Free/Cheap Camping In The UK ~ How And Where To Do It

Posted by Dimitri Ledok on



There are two different types of free camping in the UK: wild camping, which can be done in campsites or caravan parks in a remote area;

And truly free camping, where travellers and their vans park up without paying for a campsite or caravan park pitch.

Both are brilliantly suited to #vanlife, getting on the road and seeing the best of UK’s many beautiful and wild areas.

Free camping and wild camping in the UK has many fans for many reasons – it means truly getting out into the wilderness and having an immersive camping experience, it gets you close to nature, it’s easy to do… and in some cases, it’s absolutely free.


 

Recommended parks and campsites for free camping in the UK



Bickham Barn
 (Devon)


Dawlish Beach (Devon). Pic by InspiredImages

Set on an organic farm near Exeter, Bickham Barn is in a beautiful Devon valley with lots of green space and close proximity to Devon beaches, attractions and family days out.

It takes motorhomes on gravel pitches with electric hook-up. Barbecues are allowed.

 

The farm rears turkeys and traditional breed cattle and grows a wide variety of vegetables for use in its bar and the 
Bickham Barn Rustic Restaurant. Guests can also buy organic produce and fresh ingredients.
Bickham Barn is under a mile from its local village Kenn. It’s five miles from the farm to Haldon Forest Park; just over six miles to Exeter and under 10 miles to Dartmoor National Park.

This is an excellent area for families and children as the coast is a short drive away: the beach and nature reserve of Dawlish Warren is eight miles from Bickham Barn and Teignmouth is 10 miles. Exmouth – ideal for watersports – is about 13.5 miles away.


Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk





Trevessa Farm
 (Devon)


St Michael Mountain (Cornwall). Pic by Fuzzypiggy.

Park up in western Cornwall to be close to the north and south coasts at Trevessa Farm. This small and friendly park is about three and a half miles from Hayle to the north and three miles from Marazion and access to St Michael’s Mount to the south.

The farm has stunning views over the Cornish countryside; hardstanding and grass pitches for touring vehicles; chemical disposal and two toilets and showers, in a sheltered countryside setting four kilometres from local village 
St Erth. Barbecues are allowed.
Trevessa Farm is well set for exploring the Cornish coasts, the South West Coast Path, Penzance, St Ives and Falmouth.

For children, you have Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Coast 2 Coast Karting and Loggans Moor Brewers Fayre indoor play centre are all in or close to Hayle.


Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk

Back of Beyond Touring Park (Dorset)

Durdle Door (Dorset). Pic by GregMontani

 

Another southwest England campsite, Back of Beyond Touring Park is a peaceful campsite spread over 30 acres of gorgeous Dorset countryside. It’s for over-18s only, so ideal for adventurers looking for a child-free caravan holiday.

The park has its own private lakes and woodland, is dog friendly (there are even doggie ice creams in the licensed shop) and is family owned and run. The team takes pride in keeping the place pristine at all times.

Caravans, motorhomes and campervans can park up on hardstanding, all-weather or astroturf pitches; campervan owners can also opt for a pitch in a quiet woodland glade. Shared amenities available to all guests include four heated toilet and shower blocks; a private/disabled shower room; a warm water dog wash; and Elsan points. Facilities are open 24 hours a day.

Back of Beyond Touring Park is near the New Forest, close to Bournemouth and the market towns of Ringwood and Wimborne. The Moors Valley Country Park & Forest is three miles away. You might also like to drive to Christchurch, Salisbury and Southampton, all easily reached from here.



Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk

 

 

Badrallach Campsite, Bothy and Holiday Cottage (Highlands)

 

 Loch Broom (Highlands). Pic by Rob Mason

 

Retreat to the stunning Scottish Highlands with a remote caravan holiday at Badrallach Campsite, Bothy and Holiday Cottage, in the beautiful scenery on the shore of Little Loch Broom. The closest main road is eight miles from here, so you won’t be bothered by busy traffic noise.

All pitches have views of the nearby Munros and Corbetts (mountains over 3,000ft and a separate mountain over 2,500ft respectively), most have a fire circle and a handful have electric hook-up. The amenities were constructed using local materials and are kept spotlessly clean.

This campsite is all about getting away from it all, but if you’d like to take a day trip, drive to Ullapool (four miles as the crow flies but further by road) and take the ferry to the Isle of Lewis.

Book early to be sure of getting a vehicle pitch at this campsite: the team keeps visitor numbers low to ensure the peaceful atmosphere is retained, and not all pitches can accept vans.

 

Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk

Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park (Lake District)

 

Derwentwater (Lake District). Pic by Diliff

 

The Lake District is one of the most famously scenic regions in the UK, known for its meres (lakes) and its poetic and cultural heritage. Hire a campervan or caravan for a holiday at Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park just outside Keswick, the Lake District’s main town a few miles from Derwentwater.
For couples and families only, this is a smartly-maintained space with easy access to all the main Lake District attractions.


Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at
 www.cmnav.co.uk

 

Coastal Stay (Pembrokeshire)

Blue  Lagoon (Pembrokeshire). Pic by Phil Dolby

Use Coastal Stay as a base for a #vanlife holiday around the wild and beautiful Welsh coast. It’s a small and remote site in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, less than a mile from well-known Abereiddy Beach. Britain’s smallest city, St David’s, is about three miles away.

Top activities around here are surfing, coasteering and diving at the nearby Blue Lagoon. Several stunning walks including the hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path are close by. Campfires are allowed on site and this is a great area for stargazing.

Coastal Stay pitches are suitable for caravans, motorhomes and campervans. All have a firepit and some have electric hook-up. As with Badrallach Campsite, Bothy and Holiday Cottage in the Scottish Highlands, book early to stay here as visitor numbers are kept low.

 
Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk


Bank House Farm (Peak District)

 

Heights of Abraham (Peak District)


Peak District wild camping is generally tolerated by landowners (but please don’t park overnight in car parks or by the edge of the road). If you’d prefer a proper caravan park with a wild camping vibe, try Bank House Farm next to the River Manifold, overlooking Derbyshire countryside two miles from Hartington village and its famous cheese shop.


Bank House Farm is in the grounds of an old farmhouse, with a river running through the site. Catch and release fishing is available by arrangement. Nearby, there are walks and bike rides along the Tissington Trail and Manifold Trail; family days out at Alton Towers and Castleton Caves and Blue John Mines; spa days at Buxton; and seeing the Peak District from above via the Heights of Abraham cable cars.

Choose a pitch with or without electric hook-up. Farm facilities also include fridges/freezers for guests’ use, a chemical disposal point and fire basket hire.

Find and drive to this camping site easily and stress free, along with another thousands of camping sites across UK and EU - only with our Professional CMNAV Sat Navs available at www.cmnav.co.uk

Where to free camp in the UK (without a park)

Dartmoor is the place to be if you want to properly free camp in the UK. Wild camping is legal there apart from certain areas such as Roborough, Spitchwick Common, Holne Moor, Cadover and Hayton. Be sure to park up 
at least 100 metres from any road and make sure your camp is hidden from residential and roadside view.
An important fact to remember when free camping on Dartmoor: it’s 
strictly forbidden to camp anywhere around Dartmoor’s military ranges when they’re in use. Check the Dartmoor firing times website before you pick your pitch. The Dartmoor camping map shows permitted places to wild camp.

 

Or head north to Scotland, where free camping is allowed all over the country apart from a few places in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Credits: Campifly.co.uk

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