Kayaking in Svalbard: ice and isolation in the high Arctic

A group photo taken while Kayaking in SvalbardWerner Kruse

Kayaking in Svalbard among the icebergs of Hamiltonbukta showed us the true magic and magnitude of nature in the Arctic

Sometimes, I hear myself talking about my job and think, “God, I sound ridiculous.” It’s usually when I’m rattling on about where I’ve been and have to check myself, remembering that most people aren’t fortunate enough to visit places like the Galápagos or Easter Island – let alone both in a single trip.

In photos: 20 reasons to visit Svalbard

It's sunny in Svalbard so add sunscreen to your Svalbard packing list

From vast landscapes and giant glaciers to sly foxes and posing seals, we share some of the myriad reasons to visit Svalbard in the Arctic

Known as the last stop before the North Pole, Svalbard proved to be the Arctic we had always imagined: midnight sun, gleaming glaciers and snowcapped peaks, a frigid ocean riddled with ice and extraordinary wildlife including walruses, sea birds and polar bears.

A complete travel photography gear guide

A complete travel photography gear guide

We’re often asked about the gear we take on our travels. In response, we have written a detailed and complete travel photography gear guide

I have been involved in film or photography throughout the course of my career: initially as a camera operator, video editor and AV engineer, later as a teacher in digital media, and now as a travel writer.

Wild continent: the best national parks in Europe

best national parks in europe: sarekPetr Kahanek/Shutterstock

The best national parks in Europe are home to vast tracts of wilderness, often overlooked by those who flock to its cities

When we think of wild continents, Europe is probably last in line. Asia’s fearsome mountains, South America’s lush rainforest and Africa’s vast savannah are surely more impressive. Europe in comparison is famous for its cities: London, Paris, Rome and their ilk. 

Kraków Old Town: a DIY walking tour

Krakow in Poland during sunsetSTEFANO ZACCARIA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Kraków Old Town is best explored on a DIY walking tour. Here we share our tried-and-tested route for exploring Poland’s glorious former capital

Kraków was Poland’s only major city to escape World War II virtually undamaged. Since then, the assembly of monuments and architecture that makes up its Old Town was quite rightly celebrated by UNESCO as one of the 12 original World Heritage sites first listed in 1978.

11 things to do in Gauja National Park, Latvia

Gauja national park lead image

From hiking along precipitous escarpments to exploring ancient caves, we share the best things to do in Gauja National Park, Latvia

Over half of Latvia is covered in forest with northern Latvia and particularly the Gauja Valley home to some of the country’s most stunning arboreal scenes. I spent a few days exploring Gauja National Park, the country’s oldest protected area, and found an adventure playground ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bogshoeing in Latvia: silly but outrageously good fun

Peter bogshoeing in Ķemeri National Park, Latvia

Bogshoeing in Latvia? Nope, we hadn’t heard of it either. But the wetlands of Ķemeri National Park are more than a bog-standard destination

It’s a cliché I know, but travel never ceases to surprise me. I’ve hiked all over the world – from high-altitude treks in Nepal and Pakistan to remote expeditions in Greenland and Norway – so when I was invited to the tiny Baltic nation of Latvia with its highest point just 312m (1,024ft) above sea level, I wasn’t expecting to find much in the way of expansive wilderness. But, despite its size, Latvia devotes a substantial amount of space to nature and outdoor pursuits.

Useful travel gadgets: what we’re using in 2022

useful travel gadgets 2022

From practical solutions for everyday problems to highbrow electronics for luxury on the road, here are our favoured useful travel gadgets of 2022

The modern traveller rarely leaves home without a range of gadgets and accessories. Despite years of travel and streamlining my gear, I still pack a healthy number of gadgets.

Unless I’m going completely off-grid, there are certain (usually electronic) luxuries I don’t want to be without. I want to take thousands of photographs, listen to music, watch a movie, stay in touch with my family and most importantly of all, keep track of England’s latest batting collapse (a form of self-harm I’m sure).

