Author Topic: Overnight car parking?  (Read 1257 times)

The Wondering Wanderer

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Overnight car parking?
« on: 03:24:58, 09/07/19 »
I've been thinking about some other places and routes I'd like to do some overnight hiking. The only trouble is how to get there.


With how expensive public transport is now I'd probably take my car, but then you need somewhere you can leave it for days at a time.


Can anyone suggest a decent and safe place to park for multiple days near either Dartmoor or the Dava Way in Scotland? They're the 2 I've got my eyes on next. But as always if anyone has any other places to highly recommend I always welcome 1st hand advice.
I'm wondering about wandering and wonder where I might wander if I wander while I wonder.

vghikers

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #1 on: 06:59:02, 09/07/19 »
Decent overnight parking is often a headache and obviously no guarantees, but some places are a lot better than others.

On my first Dartmoor backpack (here) I used the large free car park at Belstone and for the second (here) I used the one at Princetown High Moor Visitor Centre that has a donation box system.

I often hear how people think public transport is expensive. I guess it depends a lot on the area of the country and the particular journey, but since we went carless last year and use it for every backpack now, we've been surprised at how cheap it is.
I've experimented a lot on the National Rail / bus websites working out possible journeys for future backpacks and I've noticed that fares rise steeply if the journey goes anywhere near London and to a lesser extent the M4 corridor and south-west.

gunwharfman

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #2 on: 11:22:25, 09/07/19 »
I always find a local housing estate and park there.

Pitboot

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #3 on: 11:39:19, 09/07/19 »
I always find a local housing estate and park there.


Which is why residents around here find cars dumped all over the place most weekends in the summer. Don't complain if you find your car keyed when you finally come and collect it, as some have.

gunwharfman

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #4 on: 12:03:34, 09/07/19 »
I have never had that problem, I do, however, will take one or two precautions, like trying to park, not directly in front of anyone's house, but if I can I will only park between cars, never on the end of a row. Also, I never wash my car or hoover it before a trip, I leave it scruffy and dirty in the hope that it looks so bland that no one will really notice it. I will also keep a couple of old newspapers, usually the Mirror, Sun, Mail or Express just lying casually on the passenger seat. Cheap psychology I know, but does it work? I don't know really, but what I do know is, that to date I've never had a problem.

As examples, I left my car like this two years ago on the outskirts of Keswick for seven days, just up and on the main road from the YHA hostel in Ambleside (right hand side, towards Ambleside, by a stone wall) last year for five days and for ten days in Settle, just down the road from Peter's home three years ago. I can't see me bothering again because there is no pleasure whatsoever driving from Portsmouth via the M27, A40, M40 and so on to places such as these. These days I much prefer to go by train. The other problem of course is, if you park anywhere you still have to make your way back, which is not always easy.

rural roamer

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #5 on: 13:17:48, 09/07/19 »
We’ve encountered this problem when planning long distance walks. We used all public transport only when we did the Pennine Way, otherwise it would have been more expensive. Sometimes we have been able to park at the B&B that we are using at the start or end of the walk either for free or a small charge. But when we recently did the Two Moors Way, we drove to Exeter and parked there using the JustPark website. Getting to/from the start/end would have involved going through Exeter anyway. We parked in an office carpark, it was £52 for 11 days. We first used the site when looking for somewhere near Stansted. It may not be the sort of thing you are looking for, especially if you want a free space! And it may only be in cities or larger towns, but just a suggestion.

Islandplodder

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #6 on: 19:46:46, 09/07/19 »

It is a pet gripe of mine that when people set up and advertise long distance footpaths they never suggest how you get to the start or get home from the finish.  When we did the Wye valley walk we never finished it as we were unable to solve the conundrum of how to get home from the end point, in a forest 12 miles from the nearest public transport.  I commend the Cumbria Way and the Dales High Way, they both start and finish within a mile of a station.
To get back to the point, when we did the Herriot Way we stopped at a café for coffee before we started, and the owners let us leave the car in their carpark for a nominal sum, and starting the South Loch Ness trail the B&B we stayed at before the start let us leave the car there. 
But the trouble is, with a multi-day linear walk you still have to get back to the car.  I always prefer to get to the start by public transport, but then I am the proud owner of a bus pass and a senior railcard, which makes it cheaper.

