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Wild Camping or Free Camping

Wild camping, or free camping is where you park your vehicle in an acceptable place, such as a beach car park, and camp for free. Camping is perhaps a misleading term. In most countries erecting a tent is not accepted, and you should ensure that all of your things remain in your vehicle. Sitting outside with a table and chairs is fine, as is hanging out your washing. The key thing is to make no noise and mess, leave the spot as you found it.

The ups and downs of wild camping

Free camping is a great way to reduce your daily costs, by not paying campsite fees. The downside is that you do not have the facilities that the campsite offers. For smaller vehicles, such as camper vans, the biggest problem is normally that you will not have a toilet or shower at the free camping location. Many beach side areas have cold water showers, and some have toilets. You can of course get a chemical toilet to store in your vehicle. Large vehicles often have a toilet and shower room. It is possible to work around the lack of facilities by using the beach showers and using toilets in local places such as bus stations, train stations, supermarkets and of course public toilets. If you have the nerve it is possible to enter a larger restaurant, when it's busy, and just use the toilets. It is unlikely anyone will notice or challenge you. You must respect the free camping area to ensure it's continued use.

Security when wild camping

Your vehicle is always at risk from thieves and damage not mater where you are. Free camping spots are known by locals and most leisure vehicles are very obvious. Always park sensible, never leave anything on display, and always lock your vehicle. If others are parking in the area park next to them, not just close to them. A vehicle is safer when in a pack of vehicles, rather than a lone vehicle on the edge of the pack. When you park up chat with the people camping around you. Don't be put off by people with dreadlocks or by surfers, which you will find in seaside areas. These people are normally very nice, friendly and also looking for a secure place to park.

Permission

You should always get permission before free camping. This is not always easy as it can be hard to determine who to ask. It is made more difficult when travelling in a country where you do not speak the primary language. If you do not seek permission when you must accept that you may be awoken by the police or land owner, moved on or issued with a fine. This is very rare though. In acceptable or designated free camping areas very few troubles occur. In my experience I have had no trouble, meet lots of nice people and saved a lot of money.

In France there are many official free camping sites, knows as aire de camping. These may charge a small overnight fee during peak months, but are free during off-peak times. Responsible free camping is generally accepted elsewhere.

In Spain and Portugal free camping is tolerated in most car parks around beach areas. In some areas it is not tolerated, and will be signposted. Note: free camping is illegal in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Be considerate

Free camping is accepted in many areas as the local people accept that the visiting travelers will spend their money on supplies, fuel and restaurants in local establishments. It is important to not upset the local people, police and authorities. If you do upset people you, and everyone else there, will almost certainly be moved on. This may also jeopardise the future of the free camping location. If you follow the simply rules and use your common sense you can enjoy free camping in lots of lovely areas, meet lots of nice people and save money.

Suitable wild camping areas

Beaches

Beaches are a great, and for many, the best place to free camp. You can normally park up in a sandy or dirt car park, facing the sea. Beach areas are normally quite and have beautiful views and sounds. Some have toilets, and some have cold water showers. It is often possible to get water from the showers to use for washing, etc.

Truck stops

Many cross-country main roads have truck stops where truckers stop overnight. Almost all are free, some not being much more that dirt areas to the side of fuel stations. These areas can be good places to stop for the night. Safety is generally good, as you will almost always find at least 1 truck parked up. If you do stop stay out of the way of the trucks. The trucks need a lot of space to turn, and won't be happy if you are parked in the way. Look on the dirt surface to see their tire tracks, this will indicate where they turn and park.

Road laybys

It is often possible to find nice road laybys in which to park. Often around lakes or mountain areas. Parking next to a busy road isn't a good idea. Crime can be high in roadside areas.

Supermarket car parks

Some supermarkets allow vehicle to park overnight. Tesco in Britain accepts a few vehicles when parked out of the way. ALWAYS ask permission before stopping for the night.

City parks

Many city parks have large roads or avenues around them. It is often possible to find somewhere to park for the night.

Urban areas

If you have a small vehicle, such as a camper van, you can often park in urban areas. Always be aware of your profile though, crime is everywhere. If you have a stealth camper your chances of a free nights stop are much better. I have done this many times and had no problems. However, friends have had people try to pick their locks.

