5 Irish Festivals Not to Miss this May


Ireland is a country of beautiful rolling countryside with fantastic cities and towns. Dublin is a bustling, vibrant city where there is always something fun going on and the month of May is no different. Spirits are high as spring is in full bloom and the start of festival season is upon us, so what better way to embrace the warmer weather than heading out to a Irish festival yourself. Here are our six favourites.  

Dublin Dance Festival From the 2nd to the 20th May the Dublin Dance Festival hits town, and what a treat it is too. Bringing the best international dancers to Irish audiences of all ages and backgrounds, it gives Irish dance artists opportunities to create partnerships that otherwise would have been impossible. Aside from that its a beautiful event to see and will definitely make you want to get moving.

There is all sorts going on including family fun if you fancy taking the little ones down there, outdoor events and heaps of live music & voice events.


International Literature Festival

The International Literature Festival comes to Dublin from the 19th - 27th May and gathers the finest writers in the world to debate, provoke, delight and enthral. You’ll find discussions, debates, workshops, performances and screenings, so if you love to read then this is the one for you. Children’s fiction is also really well respresented at this Irish festival so its one for all of the family.


Gin Fusion During the May bank holiday weekend of 4th to the 7th May comes Gin Fusion. Hosted at the Bernard Shaw and the Eatyard in Dublin, the Bodytonic team bring you gin, gin and more gin, oh and some awesome music too. There will be a variety of events going on including gin tastings (obviously), workshops on cocktails and food pairing, and a pop-up market. There will be loads of food stalls, DJ’s spinning tunes and it promises to be a fun filled weekend.



Another Irish festival happening over the bank holiday weekend is Vantastival, a fabulous family festival on the 3rd and 4th of May in Beaulieu House and Gardens, County Louth. The emphasis is on leading a nomadic lifestyle for the weekend so campervans are encouraged. There are loads of great gourmet food stalls, festival traders and fantastic childrens activites, the whole family will have a great time.



The Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival

During late April/early May (28th April - 1st May) comes the Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival and if you love your blues and rockabilly music you’ll be in your element at this Irish Festival. You’ll wind your way through the medieval streets lapping up the huge range of music in the 30 or more venues, hosting over 40 Irish and international acts. There are ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night.

Northern Ireland - 7 walks with a view


If you love to walk then you’re going adore Northern Ireland’s unspoilt, natural and rugged offerings. The country is known for its magnificent castles, glacial valleys and mountains and is a walkers paradise with so many options.

The coast line is beautiful with beaches, rocky cliffs and stunning views and you’ll often find yourself alone away from the maddening crowds.

If climbing is your thing then head for the hills and mountains to find your slice of Northern Ireland tranquillity.

A trip to Northern Ireland will emerse you in nature and really pull you away from the daily hustle and bustle of life.

Check out our favourites walks with a view below.


1.Rathlin Island


This is the most Northerly inhabited island in Northern Ireland and is a wonderful place to get away from the daily grind of life. The island has six walking trails that you can follow and there are beautiful coastal views all around the island.

2.The Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic range in Northern Island. The mountains are criss-crossed by a network of paths and tracks which make them a great place for a hike, and the views are pretty incredible.


3.Mussenden Temple, Co. Derry, Londonderry

Sat on the edge of a 120 ft high cliff, the Mussenden Temple is an amazing sight. Located in the downhill demesne the open clifftop walk to the temple offers the most delightful views over Downhill Beach towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal, Portstewart and Fair Head.


4.North Antrim Coast

The beautiful North Antrim coast offers cove after cove of sheer cliffs that are ringed and striped by causeway stone, an abundance of lichens and bright coastal flowers during the warmer months.

Take in the view as the Atlantic waves crash against the rocks.


5.Pollnagollum Cave, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

In the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopoark you’ll find Pollnagollum Cave, which is Irish for ‘hole of the doves’

The cave entrance is fed by a beautifully cascading waterfall that falls down a 12 metre limestone cliff to disappear into the depths of the cave.

It even appeared in the searies Game of Thrones.


6.Cave Hill Country Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim

On the outskirts of Belfast you’ll find the sleeping giant, distingusihed by its famouns ‘Napoleons  nose’ it resembles the profile of the famous emperor Napoleon.

A  4.5 mile circular route passes several caves and offers wonderful views out across the city.

7.Whitepark Bay, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim

Back on the North Antrim Coast, this beautiful sandy bay is a must see for beach lovers and deserves a mention. Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean it forms a white arc between the two headlines on this beautiful coastline.

The Beautiful Yorkshire Coastline


When you think of Yorkshire I would guess that the Yorkshire Dales might spring to mind, rolling, beautiful countryside, the Pennine Mountains and plenty of peace and quiet. And you would be right! But if you head to the Yorkshire coast you’ll be surprised to find it as beautiful as any of the UK’s southern beach destinations and much more wild and rugged. On the Yorkshire coast, towns and ports give way to tiny, quaint villages with a splattering of coffee shops all run by those notoriously friendly local Yorkshire folk. We’ve picked our highlights below.


Robin Hoods Bay

Up in Northern Yorkshire you’ll find the beautiful spot of Robin Hoods Bay, a small coastal village set on a beautiful tidal bay. During low tide you can wander around on the sand and look for crabs in the rock pools. This is a fantastic spot to take little ones and they will love exploring.

You can walk around the bay on the beach to other bays down the coast, but do be aware that once the tide comes in the whole beach will be underwater, so time your walk well! There is also the option to walk up on the path along the cliff if you do leave it too late.

There are a few little coffee shops and pubs in this little village and some lovely boutique type shops with nice gifts for sale.  



Also in Northern Yorkshire not far away from Robin Hoods Bay you’ll find the gorgeous town of Whitby, a fabulous town on the Yorkshire coast.

Famed for its beautiful blue flag beaches, amazing fish and chips and its array of shopping, pubs and places to eat its definitely worth a visit.

You’ll find boat trips here amid the fishing boats and the beautiful castle set up on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and the town.

Whitby is also home to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway so if you fancy seeing the countryside on an old steam train then this is a great day out and the little ones will love it too if you are travelling with a family.


Runswick Bay

About nine miles north of Whitby on the Yorkshire coast lies Runswick Bay, with its sweeping bay and gorgeous red roofed cottages it is a really pretty destination.

This is a small village with tiny winding roads weaving around the village, it has a pub and a little shop and many beautiful walks on the coast. Expect a chilled out vibe where you’ll find some real peace and quiet.



Quite the opposite to Runswick Bay, Scarborough is your classic seaside town with the beach, activites on the seafront, loads of hotels, pub and restaruants, shops filled with buckets and spades and a real English seaside holiday feel.

If you are after peace and quiet on the Yorkshire coast then Scarborough probably isn’t the right choice for you, but if you fancy basing yourself somewhere with lots going on then this would definitely work and you could certainly explore the surrounding tranquil countryside from this base.

Visit Scarborough Castle, the Sea Life Sanctuary or try your hand at the Sky Trail Adventure and the Alpine Waterpark.



Flamborough is very rural and wild, a beautiful stretch of the Yorkshire coast with rugged white cliffs and a beautiful little bay. There is a very small village behind the bay too.

People tend to come to Flamborough for a real outdoors adventure, bird watching is great and there is a scenic nature reserve with two ancient lighthouses nearby.

The coastline is often windswept and walking terrain can be hard so its a better place for the more experiened walker to visit.

You’ll get a real sense of being away from it all in Flamborough, surrounded by Yorkshire nature at its best.


Bempton Cliffs

If you are a keen birdwatcher then you must head for Bempton Cliffs, particularly between March and October when around half a million seabirds gather in this area to breed - its a really remarkable sight to see.

Species often seen in this area include Gannet, Guillemot, Puffin, Barn Owl and Tree Sparrow.

The reserve is managed by the RSPB and during the mating season the cliff tops are patrolled by workers who strive to help the birds against environmental threats including climate change and industrial fishing.

The closest places to stay are Scarborough at about 30 minutes drive away and Bridlington which is about a 10 minute drive.

The Three Peaks Challenge


  Have you ever thought about getting involved in an event to challenge yourself, give yourself something to work towards and train towards and most importantly raise some much needed money for your favourite charity?

