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About the Author

From bicycle touring to backpacking, watercolour painting to clay modelling, the exploration journal captures my journey through many different interests and travel adventures.

I’m passionate about finding those out of the way places that whisk you away from the concerns of everyday life. Whether this is by wading through an overgrown river or trying new paint techniques is up to you!

Precipitous backpacking in the Pyrenees

The first stage of my Pyrenees hiking trip was to get from England to France, and then into the mountains. I landed in Toulouse at 21.30 and spent the night at a hotel close to the airport. The next day we went to collect the hire car which my dad and I would share driving. The process went smoothly until…

Practicing insect photography in Germany

I recently visited my sister near Dusseldorf in Germany, they were busy one afternoon so I grabbed my camera and walked to the nearby Stinderbachtal nature reserve. The aim of the trip was to test out my new Neewer macro extension tubes for the Sony A6000 camera. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks so an afternoon of…

The challenges finding a macro lens for Sony A6000

In the words of this person I sent a message to about their lens: “It’s an absolute minefield!” Overview When summer began here in Warwick I started to notice so many more insects about. Maybe because it was summer, but also because I installed an app called iNaturalist that can identify anything which led to trying to identify everything. I’ve…

Nature Reserve Spotlight: Hampton Wood

Hampton wood was the first Warwickshire Nature Reserve I cycled to and is one of my favourites. It has over 25 species of butterfly and a mix of different environments which range from woodland to riverside to meadows, and the reserve is only 12 hectares! Unfortuantely the only time I’ve visisted so far is in Summer, so the other seasons…

Rainbow over the Cairngorms

After climbing Ben Nevis, our next destination was the Cairngorms. We wanted time to dry out so we stayed Aviemore youth hostel for the first night. I shared with three other people in a dormitory. They were mostly fine to share with other than the one who thought it was acceptable to snooze his alarm twice between 6.30 and 7.…

Climbing Ben Nevis

For my early summer holiday I caught a flight from Birmingham International to Inverness in Scotland. Our plan is to walk up Ben Nevis and climb as many of the Munros as we can. I’ve only been to Scotland once before, and that was bicycle touring around Skye during an unusually dry week. The success of that trip meant I…

Nature Reserve Spotlight: Brandon Marsh

The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust flagship nature reserve is Brandon Marsh, its 220 acres of large, woodland and meadows. In the winter you have wintering birds on the pool, spring welcomes hundreds of froglets and the return of the song birds. In summer it is overrun with birds, dragonflies, butterflies and the occasional grass snake or lizzard. And autumn brings an…

Modelling with Garden Clay

Way back, when I was younger and lived in Cornwall, my brother and I used to go down to the bottom of the garden and dig up the clay we found there. We used to make clay balls for throwing at trees (and subsequently got into trouble for covering the neighbour’s garage wall in lumps of clay). More recently I…

Blaenau Ffestiniog Slate Walk

The final Snowdonia walk over the Easter holiday was local to where we were staying. We started from Blaenau Ffestiniog and spent the afternoon climbing up through the slate quarries and old waste heaps. Plot-a-route route It was miserable weather when we woke up on the Friday morning. The mountains surrounding us were shrouded in cloud and heavy rain filled…

Climbing Mount Snowdon

The first thing we did the day after arriving in Snowdonia was walk up to the top of Mount Snowdon. It is 1085 metres high, and the highest mountain in England and Wales. A bit of research beforehand revealed that there are 8 main routes to the top, ranked from hardest to easiest these are: Crib Goch – lots of…