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15 Top Tips for Wild Camping in Scotland

15 Top Tips for Wild Camping in Scotland

If you’re intending to wild camp in Scotland, Bradly of “Dream Big, Travel Far” shares his 15 leading ideas as well as techniques to make your experience much safer as well as much more pleasurable. They’ve been driving worldwide given that 2020 as well as have professional ideas for wild outdoor camping in Scotland as well as past.

wild camping in scotland view from campervan

How to Wild Camp in Scotland

Since transforming our van (that is called Helen), we’ve driven to lots of nations throughout Europe, along with to North America & South America. However, Scotland continues to be extremely near to our hearts as we invested greater than 4 months there, residing in our van as well as driving around this magnificent nation.

It is hands-down among our individual much-loved locations to check out throughout the globe. Particularly for vanlifers, as a result of the several impressive places for wild outdoor camping in Scotland. Teeming with remarkable nature as well as wild animals, there’s no much better method to discover the nation than in your very own lorry. Without more trouble, allow’s solve into it!

1. Understand what wild outdoor camping is

what is wild camping in scotland

But initially… what is wild outdoor camping?

Also called totally free outdoor camping or boondocking, it’s basically camping over night beyond signed up campgrounds, or at a place where you don’t need to spend for.

Wild outdoor camping is not the like outdoor camping as a whole. While establishing outdoors tents in wild locations is a kind of wild outdoor camping, so is oversleeping an RV, campervan, or motorhome! Some instances consist of car park in an area, near a lake, or in a public parking lot.

As the last is what we’re ideal accustomed with, our recommendations today are for vehicle-based wild outdoor camping. However, much of the factors really relate to the various other kind of wild outdoor camping, such as in a camping tent. Check out a Scotland trip at: North Coast 500 – The Ultimate Trip Guide to Scotland’s Epic Drive

2. Choose the ideal motorhome or campervan

tips to wild camp in scotland

The very first point you must do prior to beginning your experience is to select the ideal lorry. Whether you’re purchasing your very own or leasing a campervan, it’s important to choose the most effective one for your requirements. Some includes to consider consist of:

Size – Are you taking a trip alone or with another person? Make certain that you can with confidence drive your picked lorry. While a bigger motorhome might be much more comfy to stay in, they’re tougher to browse harsh surfaces as well as off-the-beaten track. This is most importantly essential to keep in mind, as many roadways in Scotland are extremely slim; also along the NC500 as well as especially in cities. Number of beds – Likewise, take note of the variety of berths or travelers that a lorry can fit. Budget – Don’t fail to remember to identify your budget plan, which will certainly influence the sort of lorry you can obtain as well as its problem. Full solution background – This last one shouldn’t be a headache if you’re leasing from a dependable rental firm, however important if you’re purchasing your very own lorry. Ideally, you desire it ahead with a complete background to make certain that it’s well-kept.

When thinking about which camper or motorhome to obtain, keep in mind that it will certainly not just be a lorry, however additionally where you will certainly rest, prepare, consume, as well as unwind throughout your journey.

We saw all sort of campers throughout Scotland. Some visitors were also in huge transformed 4×4 ex-military automobiles that can be driven onto coastlines. You can lease all kind of automobiles from huge rental companies like McRent.

Or also from neighborhood Scottish individuals via websites like Outdoorsy. It actually does depend upon your individual choice; though I would certainly suggest the smaller sized the much better if you are unknown driving in the UK, as well as on smaller sized slim roadways.

3. Know the wild outdoor camping regulations in Scotland

wild camping laws in scotland

Make certain you’ve researched all the wild outdoor camping regulations in Scotland. Is wild camping lawful in Scotland? The brief solution is no, however it is endured as well as typically permitted, as long as you do it sensibly.