Well we have just the thing; the Three Peaks Challenge. This is where participants are challenged to walk the three highest mountains in the Scotland, England and Wales all in one go. The traditional Three Peaks Challenge dares you to get this done in one day only. Sounds like a tough day? It really is!

If you don’t think you’re quite ready for all of this in one day there is another option so don’t worry.

Walk sessions are spread across the warmer months and are filling up fast with some dates already full, so if you are keen to get involved then have a read of our guide below and get yourself booked on!


The Open National Three Peaks Challenge in 1 Day

If you’re ready to accept the challenge then you’ll travel to Fort William in Scotland on the Friday morning and meet up with your walking team.

You can come in a small group or as an individual and you’ll be placed in a group of the same ability as yours. You will walk together providing each other with great support, as well as having mountain guides and support staff on hand.

The event begins with the Ben Nevis on the Saturday which you’ll need to have conquered in 5.5 hours and have reached Scafell Pike in England ready to climb through the night for 4.5 hours, then head for Snowdon in Wales to climb during the Sunday early hours in 4 hours. If it sounds hard then that’s because it really is!

You definitely need to be a fit and healthy person to complete this challenge, make sure you train hard and are in top physical condition.

Of course you will be accompanied by a driver who will get you from mountain to mountain in the required amount of time, so you will get a little down time to regain your composure, re-hydrate and refresh, ready for the next climb.


Do Your Own Three Peaks Challenge

You can also register your own group event to take on this challenge which means you will need to organise the whole trip yourselves including transport from each mountain and onto the next.

You will receive an information pack on what you’ll need to organise though so don’t panic. It will also help you to record your challenge online and includes personal certificates upon completion.

If you do decide to do this challenge alone then preparation is the key, you need to thoroughly do your research or it could end up being a really dangerous trip.

Also keep in mind that many attemptes at the The Three Peaks Challenge have to be abandoned, even by guide led groups, since we cannot control the weather and certain conditions are just too dangerous to walk in when you are half way up a mountain.

The Three Peaks Challenge in 3 Days

If all of this sounds like something you are keen to do but you don’t think you are ready to take on the 24 hour challenge then you can accept the three peaks in three days challenge instead. We are not saying that this is in anyway easy either but it just gives your body more time to recover in between the mountain climbs and psychologically makes the challenge seem more reasonable.

Three peaks in three days also starts on the Friday with a stay over in Fort William in Scotland, then on the Saturday you will complete the Nevis climb in seven hours and drive to Scafell Pike in the Lake District and sleep the night here. On Sunday morning you will wake up refreshed and ready to climb Scafell Pike in six hours, then drive on to Snowdon to sleep the night here. Waking up on your final day you will climb Snowdon in six hours and relax, since you’ll have completed the three peaks challenge in three days!

Walking three mountains in three days is still very tiring and physically draining for your body so please don’t think you can scrimp on the training, you’ll too need to be in peak physical condition to get this challenge done.


Good luck if you choose to accept!

The 6 Greatest Places to Visit in Ireland this Spring


There is never a bad time to visit Ireland, the dramatic scenery takes on a more atmospheric feel during the winter months and bustling, friendly cities invite you in with their open fires and friendly locals. Come the spring though and you’ll be more than ready to get out and about exploring and you might even get a glimpse of sunshine to warm you up.

We’ve picked five top spots that deserve a visit during the spring months.


  1. Glenveagh National Park

This is the second largest national park in Ireland located in County Donegal and is surrounded by rolling hills and a gorgeous lake which beautifully reflects the sun in the spring and summer months.

Blow off those winter cobwebs with a nice walk in the 16,000 hectares which include the Derryveagh Mountains and the Poisoned Glenn.

There are some beautiful trails that take you around the park, some more difficult than others but all requiring proper walking shoes and prior preparation since there are gradients involved and the walking terrain will often be on loose gravel and not necessarily a path.

The least difficult route is around the lake and is one of the most beautiful too. This route takes around 40 minutes and is mostly flat ground on a gravel path.

If you fancy challenging yourself head for the View Point Trail. Although just a short walk of around 35 minutes, this route has some very steep sections and involves climbing steep and stoney paths. The view from the top is certainly a reward for your hard work.


2.County Armagh, Loughgall Country Park

Head for County Armagh in Northern Island and you’ll find Loughgall Country Park, often referred to as the orchard of Ireland, this is a gorgeous place to visit once the weather warms up a touch in the spring.

You’ll find so much to do, from walks and bike rides to a play area for the children, golf, an adventure trail and a football pitch.

In early May this place becomes home to the Apple Blossom festival which is a three day event where the stunning pink and white blossom that emerges each year plays backdrop to loads of activities happening around the orchard area.


3.Glengarriff Bamboo Park

In County Cork lies the Glengarriff Bamboo Park, a beautiful exotic garden, home to 30 different species of bamboo, palm trees and many other tropical plants. There are loads of lovely walks around the gardens and you can also take in the stunning views of Glengarriff harbour. Whilst wandering the gardens you’ll come across some mysterious stone pillars, there are 13 of these that are thought to be ancient although their significance still remains a mystery.

Walking in Glengarriff Bamboo Park in spring really allows you to forget about those long winter months that have passed and almost transports you to a tropical country for a few hours.



If you’re a surfer then you will probably have been itching for the winter to be done and the spring on its way bringing warmer temperatures so that you can hit those waves.

Sligo is by far the best surfing area in Ireland, yes you’ll definitely still need to wear a wetsuit in the spring but you may get a glimpse of the sun and can enjoy the ocean for longer as the temperatures rise.

While in the area you must definitely visit Gilligahan’s World in Knocknashee. Titled the ‘field of dreams’ these enchanted fairy gardens offer a beautiful, spiritual experience for all of the family. This is a really magical and arty place that you need to really see to understand.

Expect miniature villages, fairy habitats, ponds and pools, animals and loads more. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another little world and the spring light and sunshine will only make it more of a special visit.


5.Burren National Park

Burren National Park is located in County Clare and is a region of environmental interest made up of glaciated karst.

Late into spring in the May months the area comes alive with wild flower and walking any of the five marked trails is more beautiful than ever that take you through limestone grasslands, hazel and ash woods, and limestone pavements.

In May the Burren in Bloom festival comes to the national park where visitors are guided through the gardens learning about the unique flowers and cultural wealth of the area.


6.Liss Ard Gardens

Just outside of Skibbereen, County Cork, you’ll find Liss Ard Gardens, a magical estate of manors, gardens, trails, ponds and lakes. The gardens have been designed like a piece of art and are truly a peaceful, tranquil place to be.

However amid the beauty of this place is something amazing that is quite hard to put into words and really needs to be seen to be believed; The Crater. An architectural installation built in the gardens by artist James Turrell that from above looks like a huge bowl. It’s an incredible experience that we would highly recommend.


We hope you’re inspired to get out and about this spring and lets hope the sun makes an appearance too. Please do keep in mind though that St Patrick's Day is Saturday 27th March, so if you’ll either need to embrace the fun over that weekend or visit at another time when it might be a little quieter on the Emerald Isle.


Visiting the Norfolk Broads this Spring


As our thoughts turn to spring and we urge the cold weather to succumb to some sunshine and warmth, we start to think about breaks and holidays.

The spring is an excellent time to go away in Britain and Ireland because temperatures are warming up, flowers and trees are bursting to life and people have a spring in their step as they say goodbye to the winter.

If you’ve not visited the Norfolk Broads National Park before then this spring could be just the time to do it.

The Broads themselves are man-made and consist of over 125 miles of navigable, lock free waterways that meander through the beautiful countryside and gorgeous towns and villages. Locals like to think of it as the Venice of the East!


The Broads and Rivers

The Broads can be split up into the Northern and Southern side, both offering beautiful scenery and many places to explore.

If you are planning to visit the Norfolk Broads this spring then you are likely going to try your hand at boating and there are many places that will teach you how and what to do. The Broads are a great place to learn and you’ll find a lot of first timers, with no locks and easy to navigate rivers and waterways it makes for hassle free boating.

The River Bude in the Northern Broads is said to be one of the prettiest in the area, starting from the gorgeous village of Coltishall this river flows through the hustle and bustle of Wroxham, cruises on into Horning (which has loads of great riverside pubs should you fancy a little break or a spot of lunch) and on into Great Yarmouth.