Wild camping etiquette

  1. Never leave any rubbish or waste behind.
  2. Never make excessive noise. If you are playing music ensure only you can hear it.
  3. Park sensible, so that people can use the parking bays around your vehicle.
  4. If you have to run your engine to charge your leisure batteries, do so during the day, and not at night or early morning.
  5. Don't ever use a generator, as they are noisy and everyone will hear it. If you need mains electricity then you probably need a campsite.

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Comments (85)

  • Jonny's picture

    Does anyone know of any great free camping spots in Southern Italy? I'll be there in a camper van next week and would love some tips.Cheers. Jonny

    Jul 01, 2008
  • eq platinum's picture

    While living outdoors camping, you can not help but be surrounded by wildlife. Viewing birds, squirrels, deer, opossum, and other animals are a great blessing and can add to your fun. Of course there are certain things to do when camping to make the experience more enjoyable.

    Oct 01, 2008
  •  eve isk's picture
    eve isk (not verified)

    I am adding one point here. Speaking of food, never feed the animals. This can result in unpredictable behavior and puts you in a dangerous situation. Besides for encouraging them to return later for more food, this will lessen their natural instincts to take care of themselves.

    Dec 26, 2008
  • Anonymous's picture

    beware of drunk in charge laws

    Feb 18, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    hic!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jan 11, 2011
  • craig's picture

    if you in ur motor home with the legs down and a disk lock is that ok to have a drink in the camper

    May 14, 2012
  • Phil Palmer's picture

    Is there anyone out there who has travelled across Romania & Bulgaria in a campervan?
    My wife & I intend to travel there this September but have read about the high car theft rate & organised crime.
    Would it be better to drive around in an old van with a mattress because that would attract less attention?
    Are there any safe camp sites which are open in the more remote parts fro the middle of September onwards?

    Mar 16, 2009
  • Mac's picture

    Hi Phil,

    We are also looking at motorhoming through Bulgaria in Sept. Did you have any responses of people that had done it 1st hand? We would love to hear if you did.
    Thanks
    Mac

    Aug 16, 2009
  • A9's picture

    If anyone is considering taking their van to Bulgaria, there's a new camp site just out side of Veliko Turnovo which has full facilities and is very secure. Their website can be seen at www.campingvelikotarnovo.com. It's run by Nick and Nicky who have travelled across Europe in their own van quite extensively and would be able to give hands on advice if you need it. I also know a few other folks who have travelled though Bulgaria so if you want to know anything specific, drop me a line.

    Jan 17, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    hi 2 years ago i drove to Varna in Bulgaria and did not have any problems until Romania this was due to the poor roads but a new road network was in progress so should be ok know Romania was not the best place to be over night but i drove through it through the day ito Bulgaria were i then was met by a few mates living in Varna. i would look into this trip and find secure parking before you set off these countrys are not france or spain

    Apr 14, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I am currently working in Sofia, halfway through a year long contract. We have a motorhome and like to get out and about at the weekends.There are several nice cheap places to stop and hook up around the Rila Monastery.

    Do be careful though - we had a tyre slashed in a supermarket carpark in broad daylight. Apparently the perpetuaters of this sort of crime follow you and wait for you to leave your vehicle to get help and then rob you. We pulled into an adjoining petrol station and so were saved the from the worst of this scenario. Hopefully this was an isolated incident. We tend to stick to guarded carparks and either campsites or hotels that will charge you a few leva to park overnight and put a hook up through an upstairs window or similar.

    Try this website for campsites -

    http://www.campingo.com

    Despite the above experience we have had a good time here. I think, just be aware and careful. Good luck, and have a good time.

    Kathte

    Mar 26, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Thanks for the info Kathte

    Glad you had a good time and didn't get into any trouble.

    Mar 27, 2009
  • mark's picture

    where can you go camping in a tent which isnt on a camp site, like in a forest the way camping should be, abit rough and fending for yourselves?

    Apr 08, 2009
  • Figgi's picture

    You can free camp in a tent on Dartmoor as long as you are 50 metres from a road.

    Jun 24, 2011
  • ted's picture

    where can i go where its a bit ruff? me is thinkin of givin up the gud life of mine to be a camper! bein poverty strikken did i mention mentally challenged! apparently the forest is gud he he and it got mushrooms for free man be wary tho u may end up fending to your displeasure

    May 27, 2009
  • lemo's picture

    does anybody know of a website containing free campsite maps of europe

    May 28, 2009
  • campervan hire Australia's picture
    campervan hire ... (not verified)

    The worth of free camping comes at no cost but could possibly be twice better than camping on campgrounds. However there's a risk because of the absence of security and necessary hookups. I would do free camping along the beach or the pretty hill for a night or two on every campervan trip. A stock of food, camping gears, and the ideal buddies should compliment it. Happy trip mates!

