Instagram Takeover

So I, Wanders of Adventure, is offering an Instagram takeover for the first time EVER……………

If you Travel, Hike, Trek, or take any form of adventure, then this is for you. I am offering you the chance to take over my Instagram account, WandersofAdventure for the day, showcasing your amazing adventures to over 10k followers.

All you need to do is get in touch, tell me about your adventure, where and when, and the chance could be yours.

wandersofadventure@gmail.com

Advertisements

10 Hiking Essentials for Beginners

I have had several questions asking what it is I take with me on my hikes, or what should you pack when you go out on a hike. If you are a beginner, then this is for you. Preparing for a hike, and what you should wear, I will cover in a separate post.

Some people routinely overpack — they’re the ones carrying a sleeping bag and tent on a short dayhike, just in case. (Of course, by the end of the season they’ll be totally buff from hauling around all that extra weight!) Others eschew basic comforts like insoles and the fingertips on their gloves, all in the interest of shaving a bit of weight off their load.


Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between those two extremes. But the one thing we all have in common is that, unless you’re ready to plunge into the wilderness in nothing but your underpants with a knife clenched between your teeth, there’s a core list of essential gear you just can’t do without.

If you’re gearing up for your first hike, these are the items you just can’t do without:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Headlamp/flashlight
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife
  10. Extra food

Know what these are and be equipped. Make sure you and your fellow backpackers are on the same page when it comes to who is bringing what. Double-check before you leave home. It can be a real downer to discover that no one brought a lighter for the stove or a water filter.


Go.

Wander, Hike.

I challenge you to plan a hike for this upcoming weekend – preferably Saturday or Sunday morning before football games start.  Get some great snacks, strap on your shoes, and go explore.  If you have tips to share with other would-be hikers, I’d love to hear what else we can do in the comments. 

Guest Bloggers

So hi there guys. I thought it would be pretty cool to do a Guest Blog week. Similar to what I’m currently running on Instagram, which is #FeatureWeek where each day this week I am sharing a post from someone from anywhere in the world. I thought it would be kind of cool to do the same with the blog. People sharing their awesome travel stories with you guys, and hopefully you can find inspiration in some of the stories, and enjoy them as much as I do. 

Soooooooo, I am looking for people to guest blog, which I will be doing all of next week. You must be travelling, hiking, exploring, anything like this. It could be about a trip you’ve already taken, or something you’ve got coming up 😁

I will send you a set of questions that can be answered as you see fit. I think this will be a lot of fun and I’m super excited about it ✌🏻

If you’d like more info then I’d love to hear from you. 

3 Top Instagram Tips

I know there are many publications out there on top tips for Instagram, and most people either want your money for those tips, or at least some contact information like your email address…………Well not me. I thought I’d do my own top tips just for you.

Over this weekend, I finally broke the 10K follower milestone, which is an amazing feeling. I have put a lot of blood and sweat into growing my Instagram, with a lot of trial and error and trying to find what works best for me. Now every account and profile is different, but there are absolute fundamental things that you can do to help grow your account. Ive tried various methods, several different themes and looks, tried all the tips I’ve read up on, and most did not work for me. But I am going to share the top 3 things that did work for me, and if you apply these to your own, I can guarantee you will see growth, not only in followers, but also in engagement.

fullsizeoutput_35f

#1

Your Bio – The first thing I did was clean up my Bio. This is going to be one of the first things that people will see. Not only that, it acts as the SEO for your profile. If you plan your bio out correctly, you greatly increase your chances of being found, and appearing in the ‘suggested user’ sections.

  1. The top line is the main part for the SEO of your profile. Most people have their name in this line. For me, it doesn’t need your name, but what your about. As you can see from mine above, mine is Adventure and blogger. Those are the two SEO keywords.
  2. The next one will depend whether you have a personal account or you have it set to Business account. Mine personally is set to business account, and I have done this for 2 main reasons. Firstly for the insights so I can keep tabs on how my profile is performing, and secondly for the option to include contact information so I don’t have to take up valuable characters in the actual bio.
  3. the next bit is the main bit, the bulk of the profile. Here you only get 150 characters so you have to make it count. Keep it short, almost bullet pointed, and to the point of what you are about. Adding in some emojis makes it a bit more aesthetically pleasing, but emojis do take up more characters, so you’ll have to play around with it (I suggest putting it together in something like notes on your phone, as you can’t enter onto new lines like I have directly in Instagram, so this would have to be edited in something like notes, and then copy & pasted over into Instagram)
  4. lastly, again this will depend if you have it set to personal or business, but in business setting, you have the option to add in a web link. So this can be a link to your website, blog, anything you like. for me this is ideal as I include my blog links in here.

