We fancied a little escape for the Easter weekend, so we took the campervan to Somerset for a spring adventure. It coincided with the start of my training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge I’m taking part in this August with James and Sacha; we’re raising money for the BTO’s Curlew Appeal and I needed to start preparing my poor calves! It was also a great opportunity to trial my new Jack Wolfskin North Ridge jacket, which turned out to perform amazingly in the west country weather! We were treated to heavy winds and a sprinkle of rain, but the North Ridge kept me warm and dry all weekend. It’s also the most supreme flamingo colour – what’s not to love?! Find it here.
We spent Saturday hiking around the Cheddar Gorge, sampling cheddar and drinking in the fresh air. The gorge is populated by wild goats chomping on the shrubs that climb up the cliffs, and we also found plenty of butterflies and wildflowers emerging into the warmer weather.
After our hike we drove the camper to Chedzoy, a village in Somerset where we’d heard of a great spot for wild swimming (I highly recommend the book Wild Swimming by Daniel Start). We watched the sunset shrouded in duvet with a cold cider and fell asleep, and in the morning I decided to go for a dip! This took me a fair while as I didn’t really have the balls for it, but eventually I found the courage and swam about for 5-10 minutes accompanied by a startled swan. An awesome experience! Although freezing cold at first, after 3-4 minutes my body adapted and I was able to swim freely.
With my combined love for the National Trust, the Romantic poets, cake and gardens, I was delighted to discover we were very close to Coleridge Cottage, a little house in Nether Stowey where Coleridge lived for three years and wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There we treated ourselves to poetry, bluebells and sticky ginger cake, before stretching our legs on a three-hour walk along the Coleridge Way through the Quantocks. This was a wondrous, desolate landscape filled with burnt gorse and twisted trees; we eventually found our way home to the camper and popped a cool bottle of prosecco to celebrate the Easter bun.