Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Apology for the silence!

I am ever so sorry for being so quiet the past month or two!  Though I have been quiet in my posts,  I have been developing a few ideas over these winter months!

On that note,  I promise I am now officially back to my blogging self! In all honesty this was my moment where I hit the wall, and the hecticness of life got in the way of my blogging.  But it felt empty without a release for my creative passion and not spending as much time outdoors,  which is always where my heart and soul wants to be!

I manage to catch the odd photo of a beautiful sunrise in amongst the busy city life! 



Thursday, 6 October 2016

Gear Review: Coleman Instant Dome 3 Tent

I was lucky enough to win this 3-man Coleman Instant Dome 3 tent in a photography competition ran through Camping magazine, so for myself it was in fact free (woop!), however, the original RRP is approximately £99.99.

Easy, fairly compact carry bag


Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Family Camping Trip to Mull & Iona

This past weekend myself and a fellow 12 members of my family - yes, BIG family holiday! - headed to the Isle of Mull for a family camping weekend, with the main reason for the trip being to spread the ashes of my beloved Gran and Papa on the Isle of Iona. Though it may not sound like the most cheery trip in the world, it was actually a beautiful weekend with my wonderful family in some of the most stunning areas of Scotland. 

Paddling in Iona's waters (Iona paddling in Iona!!!)



Thursday, 8 September 2016

6 Adventurous Things To Do This Weekend!

Ever find yourself sitting at the weekend stuck for ideas of what to do? Daytime TV won't cut it, you've done all your household chores (or have maximised your willingness to do them!) and you're feeling a bit of cabin fever? Have a look at some ideas below, for all weekends or free days, no matter the weather or budget:

1) White Water Rafting

I've been White Water Rafting a couple of times now, and have never felt disappointed. Enough of a thrill to keep my adrenaline going, and enough of a work-out to give me a good nights sleep at the end of the day! The team at Splash! are fantastic, can highly recommend them, and their instructors are both professional and a great laugh at the same time.




Friday, 12 August 2016

5 Reasons Travelling Is Worth Saving For

This is partially a post to inspire you readers, and partially a post to inspire myself! With no holiday or trip booked this year, I find myself longing for my next overseas adventure. Yet, where will the money for this magically appear from?! I'm definitely not the best at saving, to say the least! So I need a little reminder of just why it's all worth putting this extra pennies aside for, and I'm sure I'm not the oy one, between fellow savings-strugglers and all aspiring travellers.

Enjoying the beautiful sunset and view in Tenerife



Monday, 1 August 2016

An Eco-Cottage Getaway Near Oban

Last weekend, I headed up to the small town of Ardfern, situated about 20 minutes outside of Oban for a family trip away with Ryan's family, courtesy of Ryan's mum! It was a well-needed restful few days of relaxing in a hot tub, enjoying nature and exploring Oban.

Chillin' with the fire pit, ready for a Jacuzzi dip!


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

My Dad's Epic Adventure

Some of you will have noticed I have a love of kayaking, and often go kayaking with my Dad. Well, not only did my Dad teach me kayaking, he is also an epic kayaker himself and is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.




Monday, 4 July 2016

My Obsession With Water

If you have read my other posts, you'll notice I mention my obsession with water a lot. Whether it is a calm, peaceful Loch, or a roaring white-water river, or whether I am paddling in my kayak or simply paddling with my feet, I am in my most relaxed and stress-free zone when I am next to a body of water.

Kayaking on the River Tay



Monday, 20 June 2016

Father's Day Kayaking - In Photos

This father's day, my dad had actually just come home from working abroad, so I was up in Fife for a wee visit. Though I was heading back to Edinburgh on Father's Day Sunday, my dad and I managed to squeeze in a small kayaking hour before I shot away back to the city! We kayaked up the River Tay for a gentle hour of paddling, spending some time admiring the views and looking out for wildlife, including a couple of herons, an oystercatcher and a Swan and signets. My dad and I worked on my basic skills to make sure I was ready for joining a new kayaking club this week here in Edinburgh! Here's the photos for you to have a nosey at :)

Daddy-Daughter selfie




Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Weekend in Killin

If you've never visited Killin, then you are seriously missing out on one of the most beautiful towns in Scotland. Killin is perfectly situated at the South-West end of Loch Tay, overlooked by munro Ben Lawers.