Another favourite in the Northern Broads is the River Ant and Barton Broad which is a much more picturesque route that still has some beautiful towns along the way.

Heading down to the Southern Broads you’ll find the River Yare and Breydon Water, the biggest of the rivers in the Broads.

This is a tranquil and beautiful route travelling through the gorgeous countryside and eventually coming out onto the vast but shallow expanse of water at Breydon Water.

The least typical of all of the rivers is the River Waveney and Oulton Broad. Take this route and you’ll cross the Norfolk/Suffolk border and head through Olaves and Somerleyton and onto the lovely market town of Beccles where you could hop off and have a mooch.


Towns and City

The Norfolk Broads is actually the only National Park that contains a city as well as many lovely towns and villages so if you do visit the Norfolk Broads this spring you can take your pick and go and explore.

Norwich is the city that you’ll find in the Norfolk Broads and is an attractive, University city, but if you’ve come away to get your countryside fix you’ll probably avoid the city and head for the many gorgeous towns and villages that the Norfolk Broads have to offer.

The town of Potter Heigham is a great place to hire your boat and so may well mark the start of your journey, it is home to a bridge that is one of the most difficult to navigate under in the Broads, if you aren’t experienced on a boat then we’d probably suggest avoiding this one but it is fun to go and watch the other sailors navigate it!

Woodbastwick comes highly recommended for a visit, this quieter and more tranquil of places has twice won the ‘Best Kept Village’ award and is a beautiful place with a medieval, thatched church. It is also home to Woodforde’s Brewery and The Fur and Feather so you can’t go far wrong if you like a nice pub lunch and a pint.

Aylsham is another lovely spot, this charming market town in the upper reaches of the beautiful River Bure has the northern terminus of the Bure Valley Railway close by which runs to Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall, for the train enthusiasts amongst you.



Come to the Norfolk Broads this spring and expect an abundance of wildlife, it really is a great spot to see English nature at its finest.

Many people come to the area for bird watching alone, with spring and autumn bringing hosts of migrant birds to the area.

You can also expect to see 25 species of freshwater fish, otters, butterflies, dragonflies  and so much more wildlife in abundance.

7 Unusual Walks in Britain


If you are looking for some new walking ideas and fancy something a little bit different we’ve found some quirky and interesting ideas spread out over Britain, that we hope might be of interest.

Walking doesn’t always have to be about climbing the highest hill or rambling through forests, sometimes we all fancy a change to keep things fresh and fun and there is absolutely no harm in that.


1.Glasgow School of Art walking tour

The Glasgow Miracle Tour takes you from the 1970’s to modern day looking at how artists, designers and architects have helped to shaped Glasgow and have contributed to its cultural regeneration.

The tour takes you through some of the city’s most amazing buildings, including the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building that was rebuilt after a fire four years ago.  Definitely an unusual walk but also really very interesting and really quite educational.


2.Manchester’s Wonder Women 2018 Guided Tour

This year sees 100 years since women first gained the right to vote, and to celebrate this there a whole host of interesting things going on in Manchester, the birthplace of the suffragette movement back in 1903.

The Wonder Women Guided Tour will educate you in the lives of the many women who campaigned for equality over the last two centuries, with a special guided tour of the People’s History Museum.


3.Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter tours, Oxford

These book related tours in Oxford are just perfect for all of the family, so if you’ve little ones in tow you won’t be disappointed.

Oxford was the birthplace of Alice in Wonderland and on this unusual walk (there wasn’t much normal about Wonderland let’s face it!) you’ll tour the same hallways and gardens that Alice once walked. See the door in the Cathedral that is said to be the very one Alice went in to Wonderland through, and after the tour head for Alice’s shop where you’ll find all manner of Alice related products.

Along the way you’ll also get to see all of the Oxford film locations for the Harry Potter movies and can imagine yourself being right there in the action.


  1. The 'kingdom' of Piel Island

Piel Island is a tiny little place quite like no other. Home to a castle, a couple of houses and of course a pub, this island lies half a mile off the southern tip of the Furness Peninsula in the administrative county of Cumbria, and can be reached by ferry.

The ‘king’ of Piel Island is the pub landlord due to old traditions that are still very much alive today.

Many people come to Piel Island and camp over for super cheap rates and a fabulous experience, quite like no other.

The island is very chilled, children can roam about freely, it’s lovely to walk around and see the old castle and of course end the day in the pub, perfect!


5.A History of Terror, Belfast

This award winning non-partisan, non-political walking tour in Belfast was set up by a resident to highlight the lost human stories of the troubles the city has seen.

The tour lasts for about two hours and you’ll see several of the attack sites that took place between 1971 and 1976. Because of the nature of this unusual walk it’s really more for adults and older children.

If you’ve a group who would like to go along they will certainly taylor tours to your requirements, often doing the same for schools and universities.


6.The End of The World, Foula

It is easy to see how Virgil, an ancient Roman poet, once called Foula the end of the world.

Foula Island is one of Britain’s most remote inhabited islands and  lies within the Shetland islands in Scotland.

There are about 30 people living here who are mostly sheep and pony farmers, and as you can imagine there are some simply beautiful walks in this location.

Many people come specifically to see the amazing variety of birdlife including puffin, skuas, razorbills and gannets, but whilst walking the beautiful, rugged coastline do watch out for seals.  

This wild, rugged and stunning island will fill you will calmness and peace and is certainly an unusual walk and one that you won’t ever forget.


7.Britain’s deadliest path

If you fancy an unusual walk that will also mean you taking your life into your own hands then be brave and head for Britain’s deadliest path in….Essex of all places!

There is a churchyard nearby where 66 people lie buried, all victims of the same killer, the footpath from Wakering Stairs, seemingly out to sea before making landfall again on the Foulness Island.

This route makes it way over the Maplin Sands mudflats on the northern banks of the Thames Estuary, once marked by twigs that have since washed away. If you make it it’s a beautiful experience that at times feels a little like walking on water, but the big problem is getting the tide timings wrong. Get caught short and the tide sweeps in far faster than you can run and has claimed many lives.

The risk of encountering ‘unexploded ordnance’ from Ministry of Defence activities on Foulness Island if you stray too far from the Broomway route, adds an extra excitment to this walk.

If you do decide to give this route a go then please always use a local guide who knows the area well and will guide you safely there and back.


Kent’s Beautiful Coastline


When you think of the best beaches in Britain and the most beautiful rugged coastline it usually conjures up images of Cornwall, Devon or Norfolk perhaps. However head for south, eastern part of the country and you’ll find yourself in Kent, complete with simply beautiful beaches, gorgeous coastal walks, cute little bays and its famous white cliffs. The Kent coastline stretches for 350 miles and is a fantastic place to holiday, pick one of a number of its lovely seaside towns or head this way for a day trip. Kent’s coastline is perfect for all ages and abilities and there are more blue flag beaches than in any other county. We’ve picked our favourites below.


Dungeness Beach

This first of Kent’s beaches is not the rolling sand that you would imagine but is actually a vast expanse of shingle beach that has a really atmospheric feel to it.

Dungeness has one of the most unique habitats in the country and is technically classed as a desert, that said though it is still home to a number of rare insects and around 600 species of plants.

You’ll also notice the wooden cottage sat on the beach with its driftwood garden, once lived in by film director Derek Jarman.

The imposing sight of the flat land with two lighthouses jutting up and the eerie looking nuclear power station just add to the surreal vibe at this one of Kent’s beaches, it is definitely worth a stroll around if you are in the area.


Minster Leas Beach

The village of Minster is home to the next of Kent’s beaches. Minster is a lovely village that has a Saxon Abbey on the only high ground of the Isle of Sheppey. The Isle of Sheppey is a small island just off the northern coast of Kent which offers lovely beaches, some fantastic places to eat and stay and a little bit of island life just off 46 miles to the east of London.

Minster beach is a really tranquil spot, it has a grassy area that leads down to a long, shingle beach and when the tide is out you’ll be treated to sand as well.

There is a lovely promenade that is very popular with dog walkers and families taking their children out on bikes and it has amazing views over the North Sea, The Swale and The Nore.


