Traditionally the term "Wild Camping" describes a person or persons camping on foot, under canvas and away from populated areas.

More recently this term has been used to describe anyone camping away from a campsite, whether that be roadside in a tent/car set up or in a camper or motorhome.

Wildcamping is illegal in both England and Wales. In Scotland it is permitted largely due to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the Land Reform Act 2003. It is really important to note though that none of this applies to motorised vehicles!

A better term for "Wild Camping" in a motorhome would be informal parking and it is really important to remember that there is no right to be able to park informally overnight and it is very much dependant on the goodwill of the landowner.

Traditionally informal overnight parking by motorhomes has been largely tolerated in Scotland. However as routes such as the NC500 have become more popular and traffic increased this is not so much the case now.

We encourage all our customers to stay at designated overnight parking, whether that be a Campsite or private land (with owners permission).

We know not everyone wants to be on a campsite and so we provide BritStops membership with each of our vehicles. This is a network of over 1000 locations in the UK and Ireland where you will be welcomed to stay overnight, locations such as pubs, tourist attractions, farm shops and cafes are included. A similar "nightstop" scheme is operated by Practical Motorhome.

In the Loch Lomand area you can informally park overnight using their permit system which can be obtained here. More recently, Forestry and Land Scotland have opened up some of their carparks under the "stay the night" scheme.

If you are visiting a specific area, such as the Outer Hebrides or the NC500 its worth having a quick google (or check out our other blog posts) for more detailed information on overnight parking and waste disposal facilities.

If you do decide to informally park overnight we suggest the following is observed:

  • Arrive late (after 6pm) and leave early (before 9am)
  • Do not park in passing places or road entrances
  • Do not park in sight of residential areas
  • If there is already a motorhome parked up then move on and find your own quiet spot.
  • Observe any local NO PARKING notices. Whilst the legal enforceability of these signs might be in question please respect the landowner/local community and obey the signs.
  • Do not set up camp. You are parking not camping. No outdoor table/chairs, no BBQ's etc.
  • Leave nothing behind. No rubbish, no waste.
  • Do not light fires
  • Take care not to damage grass or verges with your parking.

When you leave there should be no evidence that you were ever there.

However you choose to park overnight please always:

  • Ensure toilets are emptied only in a designated point. This will require a campsite or a chemical toilet disposal point. Our toilets come with green chemicals which are septic tank safe.

Do not empty into a public toilet as these are not designed to handle a large quantity of effluent in one go and do not usually have the equipment needed for you to clean down the area afterwards.

CAMPA provide a handy list of campsites who will allow you to empty waste for a small charge if you do not wish to stay overnight.

  • make sure grey water tanks are only emptied into a designated drain. These should not be dumped onto the roadway, carpark or down storm drains.

 

  • Take your rubbish home with you. If a bin is already full don't leave it nearby. You brought it with you so you can take it away too.

 

  • Spend locally. Visit the local butchers or greengrocer. Buy a coffee in the local cafe.