I am planning a 7 day trip in Scotland. I am considering some possible cheap options for accommodation, and I have read wild camping is permitted. Are there any rules that need to be respected? Does it mean I can camp anywhere?


2 Answers 2


This sounds like a great idea.

Wild camping is permited under the Land Reform Act.

Outdooraccess-scotland have put together a useful summary of how it relates to your access rights.

Key points from which are;

Does it mean I can camp anywhere?

The main places where access rights do not apply are:

  • houses and gardens, and non-residential buildings and associated land;
  • land in which crops are growing;
  • land next to a school and used by the school;
  • sports or playing fields when these are in use and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;
  • land developed and in use for recreation and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;
  • golf courses (but you can cross a golf course provided you don’t interfere with any games of golf);
  • places like airfields, railways, telecommunication sites, military bases and installations, working quarries and construction sites; and
  • visitor attractions or other places which charge for entry.

Do you know if there are any rules that need to be respected?

you should also note that

Access rights do not extend to:

  • being on or crossing land for the purpose of doing anything which is an offence, such as theft, breach of the peace, nuisance, poaching, allowing a dog to worry livestock, dropping litter, polluting water or disturbing certain wild birds, animals and plants;
  • hunting, shooting or fishing;
  • anyone responsible for a dog which is not under proper control; or to
  • anyone taking away anything from the land for a commercial purpose.

And you should respect The Countryside Code

  • there are a few other restrictions. For example, the east lommond byelaws: lochlomond-trossachs.org/visiting/…
    – njzk2
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 16:52
  • 1
    The Countryside Code is specific to England&Wales, it doesn't really apply in Scotland.
    – vclaw
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 13:21

Basically it's an open access law, meaning you can camp in any **"unenclosed space"*. So you can't camp in fields, private land, etc.

As mentioned you should follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for camping:

Access rights extend to wild camping. This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place. You can camp in this way wherever access rights apply, but help to avoid causing problems for local people and land managers by not camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals and by keeping well away from buildings, roads or historic structures. Take extra care to avoid disturbing deer stalking or grouse shooting. If you wish to camp close to a house or building, seek the owner's permission. Leave no trace by:

  • taking away all your litter
  • removing all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire (follow the guidance for lighting fires)
  • not causing any pollution

After a series of high profiles issues around anti social behaviour (particuarly around the Trossachs) there are plans to introduce legislation in some areas

The details of this have yet to be finalised but the basic idea appears to be some kind of permit system, to limit numbers and to ensure people follow the code corretly. There have been particular problems with people camping on the roadside and basically getting drunk and trashing the place. The new rules (if the come into force) are designed to try and curb.


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