11 solo hiking tips for women

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We ask six expert climbers, thru-hikers and trail runners to share their solo hiking tips for women who want to walk alone

I’ve hiked all over the world, from challenging countries like Ethiopia and Lesotho to Pacific idylls like Rarotonga and Easter Island. I’ve done multi-day treks above 4,000 metres, day hikes under a scorching sun and gentle jaunts more like walks in the park. Throughout it all, there has been one constant factor: Peter.

10 Christmas gifts for travellers

Our annual list of 10 Christmas gifts for travellers, be they bookworms, shutterbugs, adrenaline junkies or culture vultures

I welcomed 2020 with friends in Milan. It was going to be a big year for me and, in some ways, it was. Take It Back came out in paperback in March and its follow-up, Truth Be Told, was out in September. I launched Asian Booklist, a non-profit organisation that helps readers discover new books by British-Asian authors and I finished the first draft of my next novel – all while running Atlas & Boots. 

The travel that changed me: Roz Watkins

Dal Lake in KashmirTappasan Phurisamrit/Shutterstock

From trekking in the hills of Kashmir to evading a rhino in India, author Roz Watkins tells us about the travel that changed her

Roz Watkins is the author of the critically-acclaimed DI Meg Dalton crime series. Set in the Peak District, her novels are known for their extraordinary sense of place. Think moody moors, gnarled forests and creepy local lore. Her protagonist is spirited and sensitive, but what draws me most strongly to Roz’s work is her willingness to venture into the darker corners of society. 

How to escape a wildfire: a hiker’s guide

Our guide on how to escape a wildfire, inspired by Peter’s close call on the Arctic Circle Trail

When Peter headed to Greenland last summer to trek the Arctic Circle Trail, I knew he’d be unreachable for 7-10 days. He’s a highly experienced hiker, but there was a tiny part of me that couldn’t help but worry. What if he twisted an ankle or fell into a ravine? What if he was attacked? What if he lost his backpack from a capsized kayak?

Hanging up my hat: why I’ve chosen to quit horse riding

After years of riding horses, Kia explains why she’s chosen to quit

My first impression of horse riding was how bloody slow it all was. When I first started to learn back in 2014, all we did for months was walk and trot. I thought I’d be well on my way to cantering by then. Instead, I was mired in the minutiae of technique. 

White privilege in the outdoors: the AT hikers who broke the law

Two thru-hikers lied and broke the law this year to finish the Appalachian Trail. Should we dismiss it as a daring adventure or tackle what lies deeper?

The first thing to admit before I begin is that I’m a person who follows the rules. I never cheat at games or quizzes despite being stupidly competitive. I hate being late to meetings or gatherings and I’ve even been known to Google “how late to arrive at a dinner party” because I know it’s impolite to turn up on time (the consensus is 15 minutes). 

Lessons learnt from 100 days in lockdown

We've spent 100 days in lockdown in RichmondAtlas & Boots

As we approach a full 100 days in lockdown, we reflect on the things we’ve learnt while largely stuck at home

I was so blasé. Ten days before lockdown, I casually said on a podcast that I was still riding the tube, still seeing friends, still keeping calm and carrying on as is the British Way (from 22m here). 

The travel that changed me: Jini Reddy

From trekking in Nepal to exploring Iran and Pakistan, author Jini Reddy regales us with tales of the travel that changed her

If there was ever an international woman of mystery, she would likely have been a lot like Jini Reddy. A British author and journalist, Jini has lived in London, Montreal, Hong Kong, Provence and Tbilisi. 

Life under lockdown

Kia – who prides herself on discipline – examines the effects of coronavirus on her state of mind

Yesterday, I promised myself I would close my laptop at 5pm on the dot. The working hours of my week had taken on a strange, flat quality: a shallowness, like kicking my fins and striking sand.

10 most (seemingly) dangerous things we’ve done

Danakil Depression tours military escortAtlas & Boots

Six years after we quit our jobs to travel around the world, we revisit some of the riskiest things we’ve done on the road

Peter and I have a long-running joke that I have fallen off my bike in the most beautiful places in the world – among them Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Isabela in the Galápagos. I only learnt to ride at the age of 28 and my lack of experience has led to numerous falls. 