Tuesday, 31 May 2016

5 Reasons I Love Kayaking

If I had it my own way, I would be on the water kayaking every day. I used to turn up at my dad's house, right on the River Tay, and if I couldn't find him in the house, I'd head to the garden and look out across the water. If I could see a kayaker in the distance, I would assume it was my dad, grab my own kayak and head out, meeting him in the middle on the river. Ever since a neighbour who was moving abroad gave us a long-term loan of his two kayaks, I've had a great time heading out for a paddle whenever the weather was dry and wind-less, and the river was still and glistening like a mirror. When you see it shimmering out of your window, a feeling like no other just spurs you to grab the paddles. If you haven't been kayaking before and need a little encouragement to give it a bash, have a read below of my top reasons why I love kayaking.




Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Excuses We All Make for Not Spending More Time Outdoors

...me especially! Outdoors, adventure and nature have always played such massive parts in my life. But since I moved to the capital city around 6 years ago (!!!), I've found I use all the excuses in the world as to why I don't spend as much time outdoors as I wish I did. So I guess this post is me giving myself a slap across the face and a kick up the back side to stop make excuses and just DO IT, because I know it means the world to my happiness and health! I also doubt I am the only one out there (or at least I sure hope not) who makes excuses to themselves for not going outside or finding some time with nature when they're feeling lazy. I hopefully can inspire both myself and you lovely readers to stop moping and making excuses, and instead just get out there, and find that even that first step can kick-start the motivation you needed!


1) I don't have time.

Probably the number one most common excuse...and probably the worst one too! What we forget is that it doesn't even have to be a long expedition or a weekend camping trip to "count". Even a brief walk outside during your lunch break, or a lunch trip to the beach can be enough for you experience the benefits of the outdoors. You'll probably find that that small adventure will inspire you to start putting time aside for nature and the outdoors.



Monday, 16 May 2016

Gear Review: Walking Boots - La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX (Womens)

The Boots: La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX (Womens)

Brand New and Un-Worn!

When purchased: 

October 2014

Where purchased:

Cotswold Outdoor - Edinburgh Rose Street. Originally purchased for my Everest Base Camp trek. Store assistants were extremely helpful with deciding upon a boot. Had a discount due to above-mentioned Nepal trek.

Crampon compatible?

Yes, but haven't tested yet.



Monday, 9 May 2016

My Post-Camping Tips

You've had your immense camping trip. You're feeling at one with nature, drank a wine/cider/juice in front of the campfire overlooking hills, lochs, mountains, the seaside. Now it's time to go home, which is never fun. And when you get home all you want to do is flop on the sofa because all that driving, walking and tent-collapsing is a tiring job. BUT. There's things you should always do after a camping trip. Read the tips below. Doing these things will make future camping trips easier, and ensure your safety, health and relaxation for the days after your trip!



Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My Top 3 Favourite Outdoor Adventure Blogs

As a blogger myself, obviously I must have an interest in blogs! I read many many blogs every week. Some are outdoor related, some are beauty tips, some blogs are even blogs about blogging (you follow?!). But I'll admit: I sometimes don't read them to the end. I'll skip a couple of paragraphs or I'll skip to the end or I'll get bored and leave. But there are a few bloggers that always write great content and keep me interested! So I thought that this week, I'd simply share with you my top 3 outdoor, adventure and travel blogs that I enjoy to read.



Monday, 18 April 2016

Camping Mistakes We ALL Make

Whether you're a newbie or you've been camping since you can walk, we are all human and all make mistakes or forget things once in a while (or regularly, with myself). Here are some of the typical camping mistakes that everyone will make at one time or another:

> Forgetting Toilet Paper

This is my most common mistake, embarrassingly. Not exactly the end of the world (as long as you stick to number ones!), but always makes me feel pretty mingin' (Scottish word for gross or disgusting) by the end of a camping weekend.