    Mar 09, 2010
  • rv camping's picture
    rv camping (not verified)

    fully agreed, as the facilities one got at rv resort parks are very cheap in front of the low fees they want.

    Mar 31, 2010
  • campervan hire Australia's picture
    campervan hire ... (not verified)

    Living in a campervan is a lot different from traveling through a campervan. Living in a campervan is not for everyone. Living in it is a huge decision. Although traveling is a string attached to it.

    Begginer's guide: train yourself to be responsible. You don't wanna live with all your stuff blendid altogether. You will also need to adapt to the backpacking life and build stronger legs while your vehicle are restricted on some areas.

    Apr 12, 2010
  • Lauren's picture

    My husband and I have a discreet camper. We are off for a road trip for our anniversary weekend but want to stay in the east of England. We currently live in Southend on sea so want to venture a little more out. Any suggestions? Don't mind if it's free or not.

    Aug 01, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    try anglesea , views are great

    Aug 04, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    having trouble finding a place

    Jul 26, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Found this really great website with lots of free places to park in NZ marked on a map:

    www.parkyourcamper.com

    Sep 28, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi i would like to travel around america, which would obviously take over 6 months. does anyone know what visa i need to tour around america for over 6 months, and allows you to work some odd jobs if money becomes very tight? thanks 4 any info. sarah

    Feb 25, 2011
  • Casiano's picture

    Hola,
    If you are from a visa waiver country, por ejemplo the UK, Canada etc you will automatically get a 3 month visa which is easily extendable in most fair sized cities for an additional 3 months.
    If you're planning to work legally, you'll need a working holiday visa which, if you're a student or under 26, should be relatively easy to obtain and lasts for a year.
    If you don't have a work visa you'll need proof of your ability to support yourself for the duration of your trip; a current credit or debit card will do.
    Finally, under NO circumstances should you even hint that you plan to work, even as a volunteer, as you'll be denied entry.
    Good luck. The states is great for travelling around freely and the yanks, god bless them, are mostly friendly, helpful and kind.
    Suerte, Casiano.

    Jun 19, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    has anyone been to the sagres area of portugal free camping ..l was there a couple of years ago and saw a scattering of motor homes on edge of cliffs overlooking the sea ..but coulnd nt find any one to talk about it ...looking to plot up for the summer ....is it legal ? safe ?

    Mar 01, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    I'm in Sagres now. Quite a few free campers around. I free camped yesterday, and many others are doing every nigh. No problems.
    Lots of places to free camp.
    It's not entirely legal, as I believe the area is a no free-camping zone. But the police and authorities don't mind as long as everyone behaves themselves.
    I'm not sure the Police would be so understanding in summer though, when there are lots more people around. Maybe though.
    It's fairly safe. I've never heard of anyone having any problems.
    I spent months here a few years ago, and was fine.

    Mar 15, 2011
  • Chris Davis's picture

    Hi Darren,
    Any information regarding Portugal will be gratefully received! We have an American RV,some 10 metres in length and am looking at Portugal for an extended stay.
    Many thanks

    Jun 22, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi just was hoping to get some sort of idea whether it is possible to free camp with a tent around spain, portugal,france, italy and croatia?
    Any help would be gretly appreciated.
    Cheers

    Apr 12, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    In France, Spain and Portugal free camping with a tent is not well accepted. It will not be tolerated in the busy areas, such as the Algarve. If you are careful and discreet you could get away with it in quiet areas.

    As for Italy and Croatia, I'm not sure, but I imagine it would be a similar situation.

    Apr 12, 2011
  • Anton's picture

    In the south of Italy you will find camping on the beach in a tent no problem.
    You would'nt want to do it anywhere else other than the beach as the night time heat is murder the gentle sea breeze in a tent or van allows you to breath!
    We have family in the South of Italy in the region of Puglia so know the score very well.
    Its kind of funny as you will see a sign saying no camper vans but there will be like 20 Italian campers parked in a row all eating and drinking ect. The local Police come and have a word and take note but find a group of Italians around them debating the law too much trouble in the heat.
    You tend to also find they dont approach English vans as they just assume you wont be able to talk Italian although we a re fluent as the Mrs is Italian!
    I must say though thats what I love about the south of Italy people are just like ''whatever'' everything just flows so long as you dont take the mick.

