Wild Woods


2021 TBC
The Lakes
Natural Movement & Bushcraft
6-14 Places

A celebration of trees – We are thrilled to host Ben Medder from Evolve, Move, Play, who will be mentoring you in the art of arboreal locomotion from tree-running, climbing and vaulting, to brachiation. Camping in suspended  Tentsile tree-tents, learning the art of axemanship and knifecraft, fire by friction, tracking, forage woodland wild food, cooking on wood fires, and banqueting on spit-roast venison, and learning about the individual tree species themselves, from lore to uses. Evenings will be spent unwinding at a luxury 4* spa before retiring to the campfire circle. 





  • Days: Fri PM – Thurs PM (6 Nights)
  • Location: Lake District, England
  • Food & Accommodation: Fully catered and includes camping fees
  • Activity: Bushcraft & Natural Movement
  • Group Size: 6-14 (Av.10)
  • Physical Rating: Med
  • 2021 Dates: TBC
  • Venue: Armathwaite Hall 4* Hotel & Spa


The Chinese refer to wood as the fifth element; join us for a five-day workshop celebrating this fifth element – living suspended in the canopy in Tentsile tree-tents for four nights and a final night in a 4* hotel, learning to move through the arboreal environment, from nimbly traveling on forest trails to actually climbing safely through the canopy, learning the art of shaping wood like axemanship and knifecraft, conjuring fire from wood by friction, learning to forage woodland wild food, dining on nutritious woodland based foods; like blossom tea to nut flour bread, cooking on wood fires, and banqueting on spit-roast venison, learning to recognise the tracks of woodland animals and most importantly, learning about the individual tree species themselves, from lore to uses. Evenings will be spent unwinding at the spa before retiring to the campfire circle.

“The Stone Age should more accurately be called the Wood Age, because most of the tools made by ancient hunter-gathers were made of wood.” Yuval Noah Harari

Our intimate relationship with wood and trees is as old as our species; after all for the majority of our time on earth ‘sticks and stones’ have been our highest form of technology; we are inextricably linked, our high tech lifestyle born out of sticks and stones.

Wood has even helped shape our belief systems – from the stone-age rituals at Wood Henge to the ancient lore of the hazel tree in Celtic creation myths, to deities, like Odin hanging from a branch of Yggdrasil and Jesus on his hewn cross, wood has helped to granted us wisdom and given us faith.

Working from a Robin Hood style forest basecamp, camping in Tentsile tree-tents suspended from trunks below a high canopy, Woodsmoke has access to some of the finest tree climbing locations in the Lake District National Park, from majestic mature oaks to twisting groves of rhododendron. We are thrilled to host Ben Medder from Evolve, Move, Play, who will be mentoring you in the art of arboreal locomotion from tree-running, climbing and vaulting to brachiation.

“ To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed… (Woods) have become the guardians of our dreams of greenwood liberty, of our wildwood feral, childhood selves” – Roger Deakin

The days will be equally divided to develop mind, body and spirit – with lessons on ancestral movement strategies with the focus on climbing, physical strength, skill and dexterity, craft and cooking, knowledge and learning, and time to yourself to reflect, think and be creative, where you will be encouraged to sketch, journal, meditate or simple be in the forest.

Natural movement training, in context… actually out in nature, is proven to increase wellbeing and personal growth, from mental focus and a calmer mind, to leaner, stronger, more agile physiques.

So join us to intimately re-connect with nature through trees; living suspended in them, gracefully moving through them, feasting on woodland food – and through wood – learning to shape it, craft with it, split it, stack it, warm ourselves and cook on it. This five-day workshop, celebrating our connection with trees is a great way to begin un-domesticating yourself, to grow and to revert and embrace that feral, childhood self that lurks within us all.

Hosted in the stunning grounds of Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District, you will have daily access to the spa for an early morning swim and again each evening for a relax in the sauna or to chill in outdoor hot tub. On the final night of the course you will be treated to a delicious meal and a nights stay in the hotel itself.


