The Wild Rambler

A blog celebrating nature, outdoor adventures, folk tales and crafts

Places to stay: Campbell Cottage, Lake District


The New Zealand tourism board won’t thank me for saying this, but I reckon Peter Jackson could have saved a lot of time and effort by filming the Lord of the Rings in the Lake District. It really does have it all: cloud-scraping mountains, lush green valleys and a whole host of rivers, meres, tarns and waters. (Bassenthwaite is the only actual ‘lake’ in the Lake District. You’re welcome, pub quiz fans.)

The Lakes also happen to be one of the UK’s best places for getting outdoors, and there are plenty of campsites (wild or otherwise). However if you’re looking for something a bit cosier after a long day of adventuring, then the beautiful Campbell Cottage could be the perfect choice.

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Rock climbing for beginners

Rock climbing as a sport has been around since the late 1800s, but it’s become increasingly popular in the last 50 years or so since the advent of indoor climbing walls. Not only do these walls help climbers stay fit over winter, but they also provide a great training ground and social area for newbies to learn the ropes (pun intended) – making climbing more accessible than ever.

I’ve been climbing regularly for the last couple of years, and in that time I’ve picked up a few tips which might be useful if you’re thinking about trying out your spider monkey skills.

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Foraging for Wild Garlic

It’s spring time, and you currently can’t walk more than about half a mile in the countryside without coming across wild garlic. Here’s one of my favourite recipes that makes great use of the pungent plant.

Close up of wild garlic flower

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Interview: Walking from England to Finland with Lauren and Leo of Lllongwalk

When a colleague announces that they’re leaving their job, you don’t generally expect the next words to be ‘to walk to Finland’. But that was exactly what happened back in December when my pal Lauren sat our team down to explain her adventure.

4 months and many trips to Mountain Warehouse later, she and her partner Leo finally set off from Exmouth at the beginning of April. One week in, I took a trip down to Purbeck to join them for a beautifully sunny leg of the walk, and find about more about their epic 1600-mile trip.

lllongwalk tent

©Lllongwalk

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Wild adventures in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

Group of outdoor bloggers after caving

Happy muddy cavers. Image © David Broadbent

When people talk about places for outdoor adventure in the UK, they tend to focus on the big hitters – The Lakes, Snowdonia, Dartmoor etc. However after spending a weekend in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley with some of the lovely #OutdoorBloggers crew, I think it’s time that more people heard about the amazing adventure potential of this beautiful region. Here are just a few of the activities you can try.

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Where to stay in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

A viewpoint in Puzzlewood

‘Hidden gem’ is a pretty over-used phrase these days, but it definitely applies to the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Not only are the acres of ancient forest and deep rushing rivers spectacularly beautiful, but the area is also full to the brim with places to explore and activities to try. What’s more, it’s only an hour’s drive from me – so after a quick zip down the M4 on a Friday afternoon, I soon found myself bowling along quiet country roads to arrive at Puzzlewood, where I was staying for the weekend.

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Review: Buff Headwear for cool-weather trail running

Close up of girl wearing blue Merino wool Buff as a neckwarmer

Confession: for an outdoorsy person, I can be pretty lazy. I’m particularly bad in winter, when the freezing winds and incessant rain make it all too easy to find excuses not to go outside. All of which is a roundabout attempt to justify the fact that I haven’t been for a run since September.

Fortunately the lovely team at Kitshack recently gave me the opportunity to test out a Buff, which was the prod I needed to hit the trail again and see if this might finally crack my reluctance to run in anything less than 20 degree sunshine.

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Exploring the wilds of Dartmoor

Emily in Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor

If you’re in search of tiny picturesque villages, miles of rambling over open heathland and more local folklore than you can shake a stick at, then Dartmoor is the place to go.  I spent a week swimming in rivers, exploring the wild moors, and generally pretending I was in a gothic horror mystery novel.

Spoiler alert: at no point was I eaten by a giant hound.

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A Poldark Tour of Cornwall

Porthgwarra Cove, used to film the pilchard catch scene in Poldark

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I love a bit of Poldark. Admittedly it’s a recent obsession: before last year I’d never read the books, but when the new BBC adaptation started my Sunday evenings soon became dominated by watching Ross Poldark gallop around on clifftops.

When I was little most of my family holidays were spent in Cornwall, so seeing the beautiful coastline, beaches and moorland on the screen gave me a real craving to go back. (Ok I admit it, Aidan Turner’s torso helped too). So a couple of weeks ago I headed south to the land of fudge and pasties, where I spent most of my time wandering round the county in search of Poldark locations.

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Review: Hydroflask insulated bottle

‘Let’s go on an 8 mile hike around Bath’ said Jenny.

‘It’ll be fun’ said Jenny.

Ok so it wasn’t as bad as all that, but my first time around the Bath Skyline walk did remind me just how damn hilly my home city can be, especially as it was a pretty hot ‘n humid day. Fortunately I’d been sent a shiny Hydroflask to try out – but would it keep my restorative smoothie nice and cold, or would I be left with a load of tepid gloop on my hands? (Possibly literally. I’m a very messy eater).

Hydroflask

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