Wild Camping near a river

Q. Where is the best place to wild camp near a river?.

Shahbaz Bhatti, Luton



A. Go to Barton Spring. It is great fresh water. A bit windy but my kids loved it we only went for 3 nights.

Mark Bierton, Luton


A. In settled weather its probably not too risky to camp on any convenient dry spot on the river bank - providing you have the permission of the landowner in England and Wales obviously.

In wet or thundery weather, or when there's thawing snow higher up the valley, it would be better to find a dry spot higher up the valley sides, rather than next to a major water course.

Look for bits of grass/reeds stuck in riverside trees or strung in wiggly lines on the riverbank since these show the heights of relatively recent floods.

Keeping higher than these signs would seem to be a reasonable strategy to avoid 'normal' floodings.

Mike Knipe, Crook

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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