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!

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.

Virgin peaks: the world’s unclimbed mountains

unclimbed mountains Mount KailashDreamstime

The world’s unclimbed mountains are the last great challenges in mountaineering. We look at the most coveted of these unconquered summits

In early 2021, Nimsdai Purja and his team of Nepali climbers became the first to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, in winter. K2 was the final 8,000m peak awaiting a winter ascent after Nanga Parbat – Pakistan’s “Killer Mountain” – was scaled in 2016.

Best mountaineering books: 27 great reads

lead image of climber for best mountaineering books 2021Vixit/Shutterstock

Updated for 2021, we list the best mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers in the harshest environments

As I’ve mentioned many times before, my bookshelves are filled with tales of adventure travel, survival against the odds and obsessive searches.

I’m an avid climber keen on winter mountaineering and wild camping so, naturally, mountaineering books take up a good chunk of space on my shelf.

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.

100 greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park

best hikes in the Lake District National Park lead WindermereDaniel_Kay/Shutterstock

From the shores of England’s deepest lake to the summit of its highest peak, we share the greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park

England’s Lake District is home to some of the nation’s most picturesque panoramas. The park’s craggy ridges, hidden tarns and glistening lakes have enticed walkers ever since the first ‘Lake Poets’ of Wordsworth and Coleridge put pen to paper in the 19th century.

How to use a compass and map: a simple guide

how to use a compass and map feat img(c) Schlenger86 | Dreamstime.com

This guide on how to use a compass and map should be enough to get you started and give you the confidence to use the skills for yourself in the hills

As a schoolboy, I was lucky to learn how to use a compass and map. I then spent the best part of two decades putting these basic skills to use throughout the British countryside, without ever really having them tested.

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths england coast pathDreamstime

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths provide excellent access to the UK’s outdoors while showcasing the finest scenery our isles have to offer

When you think of the best long-distance hiking trails from around the world, little old Britain probably wouldn’t top of your list. Hikers will more likely be drawn to the Triple Crown of the Appalachian, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails in the US, New Zealand’s Great Walks or the famous Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp treks in Nepal.

10 best hikes in New Forest National Park

best hikes in New Forest national park lead imageCopyright (c) 2020 Nick Brundle Photography/Shutterstock. No use without permission.

The best hikes in New Forest National Park reveal a quintessential slice of English countryside

Despite its name, the New Forest is neither new nor much of a forest. The region was first declared a royal hunting preserve in 1079 by William the Conqueror and the landscape is more heathland (the most extensive area remaining in Europe) than contiguous woodland. The word ‘forest’ actually descends from Old French for ‘hunting ground’.

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.

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.

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.

Which country has the cleanest air in the world?

map of the countries with the cleanest air in the worldIQAIR

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

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico has the world’s cleanest air according to the latest World Air Quality Report by IQAir. The report ranks 106 countries and territories by the level of fine particulate matter present in the air.

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.”

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.

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.