    Sep 08, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    In many parts of SPAIN, free camping is illegal. Especially coastal areas and during peak season. (keep your eyes opened for campsites nearby. If there's money to be made, free camping is surely prosecuted!). You'll generally find "no camping" signs in the areas where it's not allowed, but I've found that if you don't stay more than a night, at most you get off with a warning. And during low season, you generally don't tend to encounter any problems.

    There are certain spots where free camping is allowed, and at least a dozen vans can be found in high season, but I wouldn't generally recommend these spots, as your belongings might be more at risk than elsewhere.

    Some might prefer the security of sleeping near other vans, which is a sensible option, but personally, I always turn off the main roads, look for a smallish village, and then find a dirt road that goes into the wilderness. I prefer sleeping in quiet an isolated areas, and have never encountered any problems - so long as you don't park on someone's freshly ploughed land! If you have the chance, ask the landowner for permission, otherwise, just try not to park on any crops, and not block and paths, and you oughtn't encounter any problems (I never have. Farmers have always been friendly)

    Jun 19, 2012
  • Rachel Webb's picture
    Rachel Webb (not verified)

    I´m not sure about the rest of Spain but in Andalucia free camping is illegal. You cannot sleep in a motorhome or tent, but you can sleep in a sleeping bag!

    The other thing is that in the national and natural parks fires/barbecues are banned from May to Oct. Pretty tough camping with no loos or fire.

    Rachel

    Aug 01, 2011
  • Malcolm's picture

    A site I have always found useful is http://www.wildcamping.co.uk it has loads of information about free/wild camping and the members are very friendly.

    Apr 20, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Does anyone know what the laws/ regulations about free camping are in the US, specifically in the New England Area? Is there a website with information about good places to free camp in the area?

    May 24, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Free camping in the US is called Wild camping and can easily be looked up on the Web. Some Walmart parking lots allow free camping. If it is not allowed it will be posted in the parking lot. You can also use Truck stops which are very common in the US. Highway rest areas will allow you to stop for a few hours but not overnight. They are usually patrolled by the police and are not always the safest place to park at night.

    Jun 07, 2011
  • Alan Andrews - Britishroamer's picture
    Alan Andrews - ... (not verified)

    I took an old Rv around USA couple years back .. checkout something called BLM (Bureau of Land Management) many areas of free camping .. actually termed "BOONDOCKING" over there. I lived in USA for 14 years so I got to see quite a bit .. check out my blog
    South states is best for this kind of thing but BLM is all over .. and its a VERY big land mass to cover trust me.

    http://www.britishroamer.com/rvroadtrip

    Anyways back home in UK now and planning for Europe in a VAN soon. Great site you have here OP! :-) I will be back ..

    Cheers
    Archie

    Jul 26, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture
    Anonymous (not verified)

    If it helps you can check out this site to get more ideas that can aid you in your adventures. For instance, using a portable solar generator. Electricity without the noise! Enjoy!

    Jun 05, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    My family and i are new to free camping didnt really think,till.last night we didnt know where we eere one thing went wrong after another,two screaming hungry kids been up an down same road 6 times a lovely lady with two children whilst parked trying figure wat do said,come park on our drive we got an outside toilet shower an electric hook up,for their campers,they themselves had been vw campers and travelled for free across england and europe,with peoples permission its amazing x

    Jul 06, 2011
  • Richard Norris's picture
    Richard Norris (not verified)

    Wouldn't it be great if the laws on wild camping were relaxed in the UK. We all need to do our piece by looking after and respecting the areas we can camp.

    Jul 07, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    It would be great. Wild camping can be done in the UK if you are very careful. But it's not the same as the continent.

    Jul 08, 2011
  • Craig Hudson's picture

    I feel free camping would be a bit more acceptable if the people that did it would simply clean up after themselfs, not saying all free campers leave a mess! most dont, i never do
    . I spend at least 15 to 30 minuits doing wot i call black bagging, thats picking up rubbish left by other people or simply debry left behind by a previously swollen river. In most cases the area has bein respected and theres not a lot to do. If we all have a greener attitude then i feel there would be more land owners inviting free campers.So i completely agree with you RN.

