How to choose a down jacket

how to choose a down jacket lead imageAtlas & Boots

A beginner’s guide on how to choose a down jacket that will keep you warm and toasty in the great outdoors

A high-quality down jacket is no longer the preserve of the outdoorsy. Politicians, pop stars and even princesses have been pictured in a ‘puffa’. Of course, a down jacket truly comes into its own when used and tested in the great outdoors. 

Happiest countries in the world 2021 – ranked

happiest countries in the world 2021 mapCreated with Datawrapper

Finland tops the rankings of the happiest countries in the world for the fourth 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.

20 best hiking apps to download in 2021

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We take a look at the best hiking apps currently available and which ones best meet your needs be they trip planning, navigation or first aid.

Hiking apps never used to feature in my outdoor adventures, but times have changed. Now, every Ordnance Survey map comes with a digital version available to download onto my smartphone or tablet.

Cold shoulder: 10 dramatic climbing controversies

From dubious first ascents to tense clashes at high altitude, we chart 10 dramatic climbing controversies – some resolved and others less so

There was a time when climbing controversies were sportingly confined to the slopes. The petty trivialities, the robust exchanges and the heated clashes were just part of the cut and thrust of the mountaineering world. 

Highlander Adventure treks: 15 unique trails to explore

The ring-shaped rock formation of Hajdučka Vrata (Outlaw’s Gate) on ČvrsnicaMirnes Ibrahimagic/Shutterstock

The collection of Highlander Adventure treks has been expanded for 2021. We take a look at the exciting new trails on offer

In 2020, I joined my first Highlander Adventure trek in Croatia and was thoroughly won over by the semi-solo style of trekking. This year, I was pleased to see the collection expand from five treks to 15 and am planning (hoping?) to join two more – in Spain and North Macedonia.

The travel that changed me: Amit Patel

interview with amit patelRiyas.net/Shutterstock

Author Amit Patel tells us about his favourite trip, what remains on his bucket list and how travel changed for him after his sight loss

Amit Patel was born to be a boy racer. In his teens, he nearly rode himself (and two of his friends) into a pond on a clapped-out motorbike. Around the same time, he joined his local squadron of the Air Training Corps and took to the skies every chance he got. When he finished his GCSEs, he celebrated by jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

Q&A: Climbing every mountain in the Yorkshire Dales

Descending Calf Top after climbing every mountain in the Yorkshire Dales

Between lockdowns, I wrapped up a challenge that started nearly two years ago: climbing every mountain in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Just over a year ago, I was stood atop Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America and the highest outside of Asia. It was my third – arguably fourth – peak of the seven summits. As I descended the scree slopes, I was in high spirits and full of optimism for the year ahead.

The travel that changed me: Nadine Matheson

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Crime author Nadine Matheson tells us why a last-minute trip to Portugal changed her life forever

Nadine Matheson is the author of The Jigsaw Man, a deliciously dark cat-and-mouse thriller that pits the best new detective in fiction against a truly menacing killer. Described as a ‘macabre love letter to South London’, the novel has a noirish, nightmarish quality redolent of hardboiled fiction recast for a contemporary audience. 

Mapped: 20 best trees in Britain

Best trees in Britain: The Survivor Tree in the Southern Uplands of ScotlandCC BY-SA 2.0

Take a vicarious breath of fresh air by touring the best trees in Britain

Over the course of the last year, many of us have remembered just how much we depend on nature for quiet, everyday relief. Although some of us joke that when the pandemic is over, we’re “never going for a walk in the park again”, it’s undeniable that these walks have kept us sane.

As an ode to nature, we share below the 20 best trees in Britain. 

Which country has the cleanest air in the world?

Map of the world featuring the resultsIQAir

The countries with the cleanest air in the world have been ranked in a new report. We take a look at the results

The island nation of the Bahamas has the world’s cleanest air according to the latest World Air Quality Report by IQAir. The report ranks 98 countries and territories by the level of fine particulate matter present in the air.

Adventure travel books 2021: our top 10 picks

We share the best adventure travel books 2021 and explain why each should be on your reading list

From a cross-country road trip in a hostile America to boundless sand dunes in remote China, our crop of adventure travel books 2021 have one thing in common: their journeys are more than just physical. 

The layering system: how to layer clothing for the outdoors

layering system lead

Now that spring is finally on the horizon, we’ve updated our guide to the layering system and how best to adapt your clothing to suit any outdoor condition

Springtime is almost upon us and with it come the capricious weather conditions that define the season. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

World’s most powerful passports 2021

japan has the most powerful passport

As Japan tops the list for the third year running, we take a look at the latest ranking of the world’s most powerful passports

It feels a little masochistic to look at the world’s most powerful passports after a 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.

England’s 100 most popular hiking trails

Buttermere Fell is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in EnglandAndy Sykes/Shutterstock

From the South Downs to Hadrian’s Wall, we explore England’s most popular hiking trails

Whether you’re an experienced hiker in need of fresh ideas or a first-timer hoping to get outdoors more, our list of England’s most popular hiking trails offers a wealth of options.

Our top Instagram shots of 2020

top Instagram shots of 2020

From playful puffins to daunting peaks, we share our top 10 Instagram shots of 2020

Kia has already written about how 2020 has been, uhm, testing to say the least. The year began with great promise, as you will see below, but it wasn’t long before all our trips got cancelled or postponed.

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2020

Mam Tor in the Peak DistrictDaniel_Kay/Shutterstock

As a difficult year draws to a close, we reflect on the top 10 posts that our readers most enjoyed

Well, what can we say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already? As a writer, I feel that I should be able to say something grand and stirring about the global pandemic, but to be honest, I can’t. I don’t know how to aptly describe the hopelessness and inertia that so many of us have experienced this year.

Hiking in Latvia: where to find the best trails

Boardwalks through ĶemeriSanga Park/Shutterstock

Hiking in Latvia is an ideal way to explore a land of peaceful lakes, fairytale forests and exceptionally unspoilt countryside

Latvia is perhaps best known for the cosmopolitan city of Riga. Beyond the clamorous capital, however, lie delightful small towns like Cēsis and Sigulda that offer hiking, cycling, canoeing and myriad other outdoor adventures.

The 77 most inspirational travel quotes ever penned

Borobudur in IndonesiaPambudi Yoga Perdana/Shutterstock

Our favourite inspirational travel quotes that encouraged us to travel – with abandon – over the years. Maybe they will do the same for you…

For us, there is no such thing as luxury travel; travel is, by default, a luxury. It is a privilege provided by the country of our birth, a privilege that many are not as fortunate to enjoy.

Sometimes, we have to pinch ourselves at just how ridiculous our lives have become: an ex-teacher and jobbing writer travelling the world for a living. It is absurd, it is astonishing, and it is a luxury.

Best hiking trails in every US state (according to hikers)

best hiking trails in every US state lead imageEdmund Lowe Photography/Shutterstock

We share the three best hiking trails in every US state, according to America’s most popular hiking app

The US knows how to do wilderness. Wedged between the two great oceans of the world, it is home to practically every landscape under the sun. Beaches, lakes, mountains, rainforest, deserts, canyons and glaciers all rise and fall across this continent-sized country. And thanks to the outstanding National Park Service, huge swathes of it are readily accessible.