Wild camping in the UK

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crazydave

Settler
Aug 25, 2006
858
1
51
Gloucester
now I'll stay up all night watching the stars and listening to trance but I do at least have the courtesy to wear headphones :D

20 years ago I could send groups of kids out and they could ask a farmer if they could use a tap and camp on his land, I would regularly just stop and camp in a nice discreet fashion just a bag and no fire, now we have the issue of is the farmer crb cleared and he's worried about squatters seeing others camping and taking over a patch of his site stating a precedent

to me if you wild camp then a small cooking fire during the day you can get away with but a night fire is a no no unless its desperately wet or cold. around me I'm seeing a lot of signs of wild camping which gets blamed on bushcrafters but is actually polish kids assuming that most land is state owned so they have an automatic right to camp out and party. growing up on the coast I guess I was lucky in the terrain I could frequent, fore on the beach and camp there as well or in the woods. inland I used to like golf courses as a gettaway (the top section of fulford golf course was really good and was introduced to me by a local old fella who kept chickens and had an allotment tucked away in there). around the edges of army training areas used to be open access and you were left alone until recently when they ask for you to get permission.

one thing I do notice is that people are their own worst enemies leaving their cars in plain view because they've packed too much kit to carry comfortably then camping in sight or hearing of the car in case something happens to it or they want something out of the cool box. again a fire draws attention to yourself. I used to notice that lying in a bivvy on the side of a used, track or footpath folks would give you the nod and say good morning, as soon as I lit a fire they would be over asking allsorts of questions. whether its the principle of a welcoming fire or the chance of being offered a brew I'm not sure but its interesting.

there's also a lot more folks going in to the woods and making shelters, den making by kids had gone out of fashion thanks to over protective parents so folks arent aclimatised to seeing them all over like rooks nests and will comment on it. a lot of these shelters are well built and tend to get left up as they are too good to destroy but if they arent tucked away from view then they should be taken down ala leave no trace of your passing.

the best sites for access and ease of use used to be the myriad of scout sites who would let you camp out of the way for a couple of quid or free if you were willing to play service team, nanny state and over paranoia has killed it in most but the permanently run sites like great towers where they can tuck you away. our local county site used to have freedom to camp in the local woods but when the 'ray mears crazies' started to abuse the woods the scouts were getting the blame so they self policed to show that it wasnt their fault. to the extent of we could take the kids out into the woods for bivvy building but they werent allowed to sleep in them.
 

cwillson

Forager
Jul 14, 2007
136
2
Cotswolds
den making by kids had gone out of fashion thanks to over protective parents

My two benefit from Forest School every week, which I they both think is superb.

The local woods always have numerous dens in them that have been built by the kids at Forest School, but I know what you mean.

:)
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,162
965
Lancashire
If anyone has a problem with being kicked off the fells in the Lakes my first question would be what the hell did you do to get tehm to kick you off? I've done it for years in groups and on my own but never had any problem. I think the unwritten rule with the Lakes is to camp above the intake wall. That is the last wall before open fell. Below that it is unfair to the farmers, however above it is sheep farming on rough ground so that won't cause a disturbance. Besides while you are sleeping the chances are the sheep are moving around using the handy human footpaths. I've noticed that activity in a few areas. in fact on one footpath (which I was actually camping in the middle of on an island in the eroded path) I kept hearing them walking straight past me then later on in the night they walked back the other way. It seems in early darkness they would move to their kipping spot using the paths then first light (before I was fully conscious) they started to move to ther feeding areas.

For all intent and purpose repsonsible wild camping is accepted in the Lakeland fells and not necessarily that high up just above the intake wall. Although anyone writing advice notes like Ged have to write about the exact legal situation so there is no comeback.

One thing I do have a problem with and that is instructors of groups of childrena and teenagers. They should make sure that their charges practise sustainable and responsible wildcamping. That means not defecating near streams where other campers get their drinking water. This is a major problem in certain areas where a well known outdoor education organisation takes their charges on a regular basis over the summer. I will not mention names but it is a big organisation that has doen a lot of good work introducing generations of kids to the outdoors. Just a shame the recent batch of instructors are not that good.
 

pango

Nomad
Feb 10, 2009
380
5
67
Fife
I don't know what "wild-camping" is!

There's camping, and then there's queuing at the toilet block and signs saying you can't light a fire or being ordered by the site Gestapo to put your fire out at 10.30; for good reason, as that's when the Gestapo run and hide from the numpties tossing beer bottles around on their way back from the pub. That, to me, seems like Wild Camping!

I am about to move to London and am already concerned with details of how and where to escape the city. Right now, the problem seems insurmountable, going to an alien environment and having to find my own way around in country I don't know, with rules I don't understand.

I'm not a city animal and can foresee my camping habit bringing me all sorts of grief.

Is there anybody out there? Or at least, anyone who can point me in the right direction?
 

CawthorneH

New Member
Apr 14, 2010
4
0
England
I'm 13 and I'm very active outside along the lines of bushcraft. I've grown up like that. Just today I went out and checked on the tree that I've tapped using guides and it's collecting plenty of sap or resin, I want to look into pine resin and how to extract that.
But I realise not many other teenagers are intrested in the great outdoors or wild camping, but I wanted to ask if anybody knew anywhere I could go wild camping with or without a tent to try and get my friends into it?
Thanks
 

hertsboy

Forager
May 16, 2009
160
0
Watford, Hertfordshire
MY advice is - know when you;re on to a good thing - stay in Scotland!

I don't know what "wild-camping" is!

