Nature

Extreme Sleeps

Wake up to some of the most pristine and spectacular views in the world.
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Extreme sleeping is quite simply camping out, away from defined sites, sometimes under canvas but often not – when nature provides the shelter for you. It’s completely exhilarating and you get to wake up to some of the most pristine and spectacular views in the world.

It's also designed for the Instagram generation and extreme sleepers from around the world are trying to outdo themselves by spending the night on cliff edges or even renovated sewage pipes.

You don’t need to go this far but there is a certain joy in packing light and then finding your perfect spot for some shut eye. Of course, in between extreme sleeps it’s also nice to find a comfortable bed for the night and wake up to a hearty breakfast.

Here’s a few ideas about where you could go for your extreme sleeping experience.

Where: Cairngorms, Scotland
What: Tent-free camping under a massive boulder

Deep in Scotland’s most eastern National Park are the sprawling mammoth mountains of the Cairngorms. Forget hills. These are called ‘Highlands’ for a reason. Accessed most easily from the town of Aviemore, this place becomes busy in the winter when skiers descend to enjoy the icy slopes.

The area is an abundance of nature, and the Cairngorms National Park offers the jaded traveller mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs, wildlife hotspots and friendly villages to feast their eyes on. If you want to enjoy countryside in all its true majesty then it really is the place to go. It’s also nice to take a break and sample some genuine Scottish whisky at one of the many distilleries close by.

Shelter Stone is a giant boulder in a valley accessible only by foot. It’ll take you several hours to reach but certainly worth it. Here the sandy edge of Loch A’an greets those persistent enough to come here. Being held up by large rocks, whilst storms rage outside, makes you feel like a part of those great mountains and just a tiny bit like a real expeditioner.

The softer option: If you’d prefer a squishy mattress to a rocky bed, then check out the delights of the Cairngorms from a comfy base at Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa or Best Western Plus Inverness Lochardil House Hotel. Both are in Inverness, offering all creature comforts close to the great outdoors.

Where: Dartmoor, England
What: Spotting big cats in the most southerly National Park

Blame Sherlock Holmes – he started it with The Hound of the Baskervilles, a tale of a ferocious creature that lurked on the moorland hunting for prey. Since then, wild places have been synonymous with dangerous beasts and Dartmoor is no exception. In past years it’s been something of a hot spot for Big Cat sightings.

Arriving early evening in Autumn can be scary. Thick velvety darkness wraps you up in its shadow like blanket. Owl hoots startling you as you begin a night walk with more light from the moon breaking through the darkness the higher you climb.

Waking the next morning expect clouds hanging in the air over the villages below, while the sun emerges from the hills beyond, erupting like a beacon of early auburn light. Luckily, Big Cats are rare sights. There are only perfect panoramic views to enjoy while the world sleeps below.

If you own a bicycle then Dartmoor is an area where you can take off the brakes and pedal without constraints on one of the many routes that cut through the hills. It’s a great way to appreciate a landscape dotted with mysterious tors and flowing rivers.

You might even hear the distant rat-a-ta-tat of guns as the moors are often used as a firing range of the army and is a regular training ground for soldiers looking to build up their survival skills. Don’t  worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone.

If extreme sleeping is too much and you’d prefer a nice peaceful night to cosy up after a day out exploring, then head off to a Best Western hotel near Dartmoor National Park. We’ve got a number of hotels situated at different points around this national treasure at Dartmouth, Exeter and Torquay.

Stay near Dartmouth: Best Western The Dartmouth Hotel Golf & Spa

Stay near Exeter: Best Western Exeter Lord Haldon Country Hotel

Stay near Torquay: Best Western Livermead Cliff Hotel

Okay, who’s feeling sleepy?

Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park
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