Ranked: happiest countries in the world 2022

map of the happiest countries in the world 2022

Finland tops the rankings of the happiest countries in the world for the fifth year running

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

Arctic or Antarctic: how to pick your polar adventure

Icebergs in Antarctica

Can’t decide between the Arctic or Antarctic for your polar adventure? Our guide will help you choose between 66° north or south

The North and South Poles were only “conquered” in relatively recent history. The South Pole was first attained in 1911 by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen after his epic race with the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott.

12 of Earth’s most remote places and communities

An abandoned whaling boat in BarrowDreamstime

From eastern Greenland to northern Alaska, we explore some of the most remote places on Earth

Whether it’s astronomical distances, inhospitable climates or extreme terrains that define these remote and hostile lands, there’s one thing they all have in common: they are on my bucket list. That and the fact that people live there.

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2022

japan has the most powerful passport

Japan and Singapore have the world’s most powerful passports with the UK and US in joint-sixth. We take a look at the rest of the results

It feels a little masochistic to look at the world’s most powerful passports after yet another year of recurring lockdowns. However, as we’ve said before, we remain hopeful about the future of travel. We believe that exploration is a human instinct and that as soon as it is safe, people will return to the road.

Best travel books 2022: our top 10 picks

Shutterstock

From a grumpy hiker’s outing in the mountains to the isolated shores of North Sentinel Island, we list the best travel books 2022

Travel memoirs are tricky beasts. In theory, 400 pages about someone else’s trip isn’t exactly appealing – like a protracted version of Jenny from Accounting’s week-long trip to Tuscany. 

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2021

Peter in the Lake District during the Coast to Coast

As we come to the end of another difficult year, we reflect on our highs and lows – on and off the blog

I thought that things would be different this year. We ended 2020 on a low but hopeful note and I really thought the world would be back to normal this year. 

Instead, travel continues to limp on. Here in the UK, lockdown hangs like the sword of Damocles, yet again threatening our trip to Antarctica. There is a sense of time ticking by, especially for Peter who has lost two years of climbing in his prime, which has impacted his lifelong dream to climb the seven summits. 

Ice work: 10 first ascents by female mountaineers

Norwegian adventurer Cecilie SkogFair Use

In a world dominated by men, a select group of women have shattered the ice ceiling. Here we review some daring first ascents by female mountaineers

I’ll be honest: it rankles to write the words ‘the first female’ to do such and such. It feels patronising, as if to say you weren’t good enough to play with the big boys but I’ll pat you on the head anyway. 

Introducing the Highlander Olympus trek in Greece

peter during his Highlander Olympus trekAtlas & Boots

Peter joins the Highlander Adventure team on Greece’s highest peak to scout the new Highlander Olympus trek launching next year

Trekking may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a visit to Greece. Ancient ruins steeped in mythology, island-hopping across the Aegean or feasting on the country’s delectable cuisine will all likely register first. Enter Mt. Olympus, the highest and most storied of all Greek mountains.

Diving in Cyprus: our first dive in two years

A friendly turtle visits us on our dive in CyprusAtlas & Boots

After two years at home, we go diving in Cyprus and rediscover the joy of subaquatic life

There was a time when I used to record my dives with all the zeal of a swot on her first day of school. I took my battered logbook on every trip abroad and fastidiously noted down the date, location, depth, temperature, points of interest and so on.

The seven second summits: a tougher challenge

seven second summits k2 - 1

The seven second summits are considered to be a much harder mountaineering challenge than the more popular seven summits

Previously, I’ve written about my dream of climbing the seven summits and laid out a realistic if not deeply challenging and expensive program of how to achieve that goal.

This week I look at the seven second summits; the second-highest mountains on each continent. The highest summits are a dream of mine, but I draw the line at the second-highest – they’re simply too scary for an amateur enthusiast like me!

Real-life hobbit houses that you can actually stay in

One of our favourite real-life hobbit housesNature.house

As travellers turn to nature in a post-pandemic world, we share 10 real-life hobbit houses that offer the perfect retreat

It’s said that humans are one of the most adaptable species on the planet. We have settled the High Arctic and explored the deep sea, making homes in the unlikeliest places. When circumstances change drastically, as they did in 2020, we are able to adapt rapidly to a new way of living. In fact, our collective slowdown last year was so profound, we saw immediate effects on the natural world

10 great outdoor destinations – and their British twins

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast is one of our favourite outdoor destinations in BritainBilly Stock/Shutterstock

From Alpine-esque peaks to Basque-country beauty, there’s a world’s worth of wonder right here at home

It’s strange that in a place literally named ‘Great’, we the British like to self-deprecate. We as a nation tend to regard blind ambition and gaudy success with a sense of mild distaste. We value modesty and restraint and seldom shout about our strengths.

Coast to Coast Walk tips: all you need to know

Coast to Coast Walk guide lead imageAtlas & Boots

We’ve collated all our Coast to Coast Walk tips in a detailed Q&A-style guide to help you along this classic English journey

I recently hiked England’s Coast to Coast Walk which crosses northern England from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. As the route practically passes my home in Richmond, I decided to walk the footpath twice and experience the celebrated trail in both directions.

The travel that changed me: Tharik Hussain

Stari Most, an Ottoman bridge in Bosnia and HerzegovinaMehmet/Shutterstock

Kia speaks to author Tharik Hussain and explains why his book about Muslim Europe is changing her thoughts about her own religion

If I had read Minarets in the Mountains in my youth, I would have almost certainly felt differently about my religion. My parents were Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK and in an effort to cling on to their identity, followed a highly prescriptive version of Islam that wasn’t very much fun.

National parks in Wales: which one is right for you?

Llyn Fan y Fach is a 20,000 year-old glacial lakeAndreac77/Shutterstock

When it comes to Britain’s breathing spaces, the national parks in Wales compete with the best of them. Here, we explain why

Surrounded by sea on three sides, Wales is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. While not as rugged as Scotland, or romantically perceived like Ireland, deepest Wales is just as beguiling. 

Lonely corners abound on dramatic mountain passes, deep river valleys and weather-lashed cliffs. Scattered seamlessly across the natural landscape are Iron Age hill forts, Roman ruins and over 600 castles – more per capita, it’s said, than any other country in the world. 

20 (typically modest) natural wonders in the UK

Natural arch of Durdle Door. natural wonders in the ukDreamstime

The best natural wonders in the UK may not equal those in the US, Canada or Australia, but the sometimes quirky, always striking sights are still worth seeing

When the ArcelorMittal Orbit was foisted on the London skyline in 2012, it split opinion rather starkly. I, for my sins, thought it was quirky and interesting while Peter thought it a blight on the landscape.

Ranked: most peaceful countries in the world 2021

map of the most peaceful countries in the world 2021Vision of Humanity

The most peaceful countries in the world have been updated for 2021. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Iceland is once again the most peaceful country in the world followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.

However, the world is a less peaceful place as civil unrest and political instability has increased due to the global pandemic according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report.