Mary-Ann Ochota is perhaps best known for her TV presenting roles, including ITV's Secret Treasures and Channel 4's cult hit, Time Team.

However, she's also an established adventure travel author and journalist, having published her first book, Britain's Secret Treasures, in 2013 and written for several national magazines and newspapers.

Hi Mary-Ann and thanks for taking part. We're big fans and have loved some of your recent Daily Telegraph articles! Tell us, what's your best camping memory?

I must have been about 10 years old, and my mum, brother and I arrived at a campsite in north Wales in the dark, put up the tent and went to sleep. Waking up the next morning and discovering Llyn Gwynant and Mt Snowdon were outside the tent flap was just magical!

We bet it was! Do you have a favourite place in the UK?

The Orkney Islands are beautiful, packed full of incredible archaeology, and are just quirky enough to make you feel like you're on a proper adventure miles away from home. And the people are lovely. I would recommend a trip to anyone.

Is that somewhere you keep going back to?

I grew up in Cheshire and I really love spending time in rural, farming landscapes. There's a place for wild, challenging mountains and moors, but I also love the patchwork of lanes and hedges, animals and houses. I'll never tire of taking afternoon walks along Cheshire footpaths.

Do you have a favourite walk?

There are so many that I haven't yet done! I haven't done much serious walking in the Scottish Highlands, so I'm certain there are plenty of 'favourites' I haven't discovered yet.

I really enjoyed walking the coast path to Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales – it's not difficult, it's really pretty, and there's ice cream and a beautiful beach at the end!

There is always more to see! Where are you planning to explore next?

I'm planning a trip along Offa's Dyke, the medieval earthwork that runs near (and sometimes along) the border between Wales and England. And I do fancy a Winter Skills course at one of the national training centres (Glenmore Lodge in Scotland or Plas y Brenin in Wales).

What about microadventures? They're all the rage!

24 hours in North Norfolk. We planned a circular route, stopped for fish and chips for supper, did some spectacular star-gazing and were home in time to put the washing on and get ready for work the next day.

That sounds good - Norfolk is beautiful. Do you have a favourite view?

I don't have a single one – for me, it's those unexpected moments when the sunlight streaks out from behind the clouds, or a cheeky sheep looks like it winked at you. And there's nothing can beat the twinkle of the lights in the pub beckoning you down from a long day in the hills!

We had a dog grin hilariously at us once and have never forgotten it, so that's not bad advice. Do you have any other good outdoor advice you can share?

Learn how to use a map and compass, learn basic first aid, and learn how to 'go' in the outdoors.

(Mary's advice on toileting in the wild can be read in the Telegraph's Adventures on Your Doorstep series!)

Who is your ideal camping companion?

Harpo, my dog, is a great buddy. He's steady and fun and is great for a cuddle at the end of a day. It's a bit annoying that I have to carry my own camping stuff as well as his though!

We'd love to see Harpo with a backpack! Do you have any advice on what to take on trips?

Always carry a spare hat for bedtime. And don't bother with paper tissues, get a big proper mansize cloth hankie. Brilliant for blowing your nose in the rain, mopping the sweat from your brow, and if the worst comes to the worst you can use it as a makeshift dressing, a bandage, a rucksack strap repair... the possibilities are endless!

What about things everyone should leave behind when packing?

Ladies, leave your makeup at home! The only warpaint that should be allowed is mud.

We couldn't agree more. What about bucket list experiences? What should everyone try at least once?

Sleeping under the stars without a tent. If you're feeling nervous, try it in the back garden first! Then go up on a hillside, or into a forest, or down to the beach, get comfy, stay warm and enjoy. I always feel like I'm connecting with my Stone Age ancestors... except with the benefit of goretex and merino baselayers!

Wild camping is a reminder that we don't need to defend ourselves against the terrors of nature. In the UK, at least – if you're in Alaska in bear country, follow all the instructions with absolute diligence.

Brilliant! :) Can you recall a worst camping experience? Any bears?

A very, very cold night in a campsite in Anglesey. We'd been scuba diving that day and I'd joined the group for a night dive, looking at all the creatures that come out after dark. It was a great dive but I didn't quite warm up before crawling into my sleeping bag. Wet hair, wet ground, uncontrollable shivering for hours and hours. I tend to stay in BnBs when I dive now, that night scarred me for life!

And finally, what does the Great British outdoors mean to you?

It means fun, for free, for everyone!

We could hardly put it better ourselves! Thanks Mary-Ann.

You can find out more about Mary-Ann's projects on her website on by following her on Twitter @MaryAnnOchota. Her next book will be a handy guide to puzzling out some of the historical secrets the British landscape holds - coming soon!