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Thread: nearest wildcamping

  1. #1
    Mini Goon tom sargeant's Avatar
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    I was just wandering what peoples' vote for wildcamping areas if travelling from just north of London. I would love to go to the Lakes- is this do-able for a weekend? And if so could someone suggest a rough itinery? I've been to the Peaks a few times, but I thinking along the lines of Snowdon/Lakes. Advice please!

  2. #2
    Goon
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    I've slept rough on Hampstead Heath, does that count?

    When I was in the smoke I regularly did the Lakes in a weekend - perfectly do-able, just drink loads of coffee on the drive home.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    Sleeper to Corrour and back?

  4. #4
    Mini Goon Bobby Charlton 2's Avatar
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    Brecons just a couple of hours away up the A40/M40.

  5. #5
    Goon St  Rick's Avatar
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    London itself is chokka with great wild camping spots.

    The British mountains are all very well for wild camping but the total absece of tree cover means your tent can always be spotted from miles away, and you are virtually guranteed an exposed and windy spot.

    I am currently marooned in London and have been surprised at the beauty and quality of some of the wooded areas. Northerners may scoff, but Richmond Park and Epping Forest have beeen protected for hundreds of years, so you will find ancient, deciduous woodland here that is unmatched anywhere else in the country. Indeed, I believe Eppping Forest is the largest area of old growth woodland left in this country.

    Tom, of course you want to get out of the Big Smoke and do some serious walking as well, but you did present your question in terms of wild camping, so I'm giving you a straight answer!

    The Beacons are great. You could also stop at Chepstow and walk up through the Wye Valley as far as Monmouth or even Ross on Wye (50 odd miles). The Forest of Dean is also a great spot for wild camping and affords circular walks from Chepstow.

    Crezzer, Hampstead Heath is all very well, but if you go down to those woods at night YOU WILL be sure of a big surprise!!

    Wherever you wild camp, leave no trace.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Andrew Terrill's Avatar
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    ST Rick is right, southern woodlands can be astonishingly beautiful. I've camped and bivvied many nights in the beech woods of the Chilterns, and have always felt surrounded, even embraced, by life, by birds and foxes and deer, by the living, breathing trees themselves. In comparison, high mountain camps have often seemed sterile.

    Of course, you have to be exceptionally descreet in the south, but for a change from mountain wildcamps, and for ease of access from London, the southern landscape has a great deal to offer the wild camper, and rural walking can be just as rewarding as wilderness tramps.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    > Hampstead Heath is all very well

    It will certainly be camp.

    And probably quite wild, too...

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch
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    I've camped wild in many places in southern England. Last year I backpacked from Westminster Bridge to Littlehampton and camped wild every night. Search out set-aside land which can usually be identified because it's normally rough pasture with an excessive number of weeds. It is important to camp when dusk is falling and to leave early. Have breakfast after walking at least a mile. I have never been disturbed by a farmer or landowner but should it happen I have resolved to pretend not to understand English. Remember that the worst that can happen is that you can be ordered to move on. Always do so with a good grace. Never, never leave any trace except the unavoidable crushed vegetation.

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch Andrew Terrill's Avatar
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    The Thames Path is also a great trail to follow and camp wild along... with reasonable rail and bus access at various points...




  10. #10
    Goon St  Rick's Avatar
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    Yes, I too am considering an attempt on the Thames Path. I have an idea to walk from my new flat in Shepherd's Bush to my old house in Bristol. It would be easy enough to head down the river to Reading, then jump on the Kennet and Avon towpath to Bath, then follow either the Avon or the cycle track to Bristol. I expect I would wild camp most of the way.

    One of the advantages of our small and overcrowded island is that people have been tramping paths all over the place for hundreds of years, and most of these trails still exist as public footpaths. In fact, you can walk practically everywhere off road if you put your mind to it. I am currently quite intrigued where all the canal towpaths will lead you. There are quite a few of these in London too.

    Good advice from Andrew and Hugh. I would agree it's a good idea to get an early start on any questionable wild camp. This, unfortunately, is not my strongest suit, yet still I have never had a problem.

  11. #11
    Mini Goon tom sargeant's Avatar
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    I actually live in St. Albans. There is a canal tow path that you can walk all the way from here, through London and onto Kingston-Upon-Thames. I've been told you can cycle it in just over 2 hours.

    There is lots of woodland near my house. Would you suggest that it would be ok to rock up one evening and spend the night outdoors?

  12. #12
    Widdler
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    I've camped overnight a few times about a mile from my house in Wimbledon Common - there are some lovely old woods around Gravelly Hill - (TQ 220715), although there was some traffic noise from the A3. Mainly to test out new pieces of kit, but also to give the kids their first experience of camping out.

    As long as the site isn't on any obvious routes taken by pub-goers on their way home, you should be okay.

    I might not advise it for single women though.

  13. #13
    Widdler
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    St Rick - if you are interested in walking canals, I can recommend http://www.waterscape.com/walking/ If you drill down far enough you will find details of the towpaths for all the canals in the country and OS maps with the routes shown CORRECTLY (I hope the OS update their maps sometime because they are often hopelessly inadequate).

    I'd also recommend the older contour hugging canals where there is always a surprise round the bend. The more "modern" straighter canals can be tedious.

    And to keep this post a little more on-topic, I've always found suitable camping spots by canals. If you manage to do so near a mooring you may find tap water and toilets provided!









  14. #14
    Mini Goon tom sargeant's Avatar
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    now there's a different sort of wild camping. I've got free access to an old river boat, and although it sleeps four, it is still fun to pitch a tent and have a barbie on the bank.

  15. #15
    Initiate Man on stilts's Avatar
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    There are on the River Thames several designated 'camping islands'. I don't know whether you have to book in to use them, or with whom you'd have to book, but the idea of camping on an island in the river with minimal facilities is an appealing one.


  16. #16
    Mini Goon tom sargeant's Avatar
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    I suppose there's less chance of the pikeys getting to you that way!

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch Andrew Terrill's Avatar
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    St Rick,

    I always had an idea of spending an entire dreamy Summer wandering carelessly along canal towpaths. There's something appealing about old canals, the way nature has capitalised on an industrial creation...

    Sadly, there are no canals here in Colorado, but one day when I'm back, maybe... definitely...

    Anyhow, if you do cover some canal miles, let us know how you get on...



  18. #18
    Widdler
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    Man on stilts,

    There are eight designated camping areas (both beside the river and on mid-stream islands) at locks on the Thames. Some are really campsites with toilets and shower blocks. Others are just grassy areas you ask the lock-keeper to camp at. Many have no parking and are for use by walkers, cyclists and boatsmen only.

    http://www.visitthames.co.uk/Publica...ver_thames.pdf


  19. #19
    Widdler
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    Hi there,



    I am from Germany and visit London and some other places frequently.

    next week I have a meeting in Central London and I will come with my family (two kids) on Saturday visiting Windsor.

    Does somebody has an idea where to stay with our VW Multivan over night at a busty full area with a nice view into the landscape? We would love to find a nice place close to the thames river - preferable wild places.

    Any ideas?

    Would love to have some feedback from you.

    thanks a lot

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