Archive for March, 2019

Forest therapy in Britain’s healing forests

March 14th, 2019

 

Photo by Gabriela Palai from Pexels

 

Do you acquire a perfect sense of calm when you’re in the heart of dense woodland or enclosed by soaring trees? Spending time among the trees is proven to deliver therapeutic effects in the mind and body. It eliminates worry and stress and helps the body unwind and refuel. Forest therapy stems from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku which translates to ‘forest bathing’. It does not mean a literal bath but instead the immersion of mind and body in the sights, sounds and smells of the encircling environment. Research verifies that a brief 15 minutes spent among trees improves the immunes system, lowers anxiety, adiponectin, blood pressure and cortisol levels, We’ve picked the top six locations to detach from the outside world and savour the natural environment with all senses. Be sure to leave your phone and cameras behind in your campervan or motorhome hire.

 

Hampshire and Norfolk

 

Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest. Image by chloe_mccormick95 on Instagram

 

Forest Holidays, the holiday branch of the Forestry Commission, provides qualified forest therapy guides and rangers for visitors eager to embark on gentle strolls and appreciate a clear connection with nature. Opening for reservations from early September, guests can reserve cabins in the Blackwood Forest site set in Hampshire or Thorpe Forest in Norfolk. A competent guide will lead you through a three-hour forest bathing walk which ends with a tea ceremony consisting of brew created from local plants.

 

Powys Wales

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Canopy and Stars are glamping specialists who’ve launched a collection of forest sites centred on the practice of Shinrin-yoku. They offer meditation, spiritual healing and reiki sessions by skilled local practitioners. Eco Retreats by Canopy and Stars, supplies a forest teepee set within a secluded valley for prolonged sessions of forest bathing.

 

Cornwall

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Lost Meadow in Cornwall is another venture by Canopy & Stars where visitors stay in a sphere-shaped pod crafted in cedar, balanced in the trees, overlooking a river and 20 secluded acres of forest. The pod sleeps two and provides a wooden staircase where you’ll share your room with songbirds and owls!

 

Lanarkshire

 

The Falls of Corra Linn. Image by itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 

The Falls of Clyde reserve provides sublime forest bathing settings. The tranquil enclosing environment teems with families of badger, otters, and over a 100 species of bird. Take a peaceful walk along any of the well-marked forest trails and enjoy four impressive waterfalls that flow through the neighbourhood. Nearby, you’ll find the New Lanark World Heritage – an 18th village, resting on the banks of the river Clyde.

 

Devon

 

Horner Wood, Devon. Image by benny.photo on Instagram

 

Horner Wood is considered one of the most extensive and most picturesque oak woods in the UK. The site was once a place for foraging firewood, winter food and creating tools yet today it contains a profusion of ancient oaks that offer ideal conditions for deer, warblers and a host of forest birds.

 

Olive

 

If Devon is your destination, then Olive is your van! She is a 2015 Type 2 Bay VW Campervan and one of the final VW campervans to be made by the Volkswagen group. Powered by a modern water-cooled engine, Olive is a four-seat van.  She’s got two single seats at the front and a bench seat in the rear that folds down to make a double bed. In the pop-up roof is another double bed. She’s lovingly fitted with a fridge, cooker and cooking utensils, mood lighting, and is excellent with storage space!

 

The New Forest

 

New Forest, England. Image by tobycowellphotography on Instagram

 

Unchanged since the era of William the Conqueror, The New Forest was once the hunting grounds of for royalty. Miles and miles of ancient forest are ready for exploration via foot or cycle, and you’ll find numerous serene glades for meditation and peacefulness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hit the smallest town in Britain and enjoy its quirky contests!

March 7th, 2019

 

Image by martinparrstudio on Instagram

 

Though small, the community of Llanwrtyd Wells is known for its big personality and unquestionable peculiarity. Set in mid-Powys, the town claims to be the smallest in Britain with a population of approximately 850 however there are smaller hamlets like Fordwich in Kent. What sets Llanwrtyd Wells apart from similar villages are the big ideas and bizarre sporting events that take place each year.

 

The town may have launched as a market town within the region. Market towns were sites that consistently arranged markets and were consequently presented with town status. This helped the township to establish market regulations and establish a committee to direct operations. Later on,  the town gained a standing as a spa town owing to the discovery of mineral waters however health tourism declined following the Victorian era. Sheep farming was an inadequate means of living and the locals banded together to determine a new attraction! Bog snorkelling was born and in 1985, the first World Bog Snorkelling Championships were held in Llanwrtyd.

 

While that may sound absolutely entertaining, you’re probably wondering why we’re drawn to such a modest town. Here’s why!

 

Hike, bike and walk!

 

The town rests amid the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons National Park, is one of the darkest places in Britain and a certified International Dark Skies Park plus you’re in 25-mile proximity to the Elan Valley Estate. The town is considered a mecca for walkers, pony trekker, cyclist, hikers and amateur astronomers!

 

Views, wildlife and history!

 

Explore the region surrounding the community of Llanwrtyd and you’ll stumble across ancient standing stones, once bustling Roman roads, petite chapels, teeny churches, captivating scenery and an abundance of wildlife including rare red squirrels!

 

Nourishing ambience and delightful edibles!

 

You’ll enjoy the town’s warm, old-world allure enclosed by impressive mountain vistas. Llanwrtyd contains a surprisingly large array of eateries ranging from the Michelin Guide recommended Carlton Riverside restaurant to cosy pubs like the Neuadd Arms which contains a microbrewery and the pubs’ landlord dreamt up the Man vs. Horse Marathon!

 

I’m interested in quirky events!

 

Image by susie_chan_ on Instagram

 

So are we!  The Alternative Games are held from the 11-27 of August and comprises of 67 events ranging from gravy-wrestling to wife carrying. Open to anyone over the age of 16, the events contain child-friendly activities like egg throwing! The most famed of these mad events is perhaps bog snorkelling and Man vs. Horse Marathon! Scheduled for the 25th of August 2019, The World Bog Snorkelling Championship has progressed from a local event to a global championship attracting competitors from across the globe and comprises of international, senior, junior, and women’s classes. The Whole Earth Man vs. Horse Marathon was the whacky idea of a landlord who listened in on the conversation of two customers. One gentleman suggested that man was an equivalent competitor to a horse when covering a sizeable distance across the countryside and Landlord Gordon Green promptly decided that the challenge should be investigated and established the first public event in 1980! The prize for beating a horse in 2019 is presently £3,000 however it’s been eleven years since a man or woman has won!

 

How do I pronounce Llanwrtyd Wells?

 

The opening Welsh Ll sounds very much like “chy” while the letter W sounds similar to the letter U so you’ll enunciate it as Chyan’-urr-ted!

 

If we’ve captured your interest, make use of Camperbugs extensive motorhome and campervan hire options for your visit to Llanwrtyd Wells! Take a look at our Powys campervan hire where you’ll find beautiful, functional vans like Wilder!

 

Wilder is a smashing T5, equipped for wild camping! He’ll comfortably sleep 2-3 passengers and comes fitted with valuable features like a pull-out awning, a solar panel to power the lights and fridge, a gas hob plus a solar shower for the roof.  Speak to Wilder’s owners for reservations and the pick-up location!

 

 

Wilder!