Mini Adventures On Your Doorstep

Written by: Isobella Ash

We may not be able to travel, but we can still quench our thirst for adventure by discovering more about the mini-adventures close to home. See how other outdoor enthusiasts have been embracing the natural landscapes that their local areas have to offer.

Lexi – The Running Visla

My parents are Scottish and it is where I’ve always felt truly at home. Now it’s a favourite destination for the three of us and something we’re clinging to for 2021, often talking about our next trip and making plans. It’s such a step-change from the corporate job and the usual flat countryside we have here (albeit beautiful). It’s dramatic horizon and wild nature lights a fire in me.

Whether it’s climbing Munro’s, kayaking, swimming, hiking, bike rides or runs we can’t get enough of the great outdoors when there! An active day is always followed with chilling out beside a roaring fire and with great local food and drink, our other passions are also met. We all find we come back richer for the break, really reconnected with what truly matters, I can’t wait to go back.

However, for the time being we have been making the most of our mini adventures, close to home. We’re lucky with where we live, lockdown has certainly made me more thankful for it. Gary my fiancé and Max my 4-year-old Vizsla & I live in a quintessential village with fabulous countryside walks from the door.

Since lockdown we got out the local OS Maps and plotted new routes, challenging ourselves to try unexplored trails and surprising ourselves by uncovering some fabulous local places (somewhat annoyed it took a lockdown for us to do it)! The other great thing I’d say about lockdown adventures is the fact that it’s now often possible for Gary to join Max & I. Even exploring familiar routes with someone new, you often see different things. With both of us now working at home we try to encourage each other to get away from the computer screen, both relishing being outdoors and active and certainly all the better for it, Max certainly loves our ‘family’ explorations.

Aside from local walks, like many others we’ve got into gardening, building a greenhouse last summer where you can often find me pottering and Max snoozing! We doubled our backyard flock of hens and everyone has benefited from an increase in eggs! We’re also taking Max through his Trick Dog qualifications – great things to do at home and brilliant for tiring Max out mentally!

Sarah Farnsworth, Professional Photographer

My husband Adam and I have been very lucky in the postcode lottery that is lockdown living, and we have been incredibly grateful to have fantastic walks from the village we live in, in rural Worcestershire. This local exploration helps keep us sane and healthy. Every day I head on a 6-10km walk up the hill with Teasel our older working cocker spaniel, with access to a myriad of public paths without having to drive anywhere, which is obviously a big no-no given the current lockdown restrictions and the wintry conditions on the roads.

Recently we had a good bit of snow come our way, so for our latest lockdown mini-adventure Adam and I took Teasel and our 4-month-old cocker pup Rowan, up through the estate parkland for Rowan to experience her first snow day! She loved it, and she and Teasel had a grand old time together in the snow – before getting a little cold and soggy, so had to have a shoulder carry back down the hill to home, before curling up on the sofa in front of the fire for the afternoon – the very definition of a perfect snow day!

Emma Sandham, PR and Events Associate Orvis UK

In a period where we have never spent so much time in our homes, I have come to appreciate the art of the mini-adventure – exploring local waters, walks, and landscapes which I never felt I had the time to do in the past. At the start of the first lockdown last March, I had to move out of my London flat-share and return home, I haven’t lived here since I was 18, so having an extended time at my family home has been really special. The last 10 months has allowed me to explore my local area in Cumbria more than I ever have before.

In June last year, we welcomed our, now 9-month-old, Labrador puppy Tiggy. She has become my adventure buddy and although she can’t tackle the big fells here in The Lakes, we spend the weekends taking her on beautiful local walks and hikes.

Running also became a huge part of my life in 2020. What better place to go running than here in the beautiful countryside, it is certainly different to my old after-work routes in South East London!

I feel very lucky to live in these surroundings, although so many parts of the UK offer stunning landscapes. From the South Downs in Sussex, coastlines of Cornwall and the vast Peak District to the dramatic scenes in Scotland and Wales, I have come to crave trips to various parts of the UK, which I hope to take one day when it is safe to do so.

We hope these stories inspire you to branch out and take more mini-adventures that are on your doorstep.

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