Wild Camping in the UK & Europe
The Wild Camping Hub
WHAT IS WILD CAMPING?
If you want to get a taste of camping, you have two options: stay in the UK or venture abroad. As we’ve already discussed there are some rules and regulations governing wild camping in Britain, but it’s worth refreshing your memory with the information below.
THE BEST PLACES FOR WILD CAMPING
As mentioned previously in this guide, wild camping is often viewed as illegal without the landowner’s permission. However, there are some exceptions to this rule and the following explains the best spots to aim for in the UK and Europe.
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPLORE EUROPE, WE’VE ALSO INCLUDED SOME OF THE BEST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO TAKE YOUR TENTING EQUIPMENT TO:
1: ENGLAND & WALES
Until recently, Dartmoor was one of the only places in England to allow wild camping. Recent court cases mean this situation is subject to change. If you plan on visiting this beautiful part of the country, it’s well-advised to aim south and away from the army firing ranges.
There’s also the Lake District to consider and for a remote location, you could try the Styhead Tarn area. This offers a great base camp for those wanting to scale England’s tallest peak – Scafell Pike.
For Wales, it’s worth researching the Clun Gwyn waterfalls near Ystradfellte. Camping here is legal for an overnight stay of fewer than 10.
Thanks to legislation changes in 2003, wild camping throughout most of Scotland is allowed. Some of the best locations include the Falls of Falloch (which is great for kayaking) and the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. The Hebrides is also a stunning place for camping.
There are some restrictions around Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
France is a popular destination area for holidaymakers of all ages as it’s just a short ferry or Eurotunnel journey from the UK. In terms of the legalities of wild camping in France, there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer.
As with England and Wales, landowner permission is key and it’s advised to stay away from tourist areas and leave before 9am.
Some of the most popular destinations for French campers include the Ardennes, Morvan peaks in Burgundy and Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer in the south.
In Greece, wild camping is illegal but the rule is generally ignored. The authorities would, as you might expect, prefer you stay in one of the taxable hotels and campsites dotted around the country.
However, whilst we wouldn’t advise you do anything illegal, it can be said the Cyclades islands are a stunning, un-policed area.
Perhaps not the destination that would immediately spring to mind when it comes to camping, but certainly a worthwhile consideration given it’s widely tolerated. Despite this, we’d still advise you get the landowner’s permission just to be extra cautious.
There are many beauty spots for campers to make the most of throughout Estonia, including the island of Saaremaa, the beaches of Murika and the Lahemaa National Park.
One of Europe’s most beautiful areas is Scandinavia – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. In Norway and Sweden particularly, wild camping is seen as fair game and there are many amazing spots you can pitch a tent without getting into any trouble.
Some great examples of the best camping spots include Langøyene island, Sognsvann lake and the Lofoten islands. The latter is inside the Arctic Circle, where camping has the extra perk of a midnight sun in the summer months.