Where is it legal to camp in the UK

There is nothing like setting up camp, sleeping in absolute silence and waking up to crisp, fresh, morning air. Unfortunately in much of the UK you cannot simply pitch your stakes on any picturesque space you come across. There are certain rules and regulations that must be followed. Here are some quick guidelines in regards in legal camping in the UK.

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Wild camping consists packing in all of your supplies and hiking in to a remote location that does not have any conventional toilets, showers or nearby shops and pubs. This is where you truly experience nature in its purest form. It is not ideal for families or those that like their creature comforts that you can find staying in a camp site or caravan park.

In regards to the legality of wild camping, it varies throughout the UK. In both England and Wales wild camping is a controversial issue. Currently it is prohibited to camp on open access land and private land without permission, which is considered trespassing (Schedule 2 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000). There are exceptions though and because of the remoteness of areas like Snowdonia and Lake District, wild camping is often tolerated in these places. Dartmoor is another exception and if you contact Dartmoor National Park in advance of a camping trip, they may be able to provide you with acceptable locations and landowner details to seek permission. Just ask for information on camping on farms and in wild country in the area.

Thankfully Scotland looks at camping in a totally different way. There they tend to favour camping enthusiasts and thanks to the 2005 Land Reform Act, it is legal to camp anywhere in the wild. One exception though is in the eastern part of Loch Lomond National Park where alcohol and wild camping was banned in 2010 due to campers who were disrespectful and severely vandalised and littered the area they were camping in.

In order to avoid any repeat of these type of bans, it is of the utmost importance to take note of camping codes when you pitch your tent. Campers can have adverse affects on the local vegetation through human pollution and trampling so camping needs to be done with care and consideration. It is extremely important to take the time and research wild camping codes. Some general rules to follow are: make sure a camp site is always left how you find it, protect local vegetation at all times and use proper hygienic practices to minimise pollution.

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