Hiking the Watzmann Traverse – a Bavarian classic

Hiking the Watzmann Traverse looking towards Südspitze

Hiking the Watzmann Traverse offers a breathtaking scramble across one of Germany’s classic Alpine ridges. Here’s how to complete the Bavarian thriller

One of my oldest and best friends lives in the Netherlands and over the course of nearly 20 years of friendship we have managed to meet up fairly regularly – usually at least once a year either in the UK or the Netherlands. Over the last few years, however, as our schedules became increasingly crowded with work, family and mortgages, we’ve struggled to find the time.

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). 

10 hikes through the cleanest air in the world

Iceland is one of our Hikes in the cleanest air in the worldDreamstime

From Canada’s wild backcountry to the jungles of Brunei, we share some fantastic hikes through the cleanest air in the world

A few months after we moved to the country, some friends from London came up to visit. Stepping from the car, one commented that ‘it feels like mountain air up here’. I laughed and said, ‘it’s not that cold.’ He shook his head and said, ‘I don’t mean the temperature. I mean the quality.’

12 best hikes in the Peak District National Park

the Dragon’s Back is one of best hikes in the Peak DistrictDaniel_Kay/Shutterstock

The best hikes in the Peak District National Park showcase some of England’s finest and most accessible hillwalking countryside

When we made our move to the country, we very nearly ended up in the Peak District. It was a toss-up between there and the Yorkshire Dales, but in the end, the pull of the Dales was just a touch too strong.

The Peak District, however, came a very close second. Wedged between the northern cities of Manchester and Sheffield, the Peak District National Park may well be England’s most accessible wilderness.

12 best hikes in Northumberland National Park

Hadrian's Wall Path and the best hikes in Northumberland National Park lead imageDave Head/shutterstock

The best hikes in Northumberland National Park reveal an underappreciated but utterly delightful expanse of English countryside

Amid the ancient rolling hills between the Scottish border and England’s industrial northeast, you will find Northumberland National Park. England’s most northerly national park is also the least visited in Britain and the least populated in England and Wales with just over 2,000 residents.

13 stunning natural phenomena

Gregory B Cuvelier/Shutterstock

From the famous northern lights to the lesser known sea of stars, we share the world’s most stunning natural phenomena

As Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken made history this week as the first astronauts to launch to orbit on a private spaceship, the world took pause to watch. Given the turmoil of our times, one observer quipped, ‘Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice.’

12 best hikes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Gunnerside is one of the best hikes in the Yorkshire Dales National ParkAtlas & Boots

The best hikes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park criss-cross one of England’s finest beauty spots

In the 18 months since our move to the market town of Richmond in North Yorkshire, we’ve spent much of our free time exploring the national park that sits on our doorstep. Whether discovering the best views or climbing the highest mountains, we’ve fallen utterly in love with the landscape of the Dales.

Star struck: exploring the world’s Dark Sky Reserves

Stars shine over the South DownsDreamstime

International Dark Sky Reserves are protected areas that offer exceptionally starry nights. We review the 16 places that hold this hallowed status

They sound like something out of Star Trek, these ‘Dark Sky Reserves’ – like they may have been conjured one evening in a lively LA writers room. Unlike the ‘Delta Quadrant’ or ‘Delphic Expanse’, however, International Dark Sky Reserves actually exist.

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 ever there were an international woman of mystery, she’d likely be a lot like Jini Reddy. A British author and journalist, Reddy has lived in London, Montreal, Hong Kong, Provence and Tbilisi. 

Happiest countries in the world 2020

happiest countries in the world lead image 2020

The happiest countries in the world 2020 have been ranked in the latest World Happiness Report. For the third year running, Finland holds on to top spot

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.

Map projections of the world: which one is the best?

map projections lead image 2020

We explore the most common map projections of the world, how they work and which one is the best

Kia is usually described as the geek in our relationship. She’s the one with a computer science degree, she’s the one with the editor’s eye and she’s the Star Trek fan who describes herself as Seven of Nine… which is cool apparently? A friend of hers recently described her as “the one who puts the apostrophe in rock ‘n’ roll”.

17 megadiverse countries of the world

A tiger lazes in Ranthambore in IndiaOndrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

We profile the world’s megadiverse countries, from obvious contenders like Ecuador and Brazil to one or two surprise entries

It should be comforting to know that a mere 17 countries hold more than 70% of the world’s species. It should be easy to rally this small group of ‘megadiverse countries’ to protect the planet’s extraordinary biodiversity. Alas, some of these countries are also the world’s biggest consumers and polluters.