Where to go wild camping in England and Wales
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better way to escape than wild camping. No matter if you’re a nature lover or just seeking a bit of peace and quiet, wild camping has something to offer for everyone.
There’s nothing quite like the great British countryside, with so many picturesque natural beauty spots to explore. Whether you’re heading to lovely Lancashire, the famous Peak District, or soaking up a slice of Welsh history, you never have to travel too far to find the perfect place to wild camp in England or Wales. In our latest blog post, we uncover the must-visit hotspots for your wild camping bucket list.
Is it legal to go wild camping in England and Wales?
As with any outdoor adventure, it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines to conduct your activity safely and legally. Technically speaking, wild camping is not legal in the majority of locations throughout England and Wales. However, there are plenty of spots where wild camping is permitted and you can pitch your home for the night, in the open countryside, safely, legally, and undisturbed.
Many of the stunning national parks throughout England and Wales have designated camping areas, where visitors can pitch up and enjoy the outdoors. Although this seems to defeat the essence of wild camping, as enthusiasts aim to avoid the crowds of traditional campsites, the designated camping areas in national parks are usually only accessible via hike, not a vehicle, keeping the crowds at bay.
Remember, you should always try to seek the landowner’s permission before wild camping – this is all that’s required to make your pitch perfectly legal.
The 4 best places to go wild camping in England and Wales
When it comes to wild camping in the UK, it’s easy to feel spoiled for choice! Luckily for you, we’ve collated the 4 best places for wild camping in England and Wales to help you plan your next trip.
Large portions of Brecon Beacons are privately owned, so if you do venture down to South Wales for your wild camping excursion, it’s important to steer clear of houses, farms, and do not jump any fences onto gated land. So long as you pitch politely and do not overstay your welcome, wild camping is widely accepted throughout the Brecon Beacons – so why not plan an extended trip, take on the challenge of Pen y Fan, and include a detour to the Cotswolds?
Dartmoor National Park
Over in south Devon, Dartmoor National Park boasts large designated areas where ‘backpack’ camping is permissible. It’s important to plan your trip accordingly, as these campsites cannot be accessed via car. For this reason, most campers only stay for one or two nights maximum, and can reasonably carry the equipment and provisions necessary for a short stay.
Dartmoor has shared a camping map specifically for wild camping in Dartmoor , which is a helpful resource for planning your trip. Soak up Dartmoor’s wild and historic landscape with a spectacular hike to each of the tors.
The Peak District
Like most of England and Wales, wild campers must obtain permission from the landowner to legally wild camp in the Peak District. Most of the land is privately owned, however many ‘nearly wild’ camping sites will happily welcome wild campers.
If you do fancy an authentic wild camping experience, choose a pitch away from central villages, busy walking paths and roads. The Dark Peak area is more secluded, offering an ideal experience for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle.
On unenclosed fell land, away from roads, the Snowdonia National Park Authority allows wild camping, providing campers stick to small groups, behave responsibly, and leave the land just as they found it. Wherever you decide to wild camp in England and Wales, these guidelines are pretty commonplace, with ‘Leave No Trace’ being the most important motto of all. After all, wild camping is all about appreciating nature, not spoiling it!
If you’re interested in combining your wild camping excursion with a trip up Snowdon, Cwm Clogwyn is the perfect spot to rest after a challenging climb, or pitch up the night before so you can head to the summit for sunrise!
Other locations for wild camping
Looking to plan your wild camping adventure? When looking for a place to pitch, study an OS map and plan your hiking route. Are there any landmarks you’d like to see along the way? Peaks you’d like to summit? Waterfalls you’d love to swim in? Then, the next step is to find a flat plot of land where you can spend the night.
Be sure not to cross into any gated land, and steer clear from houses, farms, busy villages and main roads. There are so many places to explore the open countryside. Once you’ve been wild camping in England and Wales, you’ll want to go again and again! check out our beginners guide to wild camping here