Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 28, 2013 - 06:57pm PT
i am flying into glasgow in the end of june and will bike around scotland and then head south, hopefully eventually getting to southern italy.
i will be bringing my climbing shoes, and i have been trying to decide if i should bring a harness. i plan on camping for the most part.
soooo.... i am looking for recomendations...places to go, with or with out climbing...hints for staying low budget....camping recomendations (i have extensive training in the art of the stealth bivy in the u.s....europe is totaly new for me) ....and any other things i should consider.
Awesome, man, I am jealous. The better half and I are planning to bike from the Netherlands to France at some point, probably be a few years though.
If you want to make an Eastern swing, the sandstone of Eastern Germany (Dresden area) is something else. Knots for protection on some of the most unique features anywhere, right on the Czech border. If you're a go for that I can put you in contact with good people.
Also, Spain - Riglos - amazing towers and very unique rock.
If you get tired of pedaling, get a rail pass - you can go anywhere by train - although some of them stop at every single little hamlet and burg, it sure beats renting a car with fuel at 15 bucks a gallon.
For cheap places to stay, the hostel system in Europe is the way to go.
Wild camping is legal in Scotland on unfenced land subject to a few restrictions, Google will tell you all.
Wild camping is not permitted in England but in the right place tolerated, you´ll only be moved on anyway.
In France it´s tolerated. Most towns have a municipal campsite anyway.
In Belgium no idea, finding somewhere wild (outside of the Ardennes) is going to be difficult.
Germany it is generally illegal but usually tolerated, there are campsites everywhere generally anyway. In some of the nature parks non-motorised wild camping isallowed at specified sites.
Italy the same as Germany.
There is an organisation http://campinmygarden.com/ which might be interesting for England.
You can camp in my garden, I live near Munich!
Bring your harness and rockshoes.
For the extra weight bring a harness. You could probably rock up at most crags and someone will take pity on you. Once you're done in Scotland if you're cycling south then the Lake District is nice although might be difficult to find someone to climb with if you haven't organised something in advance. Head south and then west into North Wales but definately head over to the Peak District. Lots of short gritstone crags which if the weather is OK will always have people on them. You're 99% sure to be able to join up with other people there. Once in France are you thinking of heading down to Fontainbleau (just south of Paris)? There are a few campsites around but I have come across people wild camping when I've been there. Keep us posted nearer the time and may be some of us this side of the pond could even hook up with you. Enjoy your trip.
Definitely throw your harness in. Not much weight/volume, will open up plenty of options en route.
Concerning the big question of stealth camping US vs EU: there are some significant differences. In general most countries forbid it, however there are still lots of opportunities. The primary issue is population density - it is just tough to be stealth in many areas, as there are people crawling around everywhere.
I would strongly suggest you come through Switzerland - you can crash with us for a re-charge, and then we can go and hit some rocks. Plenty of granite to share with you - much better than that damn limestone you will find scattered over the majority of Europe :)
any more advice? in a week i leave the land of excessive computer time and return to the land of climbing and living outdoors. so i was hoping to get as much info as i could now before i tune out of ST for a few months.
One thing to remember about camping in Europe. If you choose established campgrounds be forewarned that they are much more developed than those in the US (hot showers, laundry facilities, etc.) so they can be pretty pricey (up to $25).
I have stayed at the Crillon. The breakfast buffet is about $100 which is pretty outrageous, but it is a buffet and we are climbers.....