Yoga is just posh stretching, right? I definitely thought thus before signing up to a class to try to solve my climbing-induced backache. Two years later and I’m totally hooked, to the point that I get nervous if I can’t factor a few Hatha sessions into my week. Yoga is calming, strengthening AND you get a little lie down at the end, and I’ve gone from barely being able to touch my toes to mastering a headstand on the open sea. If I can do it, so can you.
Reader, meet Earth Kind Originals. Founded by outdoors-minded designer Helen on the Cornish coast, EKO‘s gorgeous collection of organic cotton pieces are perfect for everything from summer lounging to yoga and pilates, and I’ve got two £50 vouchers to give away to you lucky lot.
On Saturday I ran my third Endurancelife coastal trail run, along the wonderful Dorset coast. Combining tough running with some of the UK’s most beautiful locations – these events are the trail runner’s mecca. Plus you get free jelly babies.
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:
Push your adrenaline levels to an all-time high with eight of the craziest extreme adventure experiences on the planet (I’ve ticked off three so far). There’s volcano bungee jumping, hair-raising cycling, antarctic running and cheese. Because all good lists include cheese.
Frosty green waves, ominous grey skies and wearing a jumper underneath your wetsuit – it’s British surfing season again. Here are seven of the best beaches to hit now that the crowds have gone and the waves are picking up. Gnarly.
Blessed by beautiful coastlines, miles of shiny beaches and just the right kind of wind, Spain is heaven for lovers of the life aquatic. Here are my four favourite water sports to try on its sunny shores.
Get off the tarmac and into some of the UK’s most glorious wild places with new trail book Wild Running. I’ve got five copies to give away, to get you inspired to lace up your trainers and go exploring.
Heading to Thailand this summer? Avoid party islands Koh Samui and Koh Pha-Ngan and head instead to Koh Tao, their chilled out white-sand-and-jungle little brother. This tiny weeny (21 sq km) but bountiful island is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf, a diving haven stuffed with bright coral and undulating manta rays. Try some gentle snorkelling or get serious and scuba dive with Big Blue Diving.
If the clocks going forward has filled you with as much unmitigated joy as it has me, you’ll love this great new campaign from The North Face. Watch this super-inspiring video and then share your experiences and win shiny prizes with their new Explorer app. Longer days are here – go out and grab them!
Last weekend I met the lovely Thom Heald, the photographer behind Bristol By Cyclist. He likes bikes and he likes Bristol, and that and a penchant for taking beautiful photos has led to a wonderful gallery portraying different faces of Britain’s ‘Cycling City’. Oh, and there are some very pretty bikes to lust over, too.
Fun, talented and a tiny bit outrageous – Cooler Magazine chats to Brit snowboarder Aimee Fuller, whose coverage of Jenny Jones’ performance on the BBC earned her a lot of love, a handful of complaints and a twitter fan account for her hair.
Feeling a little bit saddle sore? Total Women’s Cycling have just finished a new video series of yoga moves specifically for biking that will show you how to keep flexible and strong – perfect for training during the chilly winter.
Ethereal Canadian lakes? Check. Stunning Mexican scenery? Check. An awesome outdoors girl showing off her talent? Massive check. Videomaker François Guinaudeau presents ‘A kiteracer from the North’, following Québécoise Catherine Dufour‘s training process around the world.
The mucky pups over at Muddy Race asked me to write a little review of my latest foray into cross-country obstacle running – last weekend’s 12k Monster Race. There were cow pats, 10ft walls, ice baths and some delightfully gloopy mud to contend with – heaven.
Last weekend Pete the Younger, Pete the Elder and I went climbing in the gorgeous Mendips, around the corner from Cheddar Gorge. We also made friends with some mountain goats, had a go at vertigo-busting blindfolded climbing and wore some very attractive helmets.
I had a nice chat with Laura of Team Boatylicious. In June 2014, she and three other super-adventurous ladies are aiming to set a new world record, rowing 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. The best bit? You could join them.
From bracing cliff hikes to autumn leaf-stomping riverside strolls, there’s no shortage of appealing places ramble about in this autumn. Lace up your boots, whack out the waterproofs and don’t forget some dosh for a well-deserved post-walk pub lunch.
Gorgeous little video interview with Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest.
“Throughout my life I have been drawn forcefully to the outdoors, to forests and mountains, seacoasts and oceans, drawn by both a conscious delight in the grandeur and diversity of the planet and an unconscious spiritual yearning to be in the natural world.
It is in the wild places— in the damp, clean air of an ancient forest, on a heaving ocean in unpredictable winds, on a snowy summit at the top of the world— that I enter my own personal cathedral and know where I fit in the vastness of creation.”
Want to give a little outdoors loving back? Sarah Howcroft’s genius initiative, Gift Your Gear, takes your donated old kit and uses it to help kids develop a love of the great outdoors. And as a little reward for being so good, if you have a clear out before the end of September you’ll get 15% off at Rohan, too.
In June I spent a week in Israel discovering the delights of Tel Aviv, biking in the Negev Desert and wandering around the labyrinthine streets of old Jerusalem. Here’s part two of the journey – cycling in the desert. Some photos by the fantastic Mark Stratton.
On Saturday the crack team that was Pete, Pete, Kenny and I completed the Mud Runner Oblivion 10k, a gruelling cross country run dotted with obstacles, monkey bars and peat bogs held at Eastnor Castle in the Malverns. I’m still finding dirt in odd places.
My sports watching partner in crime (Leo) and I spent a delightful Monday at Wimbledon after Leo magically managed to procure us centre court tickets. We watched Serena Williams cry, Sabine Lisicki kick ass, Murray make grunting sounds and Djokovic give good lego hair. Oh, and we ate strawberries and drank far too much pink cava.