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A Life More...

Since we began in 2010 we’ve helped 200,000 people (and about 9,000 dogs) get out and discover a life more wild. They’ve come back to share stories as diverse as restorative baths in the trees, life-changing local encounters and emergency homemade wellies. Not just a life more wild, a life more them. We also gave you the chance to win a few stories of your own at The Linhay in Devon, Cheriton Treehouse in Somerset and Atkinson Grimshaw in Yorkshire. This competition closed at the end of February and the winner was Anna from Bristol. 

A Life More... You

kris

When you’re as insanely busy as Kris, you need to relax as hard as you work. Her tireless campaigning for Coppafeel, the breast cancer awareness charity she founded in 2009, can be exhausting. Having already stayed with us six times, she thought she’d seen it all when it came to amazing outdoor places to destress, but the leafy refuge of Woodsman’s Treehouse was a revelation even to an experienced treehouse dweller. “I spent two nights in one of the most beautifully crafted treehouses I have ever stayed in (and I’ve stayed in a fair few). Being in the woods, with my friend Lou, far away from stinky humans, getting wrinkly in the tub, sweating by the fire, listening to the birds and woodland critters, and generally giving my brain a good ol’ switch off was just what i needed. I don’t mean to brag, but I slept so damn well.”

Live a life more Kris and soak out your stress in a hot tub.

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robincarol

This is one for the unstoppable adventurers. 70-year olds Robin and Carol have stayed in jungle lodges in the Americas, hill tribe huts in Thailand and been pulled by huskies to wilderness cabins in Lapland. They’ve even hired a horse-drawn carriage and trotted their way round Ireland. So when it came to their 52nd anniversary, they were never going to have a quiet night in. After celebrating in a wooden ball dangling from the trees in Cornwall, they told us, with the understatement of true outdoor people, “although the weather could have been better, we really enjoyed the novelty of staying in the treepod. After 52 years of marriage we are soul mates anyway but the Tree Pod's size certainly meant we were physically very close!”  

Live a life more Robin & Carol at some of our most out there, adventurous spaces.

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You can trust kids to see the magic in everything, as Russell discovered when he took the family to Turners Woodland Suite. His two daughters walked the tiny kune kune pigs, lured the dog onto the swinging chair and the eldest got right into her whittling. He thought the one stumbling block might be the outdoor shower, but how wrong he was. “This is in December, so it’s pretty freezing, but they were determined to use it. So they ran up the ramp, because the shower is halfway up a tree... The water comes out of a kettle with holes punched in the bottom and drips down through the gaps in the planking. While the girls are screeching and running about above, the dog’s going berserk trying to catch all the drips underneath. It was brilliant chaos.” Who said magic moments have to be quiet anyway?

Live a life more Wilkinsons at our magical family-friendly places.

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Beth & Johnny

Beth & Johnny joined our Rewild your Relationship weekend needing a little space to reflect on expecting their first child after their long journey through IVF. They told us how time outdoors had helped make the road more manageable and that the weekend gave them a chance to think about how far they’d come. “Getting time in nature helped a great deal during fertility treatment - it made the whole emotional process so much calmer. On [the Rewild your Relationship] weekend we had a moment where we were sharing our answers to the question, ‘if you could wave a magic wand, what would you change in your life?’ We both realised the magic wand moment had already happened when we’d found out we were expecting! It was so moving to have the space to slow down and let that sink in.”

Live a life more Beth & Johnny at our calming spaces for two.

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ellienick

When bee-mad Ellie visited Humble Bee, it was an unmissable opportunity for some pure giggling fun. As Ellie explains, “I’ve been obsessed with bees since my teenage years and my husband has totally bought into it since we’ve been together. We got given our stay in Humble Bee as a wedding gift and I had the bee outfit from my hen weekend, where we all dressed as a whole swarm. It was just too much of a good opportunity. So I dusted off the inflatable bee costume, dressed my husband as a 'keeper' and went buzzing around that human-sized hive. We laughed and laughed all weekend. We’d not done anything like it before, but maybe this is the start of something! I just love those fuzzy bumbling things. Although, ironically… I absolutely hate honey.”

Live a life more Ellie & Nick (costumes optional) at some of our most fun spaces.

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lifemoresophie

Story number six of our guest adventures is a tale of ingenious survival in the wild… sort of. Beauty Director of Elle Magazine Sophie Beresiner told us what happened when an impulse dash out of the city was a little too rushed. “My friend Kate and I LOVE a spontaneous weekend away to chill out, reconnect, explore some new surroundings and drink wine with a blanket and a movie. Whenever I go away and stay somewhere interesting I just feel fulfilled, relaxed and recalibrated. We were at Big Box in the middle of some beautiful farmland so we went rambling, only I didn't pack for it. We found this amazing honesty bar by a lake. The ground was really wet and marshy so I had to tie plastic bags over my trainers to negotiate the mud. It worked too. Nothing was going to get between me and the bar.”

Escape the city and test your own survival skills at our places two hours from London.

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robgwyn

Our home has solar heating to reduce our reliance on the grid and we lobby our local council and MP to influence them to be more active. Even so, we were surprised by how eco-friendly the Den was! Built and heated using responsibly sourced wood, a compost-heated shower hot enough for a good wash a day and the compost loo - fascinating and efficient, with no smell at all. We strongly believe that action to reduce our impact on the environment is needed now, not in several years’ time, and that people power is the only way to make this happen. We find going off grid as much as possible is incredibly refreshing and restorative. Staying somewhere like Den by the Stream really opens you up to the potential, and the joy, of off-grid life.”

Live a life more Rob and Gwyn and get a taste of eco living at some of our off-grid spaces. 

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milo

The last of our guest stories is about how we can all learn a new trick from an old dog. Tina, and her dog Milo, show us how to get the most from your outdoor time.  “Milo comes everywhere with us. He's part of the family. We’ve been all over Europe and he loves holidays as much as we do, so if places don't allow dogs we just can't stay there! We live in town so it's great for him to have space. Canopy & Stars holidays are really dog friendly. We've been so lucky to find such amazing places to stay. We all love nature and being able to stay in such beautiful settings. We've seen wildlife that we would never have the opportunity to see staying in hotels. Milo likes the freedom of the great outdoors and he loves water, so if there's a stream or a lake it’s even better. He even learnt to swim this summer at Terre et Toi in France! He usually sleeps for a week after a break. He's had so much fun, he's completely exhausted.” 

Live a life more Milo at our 200+ dog friendly spaces.