If you love the great outdoors, camping is probably right up your street. But have you ever considered camping where there are no streets? Wild camping is the ultimate outdoor adventure.
So what makes it different from regular camping? It’s what it sounds like - camping in the wild, rather than on designated campsites. In most parts of the UK, you’ll need to get the land owner’s permission to be able to set up camp, but in some parts of Dartmoor, and in most parts of Scotland, wild camping is permissible without prior approval.
So if you're craving to escape the everyday and find a remote spot just for you, let’s take a trip through our top five wild camping spots in the UK.
This breathtakingly beautiful mountain range in the eastern Highlands is one such area of Scotland where you don’t need permission to set up camp. Glenfeshie, in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, is the perfect place to take a tent should you want to escape the trappings of modern life. If you’re a city slicker seeking peace and tranquillity, here you’ll feel a million miles away from the urban hustle and bustle. Nature has been set free in Glenfeshie, with awe-inspiring peaks and stunning forests, all filled with wildlife. The area is also the crossroads of many walking routes, making it the perfect base camp for hikes through the Highlands.
Yes Tor, Dartmoor
Unrestricted wild camping spots in England are few and far between, especially in the south. Luckily for us keen campers, Yes Tor, in Dartmoor, Devon, is one of the few exceptions. That’s a good thing too, as this spot is one of the highest points in the world renowned South Devon area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). From Yes Tor you’ll wake up to breathtaking views of the Dartmoor moorlands, deep river valleys, and increasingly rare wildlife. With some waterproof socks and a good pair of boots, take hikes across the moorlands to discover forests, rivers, and trails winding through valleys filled with mediaeval farmhouses and Neolithic tombs. Dartmoor proves Devon is so much more than fishing harbours and seaside towns.
The Lake District, Cumbria
It may be surprising to learn that such a popular tourist hotspot as the Lake District is home to a selection of wild camping areas. While you’ll need a booking (and your wallet), to camp around the lakes themselves, you’ll find a number of wild camping spots up in the high fells, thanks to some friendly landowners. The national park authority for the Lake District offers a number of tips for wild camping in its guide, so be sure to read through that and get permission from the landowner before you go. Once you do, you’ll be greeted with stunning views and 16 glacial lakes, including the famous Lake Windermere, the largest in England. Trek around rugged mountains, and take a visit to scenic market towns such as Kendal and Ambleside. The Lake District has it all.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
If you’re looking to experience what it’s like to be disconnected from modern life but without a trek to get there, Loch Lomand and the Trossachs is for you. Just 45 minutes away from Glasgow, but home to 22 lochs, 50 rivers and streams, as well as 21 stunning peaks over 3,000 feet, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another world. While the area is one of the first to be covered by a new law in Scotland requiring a permit to camp here, thankfully it only costs £3. That’s a small price to pay for the awe-inspiring views you’ll wake up to.
The Brecon Beacons
Last but not least, the Brecon Beacons presents wild campers some of the most breathtaking views Wales has to offer. And while wild camping isn’t generally permitted in Wales, multiple landowners are happy to accommodate overnight stays as long as they’re contacted in advance. The Brecon Beacons visitor centres maintain a list of such sites, and will help you liaise with the land owners. Once you’ve set up camp, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful moorlands, waterfalls, castles and stunning peaks. The Beacons have been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve, which means it’s a site with very low levels of light pollution, offering the perfect spot for stargazing.
It’s Time To Get Out There!
All that’s left to do now is to pack up your tent and hit the road. Remember to check whether you need permission before pitching up, and be sure to take all litter with you and leave no trace when you leave. It’s also worth investing in some quality gear, including some pairs of Geckowear to make your trip a more comfortable one. Adventure awaits!