    Aug 04, 2011
  • Anton's picture

    I find its people in cars that just dump their rubbish or people on a trip in a mini bus.
    This is certainly the case in a spot we go to in Wales.

    Sep 08, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Its nice to know that someone else clears up a site they stay on! Whenever I free park/camp with my mercedes I will always leave the area tidier than when I arrived, if we all did that then reputations of campers and travellers would improve! Shame it only takes a few to spoil it for everyone else.

    Apr 16, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    That's a great approach. I always clear up any litter that I find around me.

    Apr 17, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    I agree, I always clear up rubbish that I see around me, otherwise sites will be gone forever.

    May 25, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi,

    Yes!! - like it is in Scotland. They should allow it in England more.

    Jul 26, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi does anyonw know where i can free/wild camp in a tent in east sussex Hastings area? Thanks

    Aug 14, 2011
  • Ph1l's picture

    in a vehicle, most use west end of st leonards sea front, near the gardens, but also Bexhill sea front gets a bit off off season campervan traffic (galley hill) and the pebble beach at cooden (behind the station) is the only place ive seen any wild tenting. as with anywhere, arrive late, leave early and pick-yer-sh1t-up.

    HTH

    PG

    May 02, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    hi, i was wondering if any one knows if there are any beachs i can put a tent up for 1 night, was thinking hayling island?? but not sure of the laws?? normaly stay on campsites but fancyed something diffrent, if not hayling island, then some where else on the south coust uk, thanks for any info, max

    Aug 31, 2011
  • Anton's picture

    Its illegal to wild camp in the UK.
    But having said that IM yet to hear of anyone being charged for it.
    Its a case of buy a green or khaki tent and pitch it just before you wish to use it for the night then get up early and take it down if its a popular spot.
    If you are out the way then play it buy ear and chill.
    There's nothing wrong with using a tent for shelter during the day but again this draws attention.
    So as advised elsewhere on this site keep quiet and when you leave take all your rubbish with you.
    In Italy people put up gazeboes then a dome tent underneath pure bliss!
    Enjoy whatever you choose to do.

    Sep 08, 2011
  • Shona's picture

    Wild camping is legal in Scotland, check out our right of access laws for tips on how to do it responsibly.

    Sep 18, 2011
  • Sandy McCaig's picture

    Sorry fella but this is not true. Here in Scotland we can wild camp. We do it often. please visit north west of Scotland. I'm from just outside Edinburgh and have just returned in a homer camper and wow i vow the further north you go the nicer it is. We do have campsites and there alot cheaper than England for that reason. I'm going to do a round trip every year. I'm going to France in August, Scotland was a test run.. Please Look at Scottish Vanners Websit for wild camping in Scotland.

    May 26, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    The vanners web site CAUTION DONT GO THERE

    It has an exploit blackhole kit (type 1998) on the webpage and was detected by my avg antivirus.

    Apr 02, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    without saying too much, trespassing is not criminal law, it's civil law, so you can't get arrested.

    If someone asks you to leave, do so quickly and politely without being rude or abusive or causing damage (because you CAN get arrested for THAT!) in fact, if you are POLITE about it, you can ask to see identification of the person to check they are the owner of the land.

    Jun 07, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    good info, thanks for that

    May 25, 2013
  • lewkoster's picture

    some of the beaches on hayling are liable for free camping with vehicles but dont do it in a tent you will get moved on, try very far south west, near the ferry boat pub, but keep out the eye of public.

    Mar 19, 2012
  • granduca's picture

    Don't know about UK but where I go in Spain it definatley is not okay to hang washing out as it looks unsightly- okay the odd thing like a towel and wetsuit. Yep nothing outside - okay I think levelling blocks but no awnings, tables left out at night. Its best to look like you are parking not camping. Also generators are okay, they can be quiet these days. Just run for as short periods and not close to another van. Think what a gypsy site can look like and do the opposite I'd say. This was my experience with where I go in Spain and no won't say where it is.

    Sep 14, 2011
  • Biffo's picture

    I saw you! Anything that looks like camping is increasing your chances of being moved and anybody close to you. So just park.

    Nov 21, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    Has anybody on here got any terrible stories about being caught or even caught and fined whilst tent camping around Europe? Im looking to do this later this year and would like to know wheres hot and wheres not for getting caught.

