Looking at OS Maps and staying up into the early hours on Google Earth, using a computer screen to fly over canals and lakes, looking for anything that resembled a tent or caravan. Once a dozen sites had been saved in my favourites, I’d head off for a long weekend of camping, sometimes driving all night to explore the area by day.
Within four years I’d discovered a few thousand campsites and I finally realised that there were so many that I didn’t need to worry about keeping them secret any longer. From the Gold Coast of County Waterford to the dunes of North Devon, from the Norfolk Broads to the turquoise waters of the Outer Hebrides and the Pembrokeshire path – Britain and Ireland are teeming with great spots to camp by water.
And the best news of all is that the list just keeps growing and getting better. Every time I get the map out, more campsites have appeared.