Outthere Campervans

Aug
13
2013

Campervans Gone Wild: Off the Beaten Track

by Jennifer Watson

The key reason many of our customers choose a campervan holiday is the ultimate freedom – just them and their van. No rules, no boundaries, no limits.

If you take the wheel of a motorhome you can choose to go in whichever direction takes your fancy and as you’ll have all the comforts of home right there in your campervan, anywhere can be home for the night.

Under Scotland’s access legislation (The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) you can camp on most unenclosed land. It’s simply a case of finding somewhere quiet, off the road and if it has a view then so much the better.

This kind of camping or campervanning is often called wild camping – where you don’t stay at an official site for a fee but at a suitable location such as car park, beach or woodland, for free!

This is a fantastic way to really get to know Scotland as you can explore as far and for as long as you want without having to ‘return to base’. If you love not knowing what’s round the corner (in both senses of the word!) then wild camping is for you.

It’s also a good way to travel on a budget as you won’t have to pay campsite fees but bear in mind that you’ll also be missing out on what the fee would normally cover – facilities such as water, electricity and washing services. We’d recommend you ensure you take enough water and other essentials to keep you going.

Beaches, understandably, are really popular with wild campers. There are many idyllic locations tucked away around Scotland that you can stop for the night and recharge your batteries while taking in some beautiful views.

Wild Camping on beaches in Scotland

The hills and woodlands throughout the country often have secluded areas or areas where you can pull in without obstructing any other passing traffic or access roads. Just be careful you don’t stray into private fields which house livestock.

Not so picturesque but often practical are truck stops and service stations. Car parks can also be a viable option but where possible you should always ask permission to stay.

For obvious reasons our favourite wild camping spots are kept close to our chest, but when you pick your campervan we can often be persuaded to share a few top locations.

What is most important about wild camping is respecting the place you are staying, the people who own it and the other people who might stay there in the future. It’s common sense really. Before you go we’d recommend checking out The Scottish Outdoor Access Code guidelines but here are just a few tips from us.

Don’t…

  • Stay where there are signs for no overnight parking
  • Damage any woodland or property
  • Park too close to anyone else staying in the same place
  • Make noise late at night

Do…

  • Use a stove where possible, rather than a camp fire
  • Remove all traces of your stay there, litter especially
  • Ask the landowner for permission if possible
  • Enjoy Scotland’s natural beauty

As with all Scotland’s landscapes, beaches, hills and glens, take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.