Adventure Special, part 5: Go Off-grid

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Alone in the Devon wilderness : credit: © Off Grid Camp
Want to enjoy remote camping spots in some of the most stunning locations imaginable, far from the madding crowd? Off Grid Camp has the answer

Off Grid Camp is a network of more than 150 exclusive locations across the UK, offering somewhere wilder to camp. It has been designed by fellow overlanding enthusiasts, tailored for off-road capable, fully self-sufficient, leave-no-trace lovers of adventure.

Within this network, Off Grid Camp offers secluded camping experiences in some of the UK’s most remote and wild locations. Through direct collaboration with farmers and landowners willing to share the wilder corners of their land, Off Grid Camp members can enjoy peace of mind without the fear of being moved on, while supporting local communities. The locations span the UK, including Cumbrian fells, remote valleys, coastal clifftops, vast Scottish estates, and isolated islands.

Accessing many of these sites requires a capable 4x4 vehicle due to their remote locations. Whether navigating off-road terrain or relaxing by riverside pastures, Off Grid Camp provides an array of unique settings for a memorable outdoor adventure.

For an annual fee of £25, membership grants access to a network of Off Grid Camp locations throughout the UK, along with the contact information of landowners. Members can subsequently book and pay landowners directly.

Every member agrees to The Off Grid Camp pledge when they become a member to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved:
• Be self-sufficient: Don’t expect toilets, bins, water or any facilities unless these luxuries are offered by the individual Off Grid Camp location providers.
• Leave no trace: Take all rubbish away with you and leave no trace. Not even a rogue tissue, burnt fire mark or an unnecessary tyre track should remain.
•  ‘The Poo Pledge’: Where no facilities are provided, bring a shovel or have a self-contained toilet and ensure that there is no evidence of your business for future campers.
• Drive responsibly and within your capabilities at Off Grid Camp locations. Liaise directly with the landowners and adhere to their requests.

Each location on the website has a detailed description and relevant information including a vehicle rating:
1 – any vehicle;
2 – off-road capable;
3 – experienced off-road drivers only.

Additionally, it will give an off-grid rating:
1 – buildings or public road within 500m;
2 – pretty off-grid;
3 – totally off-grid, with no sign of civilisation.

There are currently over 150 Off Grid Camp locations, and new ones are being added all
the time. Here are our TOP TEN PICKS from around the UK...

 

1. South Molton, Devon
Off-grid rating: 3; Vehicle rating: 3

This site provides one of the most remote locations in this area of outstanding national beauty, with no light pollution, phone signal or main roads nearby. Even the nearest pub is off-grid! Access is via either a long rough track and over steep fields down to the winding river of Sherdon Water, or by the old horse and cart track fording the river. Off-road capable vehicles only.  
tinyurl.com/2bhkvpwt

 

2. Penrith, Cumbria
Off-grid rating: 3; Vehicle rating: 2

This camp sits on a fellside location in the Pennines, with stunning panoramic views of the Lake District hills. Variety of locations from stream, woodland, open fields or fell top. Area of outstanding natural beauty. Highly recommended by OffGridCamp HQ. tinyurl.com/mt9w6wfz

 

3. Llanidloes, Mid Wales
Off-grid rating: 3; Vehicle rating: 3

This remote site boasts panoramic hilltop views out across Mid Wales; you can see several counties on a clear day. Access is not for the novice. To get to camp, you will ascend nearly 1000ft to the hilltop up a rough road carved into the side of the hill, which zigzags back on itself. 
tinyurl.com/bdfxvc2t

 

4. Exford, Somerset
Off-grid rating: 2; Vehicle rating: All

A series of camping fields ranged along the river Exe on a 600-acre working hill farm in the heart of Exmoor. You can camp anywhere along the valley – the fields nearer the farm and facilities feel more like a campsite, but the further along the valley you go, the more off-grid it becomes. On clear nights you can get an excellent view of the Milky Way.
tinyurl.com/2d7hnns7

 

5. Cockermouth, Cumbria
Off-grid rating: 2; Vehicle rating: 2

Amazing felltop views overlooking Scotland and the Isle of Man. You’re camping on top of a mountain so be prepared for all weathers – it gets wild up there. Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater lakes are a short walk away.
tinyurl.com/kebvtntj

 

 

6. Wembury, Devon
Off-grid rating: 2; Vehicle rating: All

Situated on the south Devon coast with beautiful views and direct access to the coastline with the land going right down to the water’s edge, this setting has a number of different camping locations, which will vary depending on what each vehicle is capable of, and where the cows happen to be… It promises stunning sea views and great local pubs.
tinyurl.com/meymraa7

 

What members say...

