For a team who’d rather be outdoors than in the office (or working from desks shoved in the corners of our bedrooms) it’s lovely to make our plans for this year with a bit of hope. We’re aiming to reconnect with friends and family, plan special occasions that don't involve badly-buffered video chats and generally get back to nature. Here’s what we’ve all got our fingers crossed for in 2021.
For me, nature brings physical and mental wellbeing. I see wild spaces as giant adult playgrounds filled with free fun. Living in the city and last year’s restrictions meant limited access to the countryside, so weekends weren’t filled with that meditative time to think and the satisfying muscle ache you only get from a big hike. I’d love to make the rest of 2021 my year of health by getting back to wild weekends full of surfing, biking, hiking and cold water dips.
Places on my list: There's definitely a recurring theme of remoteness with my picks; Hinterlandes with its Lake District views, The Island Cabin an isolated Scandi treehouse accessed by kayak and a bit closer to home, Log Jam in a hidden area of Cornwall.
It seems weird to say I want to spend some quality time with my wife when we’ve barely been out of each other's sight for the whole year, but I really do. It’s so easy to fall into a routine even in normal life and a change of scenery would give us a chance to enjoy each other’s company without it feeling like we’re stuck in a foxhole together. We both love a bath too and don’t have one in our flat, so somewhere we can have one outdoors is always great. Oh grow up.
Places on my list: Skylark in Devon and Meadow Head Orchard Hut in Lancashire, both of which I inspected and loved, plus The Saw Mill in Scotland, which I’ve been longing to get to for ages - perfect isolation and that millstream shower!
Like most people I found a new appreciation for time in nature in 2020; I’ve definitely felt all the benefits that spending time outdoors have on my mind and helping to reduce stress! I’m looking forward to when I'm able to spend as much time as I want outside, not having to worry about hitting my daily step count or whether I’ve breathed in enough fresh air – and just focus on having fun! Swimming in the sea, climbing mountains (OK, maybe just a hill), finding new secret spots.
Places on my list: Rufus's Roost – I love the idea of discovering the secret slide to the hidden games room here, Hop Cabin – drinking beer and eating pizza is 100% my idea of fun and The Batman's Summerhouse – I love the idea of visiting some classic seaside towns next year, enjoying all the fun traditional holiday activities like eating fish & chips, swimming in the sea and looking in rockpools, before coming back to a super stylish and cosy cabin.
It doesn't have quite the same ring as summer of '69, but I reckon the summer of '21 could be an absolute smasher. I'm looking forward to getting back together with friends and celebrating all of the birthdays, rituals and milestones we missed out on in 2020. I don't know how confident I am about the festival season, so this might be the closest we'll come to that amazing feeling of three days in a field with your best pals.
Places on my list: Places that have caught my eye include Into The Woods which apparently has a treetop DJ booth, Kushti Camp and their private swimming pool and the idea of staying alongside deer at The Gathering Camp.
After being cooped up for the best part of a year, it’s only natural that we’re going to dream big for the next one. If, like me, the bizarre news headlines from 2020 (Wembley Lasagne and Murder Hornets, I’m looking at you) have meant that nothing shocks you anymore, it’s time to book that one-of-a-kind trip and start ticking things off what we’re calling a “F*ck it List”. I’m looking forward to bathing among the trees, getting on the water and using the phrase “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” until it’s not funny anymore (was it ever?).
For us, getting the kids out into nature is looking like more of a necessity than a luxury in 2021. I think they’ve lost touch with the outdoors after spending so much time indoors. Recently, my son told me that a seagull’s natural diet is chips and asked if chickens had arms. At the earliest opportunity we’ll be taking a trip to the coast with a pair of binoculars and going on long walks through the countryside in search of the elusive armed chicken. Personally, I want to hide up a tree until life sorts itself out a bit, so a treehouse trip is on the cards too.
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