Anglepoised Notes

When you get to your wild place, who will you meet there?

There is an undertow to our yearning for wilderness that feels less comfortable. When you get to your wild place, who will you meet there? Whose hospitality will you call upon? Well, usually no one’s, because the point of much wilderness writing, it seems, is to celebrate a yearning not just for wild places, but for wild places without any people in them. Is there a misanthropic edge to our national passion for wilderness writing and wilderness travel? We would like to start a counter-movement. Rather than escaping to the forests of the Highlands, park your car at Matalan and have a walk around the edgelands woods. This has the added advantage that you won’t die of exposure if you take a wrong turn. And if we must visit mountains, let’s make sure there’s always a café near the summit, so we can have a drink and enjoy the company of our fellow travellers. Snowdon has already taken this bold step. Now all we need is a Premier Inn on the top of Ben Nevis and a Little Chef on Scafell Pike. Let the campaign begin.

Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, Edgelands

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Paul Love

Written by Paul Love who lives and works in Edinburgh building useful things.