Ranked: least-visited US national parks

Diablo lake in the North Cascades National ParkAnna Abramskaya/Shutterstock

As America’s public lands register record numbers, we explore the least-visited US national parks

It’s been well documented that America’s national parks and hiking trails have seen a surge in visitor numbers as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to the outdoors. In 2021, Yellowstone received an astonishing 4.8 million recreation visits, up 28% from 2020 (3.8 million), making it the busiest year on record.

El Chaltén hiking trails: our top 6 picks

El Chaltén is one of the best hiking destinations in Argentina4kwonderland/Shutterstock

We’ve selected six of the best El Chaltén hiking trails, showcasing the finest Andean vistas around Argentina’s trekking capital

Patagonia’s El Chaltén hiking trails should be on the bucket list of every serious hiker. The trekking capital of Argentina provides access to a network of well-maintained hiking routes with some of the most breathtaking alpine viewpoints on the continent.

Non-technical mountain climbs: 13 trekking peaks

mountaineering calendar whitney usaDreamstime

There are no ‘death zones’ on these non-technical mountain climbs but they offer plenty of challenges for mere mortals like me

As a climber, I have completed several indoor climbing and winter mountaineering courses but my technical climbing skills still leave a lot to be desired. I have mastered basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills but don’t practise them as often as I’d like.

Poorest countries in the world – ranked

map of the poorest countries in the world

African nations dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.

It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

23 interesting facts about Brazil

Rio de Janeiro in brazilDreamstime

The most interesting facts about Brazil we learnt during our stay in Rio, proving it’s not all Carnival and football around here

Our short city break in Rio de Janeiro was tagged on at the end of our big trip so we didn’t get as long as we wanted in either the city or Brazil itself. We’re committed to returning one day to explore the country’s massive interior and take a boat trip down the Amazon River.

When nature calls: why going to the toilet in the outdoors may be about to change

A toilet roll hanging on a branch in the wild

Burying your waste may no longer be the most sustainable way to go to the toilet in the outdoors, according to new research

The number of people using public lands in the US has been steadily increasing for years. The pandemic accelerated the trend as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to outdoor spaces in record numbers. The increase in visitors saw several parks and landmarks introduce reservation systems to counteract the unsustainable rise in visitor numbers.

How to visit Perito Moreno Glacier: a complete guide

An updated guide on how to visit Perito Moreno Glacier following our second encounter with the giant Argentine wonder

When reporting on our first trip to Patagonia back in 2015, Kia lamented that once you’ve been travel writing for a while, it’s hard to come up with fresh superlatives.

“I mean, you can’t say gaze-catching instead of eye-catching and you can’t say stride-stopping instead of heart-stopping, can you?” she wrote. The source of her discord was Perito Moreno Glacier, a sight so overwhelming that it’s utterly, er, step freezing.

Secret gardens: best parks in Buenos Aires

A carp pond with bridges and Japanese ornamentssaiko3p/Shutterstock

We explore the best parks in Buenos Aires to help you find a spot of calm in Argentina’s whirlwind capital

Buenos Aires whizzes past. While its cafés, bars and restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks, honking throngs of traffic hurtle by just inches away. Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) barely raise an eyebrow over their espressos, but for those of us uninitiated, Buenos Aires can be overwhelming.

Training for Kilimanjaro: 7 tips for a successful summit

Kilimanjaro summit signShutterstock

Completing some basic training for Kilimanjaro will make your climb easier, safer and ultimately more enjoyable

I climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, back in 2010. At 5,895m (19,340ft), it was my first high-altitude trek and even though I had some hillwalking behind me, I had no experience of trekking at altitude, wasn’t fit enough and didn’t have the right gear. In hindsight, I was fortunate to make the summit considering I was so underprepared.

Best mountaineering movies: 28 must-see cliffhangers

Best-mountaineering-movies-collage

Our carefully curated list of the best mountaineering movies ever made

Recently, I re-watched one of my favourite mountaineering movies: Everest. Historically, even the best mountaineering films have struggled to bridge the gap between climbing documentary and Hollywood blockbuster.

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.