Wild camping in the UK and Ireland – helpful tips
What is wild camping?
Wild Camping in Scotland, also referred to as free camping, is camping overnight, outside a caravan or motorhome park, usually in the countryside.
Is it legal?
Wild camping in Ireland is not strictly legal but is tolerated in many upland and remote areas, and the Northern Ireland Forestry Service issues camping permits at some of its sites.
Wild camping is only legal in England and Wales if you have been granted permission by the landowner – and every bit of land in these countries is owned by somebody! The National Parks Authority forbid wild camping within any National Parks of England and Wales.
Wild camping in Scotland is completely legal, widely accepted and a great way to experience the great outdoors. In Scotland wild camping law is explicit about people’s right to camp on hill land – usually more than 100 metres away from a public road. Some landowners do take exception, but thankfully they are few and far between. If you’re near a dwelling it’s also a good idea to ask permission before wild camping in Scotland, and not just set up camp on their doorstep!
Wild Camping for Motorhomes – Helpful Hints
Follow these helpful tips and you should have a great experience wild camping with your Motorhome in Scotland…
- Always use common sense – avoid agricultural land. If you consider yourself remote, you should be OK.
- Be discrete, try to camp out of sight and away from peoples’ houses or farms.
- Park up late and leave early.
- Be prepared to move on if asked, always be friendly and polite.
- Choose your toilet carefully – away from open water.
- Never light an open fire.
- Keep groups small and quiet, and enjoy the peace and the scenery.
- Always pick up any litter and leave the area as you found it.
Is wild camping safe?
Wild camping, if done correctly is safe. Just be sure to take the usual precautions. Always let someone know where you are, what you are doing and when you will return. Have fun and enjoy the experience! If you don’t feel safe or sure about what you are doing or if you prefer to have a hot shower and toilet, then perhaps wild camping isn’t for you. Head to a campsite instead.