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Topic: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?  (Read 2855 times)

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Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« on: December 17, 2020, 06:38:57 PM »
Hello!

I'm interested in doing some hiking and backpacking this year. I have all my kit together now, so I'm interested in doing a weekend trip starting from London. Perhaps rent a car and drive early in the morning on Saturday somewhere, hike somewhere beautiful, set up camp and stay overnight in a tent, then head back to London on Sunday.

I haven't done any backpacking or camping in the UK (and not much in the US to be honest) - do you have any recommendations of a few possible trips to get my feet wet?

Thanks in advance!


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2020, 07:47:23 PM »
Wild camping (what you want) is allowed in Scotland but not England.

For places I’d recommend all the national parks, but you’ll be limited to pitching overnight in campsites (very different to what you are used to in the US).  Still lots of fun but it’s basically a field of tents.  ;D


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 03:33:00 PM »
Did not know this KFdancer. Whoops. I’ve wild camped in the lakes as part of a school trip. Mind you, maybe the rules have changed since I did it 10 years ago?


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 04:07:30 PM »
Did not know this KFdancer. Whoops. I’ve wild camped in the lakes as part of a school trip. Mind you, maybe the rules have changed since I did it 10 years ago?


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Maybe someone got permission from the land owner?  It’s technically illegal.  Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen! 


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 05:15:39 PM »
Wild camping (what you want) is allowed in Scotland but not England.

For places I’d recommend all the national parks, but you’ll be limited to pitching overnight in campsites (very different to what you are used to in the US).  Still lots of fun but it’s basically a field of tents.  ;D

Thank you! Any National Park campsite you recommend in particular, at least for a first time adventure out of London?

Also, I found this organization that seems to be a liason between you and English landowners for "nearly" wild camping? Have you ever heard of it?
https://nearlywildcamping.org/


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2020, 06:10:40 PM »
We did a motorhome tour of England and Wales this summer.  It was booked quite last minute so some of the top notch ones were fully booked but still had good experiences.  Tent camping wasn’t allowed most places this past summer because of COVID. 

I mostly used https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/ because I could filter criteria.  A couple of the sites had a view which was nice.  The one we stayed at in the Lake District was beautiful but I suspect they all are there!

https://eweleaze.co.uk/ is only open the month of August but a real gem.



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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2020, 07:21:40 PM »
I know some locations we had specific owner permission, but one was way up on a mountain next to a tarn. Surely it was national park land and not owned by anyone. It was for gold d of e and at a super posh school. They must have got permission from someone... probably someone’s daddy, the Duke of somesuch...


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Re: Backpacking Recommendations out of London?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2021, 04:05:45 PM »
"Surely it was national park land and not owned by anyone."

National Parks in the UK are not like National Parks in many other countries which are often wilderness areas owned by the government.

National Parks in the UK are simply a planning instrument that controls development both private and commercial. The land  will either be owned and farmed by an individual, or be part of a large estate which is farmed by a a number of tenant farmers.

To answer the original question, the New Forest is probably the nearest National Park to London although  it is in a highly populated area so you won't be alone in your wandering. You could hike along one of the long distance prehistoric footpaths like the Ridgeway, and just pick a section to walk that fits in with your travel arrangements.  The link below is the first one I found for info, I am in no way recommending it or any sort of arrangement.

Walking in the UK is easy but wild walking follows a certain criteria, namely the further north you go the wilder the walking will become. You'll need to go  a bit further than you might want to at the moment to get a really wild experience. Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, the oldest National Park the Derbyshire Dales, the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors or the Lake District, but if you want really wild walking in England then  the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is as wild as it gets. You  of course then  have Scotland if you have  two weeks to spare.

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/trails/the-ridgeway/

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 04:13:12 PM by Jack Graham »


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