Coronavirus has made the past 12 months a strange time for outdoor enthusiasts. Global lockdowns and travel bans have limited our horizons, and for months the mountains have been out of bounds. Adventure ambitions have been shelved and backpacking plans cancelled. It’s been a year of Netflix and gardening, rather than far-flung adventure – but the past year hasn’t been all bad.
Despite unprecedented limitations on personal freedom, outdoor lovers have responded to the pandemic with passion, energy and ingenuity – and found ways to experience adventure closer to home. For some this involved taking advantage of relaxed restrictions in the summer and autumn to undertake long-distance, multi-day expeditions. For others their adventure fix came in the form of local walks, runs, cycles or swims, all undertaken from the doorstep.
Of course, we’d encourage everyone to respect the current ‘stay at home’ regulations and to only exercise locally. But that doesn’t mean adventure is strictly off-limits. There are still lots of ways to get outside and experience that buzz of doing something intrepid. Whether you’re planning a big trip this summer (when lockdowns are hopefully a thing of the past), or want to launch straight into a local challenge right away, here’s some inspiration for you – 8 of the best alternative adventures we’ve spotted over the past 12 months.
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Best Alternative Adventures: The Top 8
- Nicola Hardy – Peak-bagging 116 local hills
- Frankie Butler – Marathon training on a wheelchair
- Agnieszka Dudlik – Running 5km everyday for a year
- Will Renwick – Urban fastpacking in London
- Rory Southworth – 7 wild swims in 7 days
- Jamie Neill – 100,000 steps in 24 hours
- James Forrest – 214 Wainwright fells in a fortnight
- Sarah James – 1,000 miles in a year