Is wild camping allowed in Scotland?

Yes, in Scotland wild camping and free standing are allowed everywhere. The permission is based on the old right of hospitality and is recorded in the "Scottish Outdoor Access Code."

Last researched: Autumn 2020

In Scotland, wild camping is defined as camping in a small group for two to three nights. It is permitted by law to camp on open and uncultivated land and land managers are encouraged to simplify wild camping on their land. When camping wild, however, some points should be observed in addition to the general rules of conduct.

  • It is not allowed to camp in fields for useful plants or animals.
  • One should not camp near historical buildings.
  • If you want to camp near a house you should get permission from the owner.
  • The hunting of deer and grouse shall not be disturbed.

Despite the nationwide right to wild camping, there are seasonal camping restrictions and regulations that can restrict camping in some areas and regions. There are also regulations for camping with a motorhome which must be followed.

A short overview of the most important rules and exceptions we have put together for you under tips and tricks for wild camping and being free in Scotland.

Wild camping in Scotland: The legal situation

Here we have compiled a short overview of the "Scottish Outdoor Access Code". The detailed rules can be found at www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot.

Wild camping near Glasgow
Wild camping near Glasgow
Sunset
Sunset

Tips and tricks for wild camping in Scotland

Picturesque mountain landscapes crossed by glacier valleys (Glens) and lakes (Lochs). Castle ruins that tower over the land and sea fascinate visitors with their mythical charisma. These landscapes, apart from fantasy stories, can only be found in Scotland. Thanks to the general right to camp wild, nothing stands in the way of discovering this land and setting up camps where you like, whether it is on the coast or the Scottish Highlands. However, there are a few points you should keep in mind.

Special regulations
Wild camping and free standing are generally permitted in Scotland, but some areas should be avoided. These include public facilities, such as schools, train stations or construction sites. You should also be aware of restrictions in national parks and nature reserves.

Fire
If you want to make an open fire, keep it small and under control, as you will be liable for any damage. To avoid damage to nature, do not light fires in forests, farmland, moorland, near buildings, and monuments.

 

What to avoid
To avoid getting in trouble with the authorities or angry landowners and of course to avoid damaging nature you should avoid off-roading. You should also enjoy beautiful flowers and wild plants on the spot and not dig up and take them away as souvenirs.

Campervans and caravans
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code does not apply to wild camping with motor vehicles. However, there is also no ban against it. The Scottish government advises acting carefully, to respect the road regulations, not to block driveways and to protect the environment. Wild camping with the car is, therefore, no problem.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Scotland

There are many things associated with Scotland. Whether the national dish haggis, golf, tree trunk throwing or the classic checkered kilts. But what do unicorns have to do with Scotland? Does whiskey come from Scotland? Here we have put together some interesting facts about Scotland for you.

Fact #1 - Scotland has the shortest
...scheduled flight of the world. The flight between the Scottish islands of Westray and Papa Westray takes just 74 seconds. The pilot collects the 25 € for the flight before the start.

Fact #2 - Heraldic animal
The most widespread heraldic animals are the eagle and the lion. Which heraldic animal does Scotland have? Of course, a unicorn. Since the 12th century, the mythical creature can be found on the Scots coats of arms.

Fact #3 - Edinburgh
Like the Italian capital Rome, Edinburgh is built on seven hills and, therefore, bears the nickname "City of the Seven Hills". It also has the most listed buildings in Europe.

Fact #4 - Ginger Pride Walk
Light skin, freckles, and red hair; there are more Gingers in Scotland than anywhere else in the world (about 13 percent of the population). In Edinburgh, they even have a parade.

Fact #5 - Nessie is very old
Everybody's heard of Nessie. In 556 AD, the monster of Loch Ness was mentioned for the first time as a "water beast" in a report by Abbot Adoman of Iona.

Fact #6 - Whisky, Kilts, and Bagpipes
When you think of whiskey, kilts, and bagpipes, you think of Scotland. However, originally these things come from Ireland and Asia.

Fact #7 - The oldest tree in Europe
The European yew "Fortingall Yew" stands on a churchyard in the Scottish Fortingall and is over 3,000 years old. According to a Scottish legend, Pontius Pilatus was born here.

Fact #8 - Scots in America
Scotland has about 5 million inhabitants. In Canada and America, there are also about 5 million people with Scottish roots. This means that there are as many Scots in America as there are in Scotland.

Fact #9 - The oldest village
Skara Brae is the oldest village in Great Britain. The village dates back to 3180 BC and is older than the Egyptian pyramids. It was inhabited for 600 years, and can still be visited today.

Fact #10 - Beer strong as whiskey
Scots love beer. In 2014, the brewery "Brewmeister" released the strongest beer in the world onto the market. Their "Snake Venom" has 67.5 percent alcohol and costs over 60 euros per bottle.

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