Parts & Accessories

On the edge of a cliff face on the 'Big Outdoor Adventure'

08th October 2020 | Marcus Leach
‘Whatever you do, don’t look down.’

These are the last words you want to hear when suspended from a sheer cliff face hundreds of feet above the valley floor below, least of all when all that’s attaching you to the cliff are two small carabiners and you’re faced with the prospect of unclipping one of them to begin the manoeuvre around a sharp edge that juts out into nothingness.
Marcus and Nick climbing the Honister Slate Mine Via Feratta course

It’s at this precise moment I am reminded of the lyrics from Baz Luhrmann’s song ‘Everybody’s Free’. No, not the ones about wearing sunscreen, but rather the bit about doing something every day that scares you. I’m certainly doing just that, having spent the past hour well beyond the edge off my comfort zone, and am now faced with the most challenging section of the Honister Slate Mine Via Feratta course, and despite the earlier words of warning, I can’t help but look down.

I instantly regret doing so, for it reminds me just how precarious my position is, the road that climbs up Honister Pass is little more than a tiny thin ribbon down below. I take a deep breathe, compose myself and slowly unclip one of the carabiners before reaching around the edge of the rock to find the next safety wire to reattach it to. Despite the ever-present knot of fear in the pit of my stomach, I eventually make it to the end of the course, closely followed by Nick (Bailey’s very own Managing Director, Nick Howard), who looks as if we have just had a gentle stroll in the hills.

Nearing the end of their climb in the Lake District

We’d come to the Lake District with two main aims; to showcase the joy and safety of travelling in a motorhome, as well as highlighting some of the best outdoor adventure activities the region has to offer. Over the course of the four days we spent together, in which time we climbed, hiked, cycled and swam throughout the Lakes, both Nick and myself came to the same conclusion; we all need to spend more time exploring the UK, for it has so much to offer. I think we can all be too quick to look further afield for destinations to travel in our motorhomes, myself included, and in doing so neglect what is right in front of us.

Marcus and Nick prepare for their final adventure activity, the big climb

This was my second visit to the Lakes this summer, the first being with Kim, Harrison and Dorothy during our Big British Adventure, and on both occasions I have been reminded that with the right weather there are few places in the UK that are as beautiful. It’s home to some of the most scenic landscapes in the UK, ranging from great mountain passes and craggy ridges to bottle-green valleys, omnipresent lakes and quintessentially English villages and hamlets. It was here that William Wordsworth wrote some of the greatest poetry ever written and another literary great, Beatrix Potter, was born.

For those who see little appeal in hanging off the side of a cliff, which is perfectly understandable, the Lakes is home to a variety of walks and cycling routes at all levels, and there are numerous little villages and towns where one can while away a few hours wondering the quaint streets and enjoying a leisurely tea and cake stop. Overseas travel will, for the foreseeable future, be difficult at best, and so there’s no better time to start looking closer to home for new experiences, and in the Lakes, we have one of the most perfect corners of the world to explore.

Marcus, Kim, Harrison and Dorothy during their Big British Adventure,

I have been fortunate enough to travel fairly extensively since the end of the national lockdown, and have realised that with the right precautions and sensible approach there is actually no safer way to travel than in a motorhome. At no stage of our travels as a family have we ever felt unsafe, knowing we are self-sufficient in carrying all we need and complete with our ‘Covid cupboard’.

Let’s make this the time we all focus on discovering what makes Britain so great.

Autograph 74-4 parked up in the Lake District