Sam Baxter: “We have been camping for years, and so to have an opportunity to camp where nobody else has, with amazing views and the place to ourselves, has been surreal. We both work in high-pressure emergency service environments and cannot think of a better way to spend our downtime than off-grid. I would urge anyone to try it; you’ll never look back.”

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7. Rhayader, Powys
Off-grid rating: 2; Vehicle rating: All

Set in 150 acres of rural Mid Wales countryside, this area allows you to camp amongst native oak woodland and the abundance of wildlife it offers, along with wonderful views. If you would prefer, choose one of the open meadows close to the town of Rhayader and the picturesque Elan Valley. tinyurl.com/398rh436

 

8. Hawkesbury Upton
Off-grid rating: 1; Vehicle rating: 2

This Off Grid Camp spot is located in a small grassy field perched on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, with stunning and far-reaching views looking west over the Severn Estuary and the Welsh Hills. There’s a village pub and small shop nearby for supplies.
tinyurl.com/ysh7fxb5

 

9. Dunfermline, Scotland
Off-grid rating: 1; Vehicle rating: 2

This fantastic location just north of Edinburgh offers stunning views of the Forth Bridges. Boasting wide-open spaces on this working farm with cattle, sheep and chickens, there are also farm shops nearby where you can buy fresh local produce for your barbecue or grill.
tinyurl.com/2p95579j

 

10. Exmoor National Park
Off-grid rating: 2; Vehicle rating: 2

The first Off Grid Camp location, this working farm in West Somerset sits within the stunning Exmoor National Park. The top fields are at about 1200ft with fantastic views all-round. Because there is very little light pollution, this location is perfectly suited to stargazing.
tinyurl.com/bddrxwue

 

What members say

Josh and Nicole (@the_overland_adventures): “We have used Off Grid Camp many times to find some amazing locations. We have been members right from the start and have loved seeing lots of new camp spots being added all the time. It’s a great way to also support farmers and we have met some fantastic hosts along the way. Some of our favourite spots have to be Cefn Abertanat and Baile Curraich. We love the ease of the website and that you are able to book with the landowner directly as well as detailed information about each place.”

 

LRM Reader Discount

Use code LRM24 to claim your 20 per cent discount from Off Grid Camp. Visit offgridcamp.co.uk/become-a-member/

 

How it all began

Tom and Rozzi O’Hare are the husband-and-wife team behind Off Grid Camp. The story of Off Grid Camp started during one of their first weekends away together. Shortly after meeting and having established a shared love of adventures, Tom arranged a weekend of camping, kite surfing, trail running and mountain biking in his Land Rover Defender 90 Td5. Rozzi thought this all sounded great until they arrived at the campsite and drove past a long line of static caravans to the campsite reception building where they queued for check-in. They then had to find a spot in a very busy, perfectly mown field past the toilet block and electrical hook-ups… Rozzi grew up in Scotland and was lucky to enjoy many fantastic childhood adventures on the West Coast and this campsite was very far from her idea of ‘camping’. Luckily for Tom it didn’t totally put Rozzi off, but an agreement was made that they would never stay at a campsite like that again…

Over the next year or so, Tom made it his mission to find some amazing wild places to camp with the Land Rover and their newly acquired Tentbox roof tent. He scoured various Facebook groups, searched satellite images, used various apps and they stayed in some pretty great places. Yet it was all a bit of a faff trying to find these wild and epic places to camp.

It was then on a trip to The Outer Hebrides where they realized that they could build a community that brings together overlanders seeking somewhere wilder to camp, who are willing to pay a small fee for the privilege, and landowners looking to diversify their income without the hassle of running a conventional campsite. The idea of Off Grid Camp was born.

Tom’s family runs a hill farm on Exmoor and Rozzi is a trained agronomist. Therefore, motivated by their passion for British agriculture and supporting the rural economy, they started to build the network of Off Grid Camp locations. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to build the network of over 150 locations around the UK.

The duo has recently upgraded to a 110 Td5, benefiting from a comprehensive pop-top conversion by AW4x4 (aw4x4.co.uk). This modification has provided them with ample space to embark on adventures, accompanied by their loyal canine companion Thistle, affectionately dubbed the ‘Chief Site Inspector’, as they further explore and develop the network of Off Grid Camp sites.

 

See all other five parts of our Adventure Special here.

 

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