Blog

Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion since 2017

My blog, Always Exploring, aims to help us inspire each other to GetOutside for mini-adventures. They might be swimming across bays, climbing Cornish sea cliffs, kayaking around islands; riding winter waves; sleeping under the stars.

Why? Because although long expeditions are extraordinary, micro explorations and close-to-home adventures can also help us feel aliveSand dunes can soothe your soul. Horizons can broaden your mind. And adventures can start when possibilities are seen and seized.

So check out my posts, share your stories and prepare to discover that we can all do so much more than we think we can …

Choose Your Adventure

Craghoppers’ #Choose Your Adventure contest has got me thinking. Not just because it could fund and equip the next trip. But also because we all love a good adventure story – tales of trails trod and hardships endured can help nudge us towards our next challenge.  So while you consider yours, here’s an adventure tale of myContinue reading “Choose Your Adventure”

Seaside Snow Exploring

What to do when the wintry weather hits the shore? GetOutside! On Sunday in Torbay we became seaside snow explorers. Scooping out angels, leaving tracks. It was a soft, muffled world where shapes changed. Cars had extra curves. Lines were more defined. We saw fairytale doors to magical places (“Look! it’s the door to Narnia!”) Discovered liminalContinue reading “Seaside Snow Exploring”

First Winter Climb

Buzzard-eye views, icicles at eye level and learning new skills. Why my first taste of winter climbing in Scotland was a kind of GetOutside relay “Don’t look down” people always say about heights. And sometimes, as a still fairly new climber, I’ve taken a glance ground-wards and really wished I hadn’t. But this time, partContinue reading “First Winter Climb”

A GetOutside Year

Clocks and callenders – not only tick time forwards, but also nudge us to review what we’ve done. So as we embark on a year full of potential adventures, I’m considering what 12 months as an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion have taught me about the things that matter: people and places, health and happiness, andContinue reading “A GetOutside Year”

Four Reasons Why The Women’s Climbing Symposium Rocked

As the chalk dust settles on another Women’s Climbing Symposium, here are four ways in which this epic event more than delivered on its aims to connect, develop and inspire. And will actually help us GetOutside. Connect There were fewer women than usual at the UK’s crags last Saturday. That’s because more than 300 of them hadContinue reading “Four Reasons Why The Women’s Climbing Symposium Rocked”

Sea Kayaking Cornwall

Have you ever had that thing, when you suddenly discover a whole new way to experience a place? That’s how it was one sunny weekend this June when Erin Bastian rounded up seven people for some boat-based sea kayaking off the south Cornish coast. It was one of this year’s improbably hot spells. For threeContinue reading “Sea Kayaking Cornwall”

Wild Night Out

There’ll be fewer people in their homes and beds on July 1st. That’s because that Saturday is Wild Night Out. That’s the national outdoors adventure that’s designed to inspire people of all ages and all abilities to do something active in our great outdoors.  Why might you like to give it a try? Here areContinue reading “Wild Night Out”

River Swim

“Can you be there in 30 minutes?” It’s the kind of message that spells adventures. It was late one weekday afternoon in this recent hot spell. The sun was bright. The sky a brilliant blue. And my desk suddenly seemed very unappealing. Because the mini-adventure being suggested was something I’d never done: swimming – properlyContinue reading “River Swim”

First Biathlon

In the overall arena of contests and endeavour, the Polkerris Biathlon doesn’t loom large. A 1.5km swim, followed by a 6km run – for some isn’t that far. But for me it was and it underlined five simple truths about why I love to GetOutside. Completing Not Competing “Are you competing?” said the guy pointing people towardsContinue reading “First Biathlon”

What’s #YourNature?

When these shoes walked into my life two months ago, they brought more than just a snug, waterproof casing for my feet. Yes, they were Merrell shoes for us Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions to test. But the Siren Hex Q2s also came with a hashtag: #MyNature. And each time I’ve put them on, they’ve set meContinue reading “What’s #YourNature?”

Adventures By Train

When heading off to GetOutside for a day out or an adventure, what’s your default mode of transport? If you’re going camping or even climbing, how would you get there – hop on a bus or walk? Perhaps, although most will load up the car. But could you get to your destination by train? Camping,Continue reading “Adventures By Train”

First Solo Bivvy

Sunday 7th May 2017 Bivvy Night It’s 10.10 at night and I’m sitting on the beach in the dark on my own. I’m propped against a rock, my sleeping bag and roll mat are stretched out in front. A driftwood fire is warming my legs, occasionally the smoke swirls into my eyes. So what doesContinue reading “First Solo Bivvy”

Celebrate Sunrise

The sun rises every day, but does that mean we should take it for granted? And can a burst of the pink-tinged great outdoors really brighten your whole day? I headed off to the shores of Plymouth Sound, to swim at sunrise and try to find out. Gloves on, hood up, flask of espresso inContinue reading “Celebrate Sunrise”

Scottish Winter Hill Walking

It was a challenging, exhilarating three days in the snows of the Scottish Cairngorms. There was leg-testing, wind-blasting and snot-streaming (sorry, but it’s true). But it was an unforgettable place to GetOutside. This, my first experience of the Scottish winter hills, led to an article for the British Mountaineering Council. It covers the safety issues,Continue reading “Scottish Winter Hill Walking”

Why GetOutside?

A flock of blue jackets flits through the New Forest’s tawny woods. Strolling beside tall trees, squelching through mud, studdying maps – the Ordnance Survey 2017 GetOutside Champions are out on a walk We’re here because OS has gathered staff and champions to share tips and stats, information and inspiration. A kind of glorious GetOutsideContinue reading “Why GetOutside?”

A Coast Path Night Run

It’s amazing how much of a view you can see in the dark. And just what brilliantly bonkers fun running at night can be. Half way around, the view from the headland revealed a bright moon traced by mackerel clouds, sketchily-shaped hills, and village lights reflected in the creek. And getting there had been ridiculouslyContinue reading “A Coast Path Night Run”

Swimming In Hope

The first day of 2017 saw dozens of wild-swimmers take to the sea in South Devon. That we met at a beach called Inner Hope seemed pretty fitting – because you could describe this brilliant bunch of people a little like this … Beach-gatherers, Excited-chatterers Happy-faffers*, Quick-changers Chill-seekers, Shallows-shriekers Wave-riders, Gleeful-whoopers Fast-towelers, Speedy-dressers Mug-clutchers, Hot waterbottle-huggers Cake-sharers, Fire-huddlers Friendship-forgers, Hope-affirmers Spirit-lifters, Grin-gifters Days-seizers, Life-liversContinue reading “Swimming In Hope”

Welcoming Winter

In the end, the winter solstice weather was better than expected, so it was in only persistent drizzle that we set off onto a soggy moor. Highly efficient navigation (not mine) led us, via Scorhill Circle, to a rushing stream and the Tolmen Stone. This massive boulder has a person-sized hole in the middle –Continue reading “Welcoming Winter”

Autumnal Adventures

It used to be I hated the end of September – summer’s lease has all too short a date. It meant less outside fun.  Bad weather and shorter days. But this year I resolved to turn all that on its head. To find new outdoor opportunities as the temperatures dropped and the nights drew in.Continue reading “Autumnal Adventures”

Super-moon Sea Swim

How’s this for an outdoors equation: the more apparently random and bizarre – the more joyful.

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