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Wild Swimming

Campbell Cottage near Coniston, Lake District

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…

Emily in Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor

Exploring the wilds of 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.

We were staying at Budleigh Farm Cottages, just a two-minute drive or fifteen-minute stroll from…

Porthgwarra Cove

A Poldark Tour of Cornwall

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….

Claverton Weir/Warleigh Weir, Bath

Wild Swimming at Warleigh Weir

In celebration of Britain’s annual week of good weather (yep, that’s all we get), Emily and I decided to head up to Warleigh Weir near Bath for a refreshing wild swim. We also became a handy picnic for the local population of horseflies.

Despite living in Bath for 22 years I’d somehow never made it up to this particular spot, even though it’s pretty much a local institution for those ‘in the know’. Fortunately my internship has introduced me to…

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Eight amazing adventures in Pembrokeshire

If you’ve never been to Pembrokeshire, you are definitely missing out. Tucked away in south-west Wales, it has the same sort of beautiful coastline and picturesque little towns as Cornwall, but minus the bustling crowds and sky-high prices. It also happens to be a great spot for a bit of A&E – which in this context means adventure and exploration. Although you never know once I get involved…

Stay:

The National…

Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye

The Misty Isle (of Skye)

The Norse apparently referred to it as Skuy, which translates as ‘Misty Isle’, and I am told that the reason for this is usually pretty obvious. Certainly when I arrived on the Isle of Skye the sun that I had basked in on the mainland suddenly disappeared, replaced by a sheet of thunderous grey that rolled overhead. I resigned myself to being soaked to the skin for the entire visit (not easy when I’d just spent a week in…