Exotic summer holidays – right here in the UK
Swim running on Scilly, coasteering in Pembrokeshire, Munro-bagging by bike – you don’t have to head overseas to make this summer your most exciting one yet. From ‘hut to hut’-style adventures in the Lake District to trekking through a Welsh rainforest, our August issue is jam-packed with fabulous outdoor staycation ideas.
The best kind of holiday, of course, is the one you spend in the mountains. That’s why we’ve got plenty of hill-spiration for you, including:
- James Forrest heads to Glencoe on an Munro-bagging adventure.
- Suzanna Cruickshank writes about life-changing wild swims in the glorious Lake District.
- Alex Roddie takes on the biggest challenge of his life – backpacking across the 500-mile spine of the Pyrenees.
- Jim Perrin explores the unique appeal of Blencathra.
PLUS: Six mapped ‘wild walks’ ranging from Argyll to Dorset, Chris Townsend tests three-season sleeping bags and compasses, 10 ‘mountains with a difference’ and much more.
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Read more: a peek inside the issue…
Great escapes: Who needs to fly abroad when there’s so much adventure to be had right on the doorstep? From rainforest trekking to ‘hut-to-hut’ hiking, we’ve rounded up some adventurous British breaks.
“The coronavirus situation may currently be casting a huge shadow over the viability of overseas travel, but there’s still a wide range of holiday options that don’t involve heading for foreign shores. Here’s our pick of the best outdoors-based staycations the UK has to offer – each with a big enough shot of adrenaline, adventure or excitement to transport you well out of the everyday…”
The Promised Land: Searching for some of the UK’s biggest mountain thrills? As James Forrest discovers, Glen Coe is the place to go.
“Ahead of us is a dazzling ridge of frightening proportions. The drops on either side of the blade-like crest are perpendicular. A single mistake could be fatal – there is no room for error here. Instead we must edge east to west along a rolling succession of knobbly turrets, fangs of rocks and craggy domes; a snaking, serrated spine of monstrous pinnacles with a dizzying sense of exposure. It looks simultaneously beguiling and terrifying.”
Taking the Plunge: In an extract from her new book, Suzanna Cruickshank tells the story of how she went from being a summer dipper to an all-year outdoor swimmer in the wild waters of the Lake District.
“From nuclear sunrises and balmy sunsets to baltic misty mornings and biting winter winds, Derwent Water is my lake for all seasons. These conditions are not unique to Derwent Water but the memory of experiencing them in the water for the first time will stay with me in the same way my first mountain sunrise does. Derwent Water is a lake of many firsts for me, and it will forever hold a very special place in my heart.”
The Light Within: For Alex Roddie, backpacking across the 500-mile spine of the Pyrenees was the biggest challenge of his life – and it changed how he looked at long-distance walking.
“The way I experienced things seemed to be changing in some ineffable way. I can only describe it as a form of love. A deep looking. That night, I camped in a secluded meadow beside a pool, high above the treeline in a place that buzzed with grasshoppers. When I went to filter water, I saw dozens of caddisfly larvae crawling on the stones in their odd shells, custom-made from bits of debris. Clouds of mouths spiralled in the golden-hour haze. The life in that precious refuge felt concentrated, amplified, almost mythic, although the sad truth is that I’d simply become accustomed to natural depletion back home.”