How to make your BIG writing dream a reality

Do you dream of being a writer? Well, now’s the time to turn that dream into reality.

To help get you started, our expert columnist and leading expert in digital distraction and digital detox, Frances Booth shares an extract from her inspirational new book A Writer for All Seasons: Beat Blocks, Face Your Fears and Keep Writing 


Turn up

The most important rule is to turn up.

Turning up means turning up to write when you’re:

Really tired
Not motivated
Full of energy
Have no energy
Too busy
In the mood to write
Not in the mood to write

Some days you’ll feel like writing; other days you won’t.

You need to turn up through all of it.

On the days that you feel great, well, that’s great. Write for as long as you can and enjoy it.

But what about all the other days?

If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll waste most of your time waiting. Instead, you need to write when the conditions are not perfect (most of the time) as well as when the mood strikes you.

Turn up anyway. Cast your net. See if you can catch a few words.

You need to be able to turn up whatever, because the only certainty is that, during your time as a writer, things will change.

Your mood will change. Conditions will change. The weather will change. How much time you have for writing will change. How you feel will change. What your writing needs today will change.

Some days there’ll be the unrelenting glare of the sun. On other days there’ll be wispy clouds and life will seem easy.

You’ll need to keep writing through all of it.

Don’t wait for inspiration or the right mood before you turn up. Do it the other way round. Turn up and start writing, and words and ideas will arrive.

When you feel tired, for example, turn up, but alter your expectations. Give yourself some leeway. Do the easy bit. Be kind.

What will you find?

You might dig all day and find nothing. But when you come back the next day, you realise that you’ve prepared the ground for ideas to grow.

Another day, you might write, uninspired, for an hour. Then … 63 minutes in … there it is … the glint of something promising.

Scatter words. Plant ideas. Give it time.

Cross the start line

What if we thought of writing in a different way?

What if we thought about writing a book like we think about running a half marathon?

They’re both huge challenges. They take training, practice, stamina and time to achieve. In each case, you have to deal with psychological barriers, and they’re daunting prospects.

But our attitude and approach to them – in general – couldn’t be more different.

I fancy running a half marathon. I think I’ll give it a go. I’m not an elite runner, but it’ll be a good challenge. It might even be fun. I’ll have to train, but I’m prepared to put in the hours. I’m under no illusion that it will be easy. It will be great to say I’ve done it.

I’d love to write a book. Maybe one day. I couldn’t, though … not right now.

There’ll be crowds along the route – they’ll cheer me on – even the people who don’t know me. They’ll help me cross the finish line. The atmosphere will be great. I’ll tell everyone I know and raise money for charity.

I won’t tell anyone. They’ll laugh. They’ll think I’m ridiculous for trying this. Who do I think I am? I’d love to write a book, but … I can’t give up my job. I’ll wait for retirement. I haven’t got time anyway.

Wait for retirement? Are you kidding me? I’m fit and healthy now. I’ll dig out my trainers. I’ll run before work on Monday. I’ll run at lunchtime on Tuesday. We get an early finish every other Friday and I’ll run then. I’ll run one day at the weekend. I’ll be tired, but it’s only for four months. I know I won’t regret it. I’ll set myself a time target. I’m going to go for it …

Who am I kidding that I could write a bestseller? The critics are really cruel – they’d tear me apart. I couldn’t take it. What if it was no good? I’ve just taken on that new project at work, anyway. I think I’ll leave it for now. I enjoy reading. I’ll just read.

One day …

Win? Are you joking? Don’t you know that everyone gets a medal?

I suppose I could do it for the challenge. I guess if I practise I’ll get better. Maybe I could write on a Wednesday evening. I could do this Saturday morning. Maybe I will write a book …

Write. Jog. Build up the miles.

Go at your own pace. Do it for the challenge. Cross the starting line.

Make it fun

We get it as kids – the wonder of being able – suddenly! – to craft letters, tell a story, write a message in a magical script.

We can’t understand why everyone isn’t running around with crayons writing their names again and again.

We fill piece of paper after piece of paper with our marks.

Then our marks get marked. Our writing gets judged. And that wild adventure ends all too soon.

Writing is meant to be fun. But it’s easy to forget that.

