Embrace the Outdoors for a Wholesome Holiday this Summer
Get the most out of summer by adopting traditional Swedish pursuits for a more wholesome holiday experience. From wild swimming to cycling, Contura lifestyle experts provide a guide to staycationing Swedish-style.
With summer holidays finally upon us, Contura has some wholesome holiday advice for Brits that have chosen to staycation in favour of battling teeming beaches and endless lathering of factor fifty.
Swedes typically study and work hard, whilst always ensuring they make time for rest and relaxation. Take note from one of the happiest nations on the planet and disconnect from the daily grind by opting for a simpler summer this year.
Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at Swedish wood-burning stove company, Contura, describes how the Swedish summer is heavily centred around coming back to nature and sharing quality time with loved ones.
“Exploring the outdoors and connecting with nature is really beneficial to your health, both mentally and physically,” explains Catharina. “In summer, Swedish people can often be found hiking across our national parks, adventuring through forests or across mountainous landscapes, dining al fresco, watching the stars, and sharing their outdoor ‘bedroom’ with resident wildlife. A break disconnected from the business of the hectic day-to-day is key to a happier and more positive outlook.”
Read on for Catharina’s full tips on how to embrace a more wholesome Swedish-style summer break.
The Right of Public Access
A law unique to the Swedish Constitution is ‘Allemansrätten’, or the ‘Right of Public Access.’ Allemansrätt literally translates as “everyman’s right” and allows everyone in Sweden to hike, swim, ski, ride, cycle and camp for up to two nights, on any land.
Camping is a natural way to spend time in nature, but in the UK it’s best to stick with approved campsites to avoid any issues. To camp on all other land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, permission must be granted by the landowner first – and this includes National Parks.
Notable exceptions include Scotland and Dartmoor National Park in Devon, where camping is permitted for up to two nights. If you want to stick with campsites, Pitch Up allows you to search thousands across the country, with user reviews to help you decide on the best site for your preferred style of camping.
Wild swimming is hugely popular across Scandinavia, with enticing crystal-clear waters offering the perfect way to cool off during the hot summer days. Take the plunge with a refreshing dip in a river, lake, pond or the sea for the ultimate wild swimming experience. If you’re city-bound, see if there is a local Lido, outdoor pool or pond close by. Check out this Wild Swimming website for details on a location near you. Do like the Swedes and take a picnic to enjoy a full day by the water with friends and family.
Studies have shown that being among nature is good for our physical and mental health, with exposure to fresh air and exercise being one of the simplest ways to boost our mood. Forest Bathing is a popular trend, drawing upon the therapeutic powers of nature to reduce stress and feel a sense of wellbeing. Feel connected to the natural environment by taking a woodland stroll, cycle or run, leaving phones switched off to feel truly immersed in the Great Outdoors.
Traditional red cabins can be found dotted around the Swedish countryside, nestled deeply in the forest, high in the mountains or close to beaches or lakes. There is nothing quite like sitting on the porch of a cottage or cabin, taking in the sights and sounds of nature, and enjoying spectacular views. Forest Holidays has woodland cabins, lodges and treehouses set deep in UK woodland, the perfect place from which to explore the nearby forests, mountains and lakes.
Dotted around the feet of towering Swedish Spruce trees is a plethora of fungi, berries and herbs that are free to forage for eagle-eyed explorers. Gathering wild produce is a great way to enjoy a day in nature, especially with the prospect of heaped baskets at the end of the day.
In the UK, blackberrying is a time-honoured tradition in the countryside and a wonderful way to create your own jam. Late August and early September is the best time for blackberries when brambles are in full blooms; stick with dark purple berries for the tastiest berries. Wash thoroughly and create a simple jam to use throughout the year – delicious with scones, sandwiches and cakes.
Light the campfire
Swedes can often be found sitting around the campfire in the evening, reflecting on the day’s adventures. Dusk is the perfect time to light up a campfire, but check it is safe to do so and ensure you have permission from the landowner. Fires should be kept small and contained, so as not to harm nearby animals or the environment. Build a fire by stacking dry twigs and kindling as the bottom layer, adding small logs to form a triangle shape. Ensure the fire is fully extinguished before departing.
For more information on Contura, visit www.contura.eu
For more information on Swedish Midsummer, visit www.visitsweden.com/midsummer
Notes to editors:
Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
Sources detailed in footnotes.
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Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu
 With the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of dwelling houses (up to 150m), nature reserves and farmland.