One of the best ways of making your everyday life (otherwise known as Filler Chapters) more fun is to do outside of the ordinary. So, on Thursday, the boy and I did something that made a few friends pull a funny face, and went bat watching and pizza making with Wild Intrigue.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched two of my favourite North-East bloggers, Chloe and Sam, post about their Bat and Pizza Making experience with Wild Intrigue. After convincing the boy it’d be a fun and alternative date night, we headed to the adult’s only version on a Thursday night after work.
First Impressions of Wild Intrigue
Based at the idyllic and tranquil glamping site, Wild Northumbrian, it’s surprising that the experience is only a 50-minute drive from Newcastle City Centre. The rural atmosphere feels so much further away – and in the best way possible. It’s located in the heart of Northumberland National Park and is on the edge of Kielder Forest.
On arrival, we were greeted by the wonderful Wild Intrigue guides, Heather and Caine. I’m not going to lie – they are two of the coolest and most calm people I’ve ever met. With two friendly faces, they made us feel at ease and showed us where to find the unlimited teas/ coffees/ water. We were then treated to some snacks whilst we waited for the other guests to arrive.
Making Pizza for the First Time
Once everyone arrived, we got stuck into pizza making straight away. As someone who’s only ever made croissants from a tin, I was shocked to discover that kneading pizza with fresh dough is blooming hard work. After artistically spreading my barbeque base all over the dough, we were left to dabble our toppings of choice. I pretty much added every type of vegetable known to man. Whilst we waited for our pizzas to cook in the outdoor pizza stove, we got to know everyone a bit better and shared stories. The group size was intimate but not awkward meaning that conversation flowed so well. The pizzas then arrived which naturally resulted in a lot less talking; we were all too busy eating our hard-earned and delicious tea.
Foraging Around Wild Northumbrian
After tea, we were taken on a short stroll around Wild Northumbrian. Heather led the expedition and introduced us to the crepuscular wildlife of Northumberland. As the sun started to set, she helped us forage for some food. Although, I’m not even going to try to tell you what we ate. My knowledge of plants goes as far as knowing what a weed, cacti and a flower are. But all in all, the little green goodness of a plant was delicious and resembled an apple.
On our mini-expedition, we wandered over a wibbly-wobbly bridge, up hillsides and past idyllic huts that are available to rent out at Wild Northumbrian. All in the all, it was a beautiful experience – and it wasn’t even the main expedition.
We then returned to the camp to sit around the… you guessed it – the campfire! We all sat around and toasted some marshmallows. This was my first-time toasting marshmallows, and I bloody loved it. It didn’t feel as corny or as Americanised as I thought, plus they tasted delicious. And were very addictive.
The Pinnacle of the Night – Bat Watching
With the sugar-rush in full-force, we were then ready for the pinnacle of the night – bat watching. After being told about the different breed of bats, we were given bat detectors so we would eavesdrop on the enchanting animals. With our specialist equipment in hand, we were taken on a Bat Safari around another part of Wilf Northumbrian. We were told to listen to our radio – and to listen out for the popular breed of a bat, the Soprano. It’s safe to say we were all absolutely delighted when the sound of one communicated starting playing out of our detectors. Although, I was a little disappointed that this Soprano didn’t squawk with an Italian accent.
Nevertheless, we all started to look up and try and watch intriguing mammals in action. Although they’re fast, they are breathtaking little things. It was also clear that they wanted to get close but would retreat at the last minute and swoop away. After getting our bat fix, we eventually headed back to the camp where the night ended.
Would I Recommend Wild Intrigue’s Bat and Pizza Experience?
Yes! It was a sensational night. From the breath-taking views to the intimate atmosphere, it was magical. Of course, a big part of this was down to the hosts. They were educational but no overbearing. They also had the softest voices and could give David Attenborough a good run for his ecological commentating. Basically, the whole thing was so calm and collected. The boy and I couldn’t help but smile the entire time (well, except when being attacked by midgies. Apparently, they’re a fan of the scent of Tresemme shampoo. Fiesty little buggers.)
So, if you’ve finally finished Season 3 of Stranger Things, or are a bit sick of heading a post-work visit to the pub, I’d definitely recommend a Wild Intrigue expedition. There is one more ‘Bats & Pizza Making’ event this summer on Saturday 10th August. I also want to voice how good value for money it is – the three-hour experience was £12 p.p.
Alternatively, there are other upcoming events – such as Kittiwakes & Doughnuts, or bat watching in Ouseburn. There are also talks of them introducing a Moths & Muffins, as well as other expeditions in Ouseburn.
Who Are Wild Intrigue?
Wild Intrigue was set up with the belief that all people need to connect with and conserve wildlife is ‘that spark’ – an intrigue for the wild. To encourage ‘that spark’, the small team of three regularly run mini expeditions across Northumberland, Newcastle and Scotland.
All in all, it was an absolutely smashing night. It’s also encouraged me to watch less Netflix and a switch it for a lot more nature.6