Catching Holiday Feelings at Home with Orienteer
Orienteer Mapazine disclose five secret(ish) spots to escape to on home soil.
Summer rolls around and so does our insatiable taste for water. Sip it, swim in it, drive a couple of hours for a small body of it; you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more satisfying than being in and around water on a sweaty summer’s day. And guess what? The UK is full of it. So why catch a flight when you could be catching feelings for your own home turf and its hidden treasures?
We sat down with the team behind map-meets-mag Orienteer to chat about the great outdoors, bringing you five secret(ish) spots to escape to. Spoiler: you don’t need to max out your Monzo on Arc’teryx gear but you do need a taste for adventure. Orienteer lead you to new places for you to create your own path, “We like to think of it as a guide, people still have to do their own work to understand it. You know, it's not like giving everybody everything all at once, we give them the first step.”
Mother nature is for everyone but the outdoors community can sometimes feel exclusive, so Orienteer made it their mission to open things up and get people adventuring closer to home. Sure, European beaches and rooftop pools are nice, but have you seen the iridescent lochs of Scotland’s west coast? Or uncovered the hidden swimming holes of Dartmoor? Or stood at the summit of Coniston Old Man with 360 degree sunset views over the Lake District? The calming nature of water takes even the most impressive landscapes up a notch: maximum tranquillity, minimal stress. There’s nothing like an expansive stretch of water to remind you that the world is huge, and you’re a very small part of it. Whether you’re planning an off-grid adventure or in the mood for a spontaneous day trip, we’ve got you covered, just remember to tread lightly and leave no trace. No car? No worries. Take the train or bus but do your research to find the best price.
In partnership with Nike Swim, Trippin presents Open Waters. We’ve charted the people and places making waves across our seas, lakes, oceans, and lidos - the ones that push further and dive deeper to reveal a whole new world.
Kayak with Seal Colonies in Arisaig, Scotland
Powder white sand and turquoise waters in Scotland? That’s right. On the West Coast of Scotland, the water is blue enough to rival the Caribbean Sea, and cold enough to make you realise you’re still in the British Isles. Jump in a kayak from the coastal village of Arisaig and explore the sculpted landscape of tiny islands – expect seal colonies and eagles circling overhead. Bring your camping gear to spend the night on your own private island and wake yourself up with a swim at dawn. Remote, secluded, idyllic. This trip is as off-grid as it gets, put on your out-of-office and spend (at least) five days swimming, kayaking and reconnecting.
Watch The Sunset Over The Lake District
Sure, Cumbria is full of Shutterstock-image-worthy lakes, but none are quite as magical as Coniston Water. By day, the huge glassy lake mirrors its surroundings, reflecting the rugged fells of Coniston Old Man – vivid colours and all. Stick around til sundown and watch the lake fill with kaleidoscopic hues of orange, pink and red…maybe even dive in for a sunset swim. If you’re feeling adventurous, set up camp in the wilderness and swim at sunrise too.
Llyn y Fan Fach, Nature’s Amphitheatre
Is there a “no swimming” sign? Yes. Should you swim? Yes, but bring cold-weather gear. Set off on the Pen Y Fan hiking trail before making your way down to the Llyn y Fan Fach lake for an epic swim across the serene body of water surrounded by very Welsh, very idyllic scenery. Llyn y Fan Fach is like nature’s amphitheatre, go and you’ll know exactly what we mean. Located in one of the more remote parts of the Brecon Beacons, the lake is one of the Black Mountain Range’s best kept secrets. Pitch up in the nearby forest next to a small stream; with the right equipment you can drink and clean your cook sets. Pen Y Fan is one of the more accessible locations on this list, making it perfect for weekend trips.
Walk The River Route of Snowdonia
Snowdonia isn’t all dramatic mountains and rolling hills, veer slightly off the beaten track and you’ll discover hidden wild swimming spots. Find the river and follow it up as it twists and turns through ancient woodland, creating rock pools and waterfalls. The crystal clear water is quite literally clean enough to drink. Continue to the summit of Snowdon or pack a picnic and spend the afternoon diving into the deep blue pools.
Day Trip to The Aquadrome
Can’t book a slot at the Lido? Head to Rickmansworth Aquadrome. A budget-friendly 30-minute train ride from London, the Aquadrome is ideal for spontaneous day tripping. You won’t find dramatic scenery and glassy lochs, but you will find three sprawling lakes for wild swimming, water-skiing and sailing. Round up your mates, pick up some shrooms and get on the first train out of Marylebone.