15 Top Tips for Wild Camping in Scotland

If you’re planning to wild camp in Scotland, Bradly of “Dream Big, Travel Far” shares his 15 high suggestions and methods to make your expertise safer and extra nice. They’ve been driving world wide since 2020 and have skilled suggestions for wild tenting in Scotland and past.


How to Wild Camp in Scotland

Since changing our van (who is named Helen), we’ve pushed to dozens of nations throughout Europe, in addition to to North America & South America. However, Scotland stays very near our hearts as we spent greater than 4 months there, residing in our van and driving round this spectacular nation.

It is hands-down one in every of our private favorite locations to go to wherever in the world. Particularly for vanlifers, because of the many superb spots for wild tenting in Scotland. Teeming with extraordinary nature and wildlife, there’s no higher solution to discover the nation than in your individual automobile. Without additional ado, let’s get proper into it!

1. Understand what wild tenting is

But first… what’s wild tenting?

Also often called free tenting or boondocking, it’s primarily tenting in a single day outdoors of registered campsites, or at a location the place you don’t must pay for.

Wild tenting is just not the identical as tenting in normal. While establishing tents in wilderness areas is a type of wild tenting, so is sleeping in an RV, campervan, or motorhome! Some examples embrace parking in a subject, close to a lake, or in a public automotive park.

As the latter is what we’re greatest accustomed with, our options at present are for vehicle-based wild tenting. However, most of the factors truly apply to the opposite type of wild tenting, resembling in a tent. Check out a Scotland highway journey at: North Coast 500 – The Ultimate Trip Guide to Scotland’s Epic Drive

2. Choose the fitting motorhome or campervan

tips to wild camp in scotland
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The very first thing you must do earlier than beginning your journey is to decide on the fitting automobile. Whether you’re shopping for your individual or renting a campervan, it’s vital to choose one of the best one for your wants. Some options to consider embrace:

Size – Are you travelling alone or with another person? Make positive that you would be able to confidently drive your chosen automobile. While a bigger motorhome could also be extra comfy to reside in, they’re tougher to navigate tough terrains and off-the-beaten observe. This is crucially vital to recollect, as most roads in Scotland are very slim; even alongside the NC500 and significantly in cities. Number of beds – Likewise, take note of the variety of berths or passengers {that a} automobile can accommodate. Budget – Don’t neglect to find out your funds, which can have an effect on the kind of automobile you may get and its situation. Full service historical past – This final one shouldn’t be a problem should you’re renting from a dependable rental firm, however essential should you’re shopping for your individual automobile. Ideally, you need it to come back with a full service historical past to make sure that it’s well-maintained.

When contemplating which camper or motorhome to get, keep in mind that it’s going to not solely be a automobile, but additionally the place you’ll sleep, prepare dinner, eat, and calm down all through your journey.

We noticed every kind of campers throughout Scotland. Some travellers had been even in massive transformed 4×4 ex-military automobiles that may be pushed onto seashores. You can lease all kinds of automobiles from massive rental companies like McRent.

Or even from native Scottish individuals by way of websites like Outdoorsy. It actually does rely in your private choice; although I might suggest the smaller the higher in case you are unfamiliar driving in the UK, and on smaller slim roads.

3. Know the wild tenting legal guidelines in Scotland

wild camping laws in scotland
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Make positive you’ve learn up on all of the wild tenting legal guidelines in Scotland. Is wild tenting authorized in Scotland? The quick reply is not any, however it’s tolerated and customarily allowed, so long as you do it responsibly.

Land Reform Act 2003

This Scottish land reform act doesn’t take into account parking in a single day in a motorhome as wild tenting. While it’s undoubtedly simpler to wild camp should you’re on foot or bike, as you don’t have to fret an excessive amount of about the place you’ll be able to or can not park, it’s usually fairly straightforward to get permission.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

how to wild camp in scotland outdoor access code
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code grants you accountable entry to the Scottish outdoor. This contains forests, hills, seashores, rivers, lochs, parks, and a few farmlands.

Respect others, care for the atmosphere, and be accountable for your actions. Basically, present widespread sense and decency whilst you’re wild tenting. More on Scotland Travel at: 7 Crazy Adventures in Scotland

While this legislation offers entry to all unenclosed land and inland waters in Scotland, it doesn’t truly embrace vehicular entry. It does, nevertheless, permit wild tenting so long as it’s “lightweight and done in small numbers”.

Road Traffic Act of 1988

wild camping scotland road traffic act
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The Road Traffic Act of 1988 acknowledges most roads as personal land, which suggests it’s crucial that you just ask for permission earlier than parking your automobile wherever.

Loch Lomond Byelaws

wild camp in scotland loch lomond
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Wild tenting is usually attainable in most locations throughout the nation, besides for one: the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Between March and September, tenting is simply allowed on official campsites or in case you have a tenting allow.

This byelaw goals to guard the National Park from environmental injury, which is sensible as a result of Loch Lomond is without doubt one of the high vacationer locations in Scotland!

Overall, the final rule of thumb when wild tenting is to respect any “No overnight parking” signal. And so long as you park someplace distant and smart, you have to be effective.

