With summer well and truly upon us and overseas travel uncertain, many people are pulling out their tents for a staycation in Scotland

The right to roam means much of the Scottish countryside can double as a campsite, unlike in England where rules on roaming are much stricter. 

However, when exactly does the right to roam in Scotland apply? Are there limitations to the rule? How much freedom do we have?

Here's what you need to know before venturing into the wilderness...

What is the right to roam?

The so-called 'right to roam' is part of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act introduced in 2003  in order to strike a balance between a person's freedom to roam and respect for private property.

It allows members of the public to access most land and inland water in Scotland for recreational or other purposes. 

This is provided that the right to roam is exercised reasonably and responsibly. 

Recreational covers a wide range of activities, including camping and picnicking. 

With the right to roam, it may seem like the world, or at least Scotland, is your oyster, however there are limitations to the rule. 

For example, the right to roam does not apply to land on which there are buildings, or shelters including tents and caravans. 

It also does not apply to gardens. 

Both of these exceptions are to allow people to upkeep a certain degree of privacy. 

Similarly, land where crops are growing is off limits, as are schools and school grounds and land that has been developed into sports grounds. 

Can I wild camp at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park?

It depends on the season. 

Between March and September there are byelaws in place meaning camping in some areas of the park is only allowed on campsites or with a camping permit. 

These campsites are intended to be low cost, with the byelaws in place to protect nature and lochshores.

From October to February, the usual right to roam rules apply.  

Does the right to roam apply to driving? 

No, motorised activities like off-road driving do not fall under the right to roam and require the land owner's permission. 

What are the rules in England? 

The rules are different in England, where the right to roam only applies to 'open access land'. 

However, even in these areas you cannot usually camp, cycle, drive or horse ride. 

This means that camping is largely restricted to campsites, whereas in Scotland wild camping is possible and happens often.