Posted on: May 17, 2020 Posted by: Caspar Barnes Comments: 2

A vast, gaping expanse of opportunity stretches before us. The Summer. The potential to go abroad, to festivals, parties and weddings – all the while making merry with your pals late into the night. Right?

Wrong. Due to unforeseen circumstances it would appear that the 2020 summer social calendar has been written off. Especially if you’re a schoolchild, whose immediate future plans of unfettered Fortnite have been snatched away in lieu of imminent transportation back to school.

“A small price to pay for the sweet release from our pink scaly complexion”

However, summer still remains a glorious time where we can remove the woolly jumpers, recline outside and ionise our skin cells to our hearts’ content. A small price to pay for the sweet release from our pink scaly complexion. But sunning yourself on the local patch, daydreaming about plans for 2021 just won’t do. We must live in the here and now. 

So, get your hands on a newspaper and for God’s sake get your head out of the business section (you furloughed ferret). Instead, turn yourself over to the often-abandoned-cum-barbecue-starter that is the Travel section. Here you will find a wealth of ideas to inspire your incubated, dwindling horizons.

Safe-escapes are in. Yurts, treehouses and shepherd’s huts are all making a resurgence thanks to the joys of self check-in. Now you can create your own cocoon of womb-like tranquillity under a canopy of stars, surrounded by the infinite expanses of the greatly-missed great outdoors. 

Apparently, the United Kingdom is home to 15 jaw-droppingly attractive National Parks. These are equally dispersed throughout the land so that everyone gets a go. By visiting the Lake District, Dartmoor or The Broads, you can actually consent to having your breath taken away this summer. 

The UK is home to 15 National Parks

Infected Britain is placed pretty high on the naughty list of global travel destinations this year. Those rare, daring travellers who continue to select the United Kingdom as their vacation destination will be treated to world-famous British hospitality upon arrival. 14 days of forced isolation.

This provides a wealth of opportunity for those already stuck on the island. You can explore the sights unencumbered by the crowds of flashing tourists! Beaches might be a tough sell. Batting away social-distancing transgressors with a lengthy ruler isn’t that relaxing. The restriction riddled museums won’t do either.

So, why not undertake your very own landmark tour of Britain. See if Stonehenge, Durdle Door and Hadrian’s Wall look any different from the postcards. Who knows, you might even be able to filch a few rocks as a souvenir. 

If the hotels remain closed and you’re struggling for places to stay, impose on any family you have dotted around the place. As coolly highlighted in Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm, “no limits are set, either by society or one’s own conscience, to the amount one may impose on one’s relatives”. Fabulous. 

If you’re struggling on the relatives front, just grab a tent, pick a patch and dine al fresco, as if you were in the vineyards of Tuscany. Now, more than ever, you have an opportunity to explore your own homeland.

By Caspar Barnes


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Alasdair Findlay-Shirras
Alasdair Findlay-Shirras
6 months ago

Dear Caspar,
Here is your first comment!
1. Are you planning a summer of nature’s
luxury?
2. Did you paint that lovely landscape too?
I have learned (sort of) life drawing and have started Gaelic, but have hit a wall there. My last lesson tomorrow.
Hope family well.
Hope to Zoom them v soon

All the best

Alasdair

Caspar Barnes (@CWDBarnes)

Hello Alasdair,

Wonderful comment, thank you.

1. For my summer, I’m refreshing http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk to try and find the perfect Shepard’s hut.

2. Unfortunately, the lovely landscape was painted in 1786, so as far as I am aware I cannot take responsibility for its creation.

Gaelic sounds brilliant, nude life drawing even better.

I will be imposing on you soon.