opposed to running the risk of posting that detailed information on an open forum, so giving easily accessed detail of a "quiet spot" to those who have sabotaged all free camping in another area ...
Pango.
My apologies if you think I have overstepped the mark by providing such detail. I personally believe that beautiful places such as that I have described are so remote, and away from closeby towns and cities that this make them inaccessible but for those who have the determination to enjoy the beauty, peace and tranquility of these areas of our incredible land. My experience of places such as this is that when I go, and if I do meet anyone else there, then they are almost always of similar mind, attitude to the land and respect for others as myself and they too have made that great effort to get away from the other lochside areas that have been spoilt by city hoodlums out for a weekend of booze and bonfires with a mere 40 mile drive on, at worse a B road to hinder their efforts to travel there. I do not think they would see some of the places I visit as easy options!

If in my newness to posting on forums such as this has meant I have done something that is unacceptable or broken some of the forums rules then I will gladly retract the information and cease posting such detailed replies. If a mod can comment, it would be much appreciated.

Paul
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,193
205
-------------
I didn't think it was illegal to wild camp in Scotland, also I can't say I've seen the part that says not to post about places you are allowed to go.
England maybe, Scotland?

Plus if someone does want to give info regarding camping places via PM it might be helpful if they mentioned that they have sent a PM.
At least that way, others don't see the thread and think that the person starting it has just been ignored.

Good info BigMack. Thanks for posting it.
 

789987

Settler
Aug 8, 2010
554
0
here
My apologies if you think I have overstepped the mark by providing such detail. I personally believe that beautiful places such as that I have described are so remote, and away from closeby towns and cities that this make them inaccessible but for those who have the determination to enjoy the beauty, peace and tranquility of these areas of our incredible land. My experience of places such as this is that when I go, and if I do meet anyone else there, then they are almost always of similar mind, attitude to the land and respect for others as myself and they too have made that great effort to get away from the other lochside areas that have been spoilt by city hoodlums out for a weekend of booze and bonfires with a mere 40 mile drive on, at worse a B road to hinder their efforts to travel there. I do not think they would see some of the places I visit as easy options!

If in my newness to posting on forums such as this has meant I have done something that is unacceptable or broken some of the forums rules then I will gladly retract the information and cease posting such detailed replies. If a mod can comment, it would be much appreciated.

Paul
looks a good spot. cheers for the info
 

Gotte

Nomad
Oct 9, 2010
395
0
Here and there
Sorry if this has opened a can of worms. I'm sure the folks on here are all respectful and mindful of the environment, and look to preserve it intact, but if anyone with any further ideas wants to PM me, that's fine by me.

Also, can anyone clarify the wild camping rights in Scotland? As I understood it, it was legal in Scotland, but I did read something which suggested it was only legal in wilderness areas. If so, does that mean national parks, and if not, what exactly constitutes a wilderness area?

Thanks.

All the best
 

BigMack

New Member
Mar 3, 2012
17
1
Scotland
Also, can anyone clarify the wild camping rights in Scotland? As I understood it, it was legal in Scotland, but I did read something which suggested it was only legal in wilderness areas. If so, does that mean national parks, and if not, what exactly constitutes a wilderness area?

Thanks.

All the best
Hi, wild camping is allowed in Scotland however there are some restrictions in place; most that are basic common sense ones such as not camping in fields that have live stock in them and not camping in areas that have perimeter fences around them. The fences are usually there to keep things in and not to keep us out so if you don't want to wake up with an angry bull ripping through the canvas then it is a good idea to keep that one in mind!! This is a good guide: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/wild%20camping%20advice%201011.pdf

If you are planning to camp on private land then asking the landowners permission is necessary and other restrictions that have recently came in place is that of wild camping on the east side of Loch Lomond. There has been a spate of booze and bonfire yobs causing tonnes of trouble and making the area a complete mess and it such a shame that is now restricted as it is one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland. I used to camp on Loch Earn but don't anymore as it is getting a bit like Loch Lomond as it is so close to the road and only an hours drive from the main cities. The lochs near calendar such as Loch Venchar are a wee bit better as the local constabulary come round through the night as does the ranger to check fishing permits.

It is generally ok to camp in forests, on the hills and in other wilderness areas e.g. the West Highland way is about 95 miles long that starts in the outskirts of Glasgow and ends in Fort William and along that route you can camp where you like and again the guide linked above will give you guidance re campfires; litter; disposal of waste. I have camped in empty farm fields before with the permission of the farmer which is a simple case of chapping his door or if you see him on one of the fields. I've not met one yet that has refused me a corner of his field to camp overnight after a long walk but I keep this to single night options and they are not places for the 10 berth tents!! :)

You will have no problems at all in Galloway Forest Park or near the lochs within it: as one of the other users said there are tonnes of places that you'll spot just by driving around. Sometimes the Rangers are helpful if you bump into one and it is definately worth while checking out this website: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark for contact info and other useful stuff. Theres lots to do in Galloway Forest, some that is organised and paid for but much of it is free. As mentioned before the Dark Sky area is amazing but if you take a set of binoculars for this then they will also come in useful for the wildlife and birds you'll spot too.

Hope this is of help
 

Bigfoot

Settler
Jul 10, 2010
669
4
Scotland
If you are planning to camp on private land then asking the landowners permission is necessary
I don't think that's strictly the case, only in certain circumstances (such as wishing to camp in an enclosed field, as you have suggested already).

The provisions of the Land Reform Act does not restrict access provisions overnight, so wild camping is essentially legal in Scotland, other than where the "exceptions" come into play, the most common being enclosed farm land but includes things like quarries. You should be OK in any open land. As far as I am led to believe, Schedule 2 of the Act inserts a new clause into the Trespass (Scotland) Act 1865 which repeals the offences in that Act if 'done by a person in the exercise of the access rights created by the revised Land Reform Act'. This basically removes the offences of occupying or encamping on private land without permission if this takes place in the exercise of access rights.
 

BigMack

New Member
Mar 3, 2012
17
1
Scotland
@Bigfoot. Thanks for the clarification Bigfoot, camping anywhere in Scotland has never been a problem for me personally but the info you have provided is well worth noting although I do hope I will never be in a position where I have to use it.

Cheers
Paul