Planning a walking route in 5 easy steps
Don't just follow others - planning your own walking route can be a rewarding experience, helping you discover new places or set yourself challenges. Jonathan from the OS Team outlines how to get started.
Meet the 15 #GetOutside champions!
You may have seen our campaign to find #GetOutside champions for 2016 – you may have even entered or know someone who did!
We've whittled down 15 outdoors enthusiasts from the huge number of fantastic applications we received from people all over the country. Meet the #GetOutside champions:
Aleks Kashefi is a science teacher who likes to feel the earth under his feet. Quite literally. In September 2015, Aleks decided to ditch his trainers and run the length of Britain. During his quest to get from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Aleks was also fundraising for Stoke Association and managed to raise over £11,000!
His plans for 2016 include more barefoot runs including The Bob Graham Round – a fell running challenge in the Lake District. It’s named after Bob Graham, who in the 1930s broke the Lakeland Fell record by crossing 42 fells within a 24-hour period.
Lucy and Fi (Blonde One and Blonde Two) are seasoned bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts. Dartmoor residents, these two ladies run their daily blog Two Blondes Walking and are also published authors of two children’s books, ‘The Dartmoor Christmas Tree’ and ‘Dart the River’.
When they’re not writing (or at the day jobs teaching at their respective schools) the Two Blondes are heavily involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme; training and inspiring the young people in their area to volunteer with the Dartmoor Rescue and the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Their drive to get young people into exploring the outside has also led to them developing the Moors Boots scheme with the Dartmoor Preservation Association. The scheme offers free walking boots for under-privileged and low income DofE participants in the area.
Grab your map and walking gear and join them for many more adventures on and off the moors. There’s even the promise of jelly babies!
Brendan was a self-confessed coach potato who fell in love with the beautiful urban British scenery while he was training for his first ever half marathon in 2006.
Since then Brendan has continued his outdoors pursuits, participating in a selection of outdoor challenges. This year he is planning to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End – and he’s inviting you to join him where you can!
Brendan has also entwined his love for the outdoors into his day job where he works with autistic children, and also supports a school in Malawi. He also plans to run the length of Malawi in 2016!
5 years ago, Dan Grant suffered a heart attack when he was only 38 years old. Determined to improve his quality of life, Dan ditched the cigarettes, reviewed his diet and got on his bike.
Since then, Dan has challenged himself to ride various long distance rides and will be cycling the 190 mile trip from London to Paris in 2016.
#GetOutside’s resident Snowdon expert Dave Roberts first founded Walk Eryri in 2004 with the aim of providing walking enthusiasts with new routes that were off the beaten track and could show the beauty of his native Snowdonia.
Walk Eryri has since evolved into Mud and Routes; a hub for a plethora of routes for all areas of Great Britain and Dave continues to passionately blog about his adventures.
Dave has been exploring the hills for over 30 years, and is also a qualified mountain leader.
Mountaineer Jason loves to explore and you can regularly see the fruits of his adventures on his Instagram page.
Unhappy in his sales career, Jason gave it all up to start his own mountaineering adventure company jrmountaineering.com. His #GetOutside pledge was to do something adventurous in the outdoors for the 30 days of September (#Sepventure) while showcasing the wonderful world of North Wales.
Jason’s ethos is to deliver outstanding outdoor adventure experiences while promoting safety, education and fun. Above all, he says he’s in the business of making memories.
Karl Rushen is the humble mastermind behind the 100 peaks challenge – a multi-activity challenge that takes place over all four countries in the United Kingdom.
The event was created as a tribute to Karl’s brother, who was killed in action in Afghanistan. So far, the event has had over 100 participants taking part to raise money for various charities.
In 2016, Karl is planning on increasing his fundraising activities with a jump day with the Red Devils and a takeover of the Milton Keynes marathon!
As one half of Little Wild Ladies, Lizzie has been demonstrating her commitment to educating people about Great Britain.
Now flying solo, Lizzie is determined to show the people of Britain that you can have fantastic, life-changing adventures without having to go too far from your house or visit any other countries.
By unearthing the hidden gems, Lizzie Carr is are making adventures and exploration in Britain an option for many more people!
Mary-Ann Ochota is a TV presenter and writer who is very used to getting outside for her work. Her qualifications in Archaeology and Anthropology have led to her involvement in previous television projects including Raised Wild for Animal Planet and Britain’s Secret Treasures for ITV. You may also recognise Mary-Ann as the ‘red dress’ lady from a well-known cereal advert!
In 2015, Mary-Ann combined her enthusiasm for adventuring and passion for educating others in a series of films about hill walking for the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). She’s also written a book about the interesting archaeology that you can find in Britain (available later this year).
Mary-Ann is often joined on her trips, runs and explorations by Harpo, her (very cute) four-legged furry companion – who has also found himself having unexpected adventures of his own!
Phoebe Smith is a seasoned traveler, author and award-winning writer and editor of Wanderlust travel magazine.
Although Phoebe has travelled to many parts of the world, she still has a deep-rooted love for the United Kingdom and regularly writes about her explorations around the wildest parts of Britain.
She is author of seven outdoorsy books including Wilderness Weekends and Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper. As a wild camper, Phoebe regularly spends nights out under the stars with nothing more than her sleeping bag and has a unique view to share of Britain’s most loved places.
When Stef Jackson-Horner became a teacher, her aim was to give the pupils in her care the same opportunities she had growing up. This drive has carried Stef throughout her career and is her motivation to try new activities and events.
Her most recent challenge was in Triathlon, and after doing exceptionally well in local events, Stef is now on her way to representing GB in the European and World Aquathlon this year.
Not content with just being the inspiration for a classroom of pupils, Stef is now on a mission to inspire more people in Great Britain to get outside and try new things.
The Meek Family have a rather unusual story. 16 months ago Kerry and Tim quit their jobs, sold their house and took their children,Amy and Ella,out of school to go on a family Ed-venture. Their aim? To educate themselves and experience more of the UK as they travelled and lived in a caravan.
Throughout 2016, the family are planning to climb the height of Everest by hiking their way around Britain’s mountains.
Bear Grylls’ approved; the Meek Family are ambassadors of the 'green time over screen time' mantra and encourage families to ditch the television for the great outdoors and survival skills.
Ex-Army man Tobias Mews is an experienced endurance racer, with over 200 events racked up in his trainers.
In December 2015, he took part in the Great British MINI Adventure campaign where he visited all 15 of Britain’s national parks over the course of 15 days. During his adventure he met local outdoor athletes for a ‘mini adventure’ in each one, with the activities including cycling, running, scrambling and kayaking!
Tobias is also a professional adventure journalist and has recently finished writing his first book, ’50 races to run before you die’, which will be published in March 2016.
Tor McIntosh strives to inspire young people to reach their goals and make their dreams a reality through her writing and teaching.
As the renowned explorer in her friendship group and a lifelong outdoors enthusiast, Tor loves encouraging people to try something new and #GetOutside.
She is a self-professed fan of the fresh air and believes that getting outside for just a few hours a week can be massively beneficial to a person’s health.
Tor has combined all of these with her own business venture, the Slow Adventure Company, where she aims to make it effortless and easy for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors.
Fiona Russell is an outdoors activity writer with a column in the Scottish Sunday Mail. Her passion for enjoying the countryside with her own children motivates her to encourage families to get outside. This is done through her Mumroaming Facebook page, and also her family-friendly blog – and her infectious ‘just try it’ approach is already rubbing off on her followers!