St Mary’s Bay

St Mary’s Bay is a lovely sandy one of Kent’s beaches. It is located between Viking Bay and Stone Bay, in the coastal village on the South East Kent coastline. It is gorgeously sandy with flat rocks around the low water mark, there are loads of rock pools for children to explore and it has a promenade linking all of Broadstones beaches so is really easy to get to.


Botany Bay

This is probably the most famous of Kent’s beaches, with the most beautiful views of the white cliffs and chalk stalks and gorgeous sandy beaches, you’ll see why its so popular.

Botany Bay is a great place to come to relax or if you have little ones and relaxing out of the question then wait for low tide and go fossil hunting and exploring in the rock pools. It is safe to swim here if you are heading to this one of Kent’s beaches in the summer time or just chill out and enjoy the peace and tranquility on one of the quiet expanses of soft sand.

The area around Botany Bay is great for golfing, so if this floats your boat then definitely bring your clubs. If not then be sure to explore the unique heritage of nearby Broadstairs with its abundance of independent shops.


Margate Main Sands

The Main Sands at Margate offer your typical British seaside resort and make for a brilliant day out, especially if you have kids in tow.

The beach itself is a wide expanse of lovely golden sand and has a tidal pool, children’s rides and amusement arcades to keep you happy all day long.

There are loads of restaurants, bars and stalls selling lovely fresh seafood just a walk away in the Old Town.

As the sun sets on Margate’s Main Sands the colours reflect on the water and make for a beautiful spot to see the end of the day. During the summer months we’d recommend grabbing some fish and chips and finding a space on the beach, bring some jumpers and blankets too.


St Mildreds Bay

This one of Kent’s beaches is a small sandy bay near to the seaside town of Westgate and not far from Margate.

This lovely beach is backed by cliffs and has a tidal pool at the far end, a promenade to stroll and a handful of places to eat.

St Mildred’s Bay is a good middle ground between the more secluded and quieter beaches in Kent, and the hustle and bustle of the seaside beaches of Margate.


Whichever of Kent’s beaches you decide to head for, have a wander, see the sights, dip your toes and then grab a deckchair and take some time out listening to the waves coming in and the seagulls playing.

7 Great Reasons to Visit Ireland Right Away


Sometimes Ireland can get a little over looked. If you are planning a trip away you might lean towards sunnier climes and far off destinations and all but forget about lovely Ireland. I for one am more than guilty of this, with family over there and with it always being on my ‘must go back soon’ list, I definitely haven’t made it to Ireland nearly often enough. If ever I’ve had the time and money for a break away I’ve chosen hot and sunny countries that are a million miles away from the motherland, the rainy UK.

However once you delve into Ireland’s stunning and varied landscapes, buzzing cities, amazing history and culture, you’ll wonder why you never visited before. 1.The Great Outdoors

If you love being outside in the elements, feeling the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair then Ireland may be perfect for you. With rugged countryside to explore, hiking and walking spots in abundance, opportunities to go surfing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, caving and mountain biking, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.

If you want to be outside everyday then there will be something new waiting for you each morning when you visit Ireland.


2.The Cities

Dublin is the most obvious city to mention here, it is vibrant and buzzing, friendly and welcoming, you’ll struggle not to fall in love with Dublin and if you visit Ireland you must make a point of stopping here.

Ireland’s other cities are full of personality, from the colourful, arty, harbour city of Galway to the medieval Waterford city, the oldest in Ireland.

Whichever of the eleven cities you pick to visit you’ll have a very warm welcome from the locals who will happily share their stories with you over a pint of Guinness.  


3.The Food

Irish food might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you are choosing to visit Ireland, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Traditional Irish dishes like irish stew, soda bread and colcannon can still very much be found, but there is definitely a new era of eating now. Think fresh, locally grown produce and catch of the day in the coastal locations including wild atlantic salmon, poached lobster and Dublin bay prawns. Seafood heaven!


4.The Castles

If history is your thing then you absolutely must visit Ireland to see the castles; gothic, stately or haunted, there are dozens to view.

Blarney Castle in southern Ireland is a favourite for many and gives you an opportunity to climb the ten storeys and kiss the Blarney stone at the top to get the ‘gift of the gab’ as the legend goes.

Doe Castle in County Donegal is a must see also simply because of its beautiful architecture and positioning right on a peninsula that has been completely surrounded by water via a moat cleaved into the rockside.


5.The Festivals

If anyone knows how to have a knees up and good time, its the Irish, and their festivals prove that. If you visit Ireland when a  festival is taking place then grab tickets and go along, we assure you it will be fun.

From the famous St Patrick’s day celebrations to Galway Arts Festival and Cork Sailing Festival, there is something for everyone spread across all genres; music, food, film, comedy and literature.


6.The pubs

The pub are the coroner stone of Irish community, you’ll find bustling city pubs, upmarket gastro-pubs and cute and cosy village pubs, all as welcoming as each other and all with a fantastic range of stouts and lagers.

There really is nothing quite like an old-fashioned pub, sink into a big armchair in front of an open fire and forget the time, just enjoy the moment.


7.The beaches

You may now be thinking we’ve gone a little mad, Ireland, beautiful beaches? Yes, yes and yes. Ok we can’t guarantee you the sunshine but you will love them all the same.

Banna Strand beach in County Kerry is probably our favourite, think beautiful sand dunes for its entire 7 mile length, the Atlantic Ocean and amazing views out to the mountainous Dingle Peninsula.

Strandhill beach in county Sligo is another fine example of Irish beaches. This is a great beach for surfing but not as good for swimming. The area is really beautiful and has panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. There are some great walks around here too.

6 Best Places to Visit in the UK This March


We’ve waved goodbye to the start of the year, the darkest and most gloomy months are behind us and we’ve the Spring and lots of sunshine (hopefully!) to look forward to. So why not take a mini UK break or even a day trip to one of the many beautiful parts of the UK. Days are getting lighter and thoughts are just starting to turn to packing away that heavy winter coat and wellies for the summer months, making it a great time to travel with a positive and happy mind. We’ve picked our top UK destinations for you to visit in March this year.


Located in the North of England, whatever the season the weather isn’t something you can depend on, so although a visit in March means the end of winter and spring on the cusp, its best to prepare for rain, sunshine, wind and even snow, just to be on the safe side!

March is a fabulous time to visit the North York Moors, a national park in North Yorkshire covering an area of 554 square miles of beautiful ancient trees, abundant wildlife and so many walking opportunities.

If you’re lucky you’ll get to see newborn lambs playing on the dales, hares performing their mating ritual called ‘sparring’, frogs and toads aplenty and possibly the odd adder coming out of hibernation.


Let’s face it, most places look good as spring moves in and this is so true of the Cotswolds. A visit in March will coincide with the annual and very, very popular Cheltenham Gold Cup. This horse racing festival takes place over a week in March and draws in crowds from all over the UK. Cheltenham and its surrounding areas will be buzzing, busy and fun whilst the festival is on. Even if you don’t have tickets for the races you can enjoy soaking up the festival atmosphere, but if your visit to the Cotswolds is geared towards a quiet and relaxing break then avoid this time at all costs.

Aside from the races, March time in the Cotswolds is wonderful with so many gorgeous walks to be done, gardens to visit, hills to be climbed and traditional English pubs to take a break in, you’ll love it.


Cornwall boasts some of the best of the UK beaches, with beautiful golden sands, rock pools and cliff walks. It’s not hard to see why we love Cornwall, but visit in the peak of summer and you’ll certainly not be alone, visit in March and you’ll have beaten the summer crowds and will likely be able to have beach time alone without another soul about. Of course the weather will certainly not be as warm and we doubt you’ll be donning your bikini and sun cream, but there can be some really pleasant spring like days in March that will warm your skin and get you super excited for the impending summer ahead. With it being as far South as you can go in the UK it is often treated to the first glimpses of spring before the rest of the country.

March is also a great time to spot seals along the Cornish coastline as you stroll the rugged cliffs and sandy beaches.

4.Lake District

The Lake District is a mountainous region in North West England that is famous for its beautiful lakes and dramatic mountains. However such beauty can of course draw in many people when the weather gets warm and people feel more confident to brave the elements. This is why a visit in March is actually the perfect timing, you’ll miss the crowds and get to take in the sheer beauty of the Lake District all on your own.

