The travel that changed me: Tharik Hussain

Stari Most, an Ottoman bridge in Bosnia and HerzegovinaMehmet/Shutterstock

Kia speaks to author Tharik Hussain and explains why his book about Muslim Europe is changing her thoughts about her own religion

If I had read Minarets in the Mountains in my youth, I would have almost certainly felt differently about my religion. My parents were Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK and in an effort to cling on to their identity, followed a highly prescriptive version of Islam that wasn’t very much fun.

National parks in Wales: which one is right for you?

Llyn Fan y Fach is a 20,000 year-old glacial lakeAndreac77/Shutterstock

When it comes to Britain’s breathing spaces, the national parks in Wales compete with the best of them. Here, we explain why

Surrounded by sea on three sides, Wales is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. While not as rugged as Scotland, or romantically perceived like Ireland, deepest Wales is just as beguiling. 

Lonely corners abound on dramatic mountain passes, deep river valleys and weather-lashed cliffs. Scattered seamlessly across the natural landscape are Iron Age hill forts, Roman ruins and over 600 castles – more per capita, it’s said, than any other country in the world. 

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.

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. 

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’.

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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). 

K2 base camp trek: a walk among giants in the Karakoram

K2 base camp trek

The K2 base camp trek is a stunning journey to the foot of a legendary mountain in the Pakistani Karakoram

The K2 base camp trek through the mighty Karakoram mountains of Pakistan is one of the world’s finest high-altitude treks. Earlier this year an opportunity arose to join Lost Horizon Tours and Treks on a trek to K2 base camp combined with a technical crossing of the Gondogoro La Pass.

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail: a dream goes up in smoke

trekking the arctic circle trail lead image with hut and lake

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland has long been a dream of mine. A dream I came tantalisingly close to fulfilling but for a freak natural event

I wanted to begin this post by triumphantly announcing that I had finished trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland – but I can’t, for my trek ended in bitter disappointment. It (quite literally) left a stale taste in my mouth and gave rise to a cloud of unanswerable questions; a maddening maelstrom of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ to lament and regret.