If there was one thing I learned from 2020, it was to make the most of every single moment available to you in the pursuit of your outdoors passion, as there could always be another lockdown lurking around the corner.
Despite the UK government’s cautious but optimistic roadmap to emerge from lockdown, nothing is set in stone. In fact this morning I learned that one of the music festivals I work at every year has, again, been postponed until 2022.
Fortunately, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, kayak-camping is both social distance friendly, and offers a great opportunity to staycation for those whose hopes of a summer foreign holiday have been dashed. Now that stay at home and stay local recommendations have been lifted, we can – albeit diligently and sensibly – emerge from our bubbles and brush off the paddle and hammock once more. For now.
I’ll be kicking off the season with a paddle down the River Wey in Surrey, from Godalming to Weybridge (not far from where I live in Walton-onThames).
I’m also preparing a trip down the River Medway Canoe Trail, which should take a couple of days with an opportunity to wild-camp in the beautiful Kent countryside.
The River Lea is also on my list which promises a wonderful contrast of rural and urban paddling.
Later in the year – travel restrictions permitting – I hope to explore some of my home country, Wales. This will take in some coastal paddling where I grew up in Porthcawl, and also another life long dream – to paddle the River Wye. The Wye is seen as something of a jewel in the crown of UK canoe trails, and I’m more than just a little bit excited!
There’ll be lots of new things for me to learn on the way, both in the boat and at camp (and lots of new kit to buy and show off!). Everything will be documented fastidiously on this blog and my YouTube channel of course.
One thing is for sure, I won’t be taking this summer for granted. It is no coincidence that most of the trails I am planning are relatively close to home; I don’t want to plan anything too far-a-field only to have to cancel (yet again) in the event of another surge.
How lucky we are in the UK that wherever we are, we are never far from a peaceful paddle on a handsome waterway.