Maybe it’s the pink crab apple blossoms unfurling against the bright blue sky, or the intensity of the new green leaves on the hawthorn trees. Perhaps it is the glorious lengthening of the evenings, or the oh-so-gentle uplift in temperature. All around us the air is softening as we are coaxed out of our wintery lairs, and suddenly all we want to do is go outside.
Here are some books to inspire your Springtime adventures:
1. According to author and adventurer Alastair Humphreys, you can find adventure anywhere, it is really just a state of mind. Having travelled the world by bicycle, trekked deserts, climbed mountains and crossed seas, he urges us to seek out the wild and the beautiful closer to home, over a weekend or even a week night, in his wonderfully inspiring book, Micro Adventures. The wilderness is closer than you think: pack a sleeping bag, take a train out of the city and go and sleep on a hill under the stars; a simple, life-affirming micro adventure that will ensure you have something to say when your boss inevitably asks you if you did anything fun last night.
2. The time is now to start dipping your neoprene-clad toes in sea or the river (or the local lido) and to hope that your chattering teeth and uncontrolled gasps do not give you away as a novice. Believe the hype, you will feel amazing when you get out, as the shivering gives way to a sense of euphoria and achievement. Just promise you won’t stay in too long, and bring a thermos of tea. The Outdoor Swimming Guide by Kathy Rogers lists over 300 specifically designated swimming spots in England, Scotland and Wales. No excuses now.
3. In Wild Nights, wild camper extraordinaire Phoebe Smith details her quest to camp in some of the most challenging locations in the extremities of the country. It is an inspiring, if terrifying read, as she battles the elements to find the ultimate pitch and reminds us again that you really do not have to leave the country to feel like you are dangling your legs over the edge of the Earth.
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4. For a more cerebral adventure, how about some stargazing from the comfort of your own back garden? We are sure we are not alone in our shame at how little we know about the stars in our skies, and so have got hold of a copy of Stargazing, a Beginners Guide to Astronomy hoping to brush up on our interplanetary knowledge in time for the next full moon. And have you thought of planning a full moon walk, when the night is dry and clear? It can offer a whole new perspective on places you thought you knew so well, transforming the familiar into a monochrome wilderness. We highly recommend you give it a try.