What is Wild Camping?

Camping Glossary - What is Wild Camping??
Written by SQ

Wild camping essentially means pitching your tent anywhere outside of an official or authorised campsite.

Fancy sleeping under the stars?

The idea is simple! You choose a location, pack your camping gear and head out into the wilderness to discover your own perfect camping spot, somewhere under the stars.

Unlike traditional camping at designated campsites, wild camping has little in the way of boundaries, giving you the freedom to venture into the great outdoors.

Sometimes this will mean pitching up in a remote or isolated location, however it could just as easily be in your local countryside, a mile or two out of town.

Wild Camping is about enjoying the outdoors and getting back to the simple life, surrounded by nature. It promotes a sense of independence and well being, that harks back to our hunter gatherer ancestry.

Is it legal, what are the laws in the UK?


In Scotland, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code means that you can camp almost anywhere, however some locations, including parts of Loch Lomond now require campers to get a permit, so do check beforehand.

England and Wales

In most areas of England and Wales, wild camping is discouraged and technically illegal without the landowner’s permission. In many locations however, wild campers are tolerated as long as they respect the location and the locals.

Dartmoor is the only National Park in England which has officially designated areas for legal wild camping. Similarly, the Brecon Beacons National Park has two official wild camping areas at Llech Llia and Melte.

The Lake District, Snowdonia, and Exmoor National Park all welcome remote, one-night stops. Whilst on the other hand, the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and the Peak District, actively discourage wild camping.

The Golden Rules of Wild Camping

  • Check whether you can legally camp or get permission.
  • Let someone know where you are planning on going.
  • Pitch your tent late and leave early the next morning
  • Camp using small tents which blend with the landscape
  • If camping in a group, keep it as small as possible
  • Never disturb rocks, vegetation, or wildlife to make your campsite
  • Camp at least 100m away from trails, roads, and residential areas
  • Camp high where you’re out of sight from houses and buildings
  • Don’t stay for more than one night
  • Never start campfires in wooded or rural areas
  • Ensure that you protect the ground when using your cooking stove
  • Make sure that you haven’t left any litter/belongings.

And Finally

Follow the wild camping code and leave no traceClick To Tweet

Photo credit: © Kotenko | Stock Free Images