Sunday 30th September 2018 is the first ever National GetOutside Day.
Organised by Ordnance Survey with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK , it sees a huge range of events taking place across the country in a bid to improve the health of the nation by getting more people, more active, more often. You can join an event near you, or create your own adventure outside with family and friends.
Ben Fogle, GetOutside Champion, broadcaster, traveller and adventurer said, “We want to get everyone moving and people should spend more time outside. You’ll feel better for it. When I’m outside I smile more, and it’s the one place that’s repeatedly proven to be good for both body and mind.”
To help you get inspired ahead of the big day, we’ve put together a list of recommended reads by Ordnance Survey’s very own GetOutside Champions.
Award-winning travel writer Phoebe Smith returns with more great outdoor experiences tailored not just for the hard-core wilderness enthusiast but for novices and newbie hillwalkers alike. With 20 hills each in England, Wales and Scotland, from just 120 metres to a manageable 609 metres, and from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands, there’s bound to be a hill for you.
Each walk also includes tips on safety, kit, weather, walking responsibly, maps, tackling hills sensibly, and taking children, friends and reluctant walkers. For some walks there’s also ‘Added Adventure’ – caves, ruins or a background story for example. Britain is home to hundreds of hills, neglected because they don’t quite measure up, so here we showcase 60 of the very best. Discover not only where to walk, but also curious facts and places, such as one of the best small hills with a cafe at the top, the hill where Captain Cook became inspired to travel, the only Wainwright the man himself couldn’t summit, and the Welsh peaks where the rocks that form Stonehenge come from.
Having already cycled and swum the length of Britain, endurance adventurer Sean Conway completed his trilogy by running all the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Read the awe-inspiring accounts from his journey – which he completed entirely unsupported, sleeping in a tent and carrying all his own equipment.
For Anna, a cycling enthusiast, the decision to ride 4,000 miles solo around the coast of the UK wasn’t that hard. Following the river from London until it became the sea, then following the sea until it reached the mouth of the Thames again was a beautifully simple idea. But after epic highs, incredible lows, unforgettable scenery and unpronounceable place names – as well as a hearty battle with some good old British weather – her simple idea turns into a compelling journey of self-discovery, and an eye-opening insight into what makes the island where she lives so special.
Dare to Do: Taking on the Planet by Bike and Boat £10.99
On 1st April 2011, rower and adventurer Sarah Outen set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. Her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam – cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean amid tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so. But that wasn’t the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm… Dare to Do is more than an adventure story. It is a story of the kindness of strangers and the spirit of travel; a story of the raw power of nature, of finding love in unexpected places, and of discovering your inner strength.
Lost Lanes West Country: 36 Glorious bike rides in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire
Jack Thurston, best-selling author of Lost Lanes series and presenter of the internationally acclaimed Bike Show, takes you on a freewheeling tour of the lost lanes and forgotten byways of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Enjoy 36 of the best rural rides in the region: Ride on traffic free lanes from the seashore into the heart of the west country. Stunning photography, downloadable GPX, handmade maps.
Discover car-free routes through the grand estates of Longleat, Stourhead, Lanhydrock and Ashton Court. Escape to ancient trackways of Wessex’s chalk downs, passing the prehistoric remains of Avebury, Silbury Hill and Stonehenge. Ride traffic free paths along the River Dart, River Camel and River Exe stopping for river swims and picnics in sun-dappled woodlands. Climb to the windswept heights of Dartmoor and Exmoor and descend beneath the towering crags of Cheddar Gorge.
Sim & Jen Benson
Amazing Family Adventures – Fun days out and action-packed weekends
Whether orienteering, building dens or making a house for a hedgehog, this guide is the ideal way for all the family to interact with wildlife and nature and find adventures in wild places.
The book begins with easy and approachable adventures perfect for families with younger kids, such as foraging and fossil hunting, and progresses into more challenging adventures, such as wild swimming, surfing and wilderness survival.
The adventures range from an afternoon trip to the farm to camping excursions, so can be used for spontaneous half-term day trips or for summer holiday ideas. Each activity comes with suggestions of National Trust places to visit for the adventure, and the ideas take in woodland, beaches, mountains and parks. The book is packed with handy hints, fun facts and step-by-step guides to activities such as making your own raft and building a bug hotel.
Whether you are watching the sunrise, mountain biking or kite flying, this guide is packed with ideas for getting all the family outdoors and exploring in all weathers and all seasons.
One Man’s Everest
Kenton Cool is the finest alpine climber of this generation. His accomplishments are staggering and all the more extraordinary considering an incident in the summer of 1996 which tore Kenton’s world apart. Whilst climbing in Wales, he broke a handhold on a route aptly called ‘Major Headstress’ and fell to the ground with such force that he shattered both his heel bones. Initially told he would never walk unaided again, Kenton spent four weeks in hospital, had three operations, three and a half months in a wheelchair and months of rehab.
Today he is still in pain and after a long day in the mountains it’s not uncommon to see him struggling to walk or moving around on his hands and knees. Yet he still climbs. ‘Why do you do it?’ people ask him. This book tells why.
The Accidental Adventurer
The Accidental Adventurer by Ben Fogle tells the story of this extraordinary explorer and TV presenter. Follow him tracing back adventures that raised money for charity and took him around the world: rowing across the Atlantic, walking to the South Pole and running the Sahara are just a few.
Ben Fogle offers a fine example and answer to a universal dilemma about how one could live a life different from expectations. Here is the story of a man who chose to follow his heart on a journey that saw him treading an unconventional route.
Follow Sian’s guide to getting active outdoors, from mountain biking to climbing, surfing, kayaking and more. Planning a wild adventure? You’ll find chapters on everything from wild camping and cycle touring to holding mini festivals and scrumptious campfire recipes. Then we’re off round the world with trip-planning advice, essential kit lists and tips on long-term backpacking and working abroad. Scattered throughout are enticing ideas for global adventures, from swimming on Scottish islands to canoe camping in Canada.
An adventurous best mate in book form, The Girl Outdoors is a rip-roaring guide to the wider, wilder world. Whether you’re going on a physically demanding expedition or making cordial from foraged berries, this beautiful book is packed with inspiring and attainable ideas and advice.
For more details on National GetOutside Day see here. You can get involved online by joining in the conversation using #GetOutsideDay across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.