Land Reform Act 2003

This Scottish land reform act doesn’t think about car park over night in a motorhome as wild outdoor camping. While it’s absolutely simpler to wild camp if you’re on foot or bike, as you don’t need to stress excessive regarding where you can or cannot park, it’s typically rather simple to obtain authorization.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

how to wild camp in scotland outdoor access code

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code gives you accountable accessibility to the Scottish outdoors. This consists of woodlands, hillsides, coastlines, rivers, lochs, parks, as well as some farmlands.

Respect others, look after the setting, as well as be accountable for your activities. Basically, reveal good sense as well as modesty while you’re wild outdoor camping. More on Scotland Travel at: 7 Crazy Adventures in Scotland

While this regulation admits to all unenclosed land as well as inland waters in Scotland, it doesn’t really consist of car gain access to. It does, nonetheless, enable wild outdoor camping as long as it is “lightweight and done in small numbers”.

Road Traffic Act of 1988

wild camping scotland road traffic act

The Road Traffic Act of 1988 identifies most roadways as personal land, which suggests it’s vital that you request for authorization prior to car park your lorry anywhere.

Loch Lomond Byelaws

wild camp in scotland loch lomond

Wild outdoor camping is typically feasible in many locations within the nation, besides one: the Loch Lomond as well as Trossachs National Park. Between March as well as September, outdoor camping is just permitted on main campgrounds or if you have an outdoor camping license.

This byelaw intends to safeguard the National Park from ecological damages, that makes feeling since Loch Lomond is just one of the leading traveler locations in Scotland!

Overall, the basic guideline when wild outdoor camping is to appreciate any kind of “No overnight parking” indication. And as long as you park someplace remote as well as reasonable, you must be great.

We will certainly cover even more concepts listed below that you must comply with to have a secure as well as enjoyable wild project experience in Scotland. But lengthy tale short, we never ever when had any kind of issues wild outdoor camping in Scotland after lots of evenings in each and every single component of the nation.

4. Download Park4Night

wild camping in scotland caravan park

Park4Night is without a doubt the most effective area to discover wild camping places all throughout Scotland (as well as Europe). It’s a complimentary mobile application offered on both apple iphone as well as Android that reveals you all the places where you can park up over night.

Whether you’ve resided in a van prior to or this is your novice wild outdoor camping, this is seriously such a useful application that will certainly make your journey much less demanding. No much more hrs of investigating on the internet simply to uncover that a car park area really feels dodgy as well as harmful.

I enjoy that the data source is made by fellow van lifers which it’s constantly upgrading each day. Plus, you can share individual experiences as well as ideas regarding a place, as well as reviewing updates from various other customers will certainly offer you informative details.

The user interface itself is very easy as well as simple to utilize. My much-loved feature is the fast search, which allows you search particular factors like nature places or water fill up terminals, as well as filter just 5* locations.

5. Use Google Satellite to discover brand-new places

beautiful wild camping in scotland

Another excellent device for locating brand-new places is Google Satellite. You can utilize the satellite sight on Google Maps to discover huge open parking lot or rooms where you might possibly remain the evening. 

Or just search “parking” in any kind of location of the map, which will certainly after that detail car park places as well as you can focus to examine if it’s practical.

Alternatively, if you currently have a details area in mind, this is still a wonderful method to search the location as well as see what it resembles. 

When you’re wild outdoor camping in Scotland or anywhere else, constantly attempt to be as prepared as feasible. This consists of having a suggestion of what the website you’re intending to oversleep resemble.

Read much more take a trip overviews in Scotland

6. Ask at clubs & dining establishments if you can remain there

For times when you’re intending to hug the city, it’s worth asking at clubs as well as dining establishments if you can park your lorry close by as well as remain the evening. We have actually done this a couple of times ourselves as well as individuals are typically extremely great regarding it. Just ensure to ask ahead of time.

On a comparable note, asking residents is additionally a wonderful method to discover the ideal outdoor camping area. This method, you can discover locations that aren’t also stated in manuals as well as on the internet data sources. A pleasant hi might take you to a concealed treasure or more!