#2

Pick a theme for your profile. I did a lot of trial and error with what I wanted my feed to look like, and as you scroll through my feed, this is evident. I have left it all there and not deleted it because this forms the evolution of my profile. It is a visual documentation of where my profile started, to where it is now.

Play around with photo editing tools, play around with filters, play around with borders, whatever it is you desire your images to look like. Make sure your images are of high quality, this is important. If your images are blurry or don’t show much detail, they just will not perform as good and will damage your profile.

#3

Lastly, and most importantlyENGAGEMENT. This is absolute key for growth. And the best part of it, its organic growth, meaning real engagement and growth from real people, and not those pesky bots.

  1. Reply to every comment left on your posts, whether they be long comments, or even just an emoji. This lets your followers not only know that you have seen their comment, but you have taken the time to let them know you have seen it and appreciate their comment.
  2. Take time out to engage with posts in the hashtags you use. This keeps it relevant to your niche or interest.
  3. Engage with posts in the explore section. Over time, the explore section almost becomes tailored to your niche or interests, so its done all the hard work for you in finding these posts. Make use of it.

All of this applied, helps with one main thing, the new Instagram algorithm.

If you have any questions please feel free to give me a shout

Instagram: wandersofadventure

 

The North Yorkshire Moors

So last weekend I took a trip to somewhere that’s pretty awesome, and somewhere not too far away from home. The North Yorkshire Moors.

The North York Moors is a special place, forged by nature, shaped over generations – where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich history and a warm welcome. Heather moorland is rare on a worldwide scale – there is probably less heather moorland in the world than tropical rainforest. Around 70 percent of the world’s heather moorland is in the UK and the largest continuous expanse of moorland in England and Wales is here in the North York Moors – a sheep could wander from Egton to Bilsdale without leaving the moor. Moorland covers a third of the North York Moors National Park and most of the higher ground is covered in heather.

Unenclosed and unsurpassed, this stunning landscape responds sensitively to the changing seasons and has a quiet drama all of its own.

In early summer you’ll hear the call of the moorland birds, such as the red grouse, curlew and golden plover. Later, as the summer evenings draw in, the flowering heather turns the moors into a purple carpet that stretches for mile after mile. In winter the moors can be exceptionally beautiful, with mist and cloud rising above the sweeping expanses and crisp dustings of frost and snow turning the landscape an ethereal white.

Although it often looks wild and empty, our heather moorland is not a natural environment. The stone crosses and boundary markers remind us of man’s influence on the land, while most of the moors are carefully managed by farmers and landowners so that they can make a living from sheep farming and grouse shooting.

Some areas are managed specifically for landscape and wildlife, such as Levisham Estate, which is owned by the National Park Authority, and Fylingdales Moor, which is managed by the Hawk & Owl Trust on behalf of the Strickland Estate. If the moors were not grazed or managed, trees would appear and much of the moorland would slowly turn into woodland.

IMG_0362

Now the moors are vast, but I took to one of the mapped out trials.

Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum

I was met with grand landscapes and big views on this North York Moors classic. Starting with the dramatic panorama from Saltergate over the Hole of Horcum, the 8-mile scenic walk follows a prominent track over Levisham Moor, past important archaeological remains. There is a diversion to the stunning viewpoint of Skelton Tower, after which the route drops into the rocky ravine of Dundale Griff and returns along the valley to the Hole of Horcum, climbing back out at Saltergate.

The Hole of Horcum is one of the most spectacular features in the National Park – a huge natural amphitheatre 400 feet deep and more than half a mile across. Legends hang easily upon a place known as the ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ – the best-known says that it was formed when Wade the Giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument. Actually, it was created by a process called spring-sapping, whereby water welling up from the hillside has gradually undermined the slopes above, eating the rocks away grain by grain. Over thousands of years, a once narrow valley has widened and deepened into an enormous cauldron – and the process still continues today.

IMG_0361

The track across Levisham Moor runs through a landscape rich in archaeological remains – in fact the moor itself is the largest ancient monument in the North York Moors. Half-hidden in the heather are traces of human occupation stretching back thousands of years, from Bronze Age barrows to late Iron Age boundary dykes. These mounds, ditches, banks and ridges are evidence of burial sites, fortified farmsteads, enclosures and eld systems – hard to spot at first glance but obvious once identified.

In medieval times, a monastic sheep farm (or bercary) was established at the head of Dundale Griff , and the foundations of stone buildings can still be seen. It’s important to keep to the path on the route from Dundale Pond to Skelton Tower, in order to preserve the remains.