    Feb 20, 2012
  • auto diagnostic tool's picture
    auto diagnostic tool (not verified)

    Security in general is good, you almost always find at least one truck had been parked. If you do, stop to stay out of the truck. Truck requires a lot of open space, and will not be happy if you stop.

    Feb 20, 2012
  • craig's picture

    i think Wild Camping or Free Camping is great iv been doing it now 2 years

    May 14, 2012
  • craig's picture
    craig (not verified)

    iv been doing this for 2 years now and it great
    get ur self a camper or motor home and get in
    if you dont try it you will never no what ur missing

    May 14, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    We have owned campers for years and wild camped a great deal in the UK. We don't do it any more, not since we had our rear window shot out at midnight in North Wales four years ago. Be careful, there are some crazy people out there.

    Dec 04, 2012
  • Jacob's picture
    Jacob (not verified)

    Howdy folks,

    I've been wild camping in Spain for nigh on two years now and it is generally tolerated by police. On my travels I've documented the better wild camping spots and you can browse through them here:

    http://www.spain-in-a-campervan.com/tag/wild-camping

    The site has a search option as well so if you're looking for somewhere specific just use that.

    Happy camping!

    Jun 21, 2012
  • Biffo's picture

    I have been "parking" in Spain for 14 years now but have never done wild camping what ever that is. So if you are parking were there are no signs saying no caravanners you will be OK You have to strike a balance when doing this because if you get 3 4 or more 'vans together chances are you will be asked to move but then you have to consider the chances of being broken into. So no unlit back streets. Since the collapse of the Spanish economy the Guadia civil and local police have been told to lay off or take it easy as they know we do spend money in their area when we stop. Some places even have French style "airs" which can be handy. must go catching the ferry!

    Nov 21, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    The laws prohibiting camping in car parks are BYLAWS. the Police will only enforce these when requested to Assist the car park attendant or Council representative to enforce the BYLAW. The Police will not initiate enforcement unless a Statutory Law is being or has been broken. What all this amounts to is the BYLAWS are usually enforced for about six to eight weeks of the summer season, when an attendant is employed for a short fixed contract. The rest of the time the BYLAW is still in existence but there is no one to enforce it. The Police are far too busy with proper law breaking to mess about with BYLAWS. A quote from a serving copper. No I will not say who.....

    Jul 18, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    thanks for the info

    May 25, 2013
  • Biffo's picture

    and the bylaws are usually made by councillors who have retired to the area and so are not local and do tend to take over local decision making. Take Weymouth a few years ago. No campervan signs everywhere. you could not even park during the day. Then came the "No cooking, overnight sleeping" etc even if you could pay and park but if you took a look in the council owned marina people were doing what campers couldn't on their boats and who had boats in the marina.. B&B owners who were fully booked so slept on their boats and what other contribution did they make to the way of life in Weymouth? yes, they were councillors.

    Nov 21, 2013
  • jojo's picture

    We have wild camped - with tent and bicycles - all over Portugal, Spain, France and the UK. Only ever been asked to move on once! If you wait until dusk, be sensible - not in crops/obviously private land etc - use marginal land or even picnic sites etc, clean up your waste - (and other peoples!)leave in the morning. Mostly if anyone ever notices - they are concerned that you will be warm enough - most wish you good night and some offer a morning cuppa! Personally i would invite someone to camp in my garden and give them a cuppa too!
    In camper vans - or even in our pick-up we wild camp too. Never had a problem - even a week in London! Be respectful - balanced with a bit of cheekiness and you'll usually be ok. We all spend money on food and other stuff wherever we go - and many people just could not afford the £10-20 a night campsites charge - every night. It's great as a treat a couple of times a week - hot shower - luxury!

    Jul 21, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Good advice. Sounds like you've had a great time.

    Jul 24, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, jojo,

    That sounds good, I think as long as u are responsible, u should be allowed to wild camp for a few days, especially on like moorland areas, away from houses etc.

    Jul 26, 2012
  • busaboy's picture

    The Brook Inn Pub in Plympton, Plymouth have FREE secure camper parking at the rear of the pub. Simply inquire within or check the site. I highly recommend the Brook Inn Plympton as a great quiet FREE stop over if traveling the English West Country.

