This weekend was supposed to be my final camping weekend of the year. I could sit here and list a bundle of reasons as to why I’ve instead decided to stay at home but there’s no point on dwelling over what cannot be changed. I have a busy couple of weekends ahead but if I can spare a few days in early-to-mid October then I’d still like to make an effort to head down to Exmoor and get away from everything.
While my camping adventures for 2014 may end away with the warmer weather, I can now begin to look forward to and plan ahead for where I might like to go in 2015.
There are people who can do things spontaneously and admire that, for I am not one of them. As an introverted person, I need to plan at least a few key factors in advance. One of the reasons this weekend has “failed” is because I didn’t do enough advanced planning and wanted to believe that I could be as spontaneous and free-flowing as another person.
Camping appeals to me for a couple of reasons – put simply, it’s cheaper than most other options for accommodation and I get to both explore and discover. Foreign countries with airline flights and beyond the reach of my budget at this point in my life. To save up for just one major holiday each year is an extreme notion to me, when I could go away ‘locally’ for any number of weekends over the summer and yet consume only a fraction of my annual leave from work.
So, I’d now just like to share a list of potential destinations with vaguely proposed months:
Brecon Beacons – May
In the middle of August, I camped within the National Park while attending the Green Man Festival over a four-day weekend. To the north, we could crane our necks to the towering Black Mountains. After two-years of rambling, I’ve still yet to explore the Welsh countryside on foot and camping could well provide the best opportunity.
English: Purbeck Hills. Eastern end of the Purbeck Hills near Ballard Point (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dorset – June
My trip to same county in July is already a personal highlight for the year. As much as I enjoyed exploring a short stretch of the Jurassic Coastline, I’m also aware that the South West Coast Path alone continues on for another 623 miles more than I have yet to see… While visiting Corfe Castle, I could only look towards the Purbeck Hills as I limped on my left leg. I like the idea of staying somewhere between Swanage and Poole, so that I could at least see those hills while also completing the south-eastern end of the SWCP.
English: Great Hangman. The South West Coast Path passes the cairn at Great Hangman, 318m above sea level. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Exmoor – July
My intention for my first Exmoor camping trip has always been to keep to the east and save the other half for later. Assuming I can still achieve that before the clocks go back later in October, I’d like to see the coast and cliffs out towards Lymouth and just north of the Devon border. Along with the obligatory hills, of course.
Malverns? Shropshire? – August
I feel I’ve seen enough of the Cotswolds to confidently say that there’s not enough left for me to find that would warrant a weekend away. It’s the kind of area I can drive to on a Saturday, as it’s sometimes not even an hour away. I believe the Malverns are next heading north while I’m also attracted to the hills of Shropshire, having driven past around a year ago now. But maybe this coast-free adventure would be better suited to September time?
By now, I’ve already created with four proposals above and that’s already one better than my tally is likely to be for 2014. All going well with the rest then, perhaps I should aim much further north and set of for the Dales or Yorkshire? The Lake District?! Or maybe ever so slightly closer to home with Derbyshire… There are many possibilities and I’ve run out of space in which to suggest Snowdonia!
I feel I should be aiming or a target of four destinations and camping trips for 2015. Chances are that ‘interruptions’ (such as charity walks) may intervene and disrupt some intentions if I try to instil them too soon. But clearly, I have a plan already! As each month draws closer, I can investigate, research and prepare.
In the mean time, I’ll be taking a closer look at Exmoor, in the hope that I can escape briefly within the next few weeks… Settling on a camp site that suits the time of year; more thorough planning of my potential walking route across the hills and hopefully comprising a diet for evening meals that consists of a little more than boiled pasta and tinned soup… Maybe!
Thanks for reading.