You can tell when you’re taking writing too seriously. It gets heavy. You start being hard on yourself, demanding more while giving your writer less. Far from it being fun, you have no sense of humour left at all.

Sometimes all it takes to get back on track with your writing is to recapture the fun.

A test of fun

What if, instead of a test of whether your writing was good enough (or whether it was a bestseller, or what the critics said), writing was a test of fun?

Do you play with words?

Do you enjoy writing? 

Does it feel like an adventure?

Often, the point at which you need to make it fun again is exactly when you feel too pressured to do so. You’re simply too busy or overwhelmed to do something “silly” or “childish” or “frivolous”. But if you get used to weaving fun in to your writing all the time, when you need it, it will be there.

Try these tips:

20 ways to keep writing fun

  1. Don’t rush it; don’t push it.
  2. Write a story with someone else. You write the first bit, then pass it to them. They write the next bit, and pass it back. No discussing it!
  3. What are you tired of writing about? Sticking with writing what you know is safe, but once your enthusiasm for it has gone, it will take more and more effort, and it will drain you. Let yourself write about something different (even though that’s scary).
  4. Start with an ending.
  5. Pass on a message in an unusual form.
  6. Scribble. Doodle.
  7. Test how excited you are about your writing project. Talk about it to someone supportive. Can you hear the excitement in your voice? Can they? If not, what are you really excited about writing? This method is useful if you’ve got so many ideas you don’t know which to choose.
  8. Write something in the middle of the night.
  9. Write nonsense. Robert Louis Stevenson carried what he called his “Book of Original Nonsense” to make notes in. You don’t have to be serious to be successful.
  10. Go to a new place.
  11. Write on an old typewriter.
  12. Go for a walk and look for words on signs, pieces of paper or shop fronts. What are these messages signalling to you?
  13. Do something you enjoyed as a child that you never do any more – for example, trampolining or singing.
  14. Use playfulness in an ordinary piece of writing. For example: in an email, note or list. In a letter Charles Dickens wrote in 1863 to the clockmaker, Sir John Bennett, about a broken clock, he writes that since the clock was cleaned it has gone “perfectly well, but has struck the hours with great reluctance, and after enduring internal agonies of a most distressing nature it has now ceased striking altogether”. Every piece of writing – however mundane – holds an opportunity to play with words.
  15. Borrow a writing style. For example: a train announcement, diary entries, a shopping list.
  16. Don’t think about how little you can get away with giving your writer, think about how much you can do to support them.
  17. Make up a word.
  18. Learn how to write your name in hieroglyphics.
  19. Start an inspiration box. Write down things you’d like to do, cut sections out from magazines, pick up flyers for events. Put them in your inspiration box. Include anything that you’re curious about or want to try. When you’re in need of inspiration, choose something from your box.
  20. Imagine you owned an ideas bank that you make ideas withdrawals from and deposit fun in to. Do you need to add more fun before you withdraw more ideas?


This is an edited extract from A Writer for All Seasons: Beat Blocks, Face Your Fears and Keep Writing by Frances Booth. 

For more motivational advice on writing, A Writer for All Seasons is widely available online including at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

How to be a better person in 2017


What will you do on your lunch break today? Work through it? Spend 15 minutes queuing for a sandwich? Surf the net? Pop into town for some mindless browsing? Or run a load of errands?

What if there was a way to use your lunch break to motivate you, inspire you, and help you to think differently? What if there was a way to use your lunch break to figure out how to be a better person and change your life for the better?

January is the perfect time to ask yourself what you want to be known for, and what kind of imprint you want to leave on the world. To reflect on what was good and bad last year and what needs to change in order for you to grow. And ultimately, to commit to making 2017 the year you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

So, starting this week, we challenge you to make more of your precious lunch breaks by watching these enlightening TED Talks (PLUS a very special talk on courage by our very own founder Beth Kempton. They really could change your life…

1. What reality are you creating for yourself? By Isaac Lidsky

Reality isn’t something you perceive; it’s something you create in your mind. Isaac Lidsky learned this profound lesson firsthand, when unexpected life circumstances yielded valuable insights. In this introspective, personal talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.

2. 10 ways to have a better conversation By Celeste Headlee

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

3. Why you should talk to strangers By Kio Stark

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

4. 5 ways to listen better By Julian Treasure

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.

