My Yorkshire - Weekend TV presenter Jamie Coulson reveals his passion for the outdoor life
PUBLISHED: 08:33 18 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 20 February 2013
TV presenter Jamie Coulson reveals his passion for camping, trekking and wild swimming in the Dales (and why only shortcrust pie lids will do)
The nature of my job means that I can be working every hour God sends during the run of the programme. And, unfortunately, my shifts rarely coincide with those of my partner Amanda, who reads the news on BBC Look North. So when we do get a weekend off together, we like to make the most of every minute. For us, that means packing up our camping gear and heading off to the Dales.
Gordale Scar campsite is a real favourite. Its not too far from Leeds just an hour and a bit but you feel like youre in the middle of nowhere. The scenery is absolutely jaw-dropping. You can travel every inch of the Dales and not find anywhere nearly as beautiful.
Our jobs regularly bring us into contact with the more depressing side of life, so the Dales are our escape. They help put everything back into perspective.
Amanda was very much a five-star luxury girl before she met me, but she throws herself into camping now. Weve learned through experience that we still need some basic home comforts though, like comfy pillows, deckchairs and a barbecue.
The first night in a tent is always strange. Youve swapped four walls for flimsy canvas so the weather, the wildlife and your neighbours feel like theyre virtually in your sleeping bag with you. But you soon start to see the benefits the freedom and the beauty and the fantastic feeling you get from sleeping in the freshest of fresh air.
A camping trip lives or dies by the weather. Weve had weekends when weve not been able to get out of the tent. But when the weathers good, Saturday is walking day. I love to walk all day if I can, but Amanda likes to stick to five or six miles.
We can walk up Ingleborough, have sandwiches at the top and get back down again in just two and a half hours. For me, its the greatest of the Yorkshire peaks. It just looks like a mountain should look. When you get to the top you feel like youve really achieved something.
At the end of the day I like a pub with a roaring fire, a selection of local guest ales, a big welcome and big portions. I look at the menu to be polite but its got to be steak and ale pie every time. And its got to be shortcrust pastry, not one of your flimsy puff pastry lid things. I want a proper shortcrust pie that looks like someones been labouring over it.
Sunday is for wild swimming in Janets Foss just a short walk from the campsite. It has a waterfall and a plunge pool I dont plunge though, I edge my way in slowly. Its absolutely freezing and feels like death by 1,000 cuts.
I love swimming in a pool, but wild swimming is completely different. Its not about practicing your strokes, its just about enjoying the water.
Then its back home for a curry. All the best weekends end with a chicken madras, a plain naan, a sheek kebab and, if Im feeling particularly greedy, an onion bhaji.
Jamies programme, Inside Out, returns to BBC One at 7.30pm on October 18th.