You’ve done glamping, tried wild camping, but are you ready to go camping in other people’s gardens? A new travel website launching this month, with its collection of parking spaces on people’s lawns and private property, could make even more of us do it.
Around 100 gardens, fields and grounds in the UK can be booked on wildpoint.com from the end of July from £ 20 per night, with more to be added later. More than 4,000 hosts have applied. Hosts must have at least 0.5 acres (0.2 hectares) of space to be selected, provide a toilet, and normally greet guests. Some may offer extras such as packed lunches, cooked breakfasts, and bundles of firewood.
Gardens are generally large, attractive rural affairs, rather than small urban lawns. Options include a leafy spot in the Surrey village of Mickleham, within walking distance of two pubs and one in Yorkshire, where campers wake up to 180 degree views of the North York Moors, Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Dales.
The need to use a campsite misses the point of a motorhome Grace Fell, Wild With Consent
Founder Oliver Windle said he wanted to fill a gap in the market for an obvious platform for camping sites in the UK.
While there are numerous fancy glamping websites out there – like CanopyandStars.co.uk and CoolCamping.com – he argues that the rest of the camping industry has become “antiquated” in terms of design and technology.
The website will also feature proper campsites, tipis, yurts, and pitches in unusual locations like vineyards.
Wild Point isn’t the only new travel company opening private spaces to campers. Also this month, Wild With Consent launches, a web platform that enables RV and RV users to book remote parking spaces on private properties in Northumberland.
Only one motorhome is allowed per pitch per night and the locations (currently 12) are chosen for their beauty, lack of light pollution and noise, and the feeling of isolation.
One coastal town on the edge of the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve overlooks Holy Island, while another is secluded on the banks of the River Till.
The website’s founder, Grace Fell, was inspired by wild camping trips in Scotland, where the right to roaming allows people to camp anywhere, unlike England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where it is illegal to camp without the landowner’s permission except certain parts of Dartmoor. For Fell, the need to use a campsite means “the sense of having a motorhome”.
Wild With Consent only operates in Northumberland. Photo: Andy Craig Photography
The idea is to offer a liberated experience similar to wild camping, with more privacy than a campsite, but with the assurance that permission to be there has been arranged in advance. Of course, unlike wild camping, this means there is a cost: between £ 25 and £ 100 per night.
The service only covers Northumberland, which was selected because it is Fell’s homeland and because, as she says, “is really wild and has the lowest population density in England”.
However, she hopes to extend the concept to other areas of the UK.
Hundreds of temporary campsites have opened since last summer to meet the growing interest
There is definitely demand. Last summer, wild camping became so popular that it was temporarily banned in Dartmoor as those who ignored “leave no trace” instructions and Lake District National Park officials fined hundreds of people who illegally wild camped there. With vacations booming in the UK, many campsites have long been booked for the season, while hundreds of temporary pop-up campsites have opened since last summer to meet the surge in interest.
Services that help campers find parking spaces on private land are not new. Many UK motorhome drivers use the Brit Stops Guide (£ 28), a 1,000-host book of pubs and vineyards to museums and antique centers that allow them to park for one night.
A UK website, campinmygarden.com, which was created in 2011, is no longer available, but Campspace.com, which started in the Netherlands in 2017, has pitches in private gardens around the world, including around 50 in the UK, and home campers .com is strong with 58,000 spaces in private gardens, parks and private lots around the world.
A UK-focused website, fastwildcamping.org, lists pitches in private wildflower, woodland and heathland across the UK. Members pay £ 20 to access a list of 160 parking spaces, many of which are exclusively available on the website, including some that allow RVs.
Borrowing privately owned RVs instead of renting them is another growing trend, with sites like GoBoony.com, yescapa.com, and camptoo.co.uk making it easy to share. They report a significant increase in users since last summer.
In another record year for UK accommodation providers, all of these services are sure to be a valuable additional resource for this elusive vacation availability.