5. How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them By Vernā Myers

Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

6. Your body language shapes who you are By Amy Cuddy

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. (Note: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility.

7. Try something new for 30 days By Matt Cutts

Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

8. Success is a continuous journey By Richard St. John

In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business’ rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail.

9. The hidden power of smiling By Ron Gutman

Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behaviour.

10. How to talk to anyone By Beth Kempton

We also just had to share the talk that our very own founder, Beth Kempton, gave at ‘I am… courage New York City’ at the end of last year where she shared the stage with five amazing women who lit up the room with their tales of brave and truthful living. Beth says: “Organising this event with these inspiring women and giving this talk taught me that we don’t need other people’s permission to do amazing things. We can make them happen ourselves, especially when we have the support of others like us, committed to a common goal. So when you’re stuck in a mid-week slump, remind yourself that you have all the power you need to lift yourself out. You just need to commit, and then follow through!” If you haven’t already seen it, you can watch it here.

BK at I Am Courage NYC


A Soulful Synchronicity


“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

Today we meet artist and educator Jennie Oppenheimer, a lady who passionately believes that creativity and play not only illuminate our strengths and originality, but help us to discover our unique purpose and potential. As the founder of SOULIO, a business that delivers fun artful workshops to help people discover their authentic voice and take the risks necessary for growth, Jennie is now doing what she loves, using creativity as a teaching tool for soulful investigation and self-expression. Here she shares how training to become a facilitator for SoulCollage® changed her life and her work.



Positive Thinking = Positive Life


This post is written by our Senior Editor, Rachel Kempton.

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha

Did you know that if you want to live a longer life, and be healthier, happier, and more successful, all you have to do is THINK POSITIVE!

More and more people are turning to positive thinking because it is a powerful tool for transforming your inner self and your external life and circumstances.

In fact a study by Stanford Research Institute, found that success is 88 percent positive thinking and only 12 percent education, which suggests that optimistic people use the power of their mind – and positive thinking – to turn their dreams into reality.



Do What You Love interview – Duncan Titmarsh


Today we speak to a man who has, quite possibly, the best job ever… Lego artist.

Duncan Titmarsh’s passion for designing and building Lego sculptures turned from a hobby to a commercial reality in 2008 when he became the only person in Britain to be officially recognised as a Lego Certified Professional by the famous Danish toy company.

From there Duncan made the decision to make his dream a reality and start his own business, Bright Bricks, which creates giant custom Lego structures. It has an impressive client portfolio, from Stella McCartney who commissioned a life-size tiger cub to a Phillips commissioned a giant toothbrush for a new product launch. We caught up with Duncan to find out how it feels to play with Lego for a living…

UK's only Lego Certified Professional Duncan Titmarsh

1. How did you end up in one of the most coveted jobs in the world?

I remember getting my first Lego set at the age of four and building throughout my childhood. I also won a Lego building competition when I was 11.

I stopped playing with Lego in my teenage years as I joined the Royal Air Force and went on to work in the building trade. However when my daughters started playing with Lego it rekindled my interest. In 1992 I remember walking through the toy section in Woolworths with my wife and stopping to look at the  Lego. I told her how I spent hours playing with Lego as a child and she suggested that I buy a new set, so I did. I got so into it that I went and found my old  Lego sets in my parent’s loft and I just kept building from there.

On a trip to Legoland, I met with other adult fans and became involved with The Brickish Association. Then one day I was invited to BBC Radio 4 to create a reconstruction of the Today programme’s studio. Following that I was called by someone and asked to build their building and that’s how my business began.

2. How did you become a certified Lego professional?

To become a Lego certified professional, you must have a business already. I didn’t know about the scheme when I first started Bright Bricks from my garden shed. I only found out because I built a big old yellow castle, a Lego set from 1978. I made the castle following the original instructions but I built each brick six times bigger. The people at Lego saw that and asked if they could have it at their Lego Idea House Museum in Denmark. So I went over there and found out about the programme, and I applied from there.

It’s every boy’s dream to play and work with Lego for the rest of their life – I love it.

