One of the presentations we had during the GetOutside meetup last week was all about the huge variety of outdoors activities and adventures that the family of Champions got up to over the last year. And what an amazing array of adventures we had between us! There were expeditions, world record attempts, book publications, personal challenges, endurance feats, television appearances, and much more besides. Never one to knowingly pass up an opportunity to borrow an idea, and now that I’m officially in my third year as a GetOutside Champion, I thought I’d look back over the last 12 (well, 14) months of my own outdoors fun and share a few of the highlights with you.
When it comes to outdoors adventure and the GetOutside campaign, I am here to represent the normal… I mean, I work full time in a corporate office based job, own a house and have to do all the things associated with that, and generally live a pretty ordinary life. I’ve learned over the years that spending time outdoors gives me solace, keeps me sane, and helps me function much better as a human. I’m no adventurer, no athlete, mountaineer, public speaker, or author, but I do love the outdoors and do my best to get as much of it as I possibly can.
Anyway, onto those GetOutside adventures of the last year – just in case any of these spark some interest in you and encourage you to go and do likewise.
My GetOutside Year 2018
Britain’s Favourite Walks
Okay so I didn’t actually walk the West Highland Way in 2018, but I did have my five minutes of fame on ITV in that year so this counts. Jenni and I were joined by Julia Bradbury and the ITV crew for a few miles on day five of our week-long hike in Scotland, and were featured as part of the coverage back in January. What a cool thing to have done!
Outdoor Bloggers Camp in Dalby Forest
Our annual Outdoor Bloggers camping weekend is always a pleasure. In 2018 we headed to Dalby Forest for camping, hiking, quizzing, networking, and lots of laughing. Do you like to spend time outside and write about it? Join us in Cheddar for our Spring Camp 2019.
Motorcycle Camping Roadtrip on the NC500
I absolutely adore Scotland, I don’t need much of an excuse to pay it a visit. This time we headed north for our second go around the North Coast 500 route on a motorcycle camping trip.
Wild Swimming in Dorset
I was invited by Wilderness Weekends to join them for their Wild Swimming weekend in Dorset in September, allowing me to tick “Swim through Durdle Door” off my bucket list. Only just, mind, it was a tough swim for me!
I’m no endurance athlete or world record holder (yet…), but I do enjoy a bit of a silly challenge. For Ordnance Survey’s first National GetOutside Day I set myself a challenge to see how many outdoors activities I could take part in within a 48 hour period. Want to see me try and beat it this September? Let me know in the comments below!
Cheltenham Circular Walk
I had wanted to complete another National Trail in 2018 but that wasn’t to be this time, so instead I took myself on a two-day 35 mile hike around my new home town of Cheltenham. An excellent way to get to know the area, I think you’ll agree.
And a Whole Load of Quick Adventures
My absolute favourite thing to do to top up my adventurous spirit is to spend Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons off doing one-off fun things. You know the sort of thing – the experience voucher type activities you can find on Buyagift and similar places. They’re a great way to do something fun that’s organised, safe, and relatively easy.
Bearing in mind that in this time I relocated 200 miles south-west, leaving my employer of over 12 years and starting a new full-time job, selling my home and buying a new one (with nearly three months living in hotels in-between there too), I don’t think I did a terrible job of spending time outdoors in the last year. I guess what I’m trying to say, not very well, is that you can make time even when things are a bit frantic – and there are a whole host of activities open to you, there is absolutely something for everyone.