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Wild camping

Edinburgh's Parks and Greenspace Management Rules prohibit camping and the lighting of fires within one mile of a public road. This covers any land owned by, or stewarded by, City of Edinburgh Council, and includes Harlaw Reservoir and most of Bonaly Country Park. In practice there has been a long tradition of allowing camping at these sites, however this comes with the condition that campsites are left tidy and there is no disturbance to other users.


Access rights extend to wild camping. This type of camping is lightweight, done by small groups of people, and only for 2 or 3 nights in any one place.

You can camp in this way wherever access rights apply but help to avoid problems for land managers and local people by:

  • not camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals
  • keeping away from buildings, roads or historic structures.

Take extra care to avoid disturbing farming activities, game shooting or other land management operations.

Leave no trace

  • take away all your litter
  • remove all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire. Do not build a fire in woodland or on peaty soil
  • don't cause any pollution


Outdoor Access Scotland 

For further information phone your local Scottish Natural Heritage office on 0131 316 2600, or call 01738 444 177.

Outdoor Access Scotland