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New Member
Aug 10, 2020
Shipston on Stour
Hello, I'm new here

Ever since a kid me and my friend were super into survival and bushcraft but we never really had anywhere to go and do it freely, We had a little woods area but always had to look out for people walking and it was super limited on resources, It still didn't stop us tho, We got fires started with just embers and used flint rods, We also did alot of hand fishing and teamwork to take down a pheasant with a slingshot. We tried setting snare traps but never had any luck. The best things we did were make the shelters, At one point we had this little area with 3 separate bases, A big lean-to and some other work areas, (Obvs we made spears and tried to make bows)

But Now I'm older (21) I really wanna dive back into but more intense and more freedom, But the problem we always had as kids was that in the UK everything is owned or claimed land and you can't go anywhere without being kicked out. Just wondering where the best place (If any) to get started or go, I'd really like to get into Kayaking, so that I can Kayak down rivers and camp for long weeks.

I'm really into shows like Dual survival, Alone, And some old bear Grylls ones. Is there any place in the UK like America where it's natural land and you can wild camp?

Thanks and looking forward to hearing your replies :)

Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
Melbourne, Derbyshire
Welcome to the forum.

It looks like you're pretty central in the UK which is lucky, what sort of transport have you got to get you around?

In terms of wild camping Dartmoor and the lake district are your friends here. I've found Dartmoor to be a bit more forgiving if you're doing longer treks by the weather can be miserable. If you want something a bit closer to home it might be worth a google of nearly wild campsites in the cotswolds.

It might be worth looking at the river Isis / Thames for a kayak, check out if someone has done a tip report and find where they stayed, it should give you a lead as to who to call to get permission to stay overnight.

All the best.


Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

You are right, most land in the UK is privately owned or managed. However, that doesn't make it impossible to enjoy legal wild camping. I have never been refused permission to camp; you just have to ask politely and explain that you'll leave no trace. Of course, you will get a different reception if you turn up with half a dozen loud blokes :)

Most of my early wild camping was in the hills and it is/was generally considered that a single night above the tree line in the mountains is acceptable.

I am sure you are aware that fishing, hunting and trapping is severely controlled in the UK and, for that, you will need special permissions and, often, licences.

As far as kayaking goes, if you're new to the pastime, I suggest you join a local club - even if it's just for one season to learn the basics.

There is still room in this crowded country to have fun :)
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Ryze: welcome to BCUK. Many talented artisans here and a whole host of knowledgeable
parishioners that have spotted every possible place to camp.

I know what you want. I live in the middle of it. Some day, I hope that you can try it out.
100_1160 Holmes small.JPG
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Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
Melbourne, Derbyshire
For where to start, I generally use maps.

Find when you want to start and end up, The OS maps online are a great tool for gauging distance and gives you a feel for the shape of the land. Take SU 22723 98219 as an example.

Once you've worked out where the best camp site is check it out on google maps and that normally shows the local buildings and information about them, google maps shows there is a church there called St. Mary the Virgin CofE church it'll give you the phone number of the church. give them a bell and ask if you can stay in the woodblock by the river. Explain what your plans are and your leave no trace philosophy and they will normally agree.

I tend to budget in a couple of hours work time when I get to a location just in case there are any jobs they would like me to do. Services and donations often sweeten the deal.

If you want to come further north then the national forest and the forestry commission will often tell you who owns the land and a polite E-mail will usually get you a contact number or they will forward a request on.

Occasionally it is just who you know, my wife is a ranger and knows I'll leave the area tidier than I found it, and if there are jobs I can do at the weekend that save her doing it during the week then it all works out.

The forums (Fora?) are also a gold mine, there are lots of people here with many years experience, there is likely to be a thread existing already to ask for help for particular locations.


Oct 6, 2003
Welcome to the forum. :)

.... Is there any place in the UK like America where it's natural land and you can wild camp?

In the UK...try Scotland (Covid19 situation permitting). Particularly if you want to canoe and camp. Personally I am more interested in open canoes rather than kayaks, being more comfortable to sit in for long periods, able to carry more people/gear, and be easier to pack and unpack. You can canoe many of the rivers and lochs in Scotland and camp just about anywhere, just don't leave a mess.

Not entirely sure what you mean regarding the US and "natural land". Perhaps you are thinking of US areas under the Bureau of Land Management, https://www.blm.gov/maps. While it is easy to look at the US and see great areas of open land and wilderness areas, this isn't evenly spread across the nation. Also, US National Parks can have quite a lot of restrictions too. You can't just camp anywhere you like in many, nor can you cut wood and have fires...and their rangers carry guns and are used to dealing with drug dealers and armed poachers. Private land is just that, private, and trespass is a criminal matter. Here in England, despite no Scottish style Right-to-Roam, we have lots of public foot paths criss-crossing the country. That kind of access is quite alien and bizarre to folk in the US.

It might help you to figure out what it is that you want to learn and what purpose it will have. It is not easy to combine a lot of activities into one trip and really learn from them. For instance, if you want to learn how to cook on an open fire, having to forage and hunt for what you will cook, first, and learning that too, will take away from learning about the cooking and fire management. Travelling through the landscape, learning navigation, what to pack and how, choosing camp sites and manages water, cooking and camp hygiene, will be harder if you also want to forage, build natural shelters, or spend time working on crafts.

Not all bushcraft learning requires camping.

All the best


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