7. Buy the Brit Stops publication 

tips to wild camp in scotland scottish highland cow

This one is a truly trendy principle. You acquire a physical Brit Stops publication for the year (it’s launched on an annual basis) which will certainly after that offer you accessibility to over 1000 wild camping places throughout the UK, consisting of Scotland, where you can remain at free of charge. 

It was influenced by the firm Harvest Hosts in the United States (which we additionally enjoy), so this resembles the UK variation. The listing includes great deals of one-of-a-kind places, from nation clubs, vineyards, as well as fruit ranches to traveler destinations, antique centres, as well as much more. 

The publication itself sets you back £32 as well as provides you the opportunity to remain in some actually trendy places. You can additionally buy some neighborhood rewards if you desire whilst seeing. 

What’s much more, they currently supply a new application with the acquisition that you can utilize to satisfy neighborhood hosts. It’s absolutely a wonderful method to satisfy brand-new individuals as well as obtain neighborhood suggestions of points to do around the location!

8. Don’t leave any kind of mess (Leave no trace plan)

how to wild camp in scotland leave no trace

Following Covid lockdowns, van website traffic as well as wild outdoor camping in Scotland has actually taken off. And the bad practices of much of these brand-new van lifers has actually dismayed residents. As an outcome, much of the most effective wild camping places have actually begun to shut down as well as currently have obstacles, indications as well as cops patrols to quit the technique. Be a component of the remedy, not the issue.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code urges campers to stay clear of creating issues for neighborhood individuals as well as pets, therefore the “leave no trace” plan.

This consists of points like:

Removing all your clutter Keeping terminates little as well as placing them out totally later on Not creating any kind of kind of air pollution Travelling as well as outdoor camping on resilient ground, such as rock, crushed rock, completely dry yards as well as snow Not destructive what you discover (blossoms, plants, old historical frameworks, and so on)

In basic, attempt to reduce any kind of long lasting effect on the premises!

9. Be considerate in various other means

tips to safely wild camp in scotland

In enhancement to tidying up after your very own mess, it’s additionally excellent to be considerate in various other means. This matters despite where you’re wild outdoor camping, as well as being thoughtful while in nature or public locations goes a lengthy method.

For instance, don’t be loud, particularly when evening drops. Noise might disrupt various other campers in the location or even worse, repel bordering wild animals from their all-natural environment! I constantly tackle it by bearing in mind that I am simply a visitor as well as to maintain silent as long as I can.

I’d additionally suggest purchasing in your area whenever feasible. Whether that suggests mosting likely to neighborhood clubs as well as dining establishments or buying from neighborhood shops, you’ll be assisting increase the neighborhood economic situation while being much more encouraging to the technique of wild outdoor camping.

Also, don’t go establishing like you’re at a campground. This actually winds individuals up, particularly if it resembles you plan to remain in the exact same area for several days! As a guideline, I would certainly state that remaining for just an evening or more is ideal.

10. Avoid alcohol consumption alcohol

wild camping tips scotland view of campervan

If you are asked to go on by cops as well as you more than the alcohol limitation, there is an opportunity you will certainly obtain fined as well as prosecuted for driving intoxicated. So, it’s constantly best to stay clear of alcohol consumption, particularly when you’re relocating to a brand-new city or location.

We directly haven’t had this issue, however have actually listened to scary tales of this taking place to individuals in Scotland as well as various other nations. If you remain in your lorry with the tricks easily accessible, as well as you are the chauffeur as well as over the limitation of alcohol, after that it is classified as an objective to drive intoxicated. 

Your phone call; however in my viewpoint, the threats just don’t surpass the expenses. If you intend on having a couple of beverages one evening (which, allow’s encounter it, you’re in Scotland so why not?!) after that remain in a campground.

11. Be gotten ready for unstable climate

Dunnet Head Scotland view

Here’s the important things regarding Scottish climate: it’s nearly totally uncertain, as well as you can’t count on projections. This significant environment as well as changing climate is, partially, what has actually aided make Scotland so wild, tough as well as gorgeous. 

The environment additionally ranges areas, however it’s typically rather adjustable. For instance, the West obtains two times as much rains as the East.