Pack wisely since during the months of January through to March there is a 50% chance of rain or snow on any given day and the days are a lot shorter. Plan longer walks well, you really don’t want to get caught short in these areas as fog can sweep into higher grounds very quickly making walking conditions extremely hazardous. That said, as long as you are prepared and have done your research then you will really reap the benefits of travelling at this time of year when you find your very own little slice of the Lake District.


If you’re planning a trip to the Capital then definitely consider a visit in March. London never really has a ‘quiet time’ but the quietest months are usually at the beginning of the year and March marks the end of this. St Patricks Day is widely celebrated across the city and bars and restaurants are filled with the usual hustle and bustle of this amazing city.

Catch a boat trip down the Thames, wonder around Soho, stroll though Hyde Park enjoying the colourful flowers starting to unfold or take a walk up Hampstead Heath and take in the city from above.

Weather wise temperatures should be warming up a little but do pack sensibly because a lot of rain isn’t uncommon at this time of the year.


Bath is really always a lovely place to see, set in the rolling countryside of South West England, it is a world heritage site and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful Georgian architecture at every turn, one of the worlds best-preserved Roman bathhouses, stylish and sophisticated hotels and cool and quirky bars make Bath a really fabulous place to visit. March is vibrant as ever with students filling the city and bringing it to life. There are loads of beautiful gardens and nature attractions to visit as well. Less than a mile from the city centre you’ll find the Botanical Gardens which are home to many trees, shrubs, a rock garden and pool, a scented walk and loads of beautiful space to stroll or just chill out.


6 Fabulous Family Walks in Ireland


What better day out for a family then going for a walk. You’ll immerse yourself in nature, get the away from the TV and get some fresh air into your lungs whilst getting some exercise. Children love exploring nature and as long as you don’t pick a very difficult or long route then you’ll keep them interested and entertained throughout  family walks.

There are just so many family walks to choose from in Ireland which boasts some breathtaking scenery that you may not know where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve handpicked six of our favourite walks that we think hold something for all of the family.


1.Lough Key Forest Park, County Roscommon On the Southern Shore of Lough Key you’ll find a beautiful 800 hectare forest park.

There is a self-guided walk around the park so your children can take the lead and go discovering amongst the vast woodland. There are many types of trees, flowers and wildlife such as deer, fox, hare, rabbit and squirrel.

There are also underground tunnels which the children will love playing in and a nine meter high canopy walk, electric bikes, segways to bomb around the forest on and a brilliant adventure park.


2.Glengarriff, West Cork Glengarriff is located right at the heart of West Cork and is a great spot for family walks. The area is stunning and is set right where the mountains meet the sea at Bantry Bay.

You’ll find a beautiful nature reserve that is great for all of the family to walk around, forming one of the best examples of oceanic sessile oak woodland in Ireland. The woods are nestled in the sheltered glen opening out into Glengarriff harbour.

Also in the area is the Ewe Sculpture Garden which is only a short walk but is always a favourite for the children with amazing sculptures, waterfalls and little bridges.


3.Bray to Greystones The Bray to Greystones trail is simply gorgeous for family walks. The walk itself is relatively easy but does involve some scrambling which children will find a real adventure. The coast line is stunning and if you’re lucky you may even see barking seals hidden within the coves.


4.Causeway Coast, Antrim The Causeway Coast is a beautiful route that can be seen in full via a roadt rip, but if you’re on foot then a great spot to head to is the Giant’s Causeway. The walk down to the causeway is quite long for little ones, but hang in there because its’ well worth the effort. Once you’re down there you’ll have fun jumping, steping and hopping on the interlocking basalt columns that total around 40,000 and make for a giant playground.

There are also some lovely National Trust walks along the causeway which would be suited to family walks.

5.The Great Western Greenway If you’ve a young train enthusiast in the family then this walk is sure to please because it follows the disused railway line from Westport to Achill and for this reason is fairly flat all the way, which is great for little walkers.

During the summer months the route can get quite busy with other people and is a popular spot for family walks.

Along the way you’ll pass by some of the West of Ireland’s most dramatic mountains and magnificent views of Clew Bay and its islands.

6.The Connemara Way The Connemara Way might not strike you straight away as a place for family walks as the difficulty levels vary greatly, but certain parts of this route are simply perfect for little feet.

The best spots to choose are the parts of the walks that go alongside the beach, these sections are flatter and mean the kids can play on the beach along the way, plus who doesn’t love walking alongside the beach?

This section of the Wild Atlantic Way is home to so many beaches we won’t list them all but three of our favourite spots include Omey Strand at the access point to the island of Omey. The beach here is huge which means plenty of space to let the kids run free. Coral Strand, Ballyconneely is another great beach for exploring since it is covered in coral rather than soft sand - no good for sandcastles but great for exploring and collecting pieces of coral in a bucket. Finally we love Glassilaun, Renvyle, one of the most famous beaches in the area because of its gorgeous soft sand and beautiful blue waters. This beach really shows the West of Ireland’s coastline at its most beautiful and provides family walks that you will adore.

7 Ways to Get Motivated to Take a Walk


Maybe your New Year Resolutions are going strong and you’re starting to reap the benefits or perhaps you gave them up after a week, you could be doing well but starting to wonder how you’re going to maintain them for the whole year?

Whatever your feelings are, a little bit of motivational help always goes a long way, that’s why we’ve come up with 7 ways to get you inspired to be active and find your walking motivation.

Most of our resolutions are based around eating healthier and being more active and walking is such a fantastic way to burn calories, give your a body a less pounding workout whilst still enjoying the benefits of exercising and being out in the fresh air.


1.Get an App

Fitness App’s are a great tool, there are many to choose from and each has a slightly different function, but essentially they are there to help keep you on track with your eating and exercise and can provide excellent walking motivation.

Many app’s will use the step count from your phone (if you have enabled this function) which is great to see how many steps you’re taking each day and can inspire you to try and beat your personal best. You’ll be surprised how many steps you clock up if you go for a nice walk or just make the effort to walk to the shops/school/work rather than driving.


2.Register for a Walking Event

Registering for a charity event can give you some great walking motivation. First of all you are walking for something other than yourself which will encourage you because you won’t want to let down your chosen charity. Secondly it will also be really good for your walking motivation because it means you have a date and a goal to work towards.


3.Get some walking friends

Sometimes when its raining, grey and cold outside it is near impossible to find walking motivation, even though we know that getting out there will end up making us feel happier and more energised. This is where walking friends are great. If you can encourage friends to get their walk on with you and plan regular sessions, then you can motivate each other.

It’s likely that somebody in the friends group will be feeling really unmotivated on one day and another member will be feeling pretty up for it and it’s such a help when this person spurs on the rest of the group.


4.Join a walking club

Joining a walking club works on a similar premise to walking with friends except this way you will meet  new like minded people and perhaps even make new friends.

The advantage of walking in a specific walking group is gaining access to great route ideas from other members, heaps of walking advice and loads of moral support and motivation.


5.Treat yourself to new walking gear

If your drive is lagging then perhaps it is time to treat yourself to some new walking gear. Get to the shops and buy some new, specific walking clothes and shoes if your budget will allow. Walking gear is absolutely not essential to walking, a good pair of walking shoes is about the only necessity. If though you do feel like spending a little hard earned cash then we can promise you that new gear will get you excited about walking again and will make you feel good as you walk, always great for walking motivation.


6.Combine your walk with another activity

If it is possible then combine your walk with something else that you are doing. If you need to pop out to the shops and would normally drive then think about walking instead, don’t drive to places that are within walking distance.

Maybe you are meeting friends at the pub for lunch? Walk there. You’ll have earned your food/drinks and can eat with less guilt, and what could be better for walking motivation than the end result being the pub!

Perhaps you could hop off your bus/the tube a stop or two earlier and walk into work, or if you drive then find a place that’s a little distance away to park, you’ll be surprised how much difference these short walks make to your step count, diet plan and general health.


7.Set goals and tell people about them

Decide what your walking goals are and talk to people about them. Once you’ve put it out there you’ll feel less likely to chicken out since you’ll have friends and colleagues asking how your walking is going and giving you a hard time if you’ve ducked out!