  • Running forest trails
  • Vaulting
  • Branch balancing
  • Precision jumping
  • Limb crawling
  • Foot-pinch climbing
  • Toe-pinch climbing
  • Brachiation
  • Landing from height
  • Breakfalls
  • Joint integrity and mobility training
  • Natural Lifting
  • Breath training
  • Roughhousing
  • Natural Parkour
  • Friction fire lighting
  • Canopy camping
  • Axe skills
  • Knife craft
  • Making rope from bark
  • Tree Id
  • Wild food
  • Tracking
  • Baking and campfire cookery



  • This course is fully catered throughout.
  • It includes camping fees and any specialist equipment.
  • You will get a free sheath knife to keep.
  • We offer a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service from and to the nearest railway station at set times.

General Information

We will aim to cover the following –

Please click on the + symbols opposite to read about what you will learn each day.

On this course you will be wild camping in a tree tent with one night in a hotel. 

A complimentary pick-up and drop-off service is provided at the beginning and end of the course at a specified time for those arriving by train. This will either be from Penrith.


This course is fully catered and all meals will be provided whilst camping in the woods, from a light supper on the first night to lunch on the final day.
Pescatarian / Vegetarians are well catered for, but can Vegans and those with serious food intolerances (like celiac’s disease) please contact us to discuss your requirements, as you may be asked to bring some specialist food to supplement your diet.

Mains water is provided in clean jerry cans and are always available.

Minimum Age:
16, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Personal Insurance:
Whilst not essential, it is recommended that you have simple adventure travel insurance to cover yourself and your possessions whilst on this trip.

Wild Wood’s Clothing and Equipment Check List

Whilst tree tents will be provided you will still need to bring some basic camping kit with you.

Equipment checklist: 

  • Small day-sack
  • Sleeping bag, preferably 3 seasons
  • Self-inflating or closed-cell foam sleeping mat
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Small first aid kit, including plasters, blister kit, tweezers, foot powder and any personal medication, sanitary products you may need
  • Sun block and lip balm
  • Good insect repellent – there will probably be midges
  • Wash kit and towel, preferably containing biodegradable soap
  • Knife, fork and spoon
  • Mug, soup bowl & plate
  • Water bottle (s)
  • Camp towel (clean towels are provided for each spa visit)

Optional extras:

  • Camera
  • Spending money for a beer or glass of wine on the last night
  • Camp pillow (only for the hardcore)
  • Wet suit for lake swimming (20lt orange toe-floats provided)
  • Small karabiners – handy for hanging boots, bags, etc from tent

Please note: You do not need to bring your own knives or any other cutting tools, as you will be loaned a folding saw and axe when required. You will also be given a sheath knife to keep.

Clothing: Wilderness skills sessions; we recommend…

  • Waterproof and windproof Jacket
  • Warm top
  • Several long and short-sleeved T-shirts
  • Cargo trousers – strong, light and relatively fast drying
  • Sturdy walking boots and wool socks are advised
  • We’d also recommend one set of slightly smarter travel / civvy clothes for the last night.
  • Swimming costume (and goggles if you use them)

Physical skills sessions; we recommend…

  • Several long and short-sleeved T-shirts
  • Running / swimming shorts o Bouldering trousers or similar with free movement
  • Minimal footwear (like the Vivo Primus)

Course Travel & Delays:

How to get there: A detailed set of arrival instructions will be emailed before the course. The Virgin West Coast rail line means we can be reached by rail from London Euston in 3 hours on any day of the week. We run courses from four venues in the UK – so please ensure that you have received and printed the correct arrival information!

Very Important – Do not book any trains, transport or other accommodation until given the go-ahead by Wild Human, as the course needs a minimum number of participants in order to run.

Delays and Late arrivals:
Late arrivals will have to make their own way to the course venue. Wild Human will not be responsible for any costs incurred by late arrivals or late returns that are outside of our control.

Do I need prior experience? 

