Although lockdown seems to be easing globally, most people are still quite apprehensive about travelling – I certainly have been! Aside from falling ill or infecting others, which is essentially the worst outcome, the potential of arriving at your destination and having little to do due to most locations being closed or even experiencing a lockdown whilst you’re away is more than enough stress to put a damper on your holiday.
But of course, we all want a chance to get away from our daily routine and enjoy summer somehow. That’s why going on a camping trip is probably your best bet: you can safely drive to your location, pitch up a tent far away from other people and enjoy the novelty of minimal living, as well as wander about the gorgeous forests, lakes and beaches your country has to offer! If anything, a nature retreat is an excellent way to shake things up, especially for those of you that have been residing in bustling cities during the pandemic, have been overusing technology and have been struggling to find ways to stay active.
For those in the UK, I’d definitely recommend the Isle of Wight as a destination. Only a 3.5 hour drive from London, this little island is packed full of beautiful landscapes and quaint little towns to soak in. If you’d like some inspiration on where to camp, what to see and what to do, check out the list below!
1. Camping at Grange Farm
Grange Farm is a sizeable plot of land on the West coast of the Isle of Wight: with plenty of tent and caravan space to pitch on this gorgeous cliff side, access to the beach, cute animals on the farm, clean facilities and a farm shop, all your needs will undoubtedly be met here as your base. The Isle is incredibly small, and from one side to another is often no more than a 30 minute drive! This spot is excellent for getting to forests and key attractions too, with most locations a convenient 15 minute drive away.
2. Visiting the Needles
Visiting the Needles is a must when you’re here. When you arrive, you’ll find a cute fair like village with sailor-chic restaurants, shops and stalls selling anything from nic-nacs to icecream. You have the option to walk down to the beach with the view of the Needles, which is quite the journey, or you can buy a ticket to take the very quick and exciting chairlift route which I need to stress is not for the faint of heart. Just remember to take all your drinks, snacks and books/beach balls with you to the beach because once you’re down, it’s a long way back up. You’ll also have the chance to grab a boat tour around the cliffs if you fancy a closer look at the natural beauty.
3. Brighstone Forest
Brighstone forest is absolutely gorgeous and boasts a great variety of sights. From beautiful plains to dense forest hikes, it has a bit of everything and offers the perfect hiking route for beginners. We went to the small carpark by Strawberry Lane (can’t make this shit up) where we left our car and began a hiking route that starts off with a path through the forest up to the top of the hill. Once you’re at the top, you’ll have an incredible view of the entire West coast. (roughly a 2.5 hour round trip).
4. Firestone Copse
This little spot is a picturesque haven. The carpark doubles up as an amazing picnic area with benches scattered about, and if you simply want to have some snacks and drinks, or bring a few books to enjoy in the great outdoors, it has you covered. If you’d rather have a wander, which you will once you see the inviting routes that branch off this green space, just chuck your stuff in the car and begin your journey. There are dozens of routes available and it’s impossible to get lost because they all loop in on eachother and lead back to the car park – perfect for the anxious adventurers among you.
5. The town of Shanklin and Shanklin Chine
I absolutely regret going to Shanklin a few hours before we had to head home because, in all honesty, this place deserves a whole day for itself. A cute pastel coloured dream town host to the glorious Shanklin Chine and a surprisingly clean golden beach, it’s a hidden gem that you’ll be glad to discover. Enjoy browsing the adorable shop fronts, have a few drinks in one of the many historic pubs, walk through the Chine and chill at the beach for a perfect day.