how easy is it to wild camp in UK (1 Viewer)

fabweb

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i see you all say that that MH are great for France Aires and Wild CAmping
but
how easy is it to wide camp in UK please


thank you for your replies
 

Digger Driver

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Ive been doing it for two years now!
Industrial estates are brilliant if you get up early!
Theres normally a couple of truckers sleeping there too so you have a bit of comfort!
And never park outside someones house!
If theres no-one to complain chances are you will get away with it!
Pizza and Kebab shops will deliver anywhere so don't be shy!
Hope this helps!

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Bulletguy

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Taking reasonable precautions goes without saying for anywhere really...in any country. Using internal blinds instead of external is a good point. Ensure all doors are locked and never ever use confrontation. Just drive off.

On my way back from a trip around the Outer Hebrides last year i landed in Oban late evening so parked up 'in the middle of nowhere' on a country forest carpark. Apart from a truck driver i was the only person there but it seemed ok even if somewhat desolate.

Then some local teenagers pulled on with 'boom boxes' thumping away and general showing off to the girlies.

Amazingly as if 'on cue' a Police car arrived and simply sat there watching them and waiting. As soon as the teenies moved on.....the Police left.

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Jim

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Its not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome. However some local laws can prohibit this, and signs will be placed informing you, so look out for them. There are plenty of irresponsible people among the motorhoming community and they break simple rules, like staying for far too long and producing noise and mess. This is why more and more of these "camping prohibited" signs are appearing. The key to successful wild camping is to keep as low a profile as possible, if the Police swing by and see your "camp" with deck chairs and awning outside complete with a black sack off rubbish then they are probably going to bang on your door and ask you to move on.

Security is a concern of many who wild camp and it should certainly be high on your priorities when looking for somewhere to spend the night. a few security tips to use when wildcamping are..

1. Look at the area, does it feel right? Is the place littered with rubbish, used condoms, skid marks, this might indicate that idiots use the place at night.

2. Dont be a Nosey Parker!! always park in such a way that you can drive away, nose out, without having to do a 7 point turn!

3. Don't put screens (sliver screens insulation) on the outside of windows, these will impede your ability to drive away. Driving away is the very best defence for many security situations.

4. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, difficult in a 25 foot long bright white motorhome, I agree. But do not put awnings and deckchairs out and light a camp fire, unless you are certain your actions are not going to attract attention from undesirables.

5. Make sure when you turn in that everything is stowed, doors are locked and you are not too drunk so as you won't wake and be able to drive away if an incident occurs.

Wild camping is fun, and is nothing to be scared of, some caravan sites are less secure that some wild-camping places especially those with a bar on site!. Just apply a little common sense, be aware of your surroundings and have fun.
 
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Terver

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Motorhome Security whilst Wild Camping

One further precaution we take if wild camping is to fix infra red security sensors to each top corner of our motorhome. These were purchased for £5 each from Aldi. They have 2 settings - alarm and chime. We fix them to the rear top corner of each side and one on the top corner of the back all of which face down the side/back. We set them to chime and it is impossible for anyone to approach close to the motorhome without triggering the chime. In the morning I pull the sensors off the velcro strips.
 
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Digger Driver

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One further precaution we take if wild camping is to fix infra red security sensors to each top corner of our motorhome. These were purchased for £5 each from Aldi. They have 2 settings - alarm and chime. We fix them to the rear top corner of each side and one on the top corner of the back all of which face down the side/back. We set them to chime and it is impossible for anyone to approach close to the motorhome without triggering the chime. In the morning I pull the sensors off the velcro strips.
I just use a very big dog! :ROFLMAO:

I don't even lock my door!

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Bulletguy

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Its not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome. However some local laws can prohibit this, and signs will be placed informing you, so look out for them......

Especially signs from the nanny state reminding you on motorways "Tiredness kills Take a Break", only to pull off on the next Service area to be greeted by whacking big signs "NO OVERNIGHT PARKING" etc etc.

