Quick guide to wild camping: UK

Fancy a spot of wild camping?

Here's our quick guide to wild camping in the UK, explaining the main rules - and sensible wild camping advice. Click the link here to find some of our customers favourite camping spots around West Sussex.

Why go wild?

There’s nothing like the excitement of visiting a beautiful place, watching the sun go down, and waking up there in the morning. Owning a campervan makes it possible to sleep right out in the wilds, on a picturesque clifftop or down by the beach. You may be with friends, or simply enjoying the quietness of your own company. And best of all, wild camping is free.

Of course, it’s important to choose a suitable place to park, somewhere that’s unlikely to disturb residents, yet in a location that you feel happy to be alone in.

Park facing the view, in a spot that’s fairly flat, so that you don’t roll out of bed.

 And remember, you can change your mind about your chosen spot at any time – just start up your campervan and drive off into the sunset!

Is wild camping legal?

Technically all land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland belongs to somebody, so do ask the landowner’s permission before camping overnight, if you can. There are exceptions – for instance the unenclosed land in the Dartmoor National Park – and the wilds of Scotland – where you’re allowed to camp responsibly, though this is really based on backpacking with tents. Just watch out for any signs in car parks, since these may have restrictions.  When you’re in Scotland you can find useful information on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (campsites and wild camping) on the website visitScotland.com. 

If you’re worried, go semi-wild, by using the five-van CL and CS sites licensed by the Caravan and Motorhome Club, the Motor Caravanners’ Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club. Also check out Britstops and Practical Motorhome’s Nightstops scheme. 

Here are a few of our wild camping tips:

  • Make sure you take all of your rubbish with you.
  • Keep all food and rubbish inside your campervan overnight, to avoid it being investigated by animals.
  • Try not to park in sight of people’s houses overnight. Understandably, people value their privacy.
  • Keep a low profile – avoid loud music, potential hazards such as BBQs, etc.
  • Don’t put your driveaway awning up, unless there’s nobody around for miles.
  • If you want to stay the night in a pub car park, ask the landlord’s permission first, and buy a meal and some drinks.
  • Responsibly dispose of your sewer waste. This will mean waiting until you find a designated disposal point.


Wild camping in a campervan is now easier than ever, thanks to our SX Upgrade – the new gas, electrical and solar systems at Sussex Campervans

When you’re out in the wilds, it’s good to know you’re unlikely to run out of gas for heating and cooking, and the lights and fridge will stay on. That’s the peace of mind you get with our new SX range of campervans – the VW CaledoniaManhattan Compact, Manhattan MPV, Paradise Compact, Paradise Deluxe and Nissan NV200 CamperCar SX.

The latest Sussex Campervans come with a new under-body LPG tank, that you can top up at a service station. The new control panel includes a gauge so that you can see exactly how much gas is left to power your heating and hob. This means you don’t have to ‘guess the weight’ of the gas cylinder, as we all used to do. And there’s no need to take a spare gas bottle – we’ve even provided an external barbecue point for you! 

There’s also another gauge on the control panel, making it easy for you to check the juice left in both your vehicle battery and the leisure battery. So if the batteries are dipping down, you know it’s time to go for a drive, or find a campsite or aire with an electrical hook-up point to plug into. The leisure battery powers the fridge and the LED lights onboard. And if you choose to have a solar panel fitted, this will trickle charge your leisure battery whenever it’s daylight. 

With all the basics sorted out, you can really go off into the wilds and get away from the crowds.

Wild camping can be an amazing experience. It can add the ultimate flexibility to a spontaneous getaway. Have fun!