Employed in an outdoor activity business, I was granted an opportunity in September of 2015 to undertake a trek 200 kilometres within the Arctic circle in Swedish Lapland, hiking from Abisko to Björkliden, visiting the Låktatjåkko Mountain Lodge, and spending time with the native Sami.
The route was prime for viewing the Northern Lights, and crossed dramatic variations in terrain, from river valleys to glacial lakes.
Offa’s Dyke, Wales
An approximately 177 mile route covering the length of Wales and loosely following the Wales/England border along the Welsh Marches. A friend and I completed the walk in 7 days in March 2016, starting on the banks of the Severn Estuary, and finishing at Prestatyn beach on the North coast.
The walk was surprisingly wild, encompassing the Wye Valley, Black Mountains, Marcher Lands, and the Clwydian Range, offering fantastic views through the borderlands.
West and East Highland Ways, Scotland
Following on from the Offa’s Dyke, and bringing two friends, in May of 2016 I combined the West Highland and East Highland Way walks in Scotland to form a 176 mile route.
We started just north of Glasgow, winding alongside Loch Lomand, crossing Rannoch Moor, past Glen Coe, climbing the Devil’s Staircase and then descending to Loch Leven, up to Lairigmor and Glen Nevis, through Fort William skirting the Nevis Range, crossing the deep gorge of Allt a’ Mhuilinn, the woods of Mointeach Dhubh, up to the ancient Pictish hill-fort of Dun da Lamh, through the ancient Caledonian forests of Inshriach, into the Creag Meagaidh group, and then finally the mighty Cairngorms, finishing in Aviemore.
The route was filled with spectacular views from start to finish, ever increasingly becoming wild and off-track, with certain parts of the East Highland Way directed off a compass bearing into the mountains, with river crossings and a deep feeling of isolation.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
In September 2016 a work colleague and I decided to travel to Scotland’s Isle of Skye and tackle the infamous Black Cuillin Ridge.
With eleven Munros, over thirty summits, and technical rock climbing up to Very Difficult, we found ourselves a little unprepared, and so with only three days to explore (one rained off), decided against a full traverse. Instead, we scrambled the two highest peaks, Sgurr Alasdair and Sgùrr Dearg, where we got a good look at the In Pinn and managed part of the ridge whilst the weather looked good.
On the fourth and final day on the Island we managed to explore the mystical landscape of the Quiraing, which really stood out as a highlight of the trip.
The Three Peaks, UK
I was travelling up to Scotland for a family event, and having recently got my van back from the workshop, decided to take along a mountain bike and spend a week up there afterwards van-camping and riding the 7 Stanes trail centres.
After a week of great riding, I woke up in the early hours one morning and looked at my map.
It didn’t look that far to Fort William, and so, I decided to summit the Three Peaks over three days on my drive home, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and then Snowdon. Doing it over three days allowed me to take advantage of the views and enjoy the more scenic routes on each mountain.
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