Nobody takes any notice of them though! As long as you are quiet you will be left alone. The authorities stick them there to exempt themselves from any 'blame claims' should anything happen.
 
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GJH

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Its not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome.
Not sure that's actually true. Strictly speaking I think you need the permission of the landowner - and all land in the UK is owned by someone, be that a real or a legal person (such as a public authority).

The term "wild camping" can be misleading as well. The only place in the UK where "wild camping" is actually allowed by law in some locations is Scotland and the definition of "wild camping" excludes use of vehicles in the majority of cases.

Often enough, "wild camping" may be tolerated but that does not mean it is allowed by law.

Jim's mention of irresponsible people is especially relevant. Sometimes even the act of staying in a van overnight has annoyed local residents to the extent that their lobbying results in total MH parking bans by the local authority concerned. This is particularly so where people camp overnight in defiance of local regulations.

If anyone wishes to "wild camp" then fine - but first make sure that doing so has no detrimental effect (or potential detrimental effect) on anyone.

Graham
 
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Bulletguy

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Not sure that's actually true. Strictly speaking I think you need the permission of the landowner - and all land in the UK is owned by someone, be that a real or a legal person (such as a public authority).

The term "wild camping" can be misleading as well. The only place in the UK where "wild camping" is actually allowed by law in some locations is Scotland and the definition of "wild camping" excludes use of vehicles in the majority of cases.

Often enough, "wild camping" may be tolerated but that does not mean it is allowed by law.

Jim's mention of irresponsible people is especially relevant. Sometimes even the act of staying in a van overnight has annoyed local residents to the extent that their lobbying results in total MH parking bans by the local authority concerned. This is particularly so where people camp overnight in defiance of local regulations.

If anyone wishes to "wild camp" then fine - but first make sure that doing so has no detrimental effect (or potential detrimental effect) on anyone.

Graham

I think the keyword is tolerance.

Go to Dover Port at any time of the year and MH's are always parked up on the sea front ready for their early ferry crossing. Behind are two large blocks of residential flats but i dont think anyone has ever moaned.

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Thepips

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I think the keyword is tolerance.

Go to Dover Port at any time of the year and MH's are always parked up on the sea front ready for their early ferry crossing. Behind are two large blocks of residential flats but i dont think anyone has ever moaned.

Wise words indeed. Thank goodness those that use that parking area are responsible motorhomers. All it would take is for a couple of complaints about rubbish and the council would stop it in a heartbeat.
 
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Digger Driver

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Not sure that's actually true. Strictly speaking I think you need the permission of the landowner - and all land in the UK is owned by someone, be that a real or a legal person (such as a public authority).

The term "wild camping" can be misleading as well. The only place in the UK where "wild camping" is actually allowed by law in some locations is Scotland and the definition of "wild camping" excludes use of vehicles in the majority of cases.

Often enough, "wild camping" may be tolerated but that does not mean it is allowed by law.

Jim's mention of irresponsible people is especially relevant. Sometimes even the act of staying in a van overnight has annoyed local residents to the extent that their lobbying results in total MH parking bans by the local authority concerned. This is particularly so where people camp overnight in defiance of local regulations.

If anyone wishes to "wild camp" then fine - but first make sure that doing so has no detrimental effect (or potential detrimental effect) on anyone.

Graham

I think the law side of it is a load of gonads!
Truckers can stop and sleep anywhere within reason to comply with their driving hours!
So anyone who trys to impose a law on motorhomers would have no case in a civil court!
 
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GJH

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I think the law side of it is a load of gonads!
Truckers can stop and sleep anywhere within reason to comply with their driving hours!
So anyone who trys to impose a law on motorhomers would have no case in a civil court!

You're entitled to your opinion DD but the facts may well prove you wrong.

Parking orders may well allow HGV drivers to stop and sleep but at the same time ban similar activities by motorhome drivers. That is especially the case in towns where overnight sleeping might be restricted to certain vehicle parks - and then allowed only for HGV drivers.

There are a number of parking orders accessible via my web site but, alternatively, you could always ask authorities for copies of their orders to check for yourself.

Graham

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Bulletguy

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You're entitled to your opinion DD but the facts may well prove you wrong.

Parking orders may well allow HGV drivers to stop and sleep but at the same time ban similar activities by motorhome drivers.

HGV drivers are governed by law on how many hours spent driving and have to take time off.

MH/RV/van or car drivers are not restricted or governed by the same laws. They can drive as many hours as they like. Far more sensible though to allow a driver of either of these vehicles to park up and sleep than carry on until they fall asleep at the wheel and run into the back of someone.

As long as people use a bit of common sense and park up their MH or car without causing obstruction, i really cannot see what all the fuss is about.

All Motorway service areas should openly encourage this yet many don't. Think of the increase in trade as well.
 
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GJH

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HGV drivers are governed by law on how many hours spent driving and have to take time off.

MH/RV/van or car drivers are not restricted or governed by the same laws. They can drive as many hours as they like. Far more sensible though to allow a driver of either of these vehicles to park up and sleep than carry on until they fall asleep at the wheel and run into the back of someone.

As long as people use a bit of common sense and park up their MH or car without causing obstruction, i really cannot see what all the fuss is about.

All Motorway service areas should openly encourage this yet many don't. Think of the increase in trade as well.

Another factor, though, is that there are camp sites of various types which are there to be used by motorhome drivers but are not available for use by HGV drivers. Any MH driver with common sense will not drive on when too tired but will plan for rest/sleep stops at appropriate times.

Councils, especially in tourist areas where there are commercial camp sites (the owners of which pay business rates), might be understandably reluctant to provide anything more than daytime parking or overnight stays for (say) more than one night in seven.

Parking without causing an obstruction could be open to interpretation. There have been a number of cases - the Aldeburgh thread is an example - where residents of an area cite obstruction of their view as an argument for banning overnight parking.

If facilities are to be provided then councils will first have to be convinced that they will be an advantage to the local area and that they will not be abused. The way to encourage them is to present evidence of the advantages to be gained.

I agree that it would be nice to see motorway services encouraging overnight stays but they might need an incentive because they are really in the business of making money from their shops etc. They do all allow overnight parking for a fee though don't they?

Graham
 
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Road Runner

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I try to camp in a good mood but after my wife has made me move 5 times after changing her mind where to pitch I can become a wild camper:roflmto::ROFLMAO::roflmto::ROFLMAO:

This is not really a joke BTW:RollEyes:

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Bulletguy

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Another factor, though, is that there are camp sites of various types which are there to be used by motorhome drivers but are not available for use by HGV drivers.

I agree that it would be nice to see motorway services encouraging overnight stays but they might need an incentive because they are really in the business of making money from their shops etc. They do all allow overnight parking for a fee though don't they?

Graham

Graham

I take your point about there being numerous commercial camp sites provided for MH owners, but as the thread is about 'wild camping' i don't quite see much 'wild' about paying to park up on a commercial site.

And as for, "It would be nice to see motorway services encouraging overnight stays but they might need an incentive because they are really in the business of making money from their shops etc."
What better incentive could they wish for than MH owners or car drivers travelling long distance parking up overnight? I've done it many times and the first thing i do is go to the Cafe and have a brew. And if they can manage to be open early morning i won't even bother cooking breakfast.....i will go to the services cafe...IF they are open. The problem with a lot of 24hr motorway service cafes is you are lucky to get much more than a tea or coffee after 10pm and most of that is overpriced boiled to death dishwater.

The only 'fee' some motorway service areas charge for overnight parking is a clamping fee.

The sooner councils use a bit of plain common sense the better but i think there's more chance of hell freezing over. Whilst Government is busily taxing motorists off the roads altogether, Councils make potty prohibitions which drive motorists away from towns and shops.....and then wonder why so many small businesses are going to the wall.
 
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Gonewiththewind

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I have wild camped all over the place and never once been asked to move on, that is not to say that I will never be. I suspect that local authorities are scared of encouraging Travellers to park up due to the legal cost of removal. My method is simple, Only park up for one night and move on. If it is at all possible, I ask permission, and the normal response is "as long as you are not looking to set up camp".
Wild should really be Widerness as that is what it is about. I dont want to park up in the middle of a city, I want the peace and quiet of the country side. I have stayed on many a car-park with the feared "no camping" sign, have had the Police circle in the middle of thew night, and go on thier way.
I dare say they come back later to see if I am still there, but as I have said, only one night, so I am gone. Never been moved.:thumb:

Use common sense, keep it clean and clear. and you shouldnt have problems. with exception of yobo,s. But touch wood, I havent had problems with them.
 
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scotchjock

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If you wan't to be encouraged to wild camp, try the Shetland Islands or Orkney. There are signs saying caravans welcome, plenty of toilets for dumping waste, water is freely available, and if you're stuck for somewhere to pitch, just ask a local. The people are friendly, the roads are quiet, and the scenery is magnificent. We are currently parked at Wee Mea on the island of Hoy, with a panoramic view, blue sky, and a view that takes in Duncansby Head (near John o' Groats) and several of the Orkney Islands. There are no campsites on most of the islands.

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GJH

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Graham

I take your point about there being numerous commercial camp sites provided for MH owners, but as the thread is about 'wild camping' i don't quite see much 'wild' about paying to park up on a commercial site.

I did make the point earlier in the thread that, in fact rather than legend(?), there is no such thing as "wild" camping when vehicles are used. The reason I mentioned camp sites was as an example of the different facilities available to HGV and MH drivers.

Graham
And as for, "It would be nice to see motorway services encouraging overnight stays but they might need an incentive because they are really in the business of making money from their shops etc."
What better incentive could they wish for than MH owners or car drivers travelling long distance parking up overnight? I've done it many times and the first thing i do is go to the Cafe and have a brew. And if they can manage to be open early morning i won't even bother cooking breakfast.....i will go to the services cafe...IF they are open. The problem with a lot of 24hr motorway service cafes is you are lucky to get much more than a tea or coffee after 10pm and most of that is overpriced boiled to death dishwater.
As commercial concerns the services operators need enough business to justify the costs of employing staff to provide decent catering at all times - simple market economics.

Graham
The sooner councils use a bit of plain common sense the better but i think there's more chance of hell freezing over. Whilst Government is busily taxing motorists off the roads altogether, Councils make potty prohibitions which drive motorists away from towns and shops.....and then wonder why so many small businesses are going to the wall.

As I said in my previous post:
If facilities are to be provided then councils will first have to be convinced that they will be an advantage to the local area and that they will not be abused. The way to encourage them is to present evidence of the advantages to be gained.
You may have seen on other threads that I'm forever banging on in similar vein :Smile:
Watch this space. All being well there should be an announcement of a new council provided facility opening in a few weeks.

Graham
 
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Bulletguy

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If you wan't to be encouraged to wild camp, try the Shetland Islands or Orkney........There are no campsites on most of the islands.

Did the Outer Hebrides last year and thats pretty much the same.

There are one or two sites but by far the best way to 'do it' was wild camp. The isolation was an unforgettable experience along with the single track roads and the occasional group of highland cattle wandering about!

Thoroughly enjoyed Lewis, Harris and Barra....but the Uists are weird. Life just seemed to disappear after 6pm and i hardly saw anyone.
 
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Bulletguy

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I did make the point earlier in the thread that, in fact rather than legend(?), there is no such thing as "wild" camping when vehicles are used. The reason I mentioned camp sites was as an example of the different facilities available to HGV and MH drivers.
Most use the term 'wild' meaning independant of commercially provided utilities such as gas, water, electric, drainage etc. Using HGV's as an example i suppose you could say many of them are fully capable of 'wild camping', though not for the same reasons as MH owners.