As you may anticipate, summertime is the most effective time for wild outdoor camping in Scotland in regards to climate, though the website traffic might obtain extreme. Despite the sunlight, you must still plan for cloud, wind, as well as rainfall done in the exact same day! As well as midgets, which are notoriously horrible to handle so you will certainly require insect repellent if you check out in this amount of time.

Winter in the Highlands suggests snow as well as ice, with the temperature level getting to as reduced as minus 4 in the evening. It’s all a little bit frustrating if you’re not really prepared, however actually, I assume the adjustable skies contribute to the experience…

12. Pack power outage drapes in summertime or headlamps in wintertime

wild camping scotland tips sunrise

Scotland is rather much north as well as the hrs of sunshine can be rather a severe throughout top wintertime as well as summer season. 

You can stand up to 18 hrs of daytime in June in the Northern Highlands, which is a great deal of chance to discover the wild! But that additionally suggests resting can be a little bit of an issue. 

I suggest utilizing power outage drapes that can maintain the within your lorry (or camping tent) very dark. Oh, as well as don’t fail to remember great deals of sun block also!

On the various other hand, you may obtain sunshine just from 9am to 3pm in December. Pack sufficient headlamps as well as flashlights so you can still do things outside. Otherwise, you’ll simply be stuck inside your van all the time, which isn’t an interesting method to camp.

While it’s most likely not the most effective time for wild outdoor camping, the snowy landscape of the winter season does have its very own beauty…

13. …what regarding the restroom scenario?

wild camp scotland tips

One of one of the most usual problems individuals have when wild outdoor camping is the restroom scenario. This shouldn’t be an issue when you’re remaining near to people. And if your lorry has a bathroom, it’s all an issue of accountable garbage disposal. If not… Well, time to discover the art of doing your company outdoors.

In the wild, it’s generally all right to select any kind of area that’s faraway from routes. Avoid rivers as well as sapling trees, though bigger recognized trees as well as shrubs are ok. Don’t go straight in little bodies of water, however larger lakes or rivers can water down any kind of pee. In towering locations, it’s suggested to do it on a rock surface area.

Now, when doing second, you must be much more mindful. Walk a minimum of 200 feet far from a path or water resource, after that dig an opening of around 6 to 8 inches deep. This is a great deepness that will certainly still decay the waste while stopping others from tipping on it.

Once done, you must cover the opening with the initial dust. If you utilize any kind of toilet tissue, ensure to bring it back with you as well as get rid of it effectively!

14. In hectic period, strategy in advance

Many of the most effective wild camping places in Scotland will certainly fill extremely at an early stage, particularly in the hectic summer season of June, July as well as August. In some situations, you might intend to come to your place by around 2 or 3pm to have a far better opportunity of protecting a place to establish over night.

Better yet, think about seeing throughout the off period! We did North Coast 500, a 500-mile journey around the Highland location of Scotland, back in November 2020. It was wonderful since we practically had the path all to ourselves.

15. Try The 2:1 Rule

wild camping in scotland driving tips

Intimidated by the concept of wild outdoor camping for the totality of your journey? There’s no factor you can’t approach it gradually. For a great deal of first-timers, it’s a wonderful concept to separate the experience with even more comfy campgrounds.

You’ll be wild outdoor camping for 2 evenings as well as remaining on a campground for one evening. This is a good method to take pleasure in the exhilaration of wild outdoor camping while still taking pleasure in the advantages of a campground’s centers. A good bathroom, warm shower, stockpiling on basics, as well as much more.

All in all, wild outdoor camping is really among the most effective means to experience Scotland. You can quit anywhere as well as don’t need to count on signed up campgrounds, so in such a way it’s far more releasing.

The Scottish countryside is without a doubt a sanctuary of impressive surroundings as well as varied wild animals. I wish these ideas will certainly assist make your forthcoming experience go much more efficiently.

If you keep in mind just one point from this substantial listing, it’s to be considerate as well as thoughtful all over you go!

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