Wild Camping

One thing Scotland has over most parts of Scotland with exception of Loch Lomond and that is Wild CampingWe ourselves will be Wild Camping when we start our Tour of the North Coast 500 this yearWhy Scotland well firstly it’s legal. Unlike in England and Wales Dartmoor aside where it is most definitely not legal. And because it’s Scotland and Scotland has some of the best natural scenery you’ll find anywhere on EarthBut before you grab a tent and start pitching it it is not that simple what you need to know are the rules of wild camping in Scotland?And where are the best places to go wild camping in Scotland?Before you go wild camping in Scotland it’s worth familiarising yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. It’s a kinda Highway Code but with an emphasis on outdoor activitiesThe main policy and something you really need to remember is “leave no trace.”

How not to Wild Camp! There is nothing worse than people that flout the one thing that annoys people more than anything about Wild Campers and that is leaving something more than just your footprintIn fact what ever you do in Scotland as a visitor the one things we love to preach is "Leave only your Footprint" Take your Memories and rubbish with you although we love to share your memories we certainly do not want your rubbish and neither do any of our Wildlife FriendsThings to remember.Stay away from overcrowded areas. If a spot looks busy move on to another location. Too many wild campers in one spot is not what wild camping is about and can have a negative impact on the environmentDon’t cut down or damage trees and use a stove. If you are insistent on making a camp fire be sure to leave no trace of it when you pack up and leave. Speaking of when you leave make sure you’ve collected up all of your litter before departing. And finally if you have any doubts about the place you’re camping…track down the the landowner and ask themThe Access Code is as FollowsThe Code is based on three key principles and these apply equally to the public and to land managersRespect the interests of other people. Acting with courtesy consideration and awareness is very important. If you are exercising access rights make sure that you respect the privacy safety and livelihoods of those living or working in the outdoors and the needs of other people enjoying the outdoors. If you are a land manager respect people’s use of the outdoors and their need for a safe and enjoyable visit

Care for the environment. If you are exercising access rights look after the places you visit and enjoy and leave the land as you find it. If you are a land manager help maintain the natural and cultural features which make the outdoors attractive to visit and enjoy
Take responsibility for your own actions. If you are exercising access rights remember that the outdoors cannot be made risk-free and act with care at all times for your own safety and that of others. If you are a land manager act with care at all times for people’s safety

Where can you not Wild CampThe main places where access rights do not apply are:Houses and gardens and non-residential buildings and associated land;Land in which crops are growing;Land next to a school and used by the school;Sports or playing fields when these are in use and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;Land developed and in use for recreation and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;Golf courses (but you can cross a golf course provided you don’t interfere with any games of golf);Places like airfields railways telecommunication sites military bases and installations working quarries and construction sites; and visitor attractions or other places which charge for entry
Where Can You Wild Camp
Everyone whatever their age or ability can exercise access rights over most land and inland water in Scotland at any time of day or night providing they do so responsiblyThese rights do not extend to all places or to all activities. Provided you do so responsibly you can exercise access rights in places such as:Hills mountains and moorland;Woods and forests;Most urban parks country parks and other managed open spaces;Rivers lochs canals and reservoirs;Riverbanks loch shores beaches and the coastline;Land in which crops have not been sown;On the margins of fields where crops are growing or have been sown;Grassland including grass being grown for hay or silage (except when it is at such a late stage of growth that it is likely to be damaged);Fields where there are horses cattle and other farm animals;On all core paths agreed by the local authority4;On all other paths and tracks where these cross land on which access rights can be exercised;On grass sports or playing fields when not in use and on land or inland water developed or set out for a recreational purpose unless the exercise of access rights would interfere with the carrying on of that recreational use;Golf courses but only for crossing them and providing that you do not take access across greens or interfere with any games of golf;

There is much much more to the rights and wrongs of Wild CampingThe above is just a brief out line of the Access Code which you must followYou can download the Full PDF version by clicking here
Remember Wild Camping can be a fantastic way to see and feel and enjoy everything that Scotland has to offer. All we ask is leave the area exactly as you find it with the exception of a foot print take away great memories and any rubbish and dispose of it carefully as we and or our Wild life do not need any