> Pitching a tent on an area that SEEMS flat...but turns out not to be.

This mistake is usually only realised in the middle of the night, when you've either got a hump of mud underneath you, skewing your spine in a variety of manners, or you find yourself pressed against the side of your tent/partner multiple times throughout the night, as you realise you're on a slope.


>Leaving late

I feel like because a camping trip normally starts with a car journey, and it's all in your own hands it's easy to be chilled out about what time you hit the road. Which is, of course, one of the fantastic things about camping. But if you find yourself stuck in traffic or lost (like we were), you usually find pitching your tent in the dark or rain is never as easy nor as fun as it would have been had you left at half 10 like you planned.

> Getting that packing balance all wroooooong

We are ALWAYS overpacked or underpacked! I find if I'm heading out on a hill-walk, or a hike and camp, packing is easier as there's such limited space, it is literally the bare essentials. Whereas when we camp fairly near the car, it's too easy to pack the car full of items we don't particularly need. We'll either have a ridiculously full car, then realise we don't need or won't use half of the things we've packed, OR, I become so aware that I normally over-pack, that I end up completely underpacking and forgetting essentials.

> Forgetting the map!

See link above in "Leaving Late" section
. Don't rely on sat nav. ALWAYS BRING A MAP! Mine now sits in my car and does not move!


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Top 5 Essentials for Hill Walking

The list of items you could, should or would like to take hill walking can go on and on and on. But all hill walkers and mountaineers will have their own "must haves" that they grab as soon as they know they're heading on a trip. I have listed below my personal top 5 items I MUST take with me hill walking. Whether it's to ensure a happy and safe trip, or whether it's something that would help in an emergency, these 5 items (in no particular order) are the first to be shoved into my backpack when getting ready for a hike:

1) First Aid Kit

For me this always includes: plasters (a lot of them), painkillers, antiseptic, bandages and safety pins. Safety pins are just a godsend for quick fixes of any sort! I also include an emergency foil blanket in here too. Not quite first aid, but you never know when you might be trapped overnight and need to keep warm in rough conditions.




Monday, 4 April 2016

Family Weekend at Centre Parcs, Whinfell Forest

I know I speak a lot about camping, and in particular my love of wild camping - the escape from the modern world, the busy city and other human beings! But I know some people enjoy an escape to nature, but want to keep some of their home luxuries - enter Centre Parcs!

We actually headed to Centre Parcs in Whinfell Forest on a family-hen weekend away. I know the word "hen weekend" generates images of bunny ears, willy straws and tiny outfits. This was very much the opposite. The idea of this hen getaway was that everyone of all ages could enjoy the weekend - including the brides' younger cousin, aged 11 and her aunties and gran - and there will be something for everyone to do.



Monday, 28 March 2016

Rock Climbing at Avertical World

This bank holiday weekend, my planned camping trip with two old friends that I'd been preparing for and was excited about was cancelled and I was DEVASTATED to say the least. Lucky me though, another friend got in contact and told me she was heading rock climbing at an Avertical World in Dundee, with instruction from her friend, and invited me along. I figured, sure! Never tried it before, always wanted to! Saved the bank holiday weekend from being ruined!

Me reaching the top of the second wall, yaaay!


Monday, 21 March 2016

A to Z of Camping

A - Camping is a wonderful form of adventure. Head somewhere you've never been before. Or even see a different side of your local area. Camping opens up opportunities to experience areas in a way you just can't do in a car, or a house, or during the day.


B - There's nothing quite like barbecue food when you're camping (disposable or a more environmentally-friendly re-usable one for regular campers)

C - Though not essential, I would always recommend taking a camping chair or stool. Quite frankly, it's just nice to have something to sit on once you've expelled a load of energy collecting firewood and setting up the tent! Expensive ones tend to be comfier, but we use cheap ones and they all work the same!

Our chairs and our make-shift rain shelter, made from plastic sheeting (obviously taken away with us to bin after the camping trip!)



