For the fourth of my Malibu #BestSummerEver posts Pete and I hit the road in a campervan named Alice for a weekend of surfing, bacon sandwiches and making friends with small ponies.
Oh I do like making lists. So when Malibu got in touch and asked me to create a bucket list of all the adventures that would make up my dream summer, I gave them a big squishy hug and got right on it. And here it is! Now I have actually do all this stuff, on the quest for the perfect summer! Check back over the next few weeks for canoe fun, VW vans and an escape to New York City…
Where are you off gallivanting this summer? Whether you’re getting bug-bitten in the Peruvian jungle or city slicking on a Roman Holiday, make sure you pack a few of my favourite bits of travel kit in your rucksack.
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.
Getting a serious adrenaline rush climbing the beautiful cliffs and quarries of the Dorset coast. My hands are ruined and I can now tie a nifty figure of eight knot – I must be a proper climber.
A boat ride to the magical Farne Islands, where clownlike puffins potter about by your feet, grey seals loll lazily on the rocks and arctic terns try their best to beat you up.
Take a dip somewhere a little bit magic – the Fairy Pools on Skye. Crystal clear icy water flows from the foot of the Cuillin mountains, forming lagoons and waterfalls that’ll both enchant you and give you serious brain freeze.
Part two of my collab with Sustrans to send you on your merry cycling way. Once you’re prepped and ready, these are some of the prettiest UK routes you can get your biking teeth into.
World, meet somewhere I should probably keep secret – the wonderful Borgo Pignano, a medieval estate turned eco farm nestled in the Tuscan hills.
It was my birthday last week (oh hello middle-to-late twenties!) and a big gang of us went to stay on Dartmoor for sunshine and barbeques. And then it rained a lot, so instead we went walking in bogs, met the Hound of the Baskervilles and drink a lot of gin by the fire.
My travel-mad mate Karina Kold goes wine tasting on two wheels through the sunny vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina. I’m not jealous AT ALL.
A delightful Saturday afternoon riding western-style around the New Forest, spotting wild ponies and pretending to be in Brokeback Mountain. Tally ho!
My new series of special places to stay around the world kicks off with the decadent Principe Delle Neve Hotel in Cervinia, the poshest pitstop on the Italian slopes. Shot ski, anyone?
Dave Cornthwaite is a man on a mission – to complete 25 expeditions of 1000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorised transport. Eight journeys in, he tells me about paddling the Mississippi, planning micro adventures and learning to fit your life in your rucksack.
Feeling a deep desire to go splashing about in rivers and cliffjumping into lagoons? The UK is peppered with stunning locations in which to dip your toes, from epic waterfalls in Wales to a magician’s cove in Cornwall. These are a few of my favourites.
A gang of us headed up to Scotland to play at being lords and ladies of the manor for a week, staying at the stunning Auchinleck House, part of the Landmark Trust collection of properties. There was a lot of beach wandering, fireside reading and cuddling of Betty the dog involved and I took some nice snaps to share with you lot.
Itching to get out into the wilderness? Some of the finest scenery in the whole of the UK is only a couple of hours away from Edinburgh’s city centre. Hire a car in Edinburgh and take an epic road trip to the outdoors paradise of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
My lovely friend and fellow adventure-mad lady Karina Kold tells all about her hike to the lost city of the Incas, and what to pack in your rucksack.
Cool, compact and steeped in history – there’s nowhere like Oxford for a weekend of exploring. And picnicking. And cycling. Here’s my guide to some of the great things you can get up to in the city.
Planning a trip to Malaysia? Make sure you include a spot of hammock napping, sea snorkelling and rainforest trekking on the pirate hideout-turned chilled-out retreat island of Pangkor.
A vibrant city may seem an unlikely place to go foraging, but if you know where to look, Dublin’s bursting with edible goodies. So Visit Dublin asked foraging expert and restaurateur Paul Quinn of Nádúr Collective to share his foraging secrets on how to find everything from scurvy grass to elderflower in the city, and then super-talented artist Katt Frank turned his advice into this beautiful illustrated guide.
In January the world’s most daring explorers, talented travel photographers and coolest tour companies (plus hundreds of fans of the road less travelled) are converging on The Adventure Travel Show in London. Fancy a day of inspiring talks, workshops and seminars? I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away.
It may be known as the prime destination for gazing at art and gorging yourself on the three main food groups (that’s pizza, pasta and wine), but there’s an outdoorsy side to Italy too, adventure fiends. When you’re not in a food coma or pretending to be Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, try hiking the glittering coastline, skiing in the shade of the Matterhorn or horse riding under the Tuscan sun.
Super chilled, lush green in hue and dotted with surf-friendly beaches, secret woodlands and cool camping spots, the Isle of Wight deserves its growing rep as a hip island getaway, and camping is the best way to experience its beauty. Here’s my little guide to the best places to stay and the nicest things to do on the IOW, from hanging out in Airwave trailers to making friends with alpacas named Wallace and Gromit.
Backpacking through Bangkok, volunteering in Vietnam or gap-yah-ing in the Ganges? Here’s a roundup and review of everything I pack in my rucksack for tropical trips.
Flo and I have returned from adventures around the land of golden buddhas, crystalline waterfalls, charming locals and interesting toilets.