Category Archives: travel

Going solo: how to travel alone and find adventure buddies

June 3, 2016 § 4 Replies

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!
Going solo: travelling alone and finding adventure buddies

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Amazing active road trips for The Independent

June 1, 2016 § Leave a reply

Dreaming of the road less travelled? Roaring down a ribbon of Tarmac through wild open spaces is one of life’s great pleasures, and exploring by car is the perfect way to combine discovering a new place with active adventure. Try one of my favourite active road trips, from buzzing round Ibiza in a hippy campervan to island-hopping in Sweden and exploring Nova Scotia on four wheels.


Read my latest column

Catch up on all my active travel articles for The Independent

Spring on the Isles of Scilly

May 19, 2016 § Leave a reply

I’m just back from one of my favourite places in the world – the tiny, otherworldly Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall. I’ve been rowing gigs, learning the stories of old shipwrecks and fishing for razor clams for BBC Countryfile Magazine – my island stories will be published soon, but in the mean time here are are some snapshots of life on Tresco and Bryher.

Spring on the Isles of Scilly

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My pick of the best surf camps for beginners for The Independent

May 4, 2016 § Leave a reply

They say salt water can cure anything, and a week of catching waves, napping in hammocks and toasting the sunset at a remote surf camp is definitely a salve for the stresses of daily life. Never caught a wave before? No problem. Escape and recharge at one of my pick of the best beginner-friendly camps for the Independent’s travel pages.


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My guide to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

April 25, 2016 § 2 Replies

Captivated by David Attenborough’s explorations of the place he calls “the most magical thing I ever saw in my life”? I was too. The Great Barrier Reef, a 2,000km stretch of coral that hugs almost the whole length of Queensland’s shore is, after all, nature on an epic scale. I spent a week there in November for The Independent, flying high above the reef in a seaplane and diving deep below the water in a magical underwater world.

Here’s the story of my first dive, at a bommie off Heron Island.

And here is my full guide to visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

Read on for a few photos from the trip.

Girl's travel guide to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Girl's travel guide to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

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Places to stay: Little Holme cottage, Dartmoor

April 7, 2016 § Leave a reply

If you conjured up the perfect cottage it couldn’t be much more charming than Little Holme, one of English Country Cottage‘s properties nestled in the heart of Dartmoor. Take a thatch, roaring fire and roses round the door and add the wild beauty of the moors and you’ve got a pretty special escape.

Places to stay: Little Holme cottage, Dartmoor with English Country Cottages

Places to stay: Little Holme cottage, Dartmoor with English Country Cottages

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Climbing Mount Kenya

April 1, 2016 § 2 Replies

Last Autumn I went on an epic walk with Exodus to the summit of Mount Kenya. It took five days to reach the top, where I had a little cry. Let’s blame that on the altitude.
Here’s my pretty much verbatim diary of a trek through some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet whilst wearing dodgy socks and eating ginger biscuits on a tactical basis.


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Wild swimming at the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

March 30, 2016 § 3 Replies

Take a dip somewhere a little bit magic – the Fairy Pools, Isle of 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.

fairy13new Fairy Pools Isle of Skye

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Five of the best Cornish campsites

March 29, 2016 § Leave a reply

Sunny meadows, secret coves, sleepy fishing villages, pasties to stuff in your face – Cornwall was made for proper summer camping adventures, just like the ones you went on as a little’un. Pack a tent and a surfboard and spend your days exploring Kernow’s loveliest places and your nights kipping under a sky full of stars at one of these brilliant campsites.

Five of the best campsites in Cornwall

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12 of the best dog-friendly pubs in the UK

March 13, 2016 § 1 Reply

Here’s how to have a stellar spring weekend. Stick on wellies. Fill car with friends of the two and four-legged varieties. Go on a windswept walk somewhere suitably bucolic and then warm up with a cider by the fire in one of these lovely pubs, which are all very happy to have your mutt mates come too.

12 of the best dog-friendly pubs in the UK

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Karina Kold surfs Margaret River, Western Australia

March 11, 2016 § Leave a reply

Three hours south of Perth you’ll find the beautiful winery and surf mecca of Margaret River. Wave-chaser Karina Kold explored the rolling breaks and hidden vineyards of this Western Australian gem and wrote a little guide to her favourite places for The Girl Outdoors. Because surfing + wine: an excellent idea.

Surf guide to Margeret River, Australia

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Places to stay: Chapel House, Penzance

March 6, 2016 § 1 Reply

Need a dose of sea and serious calm? Head to Chapel House, a light-filled sanctuary in pretty Penzance that feels more stylish home from home than stuffy hotel. This lovely place to stay is the perfect base for hunting out my favourite places to eat, surf and explore along the Cornish coast. And you’ll have an excellent bath.