Not at all. If you enjoy being outdoors and are keen to learn – we will welcome your company. Although previous camping experience can be an advantage on the overnight courses, it is not essential. Some of our more advanced courses do have pre-requisites; please see course details.

Can I attend on my own? 

Yes! Our bushcraft courses are aimed at private individuals who have a passion to learn. Although some people attend in pairs or small groups, the vast majority of our groups are made up of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.

What about bad weather? 

Courses will run in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Bad weather makes learning the skills more challenging and harder to master, but you will be rewarded with a higher level of ability and a greater sense of achievement. The unpredictable weather in Britain makes it one of the best training grounds in which to learn bushcraft. In addition we have a large, light and airy, wood-stove heated geodesic dome, which we use for difficult weather conditions, out of season courses and craft workshops.

Sanitation & Hygiene –

Courses are run from an expedition-style base camp, this means that our toilet facilities are screened, covered latrines. We have used this system for the past 10 years of our teaching experience and find it to be the cleanest, most environmentally friendly and hygienic system. It is an essential part of wilderness living and you will be given clear instruction about latrine construction, considerations for wilderness travel and base camp life, and a few simple protocols about hygienic use upon arrival to base camp. In addition a basic, screened expedition gravity fed shower will be available for your use.

Terms & Conditions –

Before placing a booking, please take a moment to observe our uk terms & conditions of booking, particularly for our cancellation policy. We also highly recommend that you seek insurance against the unfortunate event that you should need to cancel your place unexpectedly – missed course bookings are not transferable.

I would like to cancel my course? 

If, for any reason you wish to cancel your course, please refer to our Terms & Conditions. You will not be offered a refund for any money for late cancellation, neither will you be offered a transferral of your money to another course. Please seek appropriate insurance against late cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances!

Can I attend from continental Europe and beyond? 

Many people travel from outside of the UK to attend our courses; often from continental Europe, but also from further afield such as New Zealand and the USA. Providing you have a good grasp of the English language, can understand this website and feel that you will understand detailed verbal information and instruction there is no problem for you to join us for a course. Please be aware that the Lake district can be much colder and wetter during the summer than many continental countries and so please take our kit list very seriously.Many airlines fly into Manchester airport, where you can board a train to Oxenholme (Please note that some journeys to Oxenholme may require you to change trains at Preston, although many are direct to Oxenholme). At Oxenholme, you will need to change trains for one stop to Windermere. This journey usually takes between 2 hrs and 2 hrs 45min depending on connections. A standard saver return costs approximately £ 35.00, although with a bit of forward planning, you can purchase single tickets each way for as little as £8.50 each way.

Newcastle airport is also an option, and being a smaller airport is in some ways more convenient. If you decided to opt for Newcastle airport you need to take the Metro to Newcastle Central Station, cost £ 2.40. From Newcastle Central Station take the train to Carlisle, where you change for Oxenholme, change at Oxenholme for one stop to Windermere, where we will collect you. This journey usually takes about three and a half-hours and a standard saver return costs approximately £ 35.00.

Where can I stay before / after my course? If you are interested in spending some time enjoying the stunning scenery of the Lake District, either before or after your course, you can contact Windermere Tourist Information via their website

Course arrival / departure times? 

The venue is Armathwaite Hall Hotel – for those of you coming by car, you can find the directions here – http://www.armathwaite-hall.com/luxury_hotel_location.php – please aim to arrive by 18.00 on the Saturday

For those of you coming by train, please endeavour to arrive at Penrith railway station for 17.00 on Saturday.

The course will wrap-up at 16.00 on Friday so for return trains south, look to book one that departs after 17.00

What happens upon arrival? 

Our bushcraft courses usually start in the evening. Upon meeting us at the rendezvous point, your cars will be safely parked on the estate and your equipment will be transported to the base camp, by the Wild Human 4×4. From your cars you may be asked to walk the stunning 2km walk to our base camp, so please be dressed for any weather, and have your boots and head-torch to hand. Once at base camp, you will erect your tent or sleeping system and join the main fire. After a brew, some bread and soup, and safety briefings, you will be introduced to each other, the Wild Human team and to the course. You will also be shown the camp set up and simple protocols will be explained. You will spend the evening having a chat around the fire and teaching will begin the following morning.