We will cowl extra ideas under that you must comply with to have a secure and enjoyable wild marketing campaign expertise in Scotland. But lengthy story quick, we by no means as soon as had any issues wild tenting in Scotland after dozens of nights in each single a part of the nation.

4. Download Park4Night

wild camping in scotland caravan park
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Park4Night is by far one of the best place to search out wild tenting spots all throughout Scotland (and Europe). It’s a free cellular app out there on each iPhone and Android that exhibits you all of the spots the place you’ll be able to park up in a single day.

Whether you’ve lived in a van earlier than or that is your first-time wild tenting, that is critically such a helpful app that can make your journey much less annoying. No extra hours of researching on-line simply to find {that a} parking spot feels dodgy and unsafe.

I like that the database is made by fellow van lifers and that it’s at all times updating day-after-day. Plus, you’ll be able to share private experiences and ideas a few spot, and studying updates from different customers will provide you with insightful data.

The interface itself is tremendous easy and straightforward to make use of. My favorite operate is the short search, which helps you to browse particular factors like nature spots or water refill stations, and filter solely 5* areas.

5. Use Google Satellite to search out new places

beautiful wild camping in scotland
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Another useful gizmo for discovering new places is Google Satellite. You can use the satellite tv for pc view on Google Maps to search out massive open automotive parks or areas the place you possibly can probably keep the evening. 

Or merely search “parking” in any space of the map, which can then checklist parking spots and you’ll zoom in to examine if it’s viable.

Alternatively, if you have already got a selected spot in thoughts, that is nonetheless an effective way to scout the world and see what it seems to be like. 

When you’re wild tenting in Scotland or wherever else, at all times attempt to be as ready as attainable. This contains having an concept of what the location you’re planning to sleep in seems to be like.

Read extra journey guides in Scotland

6. Ask at pubs & eating places should you can keep there

For instances while you’re wanting to remain close to town, it’s price asking at pubs and eating places should you can park your automobile close by and keep the evening. We have performed this a couple of instances ourselves and persons are typically very good about it. Just be certain to ask in advance.

On an identical be aware, asking locals can also be an effective way to search out the right tenting spot. This approach, you’ll find locations that aren’t even talked about in guidebooks and on-line databases. A pleasant hi there may take you to a hidden gem or two!

7. Buy the Brit Stops ebook 

tips to wild camp in scotland scottish highland cow
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

This one is a extremely cool idea. You purchase a bodily Brit Stops ebook for the 12 months (it’s launched on a yearly foundation) which can then offer you entry to over 1000 wild tenting spots throughout the UK, together with Scotland, the place you’ll be able to keep at for free. 

It was impressed by the corporate Harvest Hosts in the USA (which we additionally love), so that is just like the UK model. The checklist options plenty of distinctive spots, from nation pubs, wineries, and fruit farms to vacationer points of interest, vintage centres, and extra. 

The ebook itself prices £32 and provides you the possibility to remain in some actually cool places. You may also buy some native goodies in order for you while visiting. 

What’s extra, they now supply a model new app with the acquisition that you should utilize to fulfill native hosts. It’s undoubtedly an effective way to fulfill new individuals and get native suggestions of issues to do across the space!

8. Don’t go away any mess (Leave no hint coverage)

how to wild camp in scotland leave no trace
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Following Covid lockdowns, van site visitors and wild tenting in Scotland has exploded. And the poor behaviour of many of those new van lifers has actually upset locals. As a end result, most of the greatest wild tenting spots have began to shut down and now have obstacles, indicators and police patrols to cease the follow. Be part of the answer, not the issue.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code encourages campers to keep away from inflicting issues for native individuals and animals, therefore the “leave no trace” coverage.

This contains issues like:

Removing all of your litter Keeping fires small and placing them out fully afterwards Not inflicting any type of air pollution Travelling and tenting on sturdy floor, resembling rock, gravel, dry grasses and snow Not damaging what you discover (flowers, vegetation, previous archaeological buildings, and so forth)

In normal, attempt to minimise any lasting influence on the grounds!

9. Be respectful in different methods

tips to safely wild camp in scotland
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

In addition to cleansing up after your individual mess, it’s additionally good to be respectful in different methods. This is related irrespective of the place you’re wild tenting, and being thoughtful whereas tenting out in nature or public locations goes a great distance.

For instance, don’t be noisy, particularly as soon as evening falls. Noise might disturb different campers in the world or worse, drive away surrounding wildlife from their pure habitat! I at all times go about it by remembering that I’m merely a visitor and to maintain quiet as a lot as I can.

I’d additionally suggest shopping for regionally every time attainable. Whether which means going to native pubs and eating places or purchasing from native shops, you’ll be serving to increase the native economic system whereas being extra supportive to the follow of untamed tenting.

Also, don’t go establishing such as you’re at a campsite. This actually winds individuals up, particularly if it seems to be such as you intend to remain in the identical spot for many days! As a rule of thumb, I might say that staying for solely an evening or two is greatest.