Be realistic with your goals, start small and work up. You could choose by walk length or time yourself and see if you’re getting quicker. Perhaps hills are starting to seem less like hell to climb, so set yourself hill walk goals. Sometimes all we need is something to aim towards to help us with our walking motivation.


Hopefully some of these tips will help you with your walking motivation, but do keep in mind that walking is meant to be fun, so just enjoy yourself whilst walking, take in the views, smells, sounds and wildlife and enjoy breathing in that fresh air in the knowledge that you are improving your health. You are doing a great job, keep up the good work!

Beautiful Walks in Holmfirth, Yorkshire


If you haven’t been to, or even heard of Holmfirth before then you’re really missing out. Holmfirth is a small town that sits in the Holm Valley in West Yorkshire. With beautifully hilly streets, boutique stores, pubs and restaurants galore and a really creative, arty vibe, it’s definitely worth a visit. Most famous for being the setting for the TV series Last of the Summer Wine, Holmfirth also plays host to a music festival, folk festival, film festival and art markets. But look beyond the lovely town itself and you’ll find rolling countryside just waiting to be discovered on foot, and so we are going to list our favourite places to go walking in and around Holmfirth.


Three Reservoirs

If you don’t have a whole lot of time, or you’re walking in Holmfirth with children or those less able then this is a great track as its nice and short at 1.5 miles.

If takes you around Ramsden Reservoir with gorgeous views of the Holme Moss moorland in the background.  From here you’ll also walk past Riding Wood and Brown Hill Reservoir, all abundant with local wildlife if you keep your eyes peeled. There are a couple of steep sections along the way but nothing too difficult to negotiate.

There is a car park which also has a lovely picnic area if you’re walking in Holmfirth in the warmer months.


Digley Reservoir, Blackpool Bridge and Goodbent

This walk is just over 5 miles and starts in Digley, leading onto Blackpool Bridge and Goodbent and is a circular walk so you won’t need to worry about transport for the other end.

Walking in Holmfirth on this route takes you along stone walled lanes and moorland paths.

Starting at the beautiful Digley Reservoir you’ll head towards the Blackpool Bridge located above the Reservoir with brilliant views. The peace and quiet in this area will draw you in as you walk down into the valley.

You’ll find a carpark and small picnic area in Digley and the walk itself is of moderate difficulty.


Hepworth Bluebell Walk

If you’re walking in Holmfirth then this beautiful route can be taken on at any time of the year but is particularly lovely in May when the bluebells are out in force. The Morton Woods come alive with these stunning flowers and its a real feast for the eyes.

This walks is just over 3 miles so not too taxing and there is a great pub, The Butchers Arms in Hepworth to end up in if you fancy a treat after all of your hard work!

The Morton Woods have a length of 3.32 km and are very quiet and tranquil, you may even find yourselves the only people walking in Holmfirth in this particular area if you’re lucky.


Last of the Summer Wine Walk

If you have time to do some walking in Holmfirth then it wouldn’t be quite right not to do the Last of the Summer Wine, 5 mile walk.

This circular walk takes you past some of the landmarks that you’ll recognise from the TV series (if you’re old enough to remember it!). You’ll start out in Holmfirth and head out into the valleys and countryside surrounding this gorgeous town.

The walk is of medium difficulty and follows good paths and a few stiles along the way.


The River Ribble Ramble

On this stunning, near 7 mile walk around the valley you will explore old lanes, woods, ruined villages and cobbled town paths. It’s a really varied walk that will keep you interested the whole way along.

The River Ribble, a tributary for the River Holme, bounces down from the moors until it reaches the Nook in Holmfirth.

Expect uphill climbs and wonderful views.


Walking in Holmfirth is a lovely experience, people you meet along the way are generally super friendly and will help you if you need route advice (or knowledge on where the nearest pub is!). The peace and quiet will astound you and the views out across the vast valleys and moors provide some fabulous head space and great spots to sit for a while and just be.

5 Amazing Night Walks


Perhaps you’ve never really thought about going on a walk in the night rather than the day, or maybe the idea makes you nervous or you feel that wouldn’t really see anything anyway, so what’s the point right? Well think again. Taking a night walk can allow you to see familiar areas in a totally new light. City streets are quiet, country walks can feel like you’re totally alone, and on a clear night looking up to the sky can be reason enough for a night walk.

We’ve selected some fabulous night walks below that might wet your whistle and change your mind about walking in the dark of the night.


1.Exmoor National Park

This area was the first ever park in Europe to be designated an International Dark Sky Reserve which means its a brilliant place to watch the stars.

If you walk around the Dunkery Beacon in the Holnicote Estate you’ll reach the 1700 foot summit and will have uninterrupted views of the whole sky. It’s really quite a humbling experience to be able to see out so clearly.


2.Keswick, Cumbria

A gorgeous night walk starts in lovely Keswick and takes you down to Friar’s Crag. This trail is fairly easy but do remember to take torches.

The end of the trail winds up at a viewpoint that overlooks the length of Derwentwater right into the Borrowdale Valley. This is a beautiful spot to sea the night sky and is about as peaceful as it gets.

Along the way you may be lucky enough to hear tawny owls if you are very quiet.


3.Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Stackpole is home to a designated Dark Sky Discovery site and provides access to the beautiful stretch of coastline in this area.

A night walk here would offer immense tranquility, beautiful views to watch the sun go down if you fancy walking into the night and a spectacular chance to star gaze.

You’ll definitely need to take a torch with you and do watch out when crossing the lake on the narrow bridges; these will be harder to negotiate in the dark with only a torch and the moon to guide your way.


4.Hampstead Heath, London

You might think London an odd choice for a night walk, perhaps you’d see it as too dangerous or just too light polluted for it to make any sense, but if you take yourself on a walk through Hampstead Heath at night you’ll see London in a whole new light.

Hampstead Heath is the highest point in London and the best spot to stargaze in the capital. But not only that, it provides wonderful views out across London at night.

If you fancy taking your star gazing to the next level yo/#’u could head to Lower Terrace to the Hampstead Observatory where you can use the telescopes for free some evenings during the winter months.


5.Hook Peninsula, Wexford

There are many places to enjoy a night walk in Ireland of course, and a vast amount of the country lies in complete darkness in the night which makes for absolutely amazing stargazing.

A great spot to start is the Hook Peninsula in Wexford.

This beautiful area of coast line juts out into the Irish sea with perfect beaches to show by day. At night though the sky comes alive here because it is such a remote location. The star gazing is second to none and is set against the relaxing sound of the waves rolling onto the beaches.


If you still have some reservations about taking a night walk we do get it. Night walking is kind of the opposite to what we are conditioned to do. We like to get cosy and batten down the hatches once the sun has gone down, but there is still a whole world out there and night brings many differences; nocturnal animals come out to play, the sky lights up with stars and generally you’ll have night walks completely to yourself whilst everyone else locks themselves indoors.

Play it safe and walk with someone else or even start a night walking group and always be prepared with torches and warm clothes. Plan your routes before setting out so you can avoid any notoriously unsafe areas, you really don’t want to put yourself at risk and spend the whole walk worrying about who’s around the next corner, but do get out there at night and see what it’s all about - we think you’ll love it.

8 Adventure Walks and Activities in Scotland


Scotland is a land made to have adventures in, with natural beauty all around including rugged coastline, magnificent mountains, glistening lochs and deep glens, its a country that beckons you outside to explore.

We’ve picked some of our favourites Scottish adventure walks and activities that are sure to get the heart pounding and the blood pumping.


1.Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail

You might be familiar with the Glenfinnan Viaduct from its feature in a certain Harry Potter movie! So a visit here will tick the Scottish adventure box if you have children with you too.

Many people just come along to have a look and take a snap of the famous and very beautiful viaduct, but if you hang around for a while there is a lovely short walk that offers amazing views of Loch Shiel. Some of the trail is pretty steep so young children probably wouldn’t be advised.


2.Arthur’s Seat

This extinct volcano lies within Holyrood Park and the view from the top is quite wonderful offering brilliant views of the city of Edinburgh from the top. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy this Scottish adventure either, this 3 mile walk is pretty pleasant with a bit of a rocky climb to the summit but nothing too taxing and definitely worth the effort.