There's camping, and then there's queuing at the toilet block and signs saying you can't light a fire or being ordered by the site Gestapo to put your fire out at 10.30; for good reason, as that's when the Gestapo run and hide from the numpties tossing beer bottles around on their way back from the pub. That, to me, seems like Wild Camping!

I am about to move to London and am already concerned with details of how and where to escape the city. Right now, the problem seems insurmountable, going to an alien environment and having to find my own way around in country I don't know, with rules I don't understand.

I'm not a city animal and can foresee my camping habit bringing me all sorts of grief.

Is there anybody out there? Or at least, anyone who can point me in the right direction?
 

hertsboy

Forager
May 16, 2009
160
0
Watford, Hertfordshire
Forgot to mention - come up to Watford - just north of London - nice woodland for a bit of wild camping. I often go out for overnighters in the woods.

I can hear the city - trains, cars, planes and the drone of the M25 - but also owls and foxes - and I'm in my hammock with my dog by my side!

If you pm me, I'll tell you where - might even invite you out for a night to introduce you to the area




I don't know what "wild-camping" is!

There's camping, and then there's queuing at the toilet block and signs saying you can't light a fire or being ordered by the site Gestapo to put your fire out at 10.30; for good reason, as that's when the Gestapo run and hide from the numpties tossing beer bottles around on their way back from the pub. That, to me, seems like Wild Camping!

I am about to move to London and am already concerned with details of how and where to escape the city. Right now, the problem seems insurmountable, going to an alien environment and having to find my own way around in country I don't know, with rules I don't understand.

I'm not a city animal and can foresee my camping habit bringing me all sorts of grief.

Is there anybody out there? Or at least, anyone who can point me in the right direction?
 

Firebringer

Forager
Jun 5, 2009
110
0
47
Scotland
Must admit, I like the freedom of wild camping in Scotland. Particularly like going camping up in Glen Orchy. Lovely area in a tree'd river Glen. There's a decent shop a few miles away in Tyndrum. It's about 45mins to an 1hr from where I stay.

When you drive along the Glen you can bet on a few tents, (seems to attract a few canoeists). It's very peaceful even with the road especially later on and the night sky is amazingly clear with almost no light pollution. I've got some pics I might get round to posting.

It's not that I cause damage/litter or would refuse to go if asked, and frankly they rarely if ever enforced the Trespass Act, but it gives peace of mind knowing that your not even technically breaking the law.
 

Tricia

New Member
Apr 30, 2010
27
0
Highlands
I live on the John Muir Trust estate in north west Sutherland. We get lots of wild campers and hikers here every summer (and occasionally in winter, hardy souls those!)
This area is about the wildest you can get in Scotland today. Just up the road is Cape Wrath, and we are surrounded by mountains and hills and striking distance from the coastline, looking out toward the Hebrides.
Should anyone get into trouble the Air/Sea rescue fellas are just brilliant and have saved many a life in their time, all praise to them. :)
Most campers come here with their cars (takes a while to get here and public transport is non existent) and park up in the Sandwood car park then get all their gear out and hit the hills. The greatest pest in those hills is likely to be the midge depending on what time of year you camp, or the red deer, who get bolder every year and aren`t above raiding an empty tent to see what`s in it!
Sounding a bit like a tout for the Tourist industry but I`m not, honest. Just love where I live. :)
So I can thoroughly recommend north west Scotland for wild camping and hiking.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
66
south wales
I don't know what "wild-camping" is!

There's camping, and then there's queuing at the toilet block and signs saying you can't light a fire or being ordered by the site Gestapo to put your fire out at 10.30; for good reason, as that's when the Gestapo run and hide from the numpties tossing beer bottles around on their way back from the pub. That, to me, seems like Wild Camping!

I am about to move to London and am already concerned with details of how and where to escape the city. Right now, the problem seems insurmountable, going to an alien environment and having to find my own way around in country I don't know, with rules I don't understand.

I'm not a city animal and can foresee my camping habit bringing me all sorts of grief.

Is there anybody out there? Or at least, anyone who can point me in the right direction?

Its all camping, soon as you leave home to spend the night(s) outdoors you've gone camping its as simple as that; the only difference is the site you pick and the camp craft skills you employ.
 
T

Tom1980

Guest
Thanks guys, this is useful stuff. Can wait too get some time off to go camping
 

Totumpole

Native
Jan 16, 2011
1,066
9
Cairns, Australia
Hi,
Thank you all so much for this useful information.......... If anyone has details of cheap family campsites across the south, we live in the stifling City of Portsmouth, I'd be really grateful if you could let me know. Also, anywhere that my boyfriend & I can go seashore fishing &/or wild camping, with permission, & how to get that permission, if possible. Thank you.
You have really inspired me & brought back all the wonderful feelings I have when I am outdoors. I can't wait 'til the weather's warmer, I really feel the cold, but I wrap up warm and sit close to the fire!
Happy Camping,
Kinky-Minx.
(We're going to do some serious camping this year......it's intense!)



You could try Blackberry wood campsite - www.blackberrywood.com - been meaning to go for a while. Looks reasonable, nice setting and allows open fires:):campfire::)
 
Hi folks,

I was wondering if anyone out there has wild camped near loch Ken in the galloway? Me, a mate and dog are going up there next week to canoe and practice some bushcraft. We're pretty new to the scottish landscape. Last summer we went up to Sandwood Bay and were lucky enough to bump into Julia Bradbury filming up there, but other than that it was a wet and windy camp on the beach followed by a brief midge attack in the morning before we headed off back down the coast. The forests of galloway sound like a good opportunity to combine the canoeing with wild camping. Any advice or experiences would be welcome.

Cheers

Drew.
 

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