rural roamer

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #7 on: 21:02:00, 09/07/19 »
It is a pet gripe of mine that when people set up and advertise long distance footpaths they never suggest how you get to the start or get home from the finish.
But the trouble is, with a multi-day linear walk you still have to get back to the car. 
The Two Moors Way involved bus, train, train, bus to get from Lynton back to Wembury and would have taken 5-6 hours had we done it all in one day. Hence why we parked in Exeter and did half the journey the day we travelled down. It probably would have meant staying another night otherwise as it’s then another 5-6 hours back to Suffolk. Train just too expensive going through London.

Jac

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #8 on: 07:29:54, 12/07/19 »
The Two Moors Way involved bus, train, train, bus to get from Lynton back to Wembury and would have taken 5-6 hours had we done it all in one day. Hence why we parked in Exeter and did half the journey the day we travelled down. It probably would have meant staying another night otherwise as it’s then another 5-6 hours back to Suffolk. Train just too expensive going through London.

At a guess you didn't pay to park in Exeter - at £3.30 per hour!
So many paths, so little time

Jac

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #9 on: 07:46:57, 12/07/19 »

To reply to the OP, some of the smaller car parking spots around  Dartmoor are notorious for thieves. The car park at Belstone is a good one as it is used by residents of the village for overnight parking, is free and has plenty of space. Princetown car park is now pay and display.
Can you be a bit more specific re the actual part of Dartmoor you are considering?


Like GWM I have often left my car in residential areas - respectful of property' access etc. My car is seldom shiny but I've never considered leaving newspapers of a certain type on the seat - bit presumptuous of the local cultural? ;D 
I've also found various pubs/campsites etc very helpful if asked - most notable a hotel in Port Isaac where we left the car free of charge for three days in the height of summer and hadn't even used the hotel!

So many paths, so little time

BuzyG

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #10 on: 20:04:12, 12/07/19 »
There are dozens of good places you could leave your car on Dartmoor.  Choose one a bit out of the way and you should have no trouble what so ever.  On the west of the moor the carpark up the lane from the Dartmoor Inn, is free, central and safe, in my experience.  I often park there, for those very reasons.

ninthace

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #11 on: 21:56:27, 12/07/19 »
And to the south Shipley Bridge is fairly out of the way.
Solvitur Ambulando

The Wondering Wanderer

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #12 on: 15:58:29, 13/07/19 »
Thanks for all the advice.


I hadn't really decided whereabouts on dartmoor. Just dartmoor in general.


I was just going to work a route around where I could park.


It's just to get a bit more overnight experience and because Dartmoor looks amazing.
I'm wondering about wandering and wonder where I might wander if I wander while I wonder.

Doddy

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #13 on: 17:10:43, 13/07/19 »
As a Senior with bus pass and train pass the prices are not so bad;I then camp wild to recoup costs.
It would help a lot if you could get one reasonably priced ticket from a different finish point than where you stated e.g a ticket to Edale from home then a ticket home from near Kirk Yetholm or in my case from Berwick upon Tweed. Anyone managed to get around this one. Once I tried to explain this situation to a not very fluent English speaker which came close to leave me in tears of laughter and anguish. "How is it you are spelling Bristol."
I have used a campsite and then come to an agreement with them to leave my Berlingo micro camper for a few days. The freedom of camping with no vehicle movement to concern you is great.

Owen

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Re: Overnight car parking?
« Reply #14 on: 17:57:00, 13/07/19 »
. The freedom of camping with no vehicle movement to concern you is great.




Couldn't agree with this more, I drive for a living so getting away for two or three weeks with not having to concentrate on the road all the time is pure bliss.


I have a bus pass (intitalment Scotland card) which is great but only covers Scotland. On my trip to Scandinavian I'll use planes, train and buses to get there but can then walk for the intire holiday without having to see a road or hear an engine.