Category: Escape

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Lugnaquilla – The ‘Lug’ of the Irish

It was a day of firsts.  It was my first time in Ireland, my first ‘munro’ outwith the UK and my first mountain bordering on a military firing range. It was also a very long day.  Starting with a late night ferry from Cairnryan over to Belfast I arrived at 1am into a rainy and deserted city.  It was far too late to contemplate finding … Read More Lugnaquilla – The ‘Lug’ of the Irish

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The Clever Camper Cookbook – Review and giveaway competition

If you’ve ever taken a campervan away you’ll know that cooking quick, easy and tasty meals is not always as straightforward as it seems.  Those trusty staples from home might rely on that extra burner or grill that you’re lacking, or perhaps some spices or other ingredients that make it just a little too complicated.  Alternatively, keeping things too simple – relying on that … Read More The Clever Camper Cookbook – Review and giveaway competition

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5 reasons why walking is good for physical and mental wellbeing

It’s official: nature is good for you. In fact, according to England’s Chief Medical Officer in 2010: “If a medication existed which had a similar effect to physical activity, it would be regarded as a “wonder drug” or a “miracle cure”’. But nature isn’t just a remedy for a healthy body, it also nurtures a healthy mind.  Going to the outdoors boosts our self-esteem, … Read More 5 reasons why walking is good for physical and mental wellbeing

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An eagle eye’s view of Eigg

There’s something about islands.  Maybe it’s the wistful sense of adventure that comes with travelling by boat.  Or perhaps the physical and psychological separation that gives islands their unique character, setting them apart from the familiar mainland.  Even, perhaps, it’s the feeling of ‘commitment’ in the sense that having arrived – come rain or shine – you’re there to stay …  Eigg was all of … Read More An eagle eye’s view of Eigg

3D-printed coat hook for the VW California

For the most part, the design of the VW California is pretty tried-and-tested.  Most owners make a few ‘essential’ improvements to their vans including adding seat covers, carpets and perhaps a removable shelf, as well as adding those all-important accessories to personalise their van that add a splash of colour. However, one additional accessory that I’ve recently added is a movable coat hook.  The Cali comes … Read More 3D-printed coat hook for the VW California

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Above the clouds

When high pressure’s in charge and there’s a foggy murk that casts a dark shadow in the valleys, it’s often a different world higher up.  Just climb a few hundred metres and you emerge from the darkness into the light: the sun shines brightly in a deep blue sky and there below lies a sea of fluffy white cloud. A quick jaunt up Dumyat … Read More Above the clouds

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The 12th Annual ‘Puffer

    If you’re the kind of mountain biker that enjoys brutal endurance events they don’t come much tougher or more rewarding than the Strathpuffer, the legendary 24 hour event held every winter near the Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands.  Freezing temperatures. 17 hours of darkness. Miles of gruelling terrain. A brutal mix of ice, wind, hail, mud and snow. And maybe, just maybe, a glorious Scottish winter sunrise… Now in its 12th year, the 2017 … Read More The 12th Annual ‘Puffer

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The magic of friluftsliv

    There are times when you just want to get away from it all and recharge the batteries.  And for me the outdoors is just the perfect way to escape from ‘life’ for a little while, before returning with a renewed perspective. Last weekend was one of those times.  After the stresses of a work week commuting and the miserable-ness of leaving home and getting … Read More The magic of friluftsliv

Walking on a sea of cloud

Some days really are very special, and last Sunday was one of them. I’d arranged to meet up with Will Copestake, the 2015 UK and Scottish Adventurer of the Year, who’s currently doing a winter round of the Corbetts.  (To find out more, read my previous blog post featuring his #ColdestCorbetts trip).  We were also joined by Bruce Macaulay, Anne Seifert and Ruaridh Withington … Read More Walking on a sea of cloud

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Top 10 essential apps for the Outdoors

A smartphone is an essential item of kit these days when you’re out for an adventure.  Enabled by a huge number of apps your phone is not only a camera, GPS, notebook, torch, musicplayer … but can also give you a map, weather forecast, emergency beacon, guide to nature and so much more. I’ve selected ten essential apps for the outdoors, a guide to … Read More Top 10 essential apps for the Outdoors

Planning a cycle tour in Scotland

There are some fabulous places to cycle in Scotland given its great scenery and culture.  Some well-known routes include the North Coast 500, the Five Ferries route and the UK’s highest hill climb over the Bealach na Bà, near Applecross. Having done some cycle touring around the west coast as well as Land’s End to John O’Groats I thought I’d share some hints and tips … Read More Planning a cycle tour in Scotland