An Outdoorsy Weekend in the Black Forest in Freiburg, Germany


Famed for its environmentally friendly credentials and quaint old town, Freiburg is also an ideal place for a laid-back, active weekend in the Black Forest, as I soon discovered.

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Weekend Walks from London: Grand Union Canal Trail

Only 40 minutes away by train from London lies the Grand Union Canal Walk, a trail that incorporates picturesque English landscapes, weird and wonderful canal boats and more pubs than you can shake a pint at along the route.

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Hidden London: A Tour Around Highgate Station’s Wilderness Walkabout

Ever wandered past an abandoned underground station, and wondered what it would be like inside? Or seen a station you didn’t recognise in a film, and wondered where they shot it? With Hidden London, you need not wonder anymore. Each year, this group organises select dates where urban explorers can wander and learn about the history of some of London’s abandoned underground stations and historical buildings.

This year marked the opening of a new tour, around the old abandoned Highgate station. Once a vital stop on the Great Northern Road and later tipped to be an important commuter interchange station, a series of unfortunate events led to it being abandoned and reclaimed by nature. But now, Hidden London are letting people view this urban wilderness for the first time in years.

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The Quirkiest Climbing Walls to Visit Around the World

One night I found myself researching outdoor climbing destinations on Pinterest for holidays. Between the various pictures of sweet overhang routes in Spain and the vertigo-inducing mountain climbs in South America, some truly original indoor climbing walls caught my eye. Now I know what you’re thinking, travelling to a foreign country for climbing only to go to an indoor gym sounds a bit….anti-climatic? A complete contrast to the ‘dirtbag lifestyle’? But take a look at the following below and tell me you’re not at least intrigued! Continue reading

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Why You Should Give Cycling a Try – with Cycle Republic

I think it would be fair to say that the UK is a nation of cycling enthusiasts, of sorts. In between our success in the male and female cycling divisions at the Olympics to our strong presence in the Tour de France, we have a constant drip of cycling inspiration to spur us to give it a try. And judging from the countryside roads that are chock a block with both cars and weekend riders, to parks and nature reserves heaving with families on their own cycling jaunts, even the queues of cyclists on the cycle superhighways in London, many of us have taken up the sport with full zest.

For other people though, cycling simply stops at the screen and news reports.  

To understand what makes people take up cycling in the first place, and offer my own experiences in cycling, I have teamed up with Cycle Republic, who sponsored this post. Continue reading

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How to Make the Most of your Grand Canyon Trip in a Few Days

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Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of the Grand Canyon. Photos, videos and drawings fail to live up to seeing this iconic landmark’s expansive size and striking reddish hues in person. In fact, it can take months to fully explore the Grand Canyon and appreciate its rivers, scenic points and geology, and the park is one of those unique places you can return to at different times and see an entirely new side of it.

Visiting the Grand Canyon at all is a treat for the eyes and senses, but to fully appreciate its beauty and rugged landscape in a short space of time, I would recommend exploring the park over the course of several days at different times. Not only will you be able to avoid the crowds of tourist buses at peak times, you might also be able to see sites and critters no one else gets to see, or even have the park to yourself! Continue reading

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Sailing the High Seas in Search of Monterey’s Sea Life

The link between Monterey Bay and the sea is inescapable. Its unique ocean habitats have made the area home to seals, sea otters, dolphins, whales and albatrosses, which in turn has transformed the land surrounding the bay into all things sea life: from the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, to Fisherman’s Wharf, heck even in John Steinbeck’s literature Monterey’s relationship with the sea is featured.

And so, with the opportunity to see the aquatic residents of this area up-close and in their own natural habitat, we boarded a ship with the Monterey Bay Whale Watch Centre and headed out to sea.

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Finding California’s Big Sur

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Big Sur is one of California’s most popular tourist destinations, and with its dramatic coastline scenery and exotic flora and fauna, it is not difficult to understand why people flock here. As it is also a popular stopping point for road trips, we pinned it on our map and waited in anticipation to explore its hiking trails and beach spots.

However when the park experienced a flash flood, landslide AND a forest fire in quick succession prior to our arrival, it seemed our hopes would be dashed as much of the park. Luckily though, the Ragged Point Inn & Resort came to the rescue.

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Making the Most of Yosemite in One Day: the Valley Loop Trail

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Yosemite is one of those places that you can spend years exploring, learn every mountain name and walk every path like a grizzly ol’ mountaineer, and still find something new to discover. Each season transforms the park into a different world, making it an easy place to return to year after year.

My first visit to Yosemite was during the spring, with the snow running off the mountains and the waterfalls tumbling at full throttle. With only a day to explore this expansive park however, I knew we had to find a walk that enabled us to see as much of Yosemite’s landscapes as possible. After spending a hefty amount of time deliberating whether to chuck it all in and become a forest ranger, I used all of my self-restraint and common sense, and decided to go with our second plan: walk the Valley Loop Trail.

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Measuring just under 12 miles in total, the Yosemite Valley Loop Trails follows the park’s old wagon trails, incorporating the main features of the valley in the process. While the trail is available to hike year-round it really comes into its own in the spring, where the snow run-off from the mountains supercharges the waterfalls in the valley. Continue reading

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Exploring San Francisco on Two Wheels

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If there was one word to describe California, it would be diverse; from its desert to mountainous landscapes, its metropolitan cities and whistlestop cowboy villages, to its weather, one can find anything and everything in this state. With this in mind, California was a natural choice when it came to choosing a destination for our road trip, and what better starting point than San Francisco?

With a reputation of being one of the world’s greenest cities, San Francisco is easy to walk around and explore, as long as you have calves of steel to take on its many hills! With a city of that size though, it soon became apparent that we needed to swap our two feet for two wheels. And so we rented some noble steeds from one of San Francisco’s many bike shops and meandered along the coast towards our destination: the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. Continue reading

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