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Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Person putting up a tarp and hammock in a woodland
Tarps and hammock system often used in wild camping

We are often asked by clients on bushcraft courses if we know of places close by in London or Hertfordshire where wild camping is possible.

Wild camping, where you do not stay on an official campsite, provides an escape from civilisation, modern comforts and people. The primitive nature of wild camping gives a chance to reconnect with nature, as well as to put into practise, and perhaps even test, your aptitude in key bushcraft skills that are necessary to know in order to wild camp.

Whilst wild camping is legal in Scotland, in England and Wales it is illegal to camp without the landowner’s prior permission. Indeed, a by-law giving historic rights of access for camping without the landowners prior permission within designated areas of Dartmoor has just been outlawed by the High Court.


Whether you plan to stay in a tent, tarp system or simple bivy bag on the ground, you must understand and follow the wild camping code of conduct:

  • Choose your pitch carefully to prevent any impact. Avoid digging, chopping trees, trampling plants and moving stones or rocks, or removing moss to make your camp.

  • Do not light any fires or use disposable barbeques. I would always recommend only using stoves when wild camping, ensuring the local soil, trees and plants near the cooking area pose no flammable risk.

  • Leave no trace – there should be NO sign of your presence after you have packed up. Take every bit of rubbish and food waste with you!

  • Safe and considerate toilet techniques. Toileting should be at least 30m away from any water source or path, and waste buried at least 15cm deep and covered over. A folding shovel is essential kit for wild camping and remember to burn any paper or sanitary items, or take them away with you hygienically.

  • Check potential water sources before you go, and potential for contamination. If you’re collecting water for purification, ensure you have everything you need to do so safely.

  • Use only eco-friendly soaps and detergents and dispose of waste water at least 30m away from water courses.

  • Shelter arrangements should leave no trace. Camp discreetly and quietly, well away from livestock, farms and buildings.


Close to our bushcraft base camp, there are also some places where landowners offer a wild camping experience and opportunity to escape into the wilderness.

Please note whilst we are aware of these “nearly wild” camping locations, we can’t specifically recommend them as we ourselves have not stayed overnight at all of them. The exception is Wilderness Wood in Sussex which we have overnighted on more than one occasion, though not recently but which we can recommend from personal experience.

Good luck in your wilderness camping adventures!

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