The Lingua Climber

Native English speakers such as myself are notoriously bad when it comes to speaking other languages. I met a Dutch woman once who told me that she could only learn three other languages at school because she was dyslexic. To think I was proud of myself when I could read 50% of the ingredients on … More The Lingua Climber

A Hillwalking Introduction for a Grumpy Teenager

As a teenager, despite being a thoroughbred city-dweller, I loved mountains and the British countryside, and always wanted to be walking in the hills or running gaily through fields of wheat like Theresa May. I appreciate (but still don’t fully understand) that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I believe everybody should at least … More A Hillwalking Introduction for a Grumpy Teenager

Bad Nights in the Hills – Part 1, Volkswagen Golf, Snowdonia

We pulled into the Cromlech boulders lay-by at about 1:30am. Somewhere to our right, through the mist and rain was the famous Dinas Cromlech walls, featuring some of the finest trad climbing in the UK. To the left was our route for the day, Parsley Fern gully up to Snowdon’s summit. We were disinclined to … More Bad Nights in the Hills – Part 1, Volkswagen Golf, Snowdonia

Great Nights in the Hills – Part 1, YHA Black Sail

It was our second day on the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk and we were sampling some of England’s dreariest weather (simply known as “weather” in the Lake District). We’d spent the previous night sliding downhill in a pokey two-man tent perched on the flattest ground we could find, and by the time we reached … More Great Nights in the Hills – Part 1, YHA Black Sail

Tour de Bit of France

Fully expecting to suffer greatly going uphill and glide majestically going down, my latest trip cycling the legendary Alpine cols of the Tour de France yielded some surprises. The usual (unintentional) formula for my trips held true, where I return significantly more bruised having learnt some important lessons, but ultimately have a merry time. Expectations … More Tour de Bit of France

Lost on a Ridge

I, like many walkers, admit that my navigation could do with a bit of touching up. Or not so much touching up as gutting and a full renovation. Londoners don’t get lost in London, it’s impossible. If you have a vague sense of direction you can always find your way around in the centre of … More Lost on a Ridge

Bear in Mind

Aged ten, I went on a walk through the Essex countryside with my father that affectionately became known as “The Death Walk”. It achieved such status after being chased by a tractor down a narrow lane flanked by tall hedgerows, wandering into a ditch, falling foul of an electric fence, slipping numerous times on black … More Bear in Mind