3. As Founding Director of Bright Bricks, what does your role involve?

I was on my own at first, but now I have 30 staff. We spend our days building amazing sculptures from  Lego bricks, running Lego building workshops in schools and creating custom mosaics.We also do trade shows and build on the trade stand. It’s now a full-time business based in our large workshop in Hampshire, UK.

Lego Duncan Titmarsh CNBCDuncan with CNBC’s Louisa Bojesen – and her custom mosaic

A typical day starts with me checking my emails. I then go and see how the builds are coming along in the workshop I also deal with enquiries and schedule work. Primarily my time is spent dealing with clients and doing events. I also go out to schools a lot to speak to children about what we do. I really enjoy that part of my job.

I love working on new product launches, coming up with original promotional ideas and overcoming the challenges that building complex models brings but we also have pressures just like any other business, like getting everything done, staying ahead of the game and meeting tight deadlines.

Rolls Royce LEGO Trent 1000 Jet engineA Lego engine for Rolls Royce

4. What are the best bits, and the worst bits, about what you do?

The best bit is standing back and looking a finished build and then seeing a client’s reaction to it. We also love putting a model into a public space and watching people’s reactions to it. The worst bit is the moment you realise a build is going to take way longer than you initially thought.

5. How do you take an idea from concept to reality? Can you talk us through the creative process of bringing a Lego design to life?

The design depends on the model. If it is a building then we will scale it and work out the dimensions and calculate the number of bricks we will need. When they are delivered, we get cracking. If we are building an animal we tend to use software to design it on. This then gives us a layer by layer plan of the build. Quite often we build around a steel frame as it makes the model easier to move, plus it covers us for all aspects of health and safety.

6. Tell us about your current projects…

We are currently building a mosaic for the new library in Slough, UK, which is due to open at the beginning of September. I can’t share details of our other projects because I’m bound by client confidentiality.

7. What have been your most memorable LEGO projects to work on to date?

We were especially proud of the world-record breaking 12-metre-tall Christmas Tree which went into St Pancras train station in 2011.

Lego Christmas Tree Duncan TitmarshBalancing act: placing the star on the top of our Lego Christmas tree, St Pancras station

Some of our other projects include: a room-sized replica of Wembley Stadium; the James May Toy Story life-size house; a huge model of the London Olympic Park; a full-sized caravan for a show at Birmingham’s NEC; a giant train for Christmas in Covent Garden; a Scooby-Doo for Warner Bros to launch a new Lego set; Star Wars figures for The Force Awakens, a series of Lego London Underground maps showing how the Tube network has evolved over time and how it will look in 2020; plus many privately-commissioned portraits.

Scooby Doo LEGO - Duncan TitmarshScooby-Doo for Warner Bros

8. What’s the biggest, most complicated and most expensive design that you’ve ever been commissioned to create? 

It’s actually a project we’ve just finished working on for Jaguar Land Rover which has set a new world record! It is a contemporary model of Tower Bridge to promote a new vehicle launch. The model is 40m long and the towers are 12 meters tall making it the largest LEGO model ever! It’s completely white, contains approximately 5.75 million bricks and has been built by a team of 20 staff who have worked on the project for two months. The big reveal will happen in a private location but afterwards Jaguar Land Rover will use the model in various locations.

9. If you had an unlimited supply of bricks and no time constraints, what would you build?

I’ve always wanted to build a full size London bus.

10. How many bricks do you use a month and what’s your favourite Lego element?

As a company, we usually order around a million bricks a month from Denmark. I like the 1 x 2 stud brick best; with that one size you can build almost anything.

TARDIS1-2Life-size Dr Who Tardis

11. Why is Lego still as popular as ever?

I think Lego has stood the test of time because it is so versatile and such a wonderful form of creative expression: the only limit is your imagination. Plus there’s that satisfying click when you fit bricks together. For anyone who wants to stretch their creative muscles I suggest thinking outside the box and trying something that you wouldn’t necessarily know how to build.

12. How does one become a Master Builder? What advice would you give someone who wants to turn their passion for Lego into a career?

Practise! If you don’t have lots of bricks don’t worry about colour; you’re looking to create the right shape so practise building curves from square bricks.

When hiring people, we look at their work ethic mainly, we choose people who are hardworking and committed, and those with an eye for detail.

For more information about Duncan and his Lego work visit the Bright Bricks website.   


