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Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK

Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK ‘Going for a run’ is exhilarating when forests and mountains are the backdrop. Two trail runners pick six stunning routes for beginners from their new book There’s no doubt that running as a pastime is booming; big city marathons report record numbers of entries – London received over 250,000 applications for its 40,000 places in 2018 – and Parkrun interest has soared, from 13 runners in 2004 to over three million globally today. But the focus has always been parks and pavements, with off-road running dominated by cross-country and fell races. Now, more of us are venturing into fields, forests, moors and mountains in search of a wilder kind…

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Mountain rescue: Why bothies need a helping hand – a photo essay

Mountain rescue: Why bothies need a helping hand – a photo essay Bothies, free to use by anyone out in remote parts of the UK, are more popular than ever. But they’re maintained by veteran volunteers and need younger blood if they are to survive for future generations The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) is a charity made up of volunteers who maintain more than 100 remote shelters across England, Wales and Scotland. It was founded in 1965 by Bernard Heath after he spotted a remark in the visitor book at the Backhill of the Bush bothy in Galloway Forest park, suggesting the setting up of a club to save a growing number of deserted farm buildings from ruin. Continue…

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How the Chinese fell in love with the Highlands

How the Chinese fell in love with the Highlands Visits to the wilds of Scotland by the burgeoning Chinese middle class are up six-fold in the past decade – and there’s no sign the numbers are letting up The vast, wild landscapes of the Scottish Highlands have long lured tourists, but now a visit is becoming something of a status symbol among China’s growing number of middle-class or wealthy families. In 2017, of the 337,000 visitors from China who travelled to the UK, 62,000 went to Scotland, an almost sixfold increase since 2009, according to VisitScotland. Edinburgh is now the second most-visited city in the UK by Chinese tourists, after London, and last summer direct flights began between the…

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Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor

Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor Authors, travel and nature writers pick routes in the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Scenic Areas that take on a special aura in winter Start Chace EndFinish North HillDistance/time 9.3 miles/5 hoursRefuel The Red Lion, Malvern Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian writers Tweet

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On the trail of Mary, Queen of Scots

On the trail of Mary, Queen of Scots A major new film about the 16th-century queen will put the castles and battlefields of her tragic final days back in the spotlight. We follow in her blood-soaked footsteps Patty Vengeance is really into Mary, Queen of Scots: “She’s seen as this feminist icon. For me, though, it’s more that she’s relatable – as a strong woman and a survivor.” The 29-year-old writer and musician, who fronts the riot grrrl band Fistymuffs, is standing by the edge of the water in Leith, where, according to a plaque set into the quayside, Mary arrived from France in the haar-veiled early morning of 19 August 1561. The widowed teenager – tall, red-haired, an…

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20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term

20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term From the UK’s longest indoor ski slope to the Roald Dahl Museum, Rachel Dixon picks fun days out from her new book for childrenMore days out: 20 outdoor activities This fun-packed museum has six zones – covering topics such as the human body, nature and technology – with 400 interactive exhibits. The current temporary exhibition is devoted to digital art, and children can create their own animated creature. Over half-term, kids can enrol in Ghoul School, where terrifying teachers include Dr Frankenstein, a witch and a werewolf. Lessons cover potion-making and survival skills, and dressing up gets bonus marks. For adults, Halifax’s recently renovated, 18th-century Piece Hall is next door…

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Better by bike: a guide to the top cycle rides in Britain

Better by bike: a guide to the top cycle rides in Britain From the Scottish coast to the Channel Islands, gear up for our pick of the best ways to explore the British isles on two wheels Just as I was about to launch myself from the comfort of a minibus on to a bike and into some of the most remote country in the UK, I was reminded to “hold on to the door, or the wind will rip it off”. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Nell Nelson, Helen Pidd and Chris Hall Tweet

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Walks with a tale to tell – part 2

Walks with a tale to tell – part 2 Fascinating stories lie at the heart of these autumnal walks, as nature writers follow in the footsteps of a Pictish queen, an eccentric poet-priest, Charles Darwin and more Strolls with stories: part 1 Length/time 3½ miles, 2-3 hoursStart/finish Honister Slate Mine Refuel Sky Hi Cafe, at the mine Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Tweet

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20 of the best UK hotels, B&Bs and campsites for walkers

20 of the best UK hotels, B&Bs and campsites for walkers After a day’s hiking, a cosy place to bed down for the night feels like heaven. All these boltholes are in walking country and many offer extras such as guides, pick-ups and picnics At the foot of the imposing Cadair Idris mountains, the Old Rectory in Tal-y-Llyn offers access to Snowdonia’s quieter southern reaches, as well as good walking around the nearby market town of Machynlleth, including Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail. Two of the B&B’s four attractive lake-view rooms have big, free-standing baths, ideal for an end-of-walk soak, or muscles can be soothed in the hot tub outside.Walks An easy 2-mile trail loops around Tal-y-Llyn lake – look…

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UK walks with a tale to tell – part 1

UK walks with a tale to tell – part 1 Fascinating stories lie at the heart of these autumnal walks. From exploring dark history on the moors to Roman Britain, nature writers follow in fabled footsteps• See part 2 tomorrow Length/time 2¼ miles, 1-2 hours Start/finish Upper Birks car parkRefuel Aberfeldy Watermill or Birks Cinema Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian Staff Tweet

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