Anthony, I salute your ability to find wild camping sites

shirokazan

Veteran
Having read your CGOAB write-ups, and your posts on this forum, I am in awe of your ability to find decent wild camping sites.

On my recent tour of Scotland, I decided to wild camp the day I was on Kintyre. I cycled mile after mile looking for somewhere decent but ended up running out of daylight. Everywhere seemed to be fenced off. I ended up pitching the tent across a very rough surface in an area that was a cleared logging site. The tent had at least two significant branches underneath it and my feet were higher than my head. Still, it was gone 8.30 and raining (an inner-first pitching tent, of course) so I had no choice. The following morning, as I cycled down to Tarbert, I didn't pass any better alternatives so I felt a bit better about the previous night's experience.

How do you do it, Anthony? What's the secret of finding a decent place to wild camp?
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
Experience;
If you spend enough nights wild and stelth camping you will learn how to find places
 

Jmetz

Well-Known Member
not to hijack this thread, but what are the legalities surrounding wild camping? Im away for 6 nights soon and not paying for a plot for a night or so would be enjoyable
 

dav1d

Senior Member
I'm sure I read somewhere that wild camping is illegal in England, but legal in Scotland, and that if you do wild camp in England, pitch up late, leave early, camp out of sight, take your rubbish with you, dig a hole and cover when finished for toilet duties

Jmetz said:
not to hijack this thread, but what are the legalities surrounding wild camping? Im away for 6 nights soon and not paying for a plot for a night or so would be enjoyable
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
Jmetz said:
but what about in sunny england?
In England, unless you own land you have no rights of access, you are not among equals, it is a different country with a different social system, you should know your place :laugh:
 

ASC1951

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
dav1d said:
I'm sure I read somewhere that wild camping is illegal in England
Correct; but that is illegal as in making you liable for compensation, not as in committing a crime.

However, quite a lot of local authorities do have byelaws which make it a crime. This is particularly so in tourist areas. And strictly speaking, camping on the roadside is always an offence, although many councils have specific byelaws to remove all doubt.
 

Norm

Guest
Note that I'm not a lawyer, so the following is possibly completely wrong. :laugh:

ASC1951 said:
Correct; but that is illegal as in making you liable for compensation, not as in committing a crime.
In other words, "trespassers will not be prosecuted but they will have a civil action taken out against them". Although I think that would lose a bit of the impact that the traditional wording offers. :biggrin:

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 is what you are looking for in England and Wales. All land is private with no rights of access unless you have the land owners permission.

Also, in England, there is no such thing as "public land". Even if it is owned by the local council, that doesn't give anyone any rights of access to or over it.

Obviously, there are public rights of way (footpaths, bridleways etc) across private land but there is no general rights of access.

However, unless there are specific by-laws covering the land you are camping on, any action against a trespasser would only be to recover any damage caused (which would be negligible if camping on grass) and the hypothetical value of the benefit the trespasser received from the trespass. So, if the land owner does get shirty, offer them a fiver and there's little that they could do. Note that a land owner cannot throw you off his land. He should politely ask you to leave then, if you don't, he has to call the police.
 
Sorry to also hijack the thread. Does anyone know the laws for wild camping in Spain and France? I though it was ok in Spain but a local said to me that I could get arrested by the Guardia Civil for wild camping. I guess I would avoid it, try find campsites or a BnB. But sometimes if youre stuck in the middle of no where and daylight is running out, what choice do you have?

Back to original thread. With multi day tours coming up. As I've been cycling i've been keeping an eye out on my usual routes for what could be a good wildcamp spot. Simply to get myself used to trying to spot them. So even at mid day just be cycling and thinking, that'd be a good place to pitch, that could be too etc. Get your mind in the frame of looking for it and hopefully they should spring up :ohmy:
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
shirokazan said:
Having read your CGOAB write-ups, and your posts on this forum, I am in awe of your ability to find decent wild camping sites.

On my recent tour of Scotland, I decided to wild camp the day I was on Kintyre. I cycled mile after mile looking for somewhere decent but ended up running out of daylight. Everywhere seemed to be fenced off. I ended up pitching the tent across a very rough surface in an area that was a cleared logging site. The tent had at least two significant branches underneath it and my feet were higher than my head. Still, it was gone 8.30 and raining (an inner-first pitching tent, of course) so I had no choice. The following morning, as I cycled down to Tarbert, I didn't pass any better alternatives so I felt a bit better about the previous night's experience.

How do you do it, Anthony? What's the secret of finding a decent place to wild camp?

:ohmy: I like this thread! :wacko:

I don't think there is a particular secret to finding a decent wild camp spot. The more you do it the more you get to know the kind of places that can be used.

When I'm looking for a place to camp I look for wooded areas first (they offer good cover from unwanted visitors, are out of the wind and are sheltered from the rain). Though I tend to stay away from fenced off woods and definitely ones with 'private' signs.

If I can't find a decent wood, i.e. most of the time, I look for a farmers field (one with out aniamals or crops in). Most farms tend to have a field or two that aren't really used for anything; I try to use these because even if a farmer did spot me they would most likely ignore me (which has happended on more than one occasion). If you tuck the tent up to the hedge, you will only been seen if someone enters the field.

Other places I have wild camped included: the sides of lakes, beaches and rivers, behind hay stacks, an old quarry and by the side of the road at the summit of Mont Ventoux!


As for the legality issue; it may be technically illegal in England but it is not really a problem. I've wild camped all over with no problems what so ever. Scotland should be easy as it is legal so you can use picnic areas and open land. Most of Europe is fairly easy to do so also. I have yet to not find a wild camping spot when I have needed to.
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
onlineamiga said:
Sorry to also hijack the thread. Does anyone know the laws for wild camping in Spain and France? I though it was ok in Spain but a local said to me that I could get arrested by the Guardia Civil for wild camping. I guess I would avoid it, try find campsites or a BnB. But sometimes if youre stuck in the middle of no where and daylight is running out, what choice do you have?
I don't know the laws for Spain but if it is illegal it is a very relaxed law. When I was in the middle of Spain, with no places to hide away I often camped in the large open fields, in full view of the road, with out trouble. On one occassion the farmer even saw us and didn't batter an eyelid.

Near Cordoba we were kicked off a field (it was a private field but we didn't realise) but that was the end of the matter. We just carried on to find a new place.

France is really easy to find places to wild camp, but if you don't want to risk it (there's not much risk though) there are loads of cheap municipal campsites around.

onlineamiga said:
Back to original thread. With multi day tours coming up. As I've been cycling i've been keeping an eye out on my usual routes for what could be a good wildcamp spot. Simply to get myself used to trying to spot them. So even at mid day just be cycling and thinking, that'd be a good place to pitch, that could be too etc. Get your mind in the frame of looking for it and hopefully they should spring up :smile:
Very good point. I do this also.
 
OP
shirokazan

shirokazan

Veteran
Thanks for the tips, Anthony. I can see I'm going to have to practise a bit. I did see some potentially good sites earlier in the day but it was too early and I wanted to eat up some miles to make the following day a lot easier.

Also, I did notice about three wild campers on my tour: one (on foot by the look of things) was on a patch of grass overlooking Kirkudbright Bay, another (with a car) on the shores of Loch Doon, and one (also with a car) on the western shore of the Kintyre peninsula about 10 miles north of Campbeltown. So, I guess shores are good places to look on the basis that the land isn't usually devoted to any particular use and is often not fenced off.
 
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