Game of throngs: how to beat the crowds in Croatia

Despite its recent explosion in tourism, it is possible to beat the crowds in Croatia. Here, we show you how

I have unfinished business in Croatia. A few years ago, I came across some cheap flights to Dubrovnik and booked them without adequate research. It was summer. It was Europe. Surely, it would be easy, I thought.

Soon after, I realised that five nights in Dubrovnik in mid August was not a good idea. Since its use as a location in Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has seen an explosion in tourism. 

Ella Rock: how to hike it yourself (unguided)

Ella Rock how to hike it yourself lead image and view from topAtlas & Boots

A guide to hiking Ella Rock by yourself, including detailed directions, a downloadable route map, a video and a list of essential tips

Ella in Sri Lanka is beautiful, they said. ‘The closest thing to an English country village’ and the perfect place to slow down, we’d read.

I dolefully thought of this when darting across the thundering traffic to dodge yet another taxi driver insisting on taking me somewhere I didn’t want to go. The main street, stacked with milkshake huts and charm-free cafes, is a loud and roiling stretch of conveniences set up for the tourist alone.

Europe’s best hikes for first timers

Mont Blanc is one of Europe's best hikesCreative Travel Projects/Shutterstock

From easy city walks to harder challenges in the great outdoors, we share 10 of Europe’s best hikes for first timers

When Peter headed to Argentina in January to climb Aconcagua (his third of the seven summits), a friend of mine asked why I wasn’t joining him.

Climbing mountains is his thing, I explained. I’m perfectly comfortable below 4,000m. She frowned and said, ‘I thought you’d want to go because you’re always out hiking.’

Stewards of the wild: 10 famous environmentalists that give us hope 

Jane Goodall is one of the most famous environmentalists of our time.The Nature Conservancy/Fair Use

We profile 10 famous environmentalists, from the girl who lived in a tree for two years to the sea captain faced with Interpol arrest

I recently read a fact that stopped in me my tracks: in optimum conditions, some trees can live forever. They are vulnerable to predators, disease and natural disasters, but unlike humans, these ‘biologically immortal’ trees rarely die simply because they get old.

Wall diving in the Turks and Caicos: a glimpse at the abyss

Peeking into the blue while diving in the Turks and Caicos

Diving in the Turks and Caicos will no doubt lead you to its famous wall. There you will stare into a literal abyss that dives 2,000m to the bottom of the sea

There’s a moment in the Jude Law film Black Sea where a deep-sea diver falls off a murky underwater ridge and careens into the pitch-black depths of the ocean. For someone who struggled to learn to dive, the idea was pretty bloody terrifying. 

Of course, in recreational diving, this sort of thing doesn’t happen – especially when you dive no deeper than 18m. Nonetheless, I was reminded of this scene when wall diving in the Turks and Caicos on the ninth day of our Caribbean cruise.

Is it time to stop using Airbnb? 

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After spending years on the platform, we ask if it’s finally time to stop using Airbnb

When we moved to the countryside in 2018, our new neighbours welcomed us with palpable relief. 

‘We’re so pleased you’re not turning it into a holiday home!’ they told us. 

They, like the vendor, had feared that the London couple buying this quirky, crumbly 300-year-old cottage would promptly list it on Airbnb and head on back down south.

Eye-opening moments from our Caribbean cruise

After a busy year of trekking and writing, we decided to treat ourselves to a touch of indulgence

I’m not going to lie: I was in two minds about our Caribbean cruise. We had initially planned a cruise in Alaska but it clashed with commitments around my book. We pushed back our dates to December and were left with one obvious destination: the Caribbean. 

World’s most powerful passports 2020

We take a look at the world’s most powerful passports based on the ease with which you can enter foreign countries

Japan has been named the world’s most powerful passport in 2020, beating Singapore in second place and Germany and South Korea in third. 

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Authority to measure how many destinations a passport-holder can enter without a prior visa. It analyses 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations to produce what is considered the most authoritative ranking of its kind.

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2019 

puffins arguing on Mykines, Faroe Islands

Our top posts of the year resonated strongly with readers across the globe. Here, we share what hit the top 10

This year has been a strange one. I’ve been at home for most of it launching my novel Take It Back and writing its follow-up. Meanwhile, Peter has travelled without me to countries I really want to see: Nepal, Greenland and Pakistan