Ready for a camping holiday but not sure where to go? It can be a bit tricky because of land ownership. You don’t want to wind up trespassing on someone’s property so you’ll need to seek out the landowner to obtain proper permission. You can easily make your way to Dartmoor National Park and go wild camping without a fuss, however if you’re looking for something else or you can’t track down the landowners to get their permission, here is a handy guide to help you along.
Cumbria and the Lake District
This is traditionally one of the most popular wild camping spots in the UK. Landowners here tend to tolerate your presence, but you should be sure to follow proper camping protocol to avoid being asked to leave. Within the park, there are many campsites that have been well organised, however they may be full or pose walking hassles. To wild camp in these areas, make sure you set up your tent 450m or above and keep it out of sight from walking paths. Also, don’t stay in the same spot every night. Set up late and get moving early.
Derbyshire and the Peak District
This area may be more difficult to set up for wild camping. The reason is that it is mostly banned here. Plus, summer can be dangerous due to high fire risk from the dry moors. The National Park Authority doesn’t permit any wild camping on their land though you can get away with it if your group is small and stays discreet. Pitch your tent late, stay one night, and leave early for the best results. Travel light and use a backing tent to reduce weight and bulk. Many Stay off the common paths too and search for areas with no marked trails. Despite the discouragement of wild camping, it should be noted that this area has plenty of designated campsites so it is still rife for adventure.
Devon and Dartmoor
Dartmoor National Park is a brilliant choice for wild camping. Prior to going though, you should check out which areas within the park are accepted for wild camping and plan your campsite in advance. There are certain areas where it is prohibited and making sure you plan it out beforehand will save you much hassle.
Exmoor can be a good place for wild camping if it’s seen as part of a trek from a long distance. One night in one place will usually be overlooked by the park authorities but if you plan to stay longer, it’s best not to incur any trouble by moving along. Vehicles are usually frowned down upon here as well.
Unlike Exmoor, Cornwall seems to be more of a haven for motorhomes and campervans taking a rest. For one night, most places will not get up in arms about your presence. Gold Diggings quarry in this area is rather popular for backpackers, especially those that seek a wild swim but the surrounding farmland is not a welcome place for trespassers so plan ahead to avoid ruffling any feathers.
Yorkshire, the Dales and the North York Moors
Much like the Peak District, wild camping here is not welcome, particularly in the peak of shooting season for grouse. However, Lake Semerwater is a resplendent and breathtaking area. Gordale Campsite also offers a nice place to stay without hassle.
At Snowdonia National Park, it is very welcoming for wild campers. Stay high and away from the typical tracks, and be sure to follow the rules of setting up late and leaving early. It’s easy to find places here, especially above Aber Falls.
At the Melte and Llech Llia, wild camping is officially permitted. You can wild camp here without any disarray, but it should be noted that in both of these places, your groups should consist of no more than 10 people.
Summer is just a stone’s throw away. Where will you head for your wild camping adventure? Follow the guide above to choose your destination and be sure to follow proper camping codes to stay safe and ensure your wild camping adventure is a success!
Some equipment suggestions to bring with you: