There isn’t anything more alluring than heading off into the wilderness and camping away from the crowds. You probably dream of camping with friends and family in total seclusion, escaping the worries of the world.
And it’s entirely possible to do so. But there are a few things to consider.
In England, the laws on wild camping vary. Most places are illegal, but some areas are legal. However, it is possible to camp anywhere as long as you have the permission of the landowner.
But will the landowners accept? In most circumstances, yes. Just as long as you respect the environment and behave – and most of you will.
Now you’re tempted to do it, let’s discuss five of the best places to go wild camping in England.
Tips for wild camping
But first, let’s talk about some crucial things to consider before you go wild camping.
Try to get permission from the landowner
It’s a great idea to get permission from the landowner before you go wild camping. But the reality is that it’s not always easy to get this permission – but it’s great if you do.
It will take away a lot of the stress you may have over illegally camping.
Set up camp late, and leave early
Whether you’re wild camping with permission or no permission, you should always set up late and go early—that will ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
Don’t leave a trace.
The key to successfully wild camping is not to leave any trace of your existence. Therefore, no litter, no sound, and no disturbances. Be like a mute, and you’ll have no issues.
Don’t light the campfire.
We know how tempting it is to light that campfire. Especially during the cold British winter, but in reality, it’s best if you didn’t. A campfire will create attention and potentially annoy any locals.
Check out the YouTube video below for some great tips of wild camping in England.
The Lake District
If you’re looking for an extremely secluded spot to go wild camping in England, it’s hard to beat the Lake District National Park.
The Lake District attracts around 16 million visitors per year. Of course, few of them will ever camp. But it goes to show the popularity of the place, and there’s a good reason for this – it’s some of the most stunning scenery in Britain.
The Lake District will bless you with beautiful green mountains, adventurous hikes, and breathtaking lakes. There is so much to do in this part of England.
Pro tip: It’s important to note that wild camping is not permitted anywhere in the Lake District. However, that doesn’t mean people don’t do it. But as per usual, you need to take strong precautions and make sure you minimal traces.
Some of the best wild camping spots in the Lake District are
Fleetwith Pike is a stunning area in the lakes, and a great secluded spot to go wild camping. It offers visitors some incredible scenery, including the hike up the Great Gable or Green Gable.
Pro tip: The area is very secluded, and it’s unlikely that you would see any other campers. But be sure to get there late, and leave early – there will be hikers around early in the morning.
An excellent wild camping spot is Sprinking Tarn in Rosthwaite. It’s a great spot because it’s next to Scafell Pike – and there are so many perfect swimming spots.
The tarn is 600m high so would require a climb to the top. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be possible during the winter months. But it’s a great wild camping spot nonetheless.
One of the most comfortable spots to reach is the Lingmoor Fell; this spot is fantastic because it’s only 5 minutes from Ambleside.
However, due to its proximity to Ambleside, it’s a popular wild camping spot. You might have company; it’s not the best spot if you want seclusion.
The Peak District
When people think of national parks in England, most don’t think of the Peak District. It’s an underrated gem of a national park in the centre of the United Kingdom.
The National Park epitomises everything great about England’s green and pleasant land. The park will bless you with stunning views, lakes, and classic English pubs.
A total of 13.25 million visitors headed to the Peak District in 2018, which is 7 million less than the Lake District – but it shows how popular the national park is.
Some of the best wild camping spots in the Peak District are
Derwent is home to some excellent views of the green scenery. And better still, it’s a superb flat spot to camp out. A popular hike is the Derwent Edge Walk.
The area will be quiet during the spring, winter, and autumn months. But it’s quite a large moor; you will find some great spots to camp out.
For many wild campers, the woods is the best place to camp out. And the Burbage Valley is a tremendous wood with plenty of space to place your tent.
A popular hiking spot in the area is the Burbage Valley Walking Loop. It offers some great views and is very secluded at times.
Dartmoor is a hikers paradise. Situated in the heart of Devon, Dartmoor is a terrific wild camping spot. It’s vast, quiet, and has ample space for wild camping.
Dartmoor National Park is 368 square km in size, which equates to a similar size to London. There is some great history in Dartmoor, and you can see the remains of villages from around 4500 years ago.
Interestingly, there are 2,800 listed buildings in Dartmoor National Park, which conveys the area’s sheer heritage.
Some of the best wild camping spots in Dartmoor are
The Ugborough Moor is a mountainous area in Dartmoor National Park. It is home to some incredible, unrivalled scenery in Dartmoor National Park.
Do you love seclusion? We sure do, Ugborough Moor is one of the most secluded wild camping spots in the Dartmoor National Park. There is a great chance you will be alone for miles if you wild camp here.
Bellever is a superb spot for wild camping in Dartmoor National Park. There are some excellent nearby facilities such as car parks and toilets. Furthermore, Bellever will bless you with fabulous walks, nature, and scenery.
Bellever is still very much secluded, and if you find the right spot, you will be alone.
If you’re looking for a great wilderness where you can enjoy some of England’s most peaceful and secluded land – Then Northumberland is calling you.
Northumberland isn’t just home to incredible scenery; it is home to more castles than anywhere else in the world. There are 70 historic castles standing today, and it’s the home of Hogwarts, where the crew filmed the first two Harry Potter movies.
And the best thing of all, it is officially the most sparsely populated national park in the United Kingdom. So if you’re looking for the ultimate secluded wild camping retreat? We might have found you the one.
Some of the best wild camping spots in Northumberland are
Cheviot is an excellent place to go wild camping. It’s home to the highest peak in the Northumberland National Park. And the views of the area are incredible.
If you’re looking to go wild camping, there are many quiet spots at the bottom of the summit where you can pitch. Or you can head up to the Cheviot Hills and pitch up there.
There isn’t anything else in the United Kingdom which tells the history of the nation better than Hadrian’s Wall. Situated in Northumberland National Park, this historic wall is a great spot to go wild camping.
Pro tip: It is best to pitch late and leave early here because it will get busy during the summer months. The wall is very popular with international tourists.
The Norfolk Broads are a fantastic area to visit if you’re looking for the ultimate wild camping spot. The national park has over 180 kilometres of lock-free waterways. It’s home to some of England’s most serene, peaceful scenery.
The Norfolk broads are human-made. Scientists believed they were a natural occurrence until the 1950s when they realised the broads were indeed the result of peat diggings.
The broads will treat you to some of England’s most unique wildlife. The Swallowtail butterfly lives in the broads and is native to England. It’s almost the English version of a kangaroo, but a million times less famous, and not a marsupial.
There aren’t any particular wild camping spots in the broads, we would recommend just adventuring and looking for an excellent place to pitch the tent. Many locals will ride a canoe down the broads and look for spots along the way, it’s a popular wild camping destination.