The author decided to be a tourist in her own small and not-that-wild country. After having an argument with an Australian person about whose country was better, the author went out to prove that the UK could be just as exciting and scenic by camping in the wild from the southern tip of England to the uppermost point of Scotland.
I like her observations of many countryside and mountain cultures, like the contrast and interaction between a fitter and faster walker and a slow and “useless” one (me); the sudden change of personality when shy British city dwellers turn to warm and friendly country walkers; the “invisible timetable” that many walkers keep because of inertia thinking.
Her thirteen adventures cover a lot of the situations campers might encounter in the wild, like midges (tick), ticks, school kids (tick), chasing sheep (tick, but I didn’t scream “mint sauce”), chased by sheep, putting up a tent in difficult weather conditions (tick but not too bad), finding a toilet / bush (tick), having a sunburn, running out of drinking water, getting lost (tick), unexpected transport breakdowns, scouting out a place for the night but can’t find it again in the dark etc etc. It’s all very honest and often makes me burst in to laughter, leaving my husband asking “what is it? what is it?”
Talking about honest, I was actually a bit concerned about her attitude toward the bit of law forbidding people wild camp without permission anywhere in the UK outside Scotland – she just ignored it and published in a book about how she broke the law. Is that OK?
I started camping last year – only in campsites so far. I’m not skilful in outdoorsy stuff – I was a city girl all my life before I got married. I can’t even be 100% confident about my map reading. I’m not brave either – I’m afraid of big noises, small noises, bugs, darkness and ghosts. But I’m looking forward to my first experience of wild camping hopefully soon, and I’m encouraged by this book – most of the time it will turn out to be fine. And I don’t doubt for a second, the UK is as exciting and scenic as anywhere in the world. Plus I believe it’s all about the heart, and who I’m with.