Is it free to camp anywhere in the Lake District?

I’m going to the Lake District in July and want to know do you have to be in a camping site to camp there or can you camp anywhere? Thanks


  1. Wild Camping

    In England and Wales, there is no legal right to camp wild and, strictly speaking, permission should be sought. This is, however, impractical.

    However, in high mountain areas, and in most other hill land, wild camping is generally accepted above the intake walls, providing it is for a limited time and its fairly discreet – out of sight of houses/farms.

    There’s always a slim chance that you’d be asked to move on, though its never happened to me.

    In the Peak District, wild camping is discouraged in some areas and banned completely if the moors are very dry.

    The best areas in England and Wales are probably the Lake District and Snowdonia – and you’re likely to meet several other wild campers – and very little chance of any hassle.

    In Scotland, the current access legislation – just come into effect (early 2005) – is explicit about people’s right to camp wild on hill land – usually more than 100 metres away from a public road – although you’d want to be much further away than that!

    Check out the Mar Estate near Braemar – they actually seem to encourage wild camping.

    Mike Knipe, Crook

    A. The exception to the rule in England is Dartmoor.

    The right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985.

    Article 6 states:

    6 Camping

    (1) No person shall knowingly use any vehicle, including a caravan or any structure other than a tent for the purpose of camping on the access land or land set out for the use or parking of vehicles except on any area which may be set apart and indicated by notice as a place where such camping is permitted.

    (2) No person shall knowingly erect a tent on the access land for the purpose of camping:

    (a) in any area listed in Schedule 2 to these byelaws;

    (b) within 100 metres of any public road or in any enclosure.

    (3) No person shall camp in a tent on the same site on the access land for more than two consecutive nights, except on any area which may be set apart and indicated by notice as a place where such camping is permitted.

    Basically put, you can camp anywhere as long as you are compliant with the above.

  2. Wild camping isn’t legal in England, only Scotland but as far as i’m aware people do it still but you have to make sure you are off the beaten track and tidy up after yourself!

  3. You need to camp on an official camp site or in other places with permission of the landowner. No camping whatsoever is allowed on land owned by the National Trust

  4. You can wild camp for free if you are on high level ground and discreet. It’s tolerated rather than allowed. The only place that I know of where it seems to be commonplace is in the Ulpha valley.

  5. It’s weird that when I answered a similar question a week or so ago, pointing out that wild camping is not allowed and particularly on National Trust land (which forms a large part of the Lake District), I got a number of thumbs down.

Submit a Comment

Powered by UKOSS