When it comes to discovering great trails and wild places to walk, it’s easy to be daunted with information overload. Where to begin?
The good news is, you don’t have to drive for hours, or jump on a plane to enjoy a taste of adventure. There’s probably a hidden gem on your doorstep.
These steps will put you on the path to discovering them.
Use the #GetOutside tool
No one knows the countryside better than Britain’s map-makers, Ordnance Survey. The cartographers have been charting the country for hundreds of years and are unsurprisingly well qualified to know the best places to explore – whether that’s discovering a new woodland, finding birdwatching locations, or taking the family for a hike in the hills.
Use their ExploreNearMe tool to start you on your way. Simply type in a postcode, adjust the slider for length of outing required and watch their suggestions come up. You can also search for specific activities, like camping, photography and running.
Get to know your National Park
It’s easy to forget that Britain’s wild open spaces were not always so open to the public but the result of several access campaigns and protests. The Peak District was the first to be declared a National Park in 1951 and within a decade nine more had been created.
Start exploring your local park via the National Parks page here and after you’ve done your research, use the Land Rover Explore’s ViewRanger app to follow a route. Need some tips on getting the most out of your phone? Head over here.
Get a dog
Nothing quite beats the power of a pestering wet muzzle to get you reaching for the waterproofs and hiking boots. A dog will also make your adventure more fun, especially if it involves an overnight camp. Check out our ideas for canine adventures here.
If you plan on heading to a national park, be sure to check guidance for dog-walkers as many have restrictions around livestock or during nesting seasons.
Use your Explore phone
The Land Rover Explore Outdoor phone, like its name suggests, is uniquely suited to discovering doorstep adventures. It’s waterproof, dust-proof and drop-proof, impervious to the cold and comes with additional battery power. It also comes with ViewRanger, the ideal App for exploring local trails, whether you’re hiking, running, mountain biking or on a horse. The App lets you search by activity and download routes to follow offline – crucial if you’re going somewhere with a patchy phone signal.
Buy an OS map
There’s no better way to exploring your local area than buying the relevant OS map, spreading it over a kitchen table and spending an evening poring over its details.
If you have young children, arm them with a magnifying glass and turn it into a treasure hunt game. Get them familiarised with the legend, then turn them loose to find viewpoints, ruins and castles, while you search for the more important landmarks – like a pub to recover afterwards. Before you go, learn how to use a paper map in partnership with your Land Rover Explore phone.
Go on a microadventure
If it’s a local adventure you’re after, then sooner or later you’ll want to try a microadventure, the idea of hiking to your closest patch of wilderness and bedding down for the night under the stars.
Pioneered by British adventurer Al Humphreys as a more accessible way of enjoying the wilderness without needing to cross icecaps in Antarctica or climbing Everest, or spending a small fortune. You’ll find a wealth or ideas, tips and videos to get you inspired at his microadventure base.
Follow a national trail
Sometimes you need a project – a challenge that’s going to inspire you to train when you don’t want to and get out when the weather’s against you.
For some it’s collecting peaks, like all 282 of Scotland’s Munros (mountains over 3,000ft). For others it could be completing a national trail, like Hadrian’s Wall path, the Pennine Way or even the Thames footpath. It doesn’t have to be done in one-go, but could be a long-term goal to be completed over years. Start your planning here.
Whatever adventure you have planned, don’t forget to tag us, #ExploreMore, #localadventures.