There are also six other hills around Edinburgh that can be climbed within two hours, all offering fantastic views over the city where you’ll get a peaceful moment away from the hustle and bustle.


3.Coire Gabhail

The Coire Gabhail is also known as the Lost Valley, and when you arrive you’ll see why. With its atmospheric peaks and vast mountainous scenery it is really striking and quite the Scottish adventure.

The hike through the Coire Gabhail is a two to three hour trek that is really rough and rugged with very dramatic scenery.

The paths can be steep and rocky in places with some mild scrambling needed along the way. If you are a seasoned pro then you could tackle this route in the winter when there is snow lying on the ground when you’d need  an ice-axe, crampons and a lot of prior preparation on the area. For those who would be a little nervous at this prospect the warmer months are for you when there is no snow on the ground.


4.Munro Bagging

‘Munro Bagging’ as the locals call it is certainly a Scottish adventure, definitely a challenge and is not for the faint hearted.

To complete this you’ll need to climb Scotlands Munro’s, a list of mountains that have been named after Sir Hugh T Munro.

The highest Munro is Ben Nevis at 1345m tall, and although lower than some of the other peaks they present their own challenges. The Black Cuillin offers a truly Alpine walking and climbing  environment with rocky peaks rising out of the sea and so many wonderful trails of all difficulty levels. Some peaks can be reached by a tough walk whilst others will involve ropes and climbing.

There are 282 peaks in total so this is more of a project to work on and you won’t be alone, many people strive to complete this list and over 6000 ‘Munroists’ or ‘compleatists’ have done it so far.


5.West Island Way

The West Island Way walk is a real Scottish adventure that covers 96 miles starting from Milngavie and finishing up in Fort William.

The beauty of this trail is the iconic attractions you’ll see along the way; Mugdock Country Park, Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond, Glen Falloch, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Devil’s staircase, Lairigmor, Glen Nevis and more.

You won’t be alone in your walk here though, some 30,000 walkers each year take on the West Island Way because of its stunning scenery of dramatic mountains, lochs and panoramic views.

The trail can be walked in a week and there are campsites along the route. If your preference is more on the wild side and you are planning on wild camping then just be aware of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code that will have rules and information that you’ll need to be respectful of.


6.Highland Perthshire Bungee Jumping

As well as amazing walks in the Highland Perthshire area there is also an opportunity to bungee jump if you’re feeling brave. This was the UK’s first static bungee jump and takes place on a specially constructed platform suspended below the Garry Bridge over the beautiful River Garry near Pitlochry.

If you a brave enough for this Scottish adventure, the bungee workers will tell of finding a connection with the dramatic and inspiring landscape through the exhilaration of the jump. If you manage to keep your eyes open you might well experience this!

If you’ve always wanted to try a bungee then this is a really special place to do it.


7.Glentress Forest Mountain Biking

If you fancy something a little different than walking for a change then why not hire out a mountain bike and head off into the Glentree Forest. This is perfect place for a Scottish adventure and you’ll ride with obstacles, dips and jumps all set into the beautiful landscape. At the Glentree Forest site there are trails for all levels so the whole family will be happy. Ride the family friendly, easy green trail while you soak up the views, or hit the severe black trail that includes huge climbs and even bigger descents - you won’t have much time to notice the view on this ride.


8.Isle of Tiree Kite Surfing

Finally, we head to the coast. Scotland has a divine coastline ranging from rugged rocky coves to beautiful pristine sandy beaches, it would be wrong not to pay them a visit.

But rather than a nice chilled stroll why not up the pace and try your hand at kite surfing.

Kite surfing takes a little bit of wakeboarding, paragliding and surfing, and combines them into one, really fun adrenaline sport.

The Isle of Tiree itself is home to Gott Bay, a beautiful horseshoe in shape with flat, shallow water, perfect for kite surfing.

Definitely use the school there for this Scottish adventure. You’ll learn more, pick up the sport more quickly and can start enjoying it faster.

Once you’re suitably exhausted then head for the Tiree Lodge Hotel for some chill time.

6 of the Best Walking Apps


Generally people seem to swing one of two ways when it comes to a walking app, they either find them super useful and would use them on most walks, or they like an old-fashioned route map and wouldn’t touch a walking app with a barge pole. Whatever your stance on them, it can’t be denied that they are a useful tool when it comes to walking and have encouraged many people to get into hiking who may not have headed out otherwise.

Below we’ve picked our top six.


RouteBuddy is for iPhone and iPad and supplies topographical, aerial, road and Ordnance Survey mapping.

This mapping system works really well, the downside is you do have to pay for each map that you want to use.

If you like to print out your maps you can do this from RouteBuddy and take the hard copy with you.

Maps are stored offline so you don’t have to worry if you are in the middle of the countryside and have zero internet connection.

2.OutDoors GreatBritain

This walking app offers the full range of ordnance survey maps and although downloading them can be quite pricey you do get to keep them for life.

You can choose maps according to your favourite walking locations and they will work wherever you are with or without reception. This app is used by walkers, runners and cyclists alike and is dedicated to outdoors enthusiasts.

3.GD Nat Parks

This is a great app for the iPhone costing £7.99 and allowing access to maps of all of Britain’s national parks for no extra costs once the app has been purchased.

You’ll have complete access wherever you are which saves loads of planning time. The only thing to watch out for is the detail on the maps perhaps not being as fine as some of the other apps.


A great walking app for encouraging you to get out and about encouraging healthy habits with an intuitive design, this app is function loaded and easy to use.

If you pop in your height and weight details it’ll count your steps and calories burned as you walk, always a nice treat to see how many cals have been burned after all of your hard work.

With this app you can plan a walk or you can simply walk and let it track your distance, elevation, time, speed and so on. This is a great benefit if you’re new to walking and want to try and improve certain areas with each walk.

There are also routes, worksout and nutrition advice among other things. You can also share your journey on Facebook if you fancy a little brag!


This walking app will inspire you with thousands of great route guide ideas and detailed ordnance survey maps that you can download. These will work even if you’re offline in the middle of your walk so no need to worry about being lost in the wilderness with no phone access. ViewRanger see themselves as an all-in-one trail guidebook, navigator and adventure hub in your pocket.


Last and by no means least is Abvio, a stunning walking app for iPhone and Android. This is a powerful walking accomplice which maps, graphs, intervals, laps, announcements, zones, training plans and even more, in fact there isn’t much this app can’t do.

It’ll monitor your time, altitude and speed whilst you walk and break your walk down for you.

The functionality is extensive and the app comes highly recommended.


Walking in the Lake District

The Lake District is an area in the North West of England that is famous for its lakes, mountains and forests. Many people visit the Lake District for peace and tranquillity, countryside, nature and walking.

15 million people head there annually and it’s not hard to see why, if you’ve not been we’ve some top tips below on where to stay and what to do.

The Lake District covers 885 square miles so first of all you need to decide what you want from your break. Do you want to be near a town so you can go out for dinners and drinks or do you want to be as remote as it gets and hide away in a log cabin somewhere in the depths of the countryside?

The biggest towns are Windermere and Ambleside and have all of the amenities you would want whilst being close to the main sights of the central lakes. To the north of the Lake District lies Keswick which makes a great base for exploring the Northern Lakes and some of the beautiful valleys in the area including Borrowdale, Newlands and Buttermere.

To the west of the Lakes you’ll find Wasdale; this area is home to the highest fell in the Lakes, Scafell Pike.

Finally to the east of the Lakes lies Kendall (where Kendall Mint Cake originates!) from where you can explore Ullswater and the Eden Valley.

It’s a hard choice when picking where to stay as you can’t really go wrong, the whole of the Lake District is outstandingly beautiful with plenty of walks for all abilities.

For beginner walkers Ambleside is a great place to start. It is easily accessible by bus, train or car and has many accomodation types, pubs, restaurants and shops. Wansfell Pike is a fabulous walk and if you get a clear day the views of Lake Windermere from the top are incredible.

If you want to push yourself a little more than why not head for the west and climb Scafell or Scafell Pike. These are the two highest mountains in England and are not to be attempted without prior preparation. The two mountains are separated by the pass of Mickledore and although the second highest of the two, Scafell has arguably the best views in all directions.

