Off on a ski season this winter? You don’t need warm pants, extra scarves or photos of your dog. Trust me, I’ve seen enough emergency care packages get delivered to Cadbury’s-starved seasonnaires to know that if you’re off to work a winter you require:
More of my explorations in the Kenyan highlands, including the most beautiful pool I’ve ever swam in, a climb up Hyena Rock, a flower-filled haven of a farmstay and a REALLY big dog named Colonel Lawrence.
The first post from my adventures in Kenya this summer – photos from a game drive through the wonderful Oj Pejeta wildlife conservancy. This amazing wild place is home to some of the mightiest and yet most vulnerable species on the planet.
Cycling kit so lovely you’ll be desperate to head out on your bike on sub-zero mornings just so you can show it off. My picks include bargainous jerseys, lustworthy coordinated kit and a jacket that could well save your life. Take that, winter training!
Fancy becoming the next adidas Outdoor athlete. It’s a more tangible dream than you think. adidas Outdoor are on the hunt for people with dreams of big adventure to submit project ideas that would enable them to #claimfreedom. The winners will see their dreams made reality in 2016.
A few things have inspired me to put this post together. Firstly, lots of you are searching for topics like ‘how can I be more adventurous?’. Ah, the eternal question! Secondly, I had a lovely Facebook message from a reader, thus: “Hey! Inspired by your blog and want to do the same thing as you. I don’t know anyone who is like me and I’ve been too nervous to get out and travel alone. What would you suggest I do?”. I feel ya, sister. So I asked lots of adventurous women for you and thought up some of my own advice. Here we go!
Get seriously inspired by Angelica Sykes, a British pro snowboarder who is tearing up the mountains are a freerider. I first met the lovely Angelica when we were both seasonnaires in Cervinia, in Italy. She was already getting into boarding in the backcountry then, and it’s amazing to see her now, riding as a pro and shredding her way through the Freeride World Qualifiers to be the top-ranked British woman. Ever wanted to take the next step and compete in your favourite sport? This girl tells you how to get the grit.
Dublin is well known as a city of friendly folk and really great beer. But it’s also a remarkably outdoorsy place to visit, a cosmopolitan hub nestled within arm’s reach of hills and sea. From foraging in the city centre to heading out hiking and cycling in the mountains, the jewel in Ireland’s crown is the perfect place for combining a cultured city break with a dose of the great outdoors.
I’m a huge fan of the #ThisGirlCan campaign, inspiring us all to get fit and explore outdoors. Now Snowsport England are encouraging sport lovers to GO SKI GO BOARD and try their hand at snowsports in the UK. I sent newbie skiier Mary Spender to hit the pistes for her first lesson.
Before autumn arrived in all its colourful glory the Super Rad Climb Team (well, my mates) and I made a late summer trip to the Wye Valley. We spent a weekend tackling some routes and eating many packets of chocolate biscuits.
Rosehips are abundant in British hedgerows in autumn and early winter, and are easily recognisable – fat, bright red buds with spiky black ends. They are a bit of a wonder food – high in vitamins C, A and B and rich in antioxidants, they are used to make syrups, jams, jellies, even bread and pies. If you’re a bit of a beginner in the foraging stakes, start off with my healthy and delicious rosehip tea recipe, which is fantastic for beating winter colds.
Ahh, the simple pleasure of kicking through autumn leaves in welly boots! Celebrate the season by entering Joules’ lovely new competition and design your very own Joules wellies – the winner’s creation will become a beautiful boot, with all proceeds going to charity. They’ll also get to escape on a luxury Forest Holiday worth £5000.
My wonderful and bike-mad mate Mary Spender took a five day cycle trip through Catalonia. Here’s her diary from her time exploring this beautiful part of Northern Spain on two wheels, including pristine beaches, tasty treats and, um, kissing lion bottoms.
“Growing up, my family’s favourite holiday destination was a little campsite called Mas Patoxas, a campsite north of Barcelona and south of the Pyrenees on the Costa Brava. I remember eating lorry loads of shellfish, staying in a swimming costume all day and turning a lovely shade of brown on the golden sand. When Sian invited me to go back to see the region by bicycle with the Tourist board of Catalonia, I couldn’t resist.
Fancy raising your adrenaline levels over your lunchbreak? Watch Finnish adrenaline junkies StuntFreaksTeam perform incredible feats and then edit them into a stunning action video using Dell Technology.
In my third travel column for The Independent I’ve rounded up some of the world’s most beautiful and unusual swimming spots, from Thai waterfalls (modelled here by the lovely Flo) to Melanesian forest pools and Mexican bat caves.
Ahh autumn, the time of mists, mellow fruitfulness and really great jumpers. I am unashamedly in love with all of the season’s sparkler-waving, pumpkin-carving, fire-warming cliches – after all, is there anything more British than a chilly woodland walk followed by a hot cider next to a pub fire? Just wrap up warm first in my autumnal picks.
I’ve found the dream way to get about in busy London – paddling along the Thames. Last week I spent a fantastic day with my mates at Tenderstem® and a gang of active girls trying out standup paddleboarding on the river at Putney for #tenderstemtrysomethingdifferent.
I’ve teamed up with wonder vegetable Tenderstem® and the lovely Josh of the Guyrope Gourmet to create a set of easy recipes that celebrate al fresco eating in the beautiful British countryside. If you’re after no-fuss, fresh and healthy food for camping trips and hiking adventures I reckon you’ll love making these.
Travel snaps and special spots from one of my favourite ever places – the Isles of Scilly, which Jake Little and I explored in proper Famous Five style. Just don’t call them the Scilly Isles, or the locals will know you’re a newbie.
For my second adventure column for the The Independent I’ve hunted out incredible trips combining active travel with wildlife encounters, from swimming with whale sharks in Mozambique to hiking up to see gorillas in Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest.
What are you up to this weekend? If you find yourself in London town then you should head straight for the Adventure Travel Film Festival. Some seriously inspiring ladies are in the lineup, speaking and showing groundbreaking films about their incredible journeys around the world. From kayaking through wildest Mongolia and running New Zealand to ‘knicker philosophy’, these women are guaranteed to make you want to head out to explore the great outdoors.
Moped adventures along the coast, diving with rainbow-coloured fish off Koh Tao, exploring bustling Bangkok… Thailand is definitely one of my all-time favourite countries to travel to. Fancy your own Asian adventure? Flight Centre and Tourism Thailand are giving away a luxurious seven night escape in their fantastic new competition. What would you #TaketoThailand?
I’ve reviewed a lot of gear over the past years, and whilst I try to put new kit through the toughest situations possible (sometimes desperately hoping it’ll thunderstorm so I can get out in a new waterproof!) there’s nothing like the test of time to know if gear is really worth splashing your precious pennies on. These are my favourite long-term bits of kit.
In May I took to the turquoise waves of the Caribbean with the lovely lot from Girls For Sail for a week of dolphin spotting, plentiful rum and pirate lore. Here’s the story of our voyage around the magical British Virgin Islands in the Evening Standard.
For the second of my adventures with Jeep to celebrate their Renegades Wanted campaign I to learnt to shoot arrows from a cantering horse. When the zombie apocalypse comes you’re going to want me on your team.
Another summer, another awesome climbing weekend on the stunning Dorset coast. Gavin, Beren, Pete and I headed to the Isle of Purbeck to conquer some rock, indulge in some salty sea swims and try some mental local cider.
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Or at a chilled-out festival. Or in a park. To sum up, I love summer. Here’s my pick of nice new gear for the balmy weather, from the perfect sandals to hard-wearing wetsuits.