Routine can be dull. Come away with me to things of colour, beauty and magnificence, with my travel blog.
2021 will be the ‘Year of the English Coastline’ as England braces itself to host the longest coastal path in the world upon completion. In celebration of this 2,800 mile masterpiece covering every part of our incredible coastline, I travelled to Dorset to get a taste of what keen coastal hikers can expect all across the country come next year.
Switzerland is an incredibly expensive place to holiday in, whether you’re skiing, hiking, or just satisfying a craving for authentic Swiss fondue. So avoiding peak season, thus dodging the crowds as well as a few bangs to your purse, sounds logical. Despite limited tourist attraction availability in winter, the Swiss Alps still keeps open its doors to some excellent exploration and hiking opportunities.
There was one proviso with my summer trip to the Banff National Park in Canada: go and see Moraine Lake. It was that simple - jump in the hire car, park up, and look at it. Yet the idea seemed distant and other-worldly, because Moraine Lake, with no exception, is the landscape of my dreams.
You know what I like? Clear, forged, simple and incredibly scenic trails. No scrambles. No stomping through muddy fields because, for some reason, the gravel path I was on just... stopped. No getting lost up a hill for hours until 2am having circled the same area all day and evening. Lucky for me, conquering the Lake District's Helvellyn was right up my street. Or... up my path.
Don’t go, they said. It’s not worth it - nothing is open, they said. Visits to the Swiss Alps in November are unanimously ill-advised thanks to a combination of heaps of snow and the Swiss authorities choosing this month to carry out repair works on ski-lifts, which go to the next-level (pun intended) hiking trails. If, however, you're a fan of snow and hiking, or just a daredevil risking all against general Internet consensus just to see some pretty mountains, then fear not, for I have the solution: Oeschinen Lake.
Why did I even bother? Okay, so - I'm as keen on hiking as a redneck is on his or her right to bear arms. Yet, back in 2017 and on my first voyage to the summit of Mount Snowdon, I swapped out the mountain path for the cheater's path (or, rather, the Snowdon Mountain Railway), just to say "I did it". It was wrong, so this year laced up my boots and returned to Wales to restore order.
When it comes to day trips in the Banff National Park, few activities in any given brochure could top some quality time with Lake Louise. As the long-serving poster child for the Canadian Rockies, hopes were high as I spent a day exploring one of the greatest bucket-list items in the world.
Nothing quite prepares anybody for the sheer magnificence tucked away in the Canadian west. The Banff and Yoho National Parks, cornerstones of the Rockies, encapsulate everything we could ever want from natural scenery, and here I detail my favourite views in this dream destination.
I recently travelled to Mallorca with a friend to slay their magnificent and yet probably largely unknown mountain ranges to the west of the Spanish island. While I succeeded on my quest, the journey was strewn with obstacles (and not all being physical) that simple and yet crucial accessories could have helped me overcome.
Advice and Inspiration
Around 10 years ago I picked up on a love for landscape scenery. I awed at mountain ranges, glistening lakes and sweeping valleys. So I went to Snowdonia and the Lake District and so on, and it wasn’t long before I realised I wanted to photograph the views.
Advice and Inspiration
Whether you're scratching off places from your bucket list or looking for somewhere to escape to this year, do yourself a favour and tear up that brochure on cliché beach bum escapes and shopaholic holidays in Europe's finest retail cities. I'm here to tell you that Norway is where you really want to be, you just might not know it yet.
Two years ago I flew to this enormous rock in the Mediterranean known as Mallorca (or ‘Majorca’ to English speaking folk) on what would turn out to be my favourite escape to date, subsequently blogging about the marvellous experience. So would I rekindle the magic in 2017?
I can’t believe I’m writing this travel entry, because the title is an admission of something I am not proud of, so let’s just get this out of the way quickly. Yes - I took a mountain train to the summit of Mount Snowdon, and yes - I claim to be a keen explorer, ruthless adventurer and semi-experienced hiker.
Norway. It has locked up its status as the fjord king of our world and chucked the key away (probably into one of those fjords). As majestic as they are grand, there is so much more to the Nordic land. Enter: Trollstigen.
Let’s play a quick game of word association. I’ll say a word and you say the first associated word that pops into your head. Ready? Okay - Norway. What was your answer? If it wasn’t ‘fjord’, then I’d book an appointment with your GP. For the sake of this post, I’d have accepted ‘jaw-dropping scenery’. Although that’s three words.