As commercial concerns the services operators need enough business to justify the costs of employing staff to provide decent catering at all times - simple market economics.
Couldn't agree more. Hence the reason my stating "What better incentive could they wish for than MH owners or car drivers travelling long distance parking up overnight?"

Erecting prohibitive signing banning people from overnight stops etc is no way to drum up business for catering facilities. if anything it's one sure way of closing businesses down!

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GJH

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Most use the term 'wild' meaning independant of commercially provided utilities such as gas, water, electric, drainage etc. Using HGV's as an example i suppose you could say many of them are fully capable of 'wild camping', though not for the same reasons as MH owners.
Yes, I realise that many people use the term "wild" for off-site overnighting in a MH. Problem is that many don't understand the difference between that and what "wild camping" really is as defined in law.

Couldn't agree more. Hence the reason my stating "What better incentive could they wish for than MH owners or car drivers travelling long distance parking up overnight?"

Erecting prohibitive signing banning people from overnight stops etc is no way to drum up business for catering facilities. if anything it's one sure way of closing businesses down!

I thought all motorway services (which is what we were talking about in regard to this (sub) point) allowed overnight parking (albeit for a fee). Is this not the case with some of them?

Graham
 
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GJH

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I have a van conversion. I guess the rules apply just the same to these as to the much bigger RV's ?
From all the information I've gathered the only difference seems to be that there are even more restrictions placed on larger vehicles purely because of their size and weight.

For instance, it may be possible to use a standard car park bay with a van conversion so long as the vehicle type or weight did not prohibit it.

Graham

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Bulletguy

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Yes, I realise that many people use the term "wild" for off-site overnighting in a MH. Problem is that many don't understand the difference between that and what "wild camping" really is as defined in law.
What is the legal definition?


I thought all motorway services (which is what we were talking about in regard to this (sub) point) allowed overnight parking (albeit for a fee). Is this not the case with some of them?

Graham
No.
Some motorway service areas actually ban it but few people take any notice.
 
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GJH

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What is the legal definition?.
As I mentioned on Monday, the only place in the UK where "wild camping" is actually allowed by law in some locations is Scotland and the definition of "wild camping" excludes use of vehicles in the majority of cases.

I've posted on previous threads the explanation supplied to me by Cairngorms National Park Authority - see HERE.


No.
Some motorway service areas actually ban it but few people take any notice.
That's something I didn't know. It is certainly a legal requirement for services to provide short-term parking (plus food and toilets) 24 hours a day. Is it possible for you to post a list of those which ban overnight parking?

Graham
 
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Bulletguy

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As I mentioned on Monday, the only place in the UK where "wild camping" is actually allowed by law in some locations is Scotland and the definition of "wild camping" excludes use of vehicles in the majority of cases.

I've posted on previous threads the explanation supplied to me by Cairngorms National Park Authority - see HERE.
Blimey!!

Confronted with all those 'rules 'n reg's' i'd begin to wonder whether it was even worth leaving home!

Surely Graham the bottom line is simply using a bit of plain common sense and not making a general nuisance of yourself by inconsiderate use of overnight parking? Be it Scotland, Wales or anywhere in England, i've never had, nor can i see there being a problem.

Many people are now fast growing tired and fed up with all the craziness of various prohibition which tends to have its support from the 'potty pc' brigade who relish taking issues to an extreme and generally making life as miserable and unbearable as possible.




It is certainly a legal requirement for services to provide short-term parking (plus food and toilets) 24 hours a day. Is it possible for you to post a list of those which ban overnight parking?
Oxford Services on the M40 for one. There are plenty more though. Many motorway service areas now like to encourage the business types in suits with company accounts who gather for 'meetings'.

Thats one i stopped on after driving non-stop from Switzerland two years ago. Called in at others on the way up to find the same notices prohibiting overnight stops. When i woke, there was a german registered van next to me with driver fast asleep.

It's all about being reasonable, considerate and sensible. If you sit blasting 2000watts of techno tripe out the back of your vehicle at 3am.....then i think it only right for those people to be moved on.

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