Scafell Pike has rocky and rugged paths that are very steep and seem almost never ending as you reach the top. The Pike is often misty and can quickly disorientate even the most experienced of walker.

Lower paths are much more well defined and gentle but still need to be approached sensibly.

The weather in the Lake District is extremely unpredictable and can turn very quickly, if you are walking you need to keep in mind the forecast for the day and keep a watch out. Its much better to turn back and save that walk for another day than press on and become lost in the mist and dropping temperatures. No walk is worth putting your own life at risk and those who may come out to search for you.

Generally though walking in the Lake District is a wonderful, awe-inspiring experience. The fresh air will fill you entirely and you’ll find some head space to clear your mind and gather your thoughts. Yes, in peak times you will come in contact with other walkers, but from our experience you’ll find them to be very friendly, like minded people.


5 Winter Walking Tips


There is absolutely no need to let the cold weather stop you from taking those walks that you love, winter walking just means being a little bit more prepared. Some of the most beautiful days can be found in the winter when the sun is glowing low in the bright blue sky, there is a crisp frost and everything looks bright and colourful. Granted days like these are often really, really chilly, but make the right preparations and you’ll enjoy your winter walking just as much as any sun soaked summer stroll.

1.Wear breathable layers

Breathable layers are just about the best clothing to wear during any hike, including chilly winter ones. Although it’s freezing cold, as you walk your body will get warm and produce sweat. If this sweat isn’t drawn away from your body it’s going to sit on your skin and get really, really cold.

Breathable fabrics wick sweat away from your skin, and if you layer up the heat will get trapped between the layers and keep you really toasty.


2.Stay warm when you stop for a break

When you take your much needed water/food/taking in the view stop, make sure to stay warm. Your body will have generated some nice heat for itself whilst you’ve been on the move and you don’t want to lose that precious heat.

An insulated jacket within your backpack is a great addition and you can pop it on for your pit stops to really help retain your body heat.


3.Wear mittens

Mittens aren’t just for looking cute, these fluffy accessories will also keep your hands super snug. With all of your fingers together they can benefit from the heat produced by all four and keep nice and toasty on even the coldest of days spent winter walking.


4.Wear the right footwear

If you’re out for some winter walking be sure to wear the right shoes. You will absolutely need waterproof boots and they need to feel really snug and warm. Its also a good idea to have boots with good grips as the conditions may be snowy or icy. You can also get traction devices to go over your boots which are brilliant if you do anticipate walking in these slippery conditions.


5.Allow 10 mins to warm up

Warming up when you’re going out in the cold to walk is vital since a cold body takes a lot longer to warm up and a few lungs and stretches just won’t be enough.

We’d recommend a ten minute warm up to make sure your heart and other muscles are ready for your winter walking ahead. The aim is to get your core temperature slightly up, which is of course harder on a colder day. Aerobic exercise is key to getting this temperature rise and will guarantee a good warm up ready for your chilly winter walking.

7 Christmas Traditions that you'll only know about if you're from Ireland


Although many christmas traditions are celebrated across the board; christmas trees, father christmas, stockings and so on, each and every family have their own little traditions that make christmas unique to them.

The Irish celebrate christmas in much the same way as the UK, USA and so on, but in typical Irish style there are certain little quirks and chritsmas traditions that the Irish do differently.

1.December 8th   

December 8th is the official start of christmas as per Irish christmas traditions. Once this date arrives you can expect decorations to go up, christmas markets and shopping to commence, parties to be had and plenty of christmas cheer to experience.

2.Christmas day swim

For the brave (or slightly crazy) one of the big Irish christmas traditions is the christmas day swim where all over Ireland’s coastline people take the plunge into the chilly, chilly waters, usually for charity. Head for Forty Foot, Sandycove, County Dublin or Portstewart in County Londonderry on christmas morning and you’ll be sure to catch these brave swimmers.


One of today’s christmas traditions is having a cheeky kiss under the mistletoe, however the ancient Celts believed that mistletoe had healing powers. Soon after mistletoe was banned from being hung in houses as it was felt a sign of paganism.

Today mistletoe is once again hung, as a sign of goodwill and peace, and of course the occasional kiss is still welcomed.

4.Midnight Mass

Midnight mass is one of the strongest of Irish christmas traditions and for even the lesser church goers it’s a time to visit church and attend a beautiful christmas eve midnight mass service.

Often family and friends congregate at midnight mass services, catching up and welcoming in christmas together so they often have a fabulous, festive atmosphere with much merriment and cheer.

5.Guiness for santa

So we all know that it’s only right to leave out mince pies and perhaps a glass of something for santa and some carrots for the reindeers, but one of the Irish christmas traditions requires a Guinness to be left out for santa. Yep that’s right, a  big red can of Guinness waiting for santa to consume in each and every house!

6.The Wexford carol

One of the oldest known christmas carols was thought to originate from Enniscorthy, County Wexford. This carol dates back to the 12th century and tells the nativity story though song. Christmas traditions the world over include carols, what would christmas be without carol singers and traditional christmas music.

7.January 6th

In Irish christmas traditions the 6th of January marks the end of christmas and is also known as women’s rest day where traditionally women don’t participate in any kind of house work and the men take down all of the decorations, sort the house out after the christmas period and cook all of the meals. Woe betide any men who don’t abide by this tradition, its very bad luck apparently!

Whether you celebrate a very modern christmas or are a stickler for tradition, we all have our own christmas traditions that make christmas what it is to us and special in its own way.  Enjoy your christmas traditions whatever they may be.


5 Peaceful London Walks

When you think of London you think of a huge, bustling, vibrant city with noise, traffic, people everywhere and anything but peace and quiet. But if you delve deeper into London you will find little pockets of beauty, peace and quiet which are just perfect for getting away from the craziness and taking a London walk. 1.Morden Hall Park

Morden Hall was built in the 1770’s and is now owned by the National Trust. The 125 acre park is home to beautiful, peaceful gardens with many types of birds and over 2000 roses. The river Wandle meanders through the gardens and makes for a stunning London walk. If you have done your London walk and fancy getting crafty then they are running workshops throughout the festive period and if you’ve got little ones they can meet father christmas or browse the christmas goodies in the shop.

2.Little Venice to Camden

This London walk takes you along the canalside from Little Venice to Camden and is surely the prettiest canal walk in London. It’s a two mile route that passes through Regent’s Park and Little Venice before reaching Camden. This is a surprisingly quiet route and you could be fooled into thinking you were in the countryside at times, not central parts of London. On arrival into Camden you’ll notice things get busier (particularly if its a weekend!) and we’d advise a visit to the markets for a refresh, some food and a drink after your a stroll.

3.Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world. For this reason it is absolutely beautiful and a world away from the bustle of London. There is so much to do at Kew aside from  the walks; visit the Hive, an incredible multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the life of bees or the treetop walkway 18 meters above the ground with breathtaking views across the gardens. Christmas also brings delights when the trails are lit with over a million twinkling lights, turning the gardens into a magical wonderland. This is a London walk not to be missed.

4.Inner Temple Garden

The Inner Temple Garden lies within one of the four Inns of Court. This three acre garden is home to wide lawns sweeping towards the river and hosts many rare and unusual trees. This place will astound you, right in the middle of London you will be overwhelmed by the peace and quiet to be found here. It is also home to a variety of wildlife including robins, thrushes, coal-tits and blue-tits. You may even catch a glimpse of a heron by the pond side. This is the perfect place to just come and stroll or even just sit and chill, eat your lunch and gather your thoughts, especially on a lovely summer’s day, but you might have to wait a little while for that!

5.Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath nature reserve is wild and untamed and offers a walking experience within London like no other. There are 30 pond’s on the heath which attract a variety of wildlife. The hidden gem of Hampstead Heath is the open space on the northwest side called the Heath Extension and was originally farmland. Head here and you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of London. The beautiful thing about the Heath though is that you can sneak glimpses of the whole of London as you look down from your peaceful spot, and that’s really quite special.

London is a magical city for its vibrant feel and buzz that you can’t quite explain, but just occasionally, especially if you live here, you feel the need for some quiet time and these little places of peace are just fabulous locations to go for a London walk.