Review of Chapel House, Penzance, Cornwall

Review of Chapel House, Penzance, Cornwall

Review of Chapel House, Penzance, Cornwall

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Snow adventures for non-skiiers

February 23, 2016 § Leave a reply

There are plenty of ways to explore spotless winter landscapes that don’t involve hurtling downhill on skis or a snowboard. In my latest column for The Independent’s travel pages I’ve got some great ideas for adventuring in snow – how about elk-spotting safaris in Norway or snowshoeing in Whistler?


Read my full column and other travel articles for The Independent

My Greentraveller’s guide to the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios

February 18, 2016 § Leave a reply

I travelled to the Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios for Greentraveller to put together a travel guide to these magical communities, and discovered a treasure trove of history and natural beauty, of untouched landscapes, azure waters and a very friendly welcome in ancient stone villages. Check out the video we made whilst on the islands, filmed by the fantastic Alex Cantouris.

Greentraveller’s guide to the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios

Read my Greentraveller’s Guide to Lesvos and Chios in Greece.

Charlie Newman’s pocket-friendly adventures in Iceland

February 16, 2016 § 4 Replies

My fantastic mate Charlie is one of my adventure inspirations – she’s always just back from amazing places (Ethiopia’s up next) and she’s super travel savvy. She recently set out to prove that you can explore some of the most incredible parts of Iceland’s surreal glacial landscape in just three days. On a budget. With your mum.

Iceland on a budget travel guide

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Skiing in St Anton am Arlberg with GO SKI GO BOARD and #ThisGirlCan

February 11, 2016 § Leave a reply

An all-girl ski trip to St Anton Am Arlberg in the gorgeous Tirol region of Austria to celebrate Snowsport England’s fantastic GO SKI GO BOARD initiative, encouraging everyone to give snowsports a try in partnership with the #ThisGirlCan campaign. We took to the pistes during St Anton’s Ladies First weeks for a few days of exploring in the forests, falling over in deep powder and eating our bodyweight in potatoes.

Skiing in St Anton am Arlberg with GO SKI GO BOARD and #ThisGirlCan

Skiing in St Anton am Arlberg with GO SKI GO BOARD and #ThisGirlCan

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Discover Gower in Winter

January 11, 2016 § Leave a reply

“Gower is a very beautiful peninsula, some miles from this blowsy town… As a matter of fact it is one of the loveliest sea-coast stretches in the whole of Britain.”

Discover Gower in Winter

So wrote Dylan Thomas in letters to his first girlfriend, Pamela Hansford Johnson, and the more I visit the jewel in Wales’ coastal crown, the more I agree with the country’s best-loved poet.

I shared my love for this wonderful corner of Wales in the latest issue of Countryfile Magazine. Photography by Oliver Edwards.

Read the full article.

My Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

December 17, 2015 § 1 Reply

A few weeks ago I train-hopped my way around Switzerland on assignment for Greentraveller. I took a series of incredible rail journeys, stopping to admire the Christmas markets in Zurich, ski in Les Diablerets and eat my weight in fondue in the mountains. Here’s the full diary of my travels using the Swiss Travel System.



Read the diary of my trip

Wild Britain adventures for The Independent

December 14, 2015 § Leave a reply

Wild open spaces and adventures off the beaten track are closer than you think – get inspired to go exploring in Britain this winter with my ideas for cold weather fun over at The Independent‘s travel section, from ice climbing in Scotland to wild swims and campfires in London.


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How to: pack for a ski season

November 22, 2015 § Leave a reply

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:

ski what to pack for a ski season

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Sponsored video: Dublin, a breath of fresh air

November 11, 2015 § Leave a reply

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.

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Mary goes cycling in Catalonia

October 9, 2015 § 1 Reply

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.

Catalonia cycling guide

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My active travel column in The Independent

August 19, 2015 § Leave a reply

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.

Read my full column

Here’s my first column: short-haul trips that are big on adventure

#TaketoThailand to win a luxury escape

August 11, 2015 § Leave a reply

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?

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Best beaches for surfing in Cornwall

In need of some vitamin-Sea? Grab your board and head to glorious Cornwall. Golden shorelines and great swell are synonymous with England’s furthest-flung county – and to help you choose which Cornish beaches you should visit during your next aquatic adventure, the team at have given me their rundown of the best beaches for surfing in Cornwall.

Surfing in Cornwall - Best beaches

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