Hello camping lovers! Have you already planned your next destination? Or you’re still wondering where to place a tent next time? If you plan on spending some time camping in England, you’ve probably wondered is it okay to set your tent in Bodmin Moor. Or, maybe a better question is: is it legal to wild camp in this place?
Unfortunately, apart from the Dartmoor National Park, wild camping is illegal in the England countryside and Wales. So, wild camping on Bodmin Moor is not allowed. But, there are some options you can consider and plan your trip to this place.
So, today’s story is going to be about Bodmin Moor and of course some ideas for easier (and legal) camping in England.
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Where Is Bodmin Moor Located?
Bodmin Moore is located in England, Cornwall, and represents an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is an upland granite moorland with beautiful scenery. Just north of the A30 road, there are placed two Cornwall’s highest peaks.
Rough Tor, and a bit tiller Brown Willy, which is 1,377ft (420m) above sea level. Interestingly, more than a hundred shelters from Bronze Age have been excavated on the hills of Rough Tor.
Bodmin Moore is also a home for the highest Cornwall church, located in the village named St Breward. Which is also a starting location of the Camel Trail.
Is The Bodmin Moor Beast Real?
For some people, Bodmin Moor can be a creepy place. And that’s not totally irrational. According to some tales and legends, there’s been a rumor about The Beast of Bodmin Moor.
It is described as a black panther-like big cat, and it is seemingly three to five feet long and has white-yellow eyes. Allegedly it’s not sheep’s best friend either. But, if we put theories aside, it may be some big cat that escaped zoo or private collection and wasn’t reported because of illegal importation.
Whatever is the truth, decide for yourself which story is the most appealing to you. And, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Can You Camp On Bodmin Moor?
If you are over your fears from Bodmin’s beast, and still want to try wild camping there, it’s not that easy. Wild camping is illegal in England, apart from the Dartmoor National Park.
The problem is that all land is owned by someone and any wild camping without the landlord’s permission is considered trespassing.
But, fear not, there is still an option to legally and safely experience the natural wonders of Bodmin Moor. So, you can opt for some legal campsites owned by people.
You can choose from various options for your camping. From tents, caravans, campervans, and motorhomes. You can also enjoy yourself more in the scenery as you won’t have to worry about toilet options, and showering.
Many official camps have all you need. Some even have wifi options if you’re not an off-the-grid kind of person.
Is Bodmin Moor Dog-Friendly?
When it comes to doggies, you can take them for a stroll, but must be aware you can come into sheep and ponies, so you must keep your dogs on a lead and under control.
You should also check with the landlord of your camping spot if they are pet-friendly before you take your best friend with you.
Where to Wild Camp In England?
Wild camping is a form of camping where people set up a camp out of the campsites and whenever they like. It’s very popular because it gives people to experience the wilderness, and of course, a camp for free.
But, as it sounds tempting, you can’t just wild camp anywhere you like. In England, there are certain rules that you must respect. Otherwise, you may get in trouble for trespassing.
Fortunately, there are some spots in England where is possible to wild camp. The most important thing is to respect the place you’re camping at, and of course, follow the rules and restrictions.
Therefore, here are some places for wild camping in England, and the rules that come with them.
Rules of Wild Camping In England
First things first. Let’s check out important rules for wild camping before we pass on camping spots.
- No trespassing fences or any other property
- Don’t leave traces of being there
- Don’t litter anywhere
- Camp above the highest fell wall, and stay away from any towns and villages
- Don’t light fire for outdoor cooking
- Stay for only one night and move on
- Only small groups (1-4 people)
- Go to the toilet at least 100ft from water (but 200ft is best)
- Protect the environment as much as possible
- No camp setting within 328ft of the road or close to homes
- Do not feed animals or harm wildlife
- Respect the people’s privacy
- Set the camp late, and leave early
- Be a responsible tourist
Lake District Wild Camping
The Lake District can be a nice wild camping choice, particularly if you are just starting with wild camping for the first time. It really has beautiful scenery, some lush views, lakes, and the wilderness.
But, be sure to always take a map before you choose the camping spot, that way you’ll know where you are going. You can plan wild camping in the UK if you’re on a longer trip, but just make sure to spend only one night in each wild camping space.
- Sprinking Tark, Roshwaite
- Holme Fell, Hodge Close
- Ennerdale Valley Western Fells
- Lingmoor Fell
Peak District Wild Camping
The Peak District is an actual National Park, and it’s famous for rolling hills and valleys. It is divided into two areas: the White Peak and the Dark Peak. Have in mind that wild camping is only allowed in a few spots of the Peak.
It is a privately owned National Park, so you’ll need a landowner’s permission to stay overnight.
If you can, avoid camping here during the summer, as the moors are very dry and can catch fire easily.
You must know that wild camping in the Peak District can be challenging, but still manageable. Aways have the District’s map by your side and don’t place the camp in spots for which you don’t have permission, you can end in trouble.
- Reynards Cave in Dovedale
- Woods of Burbage Valley
- Agden Rocher
- Bleaklow and Derwent Moors
Note: Though you can find videos on YouTube of wild camping in these spots if someone tells you to leave, move your camp from a certain spot.
Dartmoor Wild Camping
It is good to hear that Dartmoor is actually the only place in England where you can wild camp legally in some areas. Dartmoor is surrounded by blue sky and clear water. It is also considered one of the wildest areas in England.
You can pick up your wild camping map from the Dartmoor National Park office and find some great spots for wild camping. Of course, you can ask for any info while you’re there.
The authorities of the Park, suggest campers set their camps 328ft away from the road. For safety reasons.
Bear in mind that Dartmoor doesn’t allow any family-sized tents, so you should choose some backpacking tents only. Another great option is a bivvy sack if you’re traveling alone. Just make sure you’re prepared for possible rain.
- Ugborough Moor
- Otter Vale
- Sweet Meadows and Wildwoods
Exmoor Wild Camping
Exmoor is another National Park that is among the most visited spots in England for wild camping. It can be challenging and has some beautiful landscapes. You can come across some rocky beaches, cliffs, clear water, valleys, and hills.
There are a lot of magnificent views there. There is also one special thing about Exmoor. It is one of the only Dark Skies Reserves in Europe.
So, when the sun sets, you can experience a sky full of amazing blinking stars during your European camping. Pretty cool, right?
Of course, before all the relaxation, be sure to get the permission of the landowner, so you don’t have trespassing problems.
- Flood museum
- Twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth
- Watermouth Bay
Cornwall Wild Camping
Cornwall is very popular for its beaches, nice coastline, and some amazing seaside villages. But, most wild campers are interested in the wild inner moorland.
Cornwall has a lot of coast cliffs, coves, some caves, and amazing beaches. Some people love wild swimming also, they can find a good spot in Golitha falls in Bodmin Moor.
- Tintagel Castle
- Bude and Newquay
- Lost Gardens of Heligan
- Praa Sands and Porthcurno beaches
The Bottom Line
So, if you are a wild camping kind of person, the good thing is that there are some really nice options in England to try out. When it comes to Bodmin Moor, as you had a chance to see, wild camping is not allowed.
But, the good thing is that you can find some rentable places for legal camping and enjoy Bodmin Moor’s beautiful scenery. Wherever you choose to wild camp or camp be sure to follow the camping rules and be a responsible camper.
So, preserve nature as much as you can. In the end, if there is no nature, there is no life, and certainly, there is no camping.