Do What You Love interview - Duncan Titmarsh DWYL FREEDOMSEEKER OUTNOW 2 650X300PX LR

Do What You Love interview – Marty Knapp


In 1988 Marty Knapp quit his day job and spent all his money on equipment to start a new career as a photographer. He survived using only his camera and his darkroom doing portraits and weddings, making slides for artists, developing films and creating custom prints for clients. In every bit of spare time he had he pursued his own creative work, capturing dramatic moments of light in the landscape then printing editions for collectors. Before long his work began to sell.

30 years on and Marty’s iconic black and white images can be seen in his own art gallery in Point Reyes, California, and he has written a book, Point Reyes: 20 Years, which tells the stories behind his quest for his most memorable shots. Marty has been on an incredible journey in order to do what he loves and we hope you enjoy the interview. ~ Rachel

Marty Shooting with Sony Nex-7
1. How are you doing what you love?
I’ve consciously created a life that keeps me immersed in my passion, creative fine-art photography. My days are involved in every aspect of creating the actual art pieces that end up on the walls of my collectors. I thoroughly enjoy each process, whether in the field exploring the landscape with my camera, or back in the studio making the prints, mats and frames that are displayed in my gallery. I even love working on my website and blog which helps to express my feelings about these creations and markets the work to my followers. I get to use my mind, my hands and my heart in these varied processes. The variety of work stimulates and pleases me.
Marty at Gallery Entrance

In the entrance to my gallery

2015 New Works Exhibit

Images from my “New Photographs 2015” exhibit

2. What was the catalyst for deciding to dedicate your life to photography, and how did you discipline yourself to stick with it in the early days?

I had an epiphany in my mid-thirties which changed my life. Up to that point I had been wandering kind of aimlessly in both my professional life and my personal life. I was uninspired, unmotivated and had fallen into a dangerous habit of too much drinking and use of recreational drugs. Then, and this is hard to explain, on one summer morning I woke up and everything became absolutely clear to me. Nothing could shake this new feeling. I just knew that my addictions were over. It felt like I had shed my skin and was a brand new person. At the same time, I knew that I would dedicate my life to my photography. I would look for the light and record my discoveries with this medium. I was full of the spirit and inspired to get on with my life’s work. I felt a profound happiness and I wanted to honour it.


What I learnt at barista training (and it wasn’t just about the hearts and tulips)

What I learnt at barista training (and it wasn’t just about the hearts and tulips) dwylhq1

Does it feel like the end of summer where you are? I am sitting in a coffee shop with a steaming cup of tea, looking out at the rain splashing on the pavement. It feels like October, not August today, but inside this cosy café I don’t really mind.


I can’t help looking at the café menu differently today. I can’t help noticing how the sofas are arranged, or how whether the staff ‘bless and press’ as they are making the next cappuccino. Why? Because Mr K and I spent two fun days training to be baristas last week, and learnt all sorts of things about the business of coffee and coffee shops.


We wanted to take a couple of days to do something fun together after many weeks juggling work and family while I was trying to finish my book manuscript. We left the girls with their grandmas (all parties were delighted!) and headed to Limini Coffee in Yorkshire. Over the next two days we laughed a lot, learnt a lot, and drank so much coffee we felt slightly drunk. By the end of the workshop Mr K had proved himself to be a dab hand at latte art, and I had just about managed a thistle-topped mocha and a tulip-topped latte.


Besides learning that the coffee industry is booming (apparently the Recession was the best thing that happened to cafes in years, because ‘a coffee and a cake treat’ is considered by most of us to be an ‘affordable luxury’), we learnt that taking time off together works miracles—besides having fun together, we have both been coming up with idea after idea following our short break away. I also got reminded how at home I feel in nature, having stayed at the lovely old Shibden Mill, surrounded by rolling hills.


This week I challenge you to give yourself a short break, whether it be a whole day or just a couple of hours, with someone you love, to just have fun. If you can learn something new when you are at it, even better. Stretch that brain in new ways this week! As summer is edging away, soak it all up this week (even if that means jumping in muddy puddles!)