10. Avoid consuming alcohol

wild camping tips scotland view of campervan
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

If you might be requested to maneuver on by police and you might be over the alcohol restrict, there’s a likelihood you’re going to get fined and prosecuted for driving underneath the affect. So, it’s at all times greatest to keep away from consuming, particularly while you’re transferring to a brand new metropolis or space.

We personally haven’t had this drawback, however have heard horror tales of this taking place to individuals in Scotland and different nations. If you might be in your automobile with the keys accessible, and you’re the driver and over the restrict of alcohol, then it’s classed as an intention to drive drunk. 

Your name; however in my opinion, the dangers merely don’t outweigh the prices. If you intend on having a couple of drinks one evening (which, let’s face it, you’re in Scotland so why not?!) then keep in a campsite.

11. Be ready for temperamental climate

Dunnet Head Scotland view
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Here’s the factor about Scottish climate: it’s nearly solely unpredictable, and you’ll’t depend on forecasts. This dramatic local weather and shifting climate is, in half, what has helped make Scotland so wild, rugged and delightful. 

The local weather additionally varies between areas, but it surely’s usually fairly changeable. For instance, the West will get twice as a lot rainfall because the East.

As you would possibly count on, summer season is one of the best time for wild tenting in Scotland in phrases of climate, although the site visitors might get intense. Despite the sunshine, you must nonetheless put together for cloud, wind, and rain all in the identical day! As effectively as midges, that are famously horrendous to take care of so you will have bug spray should you go to in this time interval.

Winter in the Highlands means snow and ice, with the temperature reaching as little as minus 4 at evening. It’s all a bit overwhelming should you’re unprepared, however actually, I feel the changeable skies add to the expertise…

12. Pack blackout curtains in summer season or headlamps in winter

wild camping scotland tips sunrise
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Scotland is kind of far north and the hours of daylight may be fairly an excessive throughout peak winter and summer season months. 

You can stand up to 18 hours of daylight in June in the Northern Highlands, which is loads of alternative to discover the wilderness! But that additionally means sleeping could be a little bit of an issue. 

I like to recommend utilizing blackout curtains that may preserve the within of your automobile (or tent) tremendous darkish. Oh, and don’t neglect plenty of sunscreen too!

On the opposite hand, you would possibly get daylight solely from 9am to 3pm in December. Pack sufficient headlamps and flashlights so you’ll be able to nonetheless do stuff outdoors. Otherwise, you’ll simply be caught inside your van all day, which isn’t an thrilling solution to camp.

While it’s most likely not one of the best time for wild tenting, the snowy panorama of the winter months does have its personal attraction…

13. …what concerning the toilet state of affairs?

wild camp scotland tips
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

One of the most typical issues individuals have when wild tenting is the lavatory state of affairs. This shouldn’t be an issue while you’re staying near civilization. And in case your automobile has a bathroom, it’s all a matter of accountable waste disposal. If not… Well, time to study the artwork of doing your corporation outdoor.

In the wilderness, it’s usually okay to decide on any spot that’s effectively away from trails. Avoid waterways and sapling bushes, although bigger established bushes and bushes are okay. Don’t go straight in small our bodies of water, however greater lakes or rivers can dilute any urine. In alpine areas, it’s really useful to do it on a rock floor.

Now, when doing quantity two, you have to be extra cautious. Walk at the least 200 ft away from a path or water supply, then dig a gap of round 6 to eight inches deep. This is an efficient depth that can nonetheless decompose the waste whereas stopping others from stepping on it.

Once performed, you must cowl the opening with the unique grime. If you employ any bathroom paper, be certain to deliver it again with you and eliminate it correctly!

14. In busy season, plan forward

Many of one of the best wild tenting spots in Scotland will refill very early on, particularly in the busy summer season months of June, July and August. In some instances, you might wish to arrive at your location by round 2 or 3pm to have a greater likelihood of securing a spot to arrange in a single day.

Better but, take into account visiting through the off season! We did North Coast 500, a 500-mile journey across the Highland space of Scotland, again in November 2020. It was improbable as a result of we just about had the route all to ourselves.

15. Try The 2:1 Rule

wild camping in scotland driving tips
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Intimidated by the thought of untamed tenting for the whole lot of your journey? There’s no purpose you’ll be able to’t strategy it slowly. For loads of first-timers, it’s an incredible concept to interrupt up the journey with extra comfy campsites.

You’ll be wild tenting for two nights and staying on a campsite for one evening. This is a pleasant solution to benefit from the pleasure of untamed tenting whereas nonetheless having fun with the advantages of a campsite’s amenities. A pleasant bathroom, sizzling bathe, stocking up on necessities, and extra.

All in all, wild tenting is really probably the greatest methods to expertise Scotland. You can cease wherever and don’t must depend on registered campsites, so in a approach it’s far more releasing.

The Scottish countryside is certainly an oasis of breathtaking sceneries and numerous wildlife. I hope the following pointers will assist make your upcoming journey go extra easily.

If you keep in mind just one factor from this huge checklist, it’s to be respectful and thoughtful in all places you go!

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest