Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wild About Camping?

Now that CART are embracing members of the public to come down to the local river and canal. There seem to be groups of people who are now willing to take up CaRT's offer and enjoy a cheap and cheerful holiday along the tow path.

Its referred to in camping circles as "Wild Camping" and on our canals requires a bit of a cavalier attitude to the rules and cocking a snook at authority. Almost harking back to an age of Jerome K Jerome's 'Three Men in a Boat' who were to a point wild camping their way along the Thames.

Here by way of an example is a short section from Simply Canoe.

Here in the the UK, particularly England, there are very few possibilities to wild-camp and I use the term loosely; throw in a canoe and they are almost non-existent. In most areas it is illegal to simply pitch-up where you wish, unless of course you operate a “suck it and see” approach. Wilderness does not exist in our tiny over-crowded country, certainly not the kind of wilderness one associates with canoe-camping. Reduced to picking and choosing places accessible by river or canal and a few miles from any civilisation is as much as we can hope for to give us our little wilderness fix! And this is often the case if I want a little time under the stars without all the paraphernalia, noise and over-crowdedness associated with camping at a commercial site.

A desire to “wild-camp” , to take the canoe, tent, sleeping-bag and firebox, got a grip of me at the beginning of September as it often does at most times, and plans were made for a little trip along one of my favourite stretches of canal, the Caldon and together with friend and fellow canoeist Alex a couple of days of camping, with a little paddling, and much “chewing the fat” around the camp-fire was to be certainly worth the risk of possibly upsetting anyone!

We have often used this area before and always have parked in the same place, but this time it was not to be. Arriving at the parking space I was greeted by the car park commandant telling me that we were no longer allowed to park. Cutting a long story short I said goodbye and left!! Phone calls were rapidly made to track down Alex. Finally meeting up we sped off to Cheddleston to approach our chosen site from another angle. After clearing things with the ever so nice and accommodating landlord of the Boat Inn, along with the promise of exchanging a few groats for food and drink, agreement was made to leave the cars in the safety of his car-park for the duration of our stay.

Click Here to read the full article.

Similar articles:
Song of the Paddle

It seems to be more acceptable in Scotland.
Caledonian Canal
Great Glen

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