I grew up in Scotland where you are officially free to roam. There is an abundance of adventure on your doorstep, and nature invites you to play each day. But yes, it rainsnot all the timebut a lot. I like the rain; it keeps things fresh, the plants healthy and, best of all, it keeps the people away. Scotland offers stunning seclusion like no other, thanks to the rain.
But unfortunately right now, I don’t live where nature is at my doorstep. I have to fight to find it and sneak around at night for moments of seclusion. London is my base for work and life (and daily urban adventures), but you’ve got to head out of the smog to remember what real nature is again. Sometimes weeks go by and it suddenly dawns on me that I just need to get out of the city and find somewhere hidden away in the trees. I crave freedom on a fortnightly basis. I don’t want anyone to know where I am. I don’t even want to know. But England isn’t as free to roam as Scotland; you’re not allowed to pitch a tent anywhere you fancy. You have to put in a bit of effort to find secluded spots where you can camp without the fear of being moved. But maybe that’s what makes it so rewarding: only real adventurers will scale the fences, sneak through the trees and find the perfect pitch in England.
And so that weekend all I wanted to do was hideaway in the trees somewhere near a lake, and that’s what I did. With fellow adventurer Liz Seabrook and a Heimplanet tent we had been sent to test out, we hitched a bus, jumped on a train and hiked out of civilization. Eight hours later we dipped our toes in the freezing water of Lake Windermere, paddling our canoe to the other side to pitch our inflatable home on the pebblesour form of cold stone therapy. It maybe wasn’t the comfiest of spots, but to wake up to the water tickling your feet was worth it. There wasn’t anyone else around because of the effort entailed to get there and the unknown outcome that put off an average adventurer. But we were equipped with an inflatable dome tent, referred to as The Cave, that could be set up and packed down in no time for a speedy getaway, leaving no trace behind. Despite not being the subtlest, we felt happily hidden among a million shades of green. No one knew where we were, not even our map. Somewhere in England, right by the lake, surrounded by trees, roaming. That was our location.