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.

I’ve lost my traveller edge

Alien landscape at Dallol in Ethiopia

After a year and a half at home, Kia finds travel a little more challenging than it used to be

There’s a certain level of hubris that comes with a travel lifestyle. I’m not talking about the curated selfies of Instagram or endless filtered sunsets but travel that predates it: the hardened journo grabbing his go-bag en route to a conflict zone, the high-powered CEO taking another red eye, or the ‘third culture kid’ who frequently flies between three cities. 

Why I’ve given up eating fish (again)

Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock

At the age of 13, Kia turned vegetarian but 15 years later, she started eating fish again. Here she reflects on why that decision was wrong

There is an inherent hypocrisy in what I do for a living. On one hand, I write about the state of the planet, call for tourism caps and grapple with extinction tourism, but on the other, I continue to fly when I know that it’s the worst way to travel in terms of carbon emissions. 

How to escape a wildfire: a hiker’s guide

With fire season fast approaching, we’ve updated our guide on how to escape a wildfire, inspired by Peter’s close call in Greenland

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.

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.

The travel that changed me: Nadine Matheson

Jorge Argazkiak/Shutterstock

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. 

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.

11 solo hiking tips for women

female hiker tips lead 100px

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. 

Concrete jungles: the world’s most urban countries

world's most urban countries lead

We take a look at the world’s most urban countries and why they go hand in hand with the most stressed

City life is stressful. It presses on our weary bones, wafts through windows on pungent fumes and boxes up our personal space.

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 were 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.

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. 

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.’