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Scotland in Photos: Edinburgh

First of a new post series, Scotland in Photos. Over time I hope to gather photos to show the different aspect of Scotland's beauty, history and culture, from it's cities to its hills to its coastline, all via photographs I have taken over time :)

The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is a beautiful city, filled with gothic architecture, unique street acts and plenty to do. With a vast history still seen along it's streets and lanes, as well as more modern features there's something for everyone.

Obviously, there is Edinburgh Castle, right in the centre of town....


Edinburgh Castle (Princes Street Gardens)



Monday, 7 March 2016

Top 10 Things To Do in Perth, WA

This weeks post is an overall account of one of the most life-altering, relaxing, adventurous and exciting holidays/trips I have ever had. Having never visited Australia before, this was a big adventure for me! I thought I'd do an overview post of things we did, what I recommend etc. Some particular activities were that fantastic they have their own posts, which I have linked to :) also, there is SO much more to do in Perth than I've even mentioned, but we didn't manage to get around it all!

1) Kings Park

For a easy and touristy start to your visit, start off at Kings Park like we did. Spectacular panoramic views over the city, plenty of grassy areas for picnics and eccentric bridges to explore, and plenty of wildlife . As one of the top tourist destinations in the area, you're guaranteed an enjoyable day out.

City views at Kings Park



Monday, 29 February 2016

5 Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outdoors

If you ever doubt why you should head outside for that walk, or why you should bother taking that camping trip, or you just want some inspiration, read on:

1) Time alone with your thoughts

When these days do you actually have time to think about yourself, and only yourself? Or even better, think of nothing? Whether it's work, kids, chores or something else, we all seem to be so busy these days. Putting some time aside to enjoy the outdoors gives you a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, escape the business or stresses at home and relax for a bit. Whether it's a day or a week, it's refreshing to forget about the everyday life stresses and just embrace and enjoy the moment.

Fellow trekker having a moment to himself in the Himalayas.



Monday, 22 February 2016

Throwback Post: Tiree 2010

This is quite a throwback post indeed. I wanted to write something showing off our beautiful islands here in Scotland, but in all honesty, I haven't been to many of them (at least not as an adult)! I'm hoping to adventure on a couple this year, so look out for them, but for now, I wanted to write about my trip to Tiree - back in 2010!

*Proof that you do not need a fancy camera to show the beauty of the beaches of Tiree*



Monday, 15 February 2016

Christmas Day in Australia

35 degrees at Christmas you say??! Surely not!

This was a strange, yet very fun experience: Christmas in Perth, WA. I have to be honest, I was very apprehensive - Christmas is my favourite time of year, and it just didn't seem right without playing in the snow, or wrapping up in scarves and gloves! And it was the first Christmas spent not visiting my Mum too! But it was a very pleasant surprise.




Monday, 8 February 2016

City Escape: Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

I love cities. The hustle-and-bustle, the crowds, the street performers and ordering Chinese food to your house at 3am. But they can get quite overwhelming, especially for a country bumpkin like me. As I've mentioned multiple times, I grew up right on the water and love the fresh air and freedom of the quiet countryside. So for someone like me living in a city, it's important to know where my nearest city escape is. Most cities have one, whether it's hills, or the beach or just a really big quiet park, and I think everyone enjoys a little break from it all sometimes.

 

 Edinburgh has quite a few city escapes - with the most famous probably being Arthurs Seat. Situated right next to Holyrood, in student-central and not far from the High Street, it's literally a stones throw away from the busy, tourist-filled Old Town. I actually wish I spent more time up Arthurs Seat to be honest. I've spent two bonfire nights up there, where you can watch numerous firework displays around the city for free. You might not be particularly close to a display, but it's a perfect option. Saying that, if you get there early enough you can get a pretty good view of the Meadowbank display, but you've got to claim your spot!



Monday, 1 February 2016

The Debate: Campsite vs Wild Camping

The debate between which is "better" between a campsite or wild camping is always an ongoing debate. I've read various different wild camping blogs that slag off the use of campsites, and equally there's articles out there of the opposite view.

