Guest Post by Stephen Neale, Author of Camping by the Waterside
Picture this. It’s dusk and you’re walking alone over the top of a plateau. Everywhere is a hazy shade of winter-green. Wood pigeons swivel and glide on the fog. They wait until they’re well past before igniting their wings. You look up briefly, and your collar catches the cold.
A small coppice sits half way down the hillside in the mist. The sun is falling fast. Just beneath the jagged horizon is the outline of a beautiful, blue lake. It’s speaking to you like a discarded 50 pence coin in a jar full of copper, but the message is muffled. Either way you decide it’s time to set up camp.
Now here’s the question. Exactly where would you camp for the night? Down by the lake? In the coppice of trees? Or here, high on the plateau, overlooking the lake? It’s tough isn’t it. Personally, I’d go down. I’m not sure about you. You might like the shelter of the trees, or the higher view from the ridge. Either way, I know this. You probably wouldn’t go and camp without the view or access to the lake, because like most people, you’re drawn to water. You want to be near it, to see it, to contemplate it. And that’s what Camping by the Waterside is about. Trying to decipher those muffled messages from the wonderful, watery outback in UK and Ireland.
I used to think that campsites beside water were a rarity. I started looking for them on Google Earth, staying up until late at night, flying over rivers and canals, and around the coast, looking for tents and caravans. After two years, I’d found more than 1,000 sites.
If you’re a camper wanting to find camps by water, you can do one of three things.
1) visit my website http://www.camponwater.com
2) buy my book, which lists about 140 of my favourites
3) go find your own
Finding your own is a lot of fun. I’m just back from Wales, finding new sites by harbours, quaysides, rivers, canals…
Stephen’s new book Camping by the Waterside publishes today! order your copy and start to discover some of the best campsites in Britain and Ireland.