    Nov 26, 2012
  • Teresa's picture

    I am to be made redundant next May 2014, i am seriously looking at buying a camper, mid range VW BAY WINDOW hopefully, then take my time and travel the coast of britain.... not religiusly to the coastal road, but having been inspired by the COAST BBC programme, i feel it is essential that i take the oppotunity that may never re present itself again :-)
    I will be a travelling femail alone and mostly want to concentrate on wild/free camping the the obvious benefits of the occasional stop.
    Scotland is somewhere i want to concentrate on but England and wales also.
    If anyone has any advise to add, i am loving this site/blog and have picked up loads of tips already.
    Thank you all in advance!

    Aug 22, 2013
  • Rab's picture

    Hi Teresa, sorry to hear you will be made redundant but at least you are not down in the dumps about it. Your plan is great, you will love the VW Bay Window. You will really enjoy the lifestyle and everyone you meet will be friendly. Scotland has fantastic scenery and Free/ wild camping is legal in Scotland, I come from there. I own a 1966 VW Splitscreen and I am currently living and working in Holland and drive around Holland, Belgium and Germany and I love it. I hope you live your dream and have loads of happy memories. I plan on driving back to Scotland next year to first see my kids and then take off up North around Loch Ness and the Highlands.

    Sep 05, 2013
  • Brent Westbrook's picture
    Brent Westbrook (not verified)

    Hi Teresa

    I was looking for heating for my T4 when I came across this forum!

    Anyway, I got made redundant in 2010. I used my experience (IT project manager) and went contracting. Earned more in 3 years than I did as an employee in 20 years. I've used that cash as a backup to start my own website business and online marketing. Think about your skills and how you can start out on your own. I've never looked back.

    I live in Torquay and have a T4 for touring in the South West - right on my doorstep - but still a huge area to discover. I put a motorcycle in my T4 to enjoy the sunny days with. I can go when I like. Just need my laptop and my mobile phone.

    Good luck with your trip and I hope something good comes of it

    Oct 09, 2013
  • Cornish Countryside Lover's picture

    We Live in Cornwall and not far from the SW Coast Path, near where we live there are about 6 parking areas along the cliffs joining the SW Coast Path. In the spring and summer these car parks are NO GO areas for local people and walkers, as the car parks are full of Motor Caravans, these car parks are owned by the National Trust and every park has a CLEAR 'NO CAMPING' sign. I actually contacted the NT about this and the mess and rubbish left behind by Motor Caravanners. I had a reply back from a Mr Pope the NT area manager who said in his e-mail to me that the NT are aware of the problem of Motor Caravanners parking and emptying there chemical toilets in the bushes.

    Do we really need this? If you can afford to buy a Motor Caravan then why can't you afford to park in proper camp sites, or is that the reason for owning a motor caravan, just so you can camp for free.

    Camping for free in 'OUR' beauty spots bring nothing to the local economy, you fill with diesel when you leave home, you also go to your local supermarket to by your food, you then come here, park for free all weekend (or longer), you buy nothing from local shops you buy no diesel from local garages and you pay nothing to camp.

    What you do, is leave carrier bags of rubbish piled up for the council (that we pay for) to get rid of, you empty your chemical toilets in the bushes that our kids are likely to touch, and you let your brown waste water just empty out onto the ground, not including the eyesore of seeing upwards of 8 or 9 motor caravans parked in a beauty spot.

    We own a caravan and always park in campsites we buy our diesel and food where we camp so adding to the local economy

    Nov 01, 2013
  • Darren's picture

    It certainly is a shame that people abuse these parking spaces and ruin it for others.
    I hope the UK adopts designated parking spaces for motorhomes, just like France.
    This will go a long way to resolving this problem.

    Nov 01, 2013
  • Biffo's picture

    It is a shame to here the bias rant from the CCL above. All people with motorhomes, campervans etc, tarred with the same brush unlike the people with caravans who are all green and wonderful. When I say "green" I don't mean envious, that some people can afford a motorhome and caravan owners cannot. All caravan owners shop locally and all motorhome owners don't. It does make me wonder how you get your car and caravan to YOUR beauty spot without any fuel in the tank if you only buy it once you have arrived. I know I'm being silly......and so are you. Please look at what you have written. I bet if I wrote all caravan owners leave old cookers, fridges and old scrap cars behind....and what is a view if not to share with others. It is not yours alone. I would be interested to know what "brown water" is perhaps you could enlighten. I will not condone emptying toilet cassettes as you described obviously. Washing up water on to flower beds or down a drain is no better or worse than washing your car on the street or on your drive.
    Please try to keep in touch with reality.

    Nov 21, 2013

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