Personally, I believe both are still camping, but they have their own benefits and drawbacks. I think they are almost incomparable, simply because they offer very different experiences of camping. Each individual has their own wishes when it comes to camping, and I think, depending on personal preferences, the folk you're camping with and, quite frankly, what you're feeling at the time can change which would be the best option. Below are my top considerations when trying to decide between the two. Hopefully if you're a bit stuck between the two options, this might give you a little help!

1) Looking for a challenge or an adventure?

Of course if you are staying in a campsite you can still have adventures outside of your tent! But the thrill of a wild camping adventure is one that cannot be compared. You have the freedom to choose whatever you wish, and it can be a great adventure choosing a spot to call your own for the night. Everything from getting a fire going, to adventuring out to the toilet can be an adventure! Dealing with the weather with no pub or shared-area to turn to can be an adventure too. But obviously, if you'd rather have a little less to think about and more options if the weather should turn or should you forget an item, you may prefer to stick to the campsites. Read here about our adventure getting lost on our first wild camping trip as a couple.

*Wild camping in the Cairngorms*



Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Tentsmuir Forest and Kinshaldy Beach

Thought I'd give my tales from Down Under a bit of a break this week, instead having a wee throwback post to Tentsmuir Forest and Kinshaldy Beach. At the North East of Fife, Kinshaldy Beach over-looks the River Tay and right across to Broughty Ferry. My childhood is filled with memories of playing there with my uncles, aunts and cousins, making sandcastles and playing in the play parks in the connecting Tentsmuir Forest.


But it wasn't just my childhood there. My Mum still lives very nearby, and I still head out on walks (mainly in the summer - bit windy in winter!). We particularly visited a lot when Jimmy was alive, as he was an avid swimmer!



Monday, 18 January 2016

How a Trip to Australia Changed My Life

Everyone says when you visit Australia it will "change your life", but I always figured that yeah, it'll be incredible, maybe the best holiday ever, but life changing is a little cheesy and over-used. I've wanted to visit Australia since I was a child. Even just before I left, I cracked open a full Terramundi Money Pot that I'd been saving in for since 2011. And what was on the wish I put in at the beginning? Australia!


We headed for Oz in December 2015 for a three and a half week holiday with my godfather. I won't bore you with every single detail about every single place we went and every little thing we did - there's links in this article to other posts if you're interested. I was ridiculously excited - partly because I was heading on holiday (who doesn't love a holiday?!), partly because I was seeing my godfather and his family again for the first time in many years, partly because I'd never visited Australia before. But a large part of my excitement was simply the escape. An escape from everyday life that had been dragging me down for a good while. An escape I feel I needed for my sanity.



Monday, 11 January 2016

Surfing in Perth, WA

SURFING. Before Australia, I'd only attempted it once before in Tiree, whilst on a girls holiday. Even over 10 days, it was knackering and difficult to get the hang of. But MY GOD was it fun! Even before Tiree, I grew up watching Rocket Power on Nickelodeon (anyone else remember that?!), just dreaming of the day I'd live by a sandy beach, with some hot weather and surfer hair, and hit the waves. 4 years on from Tiree, and I still tell everyone about how much I love surfing, even though I have a complete lack of experience. Hence, it was top of my list of things to do in Oz!

We hit the beach several times while in Perth, and I always figured I'd just rent a board or buy some lessons if and when we saw a surf shop or school. But interestingly, they weren't dotted around the beaches quite as numerously as I thought they would have been. Typical tourist assumption in Australia I guess!





Friday, 1 January 2016

Kayaking to Penguin Island, Western Australia

I HAVE JUST HAD THE BEST DAY EVER!!!

I am writing this while I'm still in my mega-excited, over-the-moon, ecstatic phase, so I apologise if this post becomes a bit chattery!

Today (Wednesday 30th of Dec, as I write the first draft) we decided to head about an hour South of Perth to a place called Rockingham. We aimed to kayak out to Penguin Island, where Australian Sea Lions play around the kayaks, and there is a possibility, but no guarantee, of seeing dolphins!

*From right to left: Penguin Island, Shag Rock and Seal Island*




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