Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Cateran Trail, Perthshire => Topic started by: craven on August 12, 2008, 09:10:07 pm

Title: Wild camping
Post by: craven on August 12, 2008, 09:10:07 pm

I have just received my copy of The Cateran Trail book guide for Rucksack Readers.  I would like to do this walk in mid-September and am thinking about wild camping whenever possible. (I don’t want to use B&B and hotels.)

Rucksack Readers book says “Wild camping is not allowed anywhere on the Trail without landowners permission”  Is this really true?  Is wild camping that difficult on the route?

Can someone share his experience with me in this matter?   


Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: Jacquetta on August 13, 2008, 08:35:37 am
That's a really important issue, thanks for raising it.  The short answer is that what I said in the book was true at the time but no longer applies.  Scotland is now one of the best places in the world for would-be wild campers (but beware the midgies :o).  Here's what the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) says about wild camping:

Access rights extend to wild camping. This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place. You can camp in this way wherever access rights apply but help to avoid causing problems for local people and land managers by not camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals and by keeping well away from buildings, roads or historic structures. Take extra care to avoid disturbing deer stalking or grouse shooting. If you wish to camp close to a house or building, seek the owner’s permission. Leave no trace by:
  • taking away all your litter
  • removing all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire (follow the guidance for lighting fires)
  • not causing any pollution.

I suggest you follow this link to the Practical A-Z guide for recreation users (  NB you have to scroll down to W to find the camping bit (even though it's now headed "Camping", no longer "Wild camping").  Access rights apply fairly widely in open country, with some obvious exceptions: check the Houses and gardens entry (which is under H) for clarification.

Our book was published in 2004, before the SOAC had been agreed, so we had to quote what had been agreed between the PKC Trust and landowners.  Nowadays the legal framework is much more generous to wild camping.  Having said that, if exploiting your wild camping rights to the full, please be aware of the background and of your responsibilities to leave no trace.   Obviously it can be a sensitive issue and just one inconsiderate camper can spoil good relations between landowners and campers.

Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: craven on August 13, 2008, 06:41:31 pm
That's the answer ! Thank you, Jacquetta. Now I'm more confident about my trip. I know I shouldn't be asking this here, but do you know if there is any place to park a car in Blairgrowie for the duration of the walk. I will be coming from Southampton and this really worries me. Thank you once again. :)

Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: Jacquetta on August 14, 2008, 02:36:17 pm
No reason not to raise it here, Chris, as long as you don't publish the Southampton address from which you will be away, our forums do get strange visitors occasionally :o

It's difficult to advise without more info, and obviously it depends a bit on the car as well as the location that you choose.  Equally obviously, whatever you do, it will be at your own risk.  If it were my problem, I'd try to find a friendly B&B and ask if parking is feasible at my own risk or maybe phone the TIC with that question in mind.  I'd accept a soft bed at the beginning of the trail as a good investment in car parking with peace of mind, but it sounds like you don't even like soft beds. ::)

When I researched the trail, I parked at the Log Cabin Hotel, Kirkmichael (sadly now closed, I believe) while I completed the trail in 4 days, and had total peace of mind about the car.  But ia quiet rural village is very different from Blair, which has more of a rough element.  Local advice would be well worth taking.

Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: craven on August 19, 2008, 10:32:48 pm
Thank you ...

Finally I have deceided to go by coach  ;) haha, and I'm also going to spend two nights in soft bed in nice B&B --- first and last night ...

Thank you once again for all your help.


Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: craven on August 19, 2008, 10:42:59 pm

Sorry to be a pain ... but I have one more question.  I'm looking for any guidebook for THE COWAL WAY ... I would love to do this route next year ;D)

The only one I have found on the internet is totally unavailable, see

Are there any other maps or guidebooks for that route ???


Title: Re: Wild camping
Post by: Jacquetta on August 20, 2008, 12:25:39 am
Not a pain at all!  As it happens, we have just agreed to create a new guidebook as you're right, the original Cowal Way guidebook, as written by John Fisher, is unavailable.  It has been replaced by our own updated guidebook (, due out on 1 May 2009 :D