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.
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.
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.
On Friday I’m giving in to wanderlust and heading to Thailand for a few weeks of elephant cuddling, under water exploring and jungle ziplining. I’m flying with Emirates to Bangkok – here’s my list of the gorgeous things I plan to see and do.
If the weather’s gorgeous outdoors and you’re sitting indoors in your pants watching Dave reruns, something’s seriously wrong. Pick an adult and kid-friendly summery activity from this list and go get fitter, browner and happier (put some clothes on first).
If the blistering heatwave is sending you in search of chilled-out beaches and cool green spaces, head to Northumberland in the North East. Spot seals, explore rock pools or pretend you’re in Harry Potter – it’s one of England’s best kept secrets.
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 the final part of the journey – exploring Jerusalem by foot and bike.
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.
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 one of the journey – exploring Tel Aviv and Jaffa Port by bike. Some photos by the fantastic Mark Stratton.
The gorgeous green valleys, unspoilt blue waters and postcard-pretty villages of The Lakes are bliss to ramble through on sunny weekends, and there are plenty of family-friendly holiday parks in the Lake District that are the perfect base to explore from. Here’s my pick of the nicest places to visit.
Go diving with rainbows of fish, climb above lush jungles, sleep on floating junkets or just cuddle a water buffalo – whatever you feel like doing, Vietnam is the perfect destination for adventure lovers. Here’s my list of all the gorgeous things I plan to see and do in ‘Nam this summer.
Cornwall’s a bit nice isn’t it? There’s surfing and sunshine and pasties. It’s the stuff bucket-and-spade-holidays were made for. My favourite thing of all to do in the land of cream teas is to bike along the pretty cycle paths that meander through the Cornish countryside, and these five lovely routes from West Cornwall Cottage Holidays are suitable for all riding abilities, and perfect for little ‘uns.
Magnificent coastlines, bubbling hot tubs and Cornish cream teas are some of my all-time favourite things, so the delightfully grown-up and rather decadent Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth was right up my street.
It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and some friends and I headed down to Dorset to stay in a gorgeous little cottage in Bridport. We pretended it was summer and paddled in the sea, played cricket, drank cider and watched Fred somehow manage to get sunburnt.
If you were to pick a holiday location purely based on how idyllic it looks in photos, Marmaris in southwestern Turkey would be a shoe-in. This idyllic little coastal town is surrounded by gorgeous azure water and pine-forested hills and stuffed with lively nightlife, amazing places to eat and traditional Turkish culture.
Despite my love affair with the outdoor beauties of the West Country, there’s so much exciting stuff kicking off up North this year that I am tempted to up sticks and move to the dales. In the meantime, outdoor girl Sarah Oxley has written us this fantastic guide to the best fresh air events in Leeds and Yorkshire.