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The Big Wide Open

Inspired by the Another Place experience, travel writer Oliver Berry takes us on a rallying wander through ‘free air life’, healing nature, the feel-good rewards of the new, viewing the world through a different lens and the timeless delight of coming inside to a welcoming space…

The wonder of wildness

overlooking ullswater

“In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

In the summer of 1845, when Henry David Thoreau set out to live in his little 10’ by 15’ cabin by the shores of Walden Pond, he can have had no idea how his ideas would resonate 175 years later. For Thoreau, the idea was to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life”. He wanted to explore his own capacity for self-reliance, to strip away the fripperies of civilised society and, above all, to immerse himself in the natural world.


fells Ryan lomas
ullswater cumbria

The shock of the new

There’s another idea in Walden that seems prescient: the importance of trying new things. In a year where our capacity for travel has been greatly reduced, the desire to see somewhere different and to experience the unexpected has felt more powerful (and more precious) than ever.


ullswater streamer

“We are curious, restless beings that have evolved to test our limits and seek out new experiences. It’s in our DNA.”

Thoughts from Another Place

Trying new things is a fundamental part of the Another Place experience.


winter wild swimming ullswater

The consolation of solitude

“His daily Teachers had been Woods and Rills,

The silence that is in the starry sky,

The sleep that is among the lonely hills.”

William Wordsworth, Song, at the Feast of Brougham Castle

Throughout history, adventurers, writers, poets and artists have recognised the value of solitude – how time spent far from the madding crowd can free up the mind and expand the imagination. In his recent book, Outpost, writer Dan Richards took the idea to its outer limits, travelling around the world in search of the most remote places that humans have made shelter, from Russian coal mining towns in the frozen wastes of Svalbard to fire lookouts in the forested peaks of the Cascade Mountains.


sunrise over ullswater

Gimme shelter

hotel swimming pool ullswater

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

The relationship between nature and architecture is an idea that’s gained huge ground in recent years, as reflected by the success of books (and hashtags) like Cabin Porn, which tap into our innate human desire to escape the urban environment for something altogether simpler and closer to nature.


the hotel library
lake view hotel bedroom ullswater

Book your stay and get outdoors