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.
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.
If you’ve got a case of itchy feet this weekend, hop on the Eurostar and go see a beautiful new place by bike. It’s quick and easy, and before you know it you’ll be getting lost in Amsterdam, following the Pilgrim’s trail to Provence or pootling around Paris.
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.