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Forget about campsites with their rules and regulations, really get back to nature with a night under the stars wild camping in Scotland.
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We got busted for camping in Scotland! But we did see some bats, so it was totally worth it

No offence is committed, however, where a person drives within 15 yards of a public road for the purpose of parking. However, this does not imply that a person has a right to do so. This has no impact on wild camping, unless of course you tear over someone's estate to your remote campsite in a Land Rover Discovery! There are a few simple pieces of advice to bear in mind when wild camping. The bottom line is to be considerate and remember people have to make a living from the land. Try and be as inconspicuous as possible. Pitch up well away from houses and farms. Don't camp on agricultural fields.

If there is no option but to camp near a house or farm, do ask permission first. If the answer is a firm no, press on. Often, however, the person you ask may suggest a suitable place. Sometimes walkers have even found themselves being invited in for a cup of tea and a round of scones.


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You never know your luck. If there are 'No Camping' signs, respect them. Also bear in mind the impact your camping will have on the flora and fauna. Leaving your tent on one spot for too long damages ground vegetation. Plants are more sensitive at higher altitudes so aim to camp lower down in glens where vegetation recovers more easily.

Wild camping | Mountaineering Scotland

Don't cut live wood and remember that dead wood is an important habitat for insects and many small animals, so avoid fires even for cooking, unless of course you are on the coast and there is a ready supply of driftwood. Open fires pose a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass, or woodland. They will also draw attention to your campsite.


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If you feel you must have a fire, and it is safe to do so, dig up a square of turf and put it to one side so it can be placed back over the site of your fire to ensure no trace is left behind. Line your fireplace with large stones to prevent it spreading. Remember too that coniferous wood can spit sparks, damaging expensive fleece jackets, or tents pitched too close. Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Avoid the temptation to camp immediately beside them.

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Look around for other sites if possible. Don't scatter food scraps - they attract scavenging birds and animals which prey on more sensitive nesting birds. Be prepared to move if you become aware that you are disturbing nesting birds or animals. Keep your food store tidy and protected.

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While bears won't come in the night and steal your stores, I have known particularly voracious seagulls to swoop down and pull things out from under a tent flysheet. Bag up all your rubbish and carry it out with you. Don't bury it or hide it under rocks. It's a great way to discover remote parts of our stunning landscapes and get close to nature. Plus, the experience definitely comes with a great feeling of adventure! If you're planning a wild camping trip, be sure to familiarise yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

It's not complicated - basically, campers should follow a policy of 'leave-no-trace'. As part of Scotland's access legislation, the Land Reform Scotland Act , you are allowed to camp on most unenclosed land.

However, due to overuse, East Loch Lomond is subject to wild camping byelaws. Across the length and breadth of Scotland there are some really fantastic camping parks in stunning locations, from beachside crofts to wooded areas lined with ancient pines.

Scotland's tallest peak

By pitching up at a proper campsite, it means that our natural environments and their often fragile ecosystems remain intact. As we like to say, considerate campers are happy campers!

2. Lewis and Harris

VisitScotland uses cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to our use of cookies. Please read our privacy and cookies statement for more information. Add to basket Remove from basket Plus Minus. Here are some top points to follow: Avoid overcrowding by moving on to another location if it's already a busy spot.