I’ll be back next week to share some of the great adventures I’ve been having over the past few months in the writing of my book…

Have fun


PS Thank you to everyone who has already signed up for the Do What You Love e-course, which we are running in October for the last time this year. I can already tell from the energy of those of you who have signed up that this next class is going to be completely transformational. If you missed it, and feel ready to discover your true passion and do what you love, registration is now open here!


Do What You Love interview – Laly Mille


Meet the lovely Laly Mille: a talented mixed media artist, dream seeker and wholehearted inspirer. Laly re-discovered her passion for creating when she became a mum and reached a crossroads in her life. She is living proof that when your listen to your heart and follow your soul’s calling, anything is possible. ~ Rachel



Transform the way you work and play with a big adventure this summer


Summer is here and that can only mean one thing… it’s festival time!

If you fancy dipping your toe into a brave new world of adventure over the coming weeks and months, take a look at our pick of the best 10 festivals on offer in the UK and beyond…

EXPOAll set for the Stay Wild Expo


When: August 26 – 28, 2016

Where: Portland, Oregon

Cost: Free – just fill out a form to register your interest in workshops

Organiser: Stay Wild

Perfect for: Anyone who is passionate about getting out to the wilds.

What to expect: A cool outdoor gear show, food and drink, brands, field trips and workshops including everything from wild swimming and cliff jumping (now sold out) to crafting scents, yoga in the woods, adventure writing, making a chair, weaving a basket from ivy, shaping a surfboard, outdoor photography for women, surfing, a motorcycle trip to the coast and back, more maker things, bird watching, travel by bike to fly fish and more! More info and tickets.

Base+Camp-71Basecamp Festival


When: September 2 – 4, 2016

Where: Sabine Hay, Peak District

Cost: Last minute tickets now £139.95

Organiser: Explorers Connect

Perfect for: Those looking to have new adventures with like-minded people

What to expect: A welcoming, relaxed and non-pretentious vibe. By day, exciting off-site activities like mountain biking, kayaking and climbing, and on-site activities like climbing, slack-lining and cool workshops. By night, the chance to meet explorers, hear adventure stories, enjoy great food, dance to live music and indulge in fire pit chitter chatter. More info and tickets.

1*3FNlGKIg8kGEo7YrndL7iATwo hundred 21st Century Careerists at Escape to the Woods, 2015


When: September 1 – 4, 2016

Where: Clayton Organic Farm, East Sussex

Cost: £110 (camping) or £190 (glamping)

Organiser: Escape the City

Perfect for: go-getters, connectors and entrepreneurs who want to escape the day-to-day routine, reconnect with nature and accelerate and celebrate their 21st Century career.

What to expect: A chilled-out vibe by day with inspiring talks, creative workshops, games, and workouts in the woodland. When night falls, enjoy casual chats around the fire pit, open mics, soulful music and dancing under the stars. Food is a highlight here and you can sup everything from real ales to cocktails to quality coffee and take your pick from the pop-up organic food stalls. More info and tickets. 

SWOutdoor FestivalHaving a wild time at South West Outdoor Festival


When: September 23 – 25, 2016

Where: Heddon Valley, Exmoor National Park

Cost: Free though some activities have an entry/booking fee

Organised by: The National Trust

Perfect for: Everyone who’s looking for a fun, action-packed weekend, from young children to adventurous adults. You can even bring the dog.

What to expect: A new outdoor festival which offers something for all ages and levels of skill, experience and fitness. Go hiking, biking, trail running, open water swimming, camping, or stargaze and forage for wild food. Build your own adventure weekend or chill out in the wilderness of the West Country. More info and tickets.


alpkitImage credit: Alpkit 


When: September 23 – 25, 2016

Where: Bakewell, Derbyshire

Cost: £60 (Indivdual ticket) £150 (Family ticket) + optional extra

Organised by:

Perfect for: The whole family.

What to expect: Active and energetic days with a host of onsite activities, including mountain biking, paddle making, fell running, biathlon and slack lining. There’s also great live music, interesting lectures, adventure films, home-baked cakes and a nice big area with hay bale seats. The evening entertainment which includes talks in cosy yurts and the storytelling workshop with a man named ‘Creepy Toad’. More info and tickets.

mainstageMain stage, Women’s Adventure Expo, 2015


When: October 8, 2016

Where: The @Bristol Science Centre, Bristol

Cost: £35

Organiser: Sisters Rebecca Hughes and Tania John

Perfect for: Women (and men!) who are looking for a hefty dose of motivation, resources and information to take on the world, or even the local park!

