Archives

Outdoorsy Christmas Gifts Guide 2017

Yes it’s that time of year again – when you start finding yourself singing tunes from the Muppets Christmas Carol, wanting to live in a nest of blankets, and eating your own weight in mince pies. It might also be the time where you spend days staring blankly at your friends or family wondering what to get them, but fear not! Here’s my guide to the best Christmas gifts for outdoor lovers – perfect for climbers, hikers, adventurers and…

A bridge and autumnal colour at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire

UK woodlands for autumn colour

While we might not to be able to compete with Fall in New England, this small isle of ours still likes to put on a show as the woods and forests begin the long slow decline into winter. Here are some of the top places in the country to drink in the autumn colour, from tiny golden woods to the vast fiery swathes of mixed forestry. I’ve even thrown in a few places that are a bit off the…

Horse riders heading towards camera

Horseback adventures in Wales with Freerein

Every now and then I think about jacking in the day job and heading off to live the life of an itinerant wanderer on horseback; spending my days criss-crossing the wild parts of country. It’s not the most practical dream at the moment, but luckily I was able try out being a vagabond on a smaller scale with Freerein, who have been offering both guided and self-guided rides through their patch of Wales since 1989.

Today Freerein’s network of trails…

Campbell Cottage near Coniston, Lake District

Places to stay: Campbell Cottage, Lake District

The New Zealand tourism board won’t thank me for saying this, but I reckon Peter Jackson could have saved a lot of time and effort by filming the Lord of the Rings in the Lake District. It really does have it all: cloud-scraping mountains, lush green valleys and a whole host of rivers, meres, tarns and waters. (Bassenthwaite is the only actual ‘lake’ in the Lake District. You’re welcome, pub quiz fans.)

The Lakes also happen to be one of…

Rock climbing for beginners

Rock climbing as a sport has been around since the late 1800s, but it’s become increasingly popular in the last 50 years or so since the advent of indoor climbing walls. Not only do these walls help climbers stay fit over winter, but they also provide a great training ground and social area for newbies to learn the ropes (pun intended) – making climbing more accessible than ever.

I’ve been climbing regularly for the last couple of years, and in…

Close up of wild garlic flower

Foraging for Wild Garlic

It’s spring time, and you currently can’t walk more than about half a mile in the countryside without coming across wild garlic. Here’s one of my favourite recipes that makes great use of the pungent plant.

Wild garlic is one of the easiest foods to forage for, if only because your nose will locate it long before your eyes do. I love the smell so often end up grabbing a handful of leaves on a walk (and stinking out my…

lllongwalk tent

Walking from England to Finland with Lllongwalk

When a colleague announces that they’re leaving their job, you don’t generally expect the next words to be ‘to walk to Finland’. But that was exactly what happened back in December when my pal Lauren sat our team down to explain her adventure.

4 months and many trips to Mountain Warehouse later, she and her partner Leo finally set off from Exmouth at the beginning of April. One week in, I took a trip down to Purbeck to join them…

Caving at Clearwell Caves

Wild adventures in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

When people talk about places for outdoor adventure in the UK, they tend to focus on the big hitters – The Lakes, Snowdonia, Dartmoor etc. However after spending a weekend in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley with some of the lovely #OutdoorBloggers crew, I think it’s time that more people heard about the amazing adventure potential of this beautiful region. Here are just a few of the activities you can try.

Mountain Biking at Pedalabikeaway

Viewing Platform in Puzzlewood

Where to stay in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

‘Hidden gem’ is a pretty over-used phrase these days, but it definitely applies to the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Not only are the acres of ancient forest and deep rushing rivers spectacularly beautiful, but the area is also full to the brim with places to explore and activities to try. What’s more, it’s only an hour’s drive from me – so after a quick zip down the M4 on a Friday afternoon, I soon found myself bowling…

Close up of girl wearing blue Merino wool Buff as a neckwarmer

Buff Headwear for cool-weather trail running

Confession: for an outdoorsy person, I can be pretty lazy. I’m particularly bad in winter, when the freezing winds and incessant rain make it all too easy to find excuses not to go outside. All of which is a roundabout attempt to justify the fact that I haven’t been for a run since September.

Fortunately the lovely team at Kitshack recently gave me the opportunity to test out a Buff, which was the prod I needed to hit the trail…