With borders intermittently opening up across Europe, many people are cautiously venturing out of Covid hibernation to catch a glimmer of travel wanderlust they can safely reap. While we’d love nothing more than to be exploring far off lands, getting lost in a strange country and eating baffling local dishes, we’ve decided not to travel internationally at the moment.

Although we could manage the quarantine requirements for returning to the UK relatively easily, the situation remains fairly unpredictable. Countries keep moving on and off the travel corridor, testing and quarantine requirements are shifting and the opening of venues, restaurants and attractions is limited.

None of this is insurmountable of course and if we were working 9-5 jobs I doubt any of the above would get in the way of taking a well-earned holiday.

But for us, there’s another great reason not to travel at the moment. With so many incredible areas of natural beauty in the UK, and with outdoor adventures holding even more appeal, it feels like a great time to be exploring our own backyard.

Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Canoeing on the River Wye

Coursing through a wooded valley and arcing around medieval ruins, the River Wye was an ideal location to test out our non-existent canoeing skills. There are secret stony beaches, hidden picnic spots and mini-rapids for the faintest hint of adrenaline.

It’s perfectly fine for complete beginners, although one of us (without mentioning names it was Mark) smashed into a bank, took a turn backwards and almost flipped the canoe. You can go any time of year and in fact misty autumn days may be the best.


Revisiting one of our favourite walks in the country

The undulating chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters is one of our favourite walks in the country. With some great local pubs, profoundly-botched National Trust coffee and sublime scenery it’s an unforgettable outdoor experience in the UK. We also discovered a new improved route that (as with most of our routes) ended up in a lovely country pub on a village green.

Seven Sisters can be done as a day trip from London or even as a weekender. The quaint village of Alfriston is a great place to stay.

Basking in sunshine in the Lake District

Anyone familiar with the Lake District knows good weather can be a rare event. So when we saw a week of clear skies forecast, we were in the car the next day rushing up the M6. And what a glorious week it was. Adventurous hiking, ghyll scrambling and canyoning, wild swimming in remote tarns and some sublime misty mornings that you can see on Instagram.

With autumn leaves just beginning to arrive, now is a great time to visit.

WHERE NEXT?

We’re undecided so we’d like your help. We’d love to hear any suggestions you have for outdoorsy, off-the-beaten-track gems in the UK. Under-visited rural charmers, semi-adventurous activities, or popular places you think deserve another look.

Let us know in the comments or send us a message on Instagram.

Cheers,
Mark & Paul.



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