Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Wild camping in Scotland

With "staycations" now being more popular as people feel the pinch of the economic situation, taking a holiday or just a short break in Britain has a lot more appeal than it used have. I travel far and wide in the UK and Europe in a motorcaravan, staying in a variety of campsites, ranging from the "glamping" variety to wild camping in a quiet field. This you can only do legally in Scotland, having first sought permission from the landowner. It's also possible to lay up for the night in a quiet layby, or take advantage of a very modestly priced overnight stop on communal land by the sea. This arrangement often relies on the camper putting the required fee in the "honesty box". The views from such sites are always worth the small amount paid, and the money goes to the local community; one of their many sources of income is tourism.

Life can be tough on the Western Isles, also known as the Outer Hebrides, so the population has several means of earning a living. As a visitor and a tourist, I'm happy to contribute to their fragile economy and pay my way, although some motor caravanners resent having to pay anything at all & take all their food and provisions with them. Stingy lot. They miss out on the warm welcome from people in local shops. The information they offer and the stories they tell about their islands, along with suggestions of good places to visit, all add to the richness of the overall experience of being in these remote and beautiful places.

Wild camping with a view on the Western Isles- there's nothing like having a place like this to yourself
Another wild camping spot on the Island of Lewis

A ruined croft by the sea - the view f rom another wild camping spot
The most quirky of wild camping spots - beside the runway at Barra airport. The runway is the beach!

And here's the sunset from that wild camping spot.

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