What will I be eating? 

All meals are cooked on site. Food preparation and cooking will be a joint effort, involving both students and staff. All of our full time staff hold ‘food handling and hygiene’ certificates. All our courses and expeditions are fully catered, however you may be required to cook for yourself or in groups on occasion, forming part of the educational aspects of the course (please see individual course page for further information). A typical days food would be: Breakfast – tinned fruit and various cereal options; Lunch – bread rolls, a selection of fillings (e.g. cheese, ham, tuna), a healthy salad, fruit and snacks; Evening meal – Rice dishes with Thai, Indian & Chinese style curries; or pasta with Italian style, tomatoes based, sauces. Course participants are usually pleasantly surprised by the high standard of the food and meals we provide, however please remember that this is an expedition style base camp and therefore has inherent limitations with regards to producing meals to cater for individual tastes. Whilst we are proud of the tasty, nutritious meals we produce with basic amenities, but our focus is to educate, not to compete with restaurants.There will always be a brew pot on the go and a biscuit box available, so that students are free to make tea and coffee at any time. The food provided will be more than adequate, but feel free to bring extra provisions if you wish.

We are happy to cater for medical intolerance’s, allergies and for vegetarian diets, but please let us know when you place your booking. However, we do not cater for preferences or mild intolerance’s. If you have a dietary intolerance of any kind then you are kindly asked to bring your own snacks, gluten free bread, and any other specifics you may feel necessary. If you are in doubt then do contact us to discuss options. If you have very specific requirements or very serious allergies then you may be asked to bring your own food and cooking equipment so please inquire about this before booking on-line.

Are the courses tough? 

Our bushcraft courses should be viewed as being a wilderness education experience and not as an ordinary holiday. They are educational courses, but just as importantly, they are a ‘hands on’ experience and at times can be quite challenging. Due to the nature of the location and the course content, you will be expected to take short hikes over uneven terrain, therefore a good level of fitness is required – on occasion you will be wet, muddy, tired, too hot, too cold, frustrated and exhilarated!

Where will I park my car and will my stuff be safe? Courses are conducted on a private estate, with limited access to the general public. There are parking facilities provided within the estate, and whilst we cannot guarantee the safety of your vehicle, there have never been any incidents of theft within the grounds. We would recommend that you keep any valuable personal belongings in your day sack. From your cars, you and your kit will be driven to our base-camp location, therefore it is not essential that you pack all your equipment into one rucksack, you will not be required to walk more than 100m to the camping area. Please note, that once at base-camp you will not return to your vehicle until the end of the course.

Is it safe? 

“Adventure is a romantic name for trouble…” At Wild Human the opposite is true, as you will get the opportunity to learn wilderness living skills in a safe and controlled environment, where making mistakes will not put you in danger. However you must come in the knowledge that no outdoor activity is entirely without risk, as you may be using sharp tools or walking across uneven terrain. Accidents can happen. We advise you take out adequate adventure travel insurance for the duration of your course or expedition – here is a link to one bushcraft specific insurance company – Sports Cover Direct. The biggest risk to your welfare is from ticks, but through good bite avoidance measures they should not present any problems – you will be well briefed at the start of each course.


Alcohol is strictly forbidden on all our courses, due to the obvious health and safety risks. Alcohol and cutting tools don’t mix! On some of the foraging course we bend the rules a little. 


Axes must not be used at any time, unless the individual student can prove competence and has permission from the Wild Human instructor leading the course.


Pets are not permitted on any of our courses – sorry!

Mobile Phones? 

Mobile phones are permitted, but please use them very quietly & discreetly! Please bare in mind that you may not get a signal at our sites. EE receives the best reception. We do not provide facilities for charging phones there are many external battery packs available.


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