Camping on the Coast to Coast Walk

Q. I am doing the coast to coast in June and was wondering what are the rules on camping in the national parks (and elsewhere)? i.e. can you only camp if your suffering an emergency or stuck up a mountain (or in a valley) in the dark??

We would only be camping in one spot overnight and packing up and moving on early the next morning is this OK???

James Leggett, Nottingham


A. I think it highly unlikely you can camp legally in any National Park except in designated camp sites. As for camping elsewhere this will probably depend on who owns the land. See the related question below about for more info which might be of interest. Ed.


A. In my experience, once above the intake walls in the Lakes, nobody will bother about a one-off one-night camp. There are some traditional wild camping spots above Black Sail Hut, Red Tarn under Helvelyn, Grisedale Tarn, Angle Tarn above Patterdale, and in the upper reaches of Gunnerside Gill in Swaledale.

In between, a reasonable and friendly approach will usually elicit a bit of flat grass. Most farmers/shepherds (and pub landlords) are, in fact reasonable and friendly and will react accordingly. Don't drink the water in the Vale of York, though!

Mike Knipe, Crook


A. Hi,

What do you mean by 'traditional wild camping spots'? Does that mean that these are legal designated spots or are they unofficially known as good spots among connaisseurs?

Also, do you consider it safe for women to wild camp alone in Lake District area?

I prefer long day walks, prefer [mountain walks] (I walk a lot in Norway too), and have [walked] anywhere between 6 and 14 days, so could I ask, if you were to send me to the most spectacular of Lake District, where would you send me? I am coming to Windermere and consider cutting through to the South West corner or maybe the coast to coast in Cumbria.

Thanks a lot!

Charlotte Tolstrup, Copenhagen


A. The reference to 'traditional wild camping spots' in Mike Knipe's answer above refers to places known as good spots for wild camping among connaisseurs. Wild camping is still illegal everywhere in England and Wales which includes The Lake District National Park - see 'Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales' below for more details.

For our recommendation for The Best Walks in the Lake District see The Best Walks in The Lake District.

For The Best Ridge Walks in the Lake District see The Best Ridge Walks in The Lake District.

And for those days when the sun refuses to shine see The Best Walks in the Lake District to walk in the Rain.

Hope this helps

Mike (editor)


A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.

Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.

In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:

In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.

There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.

For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage

For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.

NB. go4awalk.com cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)


A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.

Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.

In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:

In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.

There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.

For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage

For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.

NB. go4awalk.com cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)


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