Ruined Skelton Tower offers an extraordinary view down into Newtondale and over the track of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Built around 1830 by Robert Skelton, rector
of Levisham, it was used as overnight lodgings after a day’s shooting on the moors. The grassy headland was a wonderful spot where I sat and had my lunch, and I could hear the whistle of the steam train below coming towards me. I had to get my camera out and ready for a snap shot.

IMG_0367

fullsizeoutput_342

I enjoyed some fantastic views, blustery winds at the top of the moor, and a great new adventure somewhere new. If you’re planning to visit The North York Moors, then all information can be found HERE.

The UK Bucket list – Part 1

So in my very short previous, New Direction of Adventure, I talked about the ultimate UK bucket list. In this post, I am going to elaborate on each place, and talk a little bit more on each of the locations, before I go out and tackle them all, one by one!

Durdle Door, Dorset

durdle-door

The magificant Durdle Door arch and beach is part of the Lulworth Estate and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

You can access the shingle beach on foot via a path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the Car Park (located on the cliff top at Durdle Door Holiday Park.). The beach is recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for excellent water quality.

Durdle Door is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack such as those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.

Each year more than 200.000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest stretch in the south west.

Below the cliffs lies a sweeping beach that was once three separate coves. This popular beach has no facilities although during the summer a mobile kiosk on the path leading to Durdle Door provides ice creams and refreshments.

Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria

hadrians-wall-sunsett

Hadrian’s Wall Country stretches across the north of England from the west Cumbrian Roman coastal defences at Ravenglass, through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway, along Hadrian’s Wall through Carlisle to Hexham in Northumberland and on to Newcastle upon Tyne, Wallsend and South Shields.

Unlike many other historic places, Hadrian’s Wall Country has something for everyone – world class archaeology, spectacular landscapes, rare wildlife, complete solitude, vibrant cities, wonderful pubs and a population of friendly and welcoming people.

Hadrian’s Wall Country offers infinite opportunities for cherished memories and special moments. The sheer scale of the World Heritage Site combined with the four seasons, the living landscape and the people who live, work and visit here mean it is an ever changing canvas. It is where history is accessible to all, where adults and children learn and it is where the Romans are still part of everyday life 1,600 years after they left.

(info: http://www.visithadrianswall.co.uk)

Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales

80236500_1465897380

Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people. As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.

Snowdonia attracts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy its amazing landscapes and the wealth of outdoor activities on offer. The National Park Authority’s aims are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area; promote opportunities to understand and enjoy its special qualities; and to foster the economic and social wellbeing of its communities.

Snowdonia, the mountainous heart of southern Britain, is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for hiking and outdoor holidays. But there’s more to this region than craters and crags. It’s blessed with some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Wales, on the Llŷn Peninsula and Cambrian Coastline. And its reputation for fine dining using Welsh meat, fish and cheese is growing all the time.

(info: http://www.visitwales.com/explore/north-wales/snowdonia-mountains-coasthttp://www.visitsnowdonia.info)

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

stonehenge

Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Explore the ancient landscape on foot and step inside the Neolithic Houses to discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. Visit the world-class exhibition and visitor centre with 250 ancient objects and come face to face with a 5,500 year-old man.

Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby. Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

(info: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history/ & http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/)

The Angel of The North, Gateshead

the-angel-of-the-north

Since spreading its wings in February 1998, Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

The Angel’s silhouette at the head of the Team Valley now rivals that of the famous Tyne Bridge.

A panoramic hilltop site was chosen where the sculpture would be clearly seen by more than 90,000 drivers a day on the A1 – more than one person every second – and by passengers on the East Coast main line from London to Edinburgh.

The site, a former colliery pithead baths synonymous with Gateshead mining history, was re-claimed as a green landscape during the early 1990s.

(info: http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Leisure%20and%20Culture/attractions/Angel/Background/Background2.aspx)

That concludes part one. As you can see, some pretty stunning places there, all with their very own good reason why you should visit, explore and experience these places. Stay tuned for Part Two…………………………….

New Direction of Adventure

I have had a few weeks quiet due to trying to figure out the direction of adventure I was going.

The reason for this was I got a new dog, (Awwwwww) I know 🙂 and my travels and my focus had to go elsewhere. Going abroad would become harder, and I wanted my new hound to be part of the adventures with me. So I have been away looking and researching how me and him could adventure together.

IMG_2238

Thanks to a friend of mine, who posted on his Facebook, I found my inspiration of where my adventure would now take me, and surprisingly, its all very close to home. It’s amazing what you can find right on your own doorstep. It’s the ultimate bucket list of the UK 🙂

There is 16 things on the list, so should keep us busy for the next year or so, and I will blog for each and every one. If you haven’t seen it, click here.