Wild camping, also known as freedom camping, is the practice of overnighting away from official camp sites. The Western Isles used to be wild camping heaven, with the Scots in general having a very different attitude to it than the rest of the UK, but things are slowly changing and as usual thanks to the actions of the thoughtless few. You can still wild camp in the Western Isles – it is permissible by law through the Scottish Access Code – but there are a few things you will need to be aware of. By observing a few rules you can ensure you are camping responsibly and also help ensure that wild camping remains an option for visitors, including us surfers.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code
This law allows the public access rights in the countryside and includes the practice of wild camping. However, this doesn't mean you can just roll up and pitch your tent anywhere you like – there are some restrictions. As a general rule you must stay away from crops, private dwellings, farm animals and historic buildings and observe any advice concerning fragile ecosystems.
Be aware that the Access Code applies to tent campers on foot. You will be more restricted if you are in a camper van.