What to expect: A laid-back, informative and inspiring day packed with spine-tingling tales from leading female explorers like Anna McNuff, Mollie Hughes, Lois Pryce and Sarah Outen, and thought-provoking workshops on adventure writing, planning for independent adventure travel, adventure psychology for women. Chill out in the evening with a craft beer or two on Bristol’s harbour. More Info and tickets.

Andres RobertsWilderness expert Andres Roberts enjoying the great outdoors


When: October 10 – 16, 2016

Where: The Amiata, Southern Tuscany, Italy

Cost: £745 (flights not included)

Organiser: Andres Roberts

Perfect for: anyone who wants to connect to the land and the natural rhythm of life and explore the questions, challenges and intentions around who they are and what they are here to do.

Expect: An unforgettable experience with three nights spent alone in the wild. You will camp around a beautiful mountain cottage which will be used to prepare organic food and shower after wild excursions, long walks, great conversations and thought-provoking exercises. Activities include workshops, dialogues, T’ai Chi or Chi Gong practices, awareness practices, wisdom teachings. The wilderness ‘solo’ is inspired by ancient and indigenous practice and guided in a gentle and supportive way. You will choose where to spend 72 hours alone in the wild in a marked circle inviting whatever lessons and insights nature helps to bring. More info and tickets.


JCP_8253 JCP_8687

8. YESTIVAL: The Say Yes More Festival

When: October 21 – 23, 2016

Where: A field near London – secret venue announced later this month

Cost: £155 – £165 depending on how early you book

Organiser: Dave Cornthwaite and the Say Yes More team

Perfect for: Anyone who is looking to change direction in life, to plan for the future, to feel differently about their life right now.  Families are welcome.

What to expect: A joyful, uplifting, energy-boosting weekend of positive vibes, inspiring talks, deep discussions, enlightening moments, relaxed workshops, country walks, group hugs, late night dancing and early morning workouts. And you’ll make lots of new friends. More info and tickets.


When: October 21 – 23, 2016

Where: East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Cost: Free but you have to register online.

Organiser: East Gippsland Marketing Inc.

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to immerse themselves in nature.

Expect: A full weekend of adventure events including mountain biking, trail running, and paddling. The aim of the festival is simply to bring together adventurers, and their friends and families, to celebrate the world of adventure in one ultimate festival. And, to do so in a naturally magic, untouched, adventure playground. More information and tickets.

he Australian Adventure Festival will include  for locals, Victorians and internationals who love the outdoors. Covering Lakes Entrance, the Gippsland Lakes, the Colquhoun State Forest and plenty of other East Gippsland gems, the festival will be a showcase of what the region has to offer.

The festival program is made up of events for all abilities, and for those wishing to watch on in year one, the Patties Foods Festival Hub will be the place to be on Sunday, October 25. Events, entertainment, activities for the kids and sponsor activations will mean that there is no shortage of things to see and do. The Patties Foods Festival Hub will also be the prime location to watch the finish of the One-Day Adventure Challenge.

BANFF Image courtesy of Ines PapertBANFF FestivalImage courtesy of Ines Papert


When: October 29 – November 06, 2016

Where: Banff, Alberta

Cost: Ticket prices vary

Organiser: Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Perfect for: Book lovers, writers who love adventure

What to expect: A showcase of the year’s best adventure documentaries and writing, talks by big names of the outdoor world and the chance to participate in a variety of workshops and classes, plus explore ground-breaking exhibitions galore set within the country’s first national park and surrounded by the towering Rockies. If you can’t get to Banff check out the yearly tour, which travels around 240 locations across 36 countries. More info and tickets.

Where will you be heading for your big adventure this summer?

Culturally Curious – exploring Cambodia


This is a guest post from Claire Le Hur who is cycling to China with her fiancé Stuart Block. The couple started their journey in East Africa and followed new ‘silk roads’ charting the journey of key natural resources as part of an exciting new education project. Claire is riding a bamboo bike, built by an African social enterprise, and Stuart is riding a tandem and he’s keeping the back seat free for those they meet en route. The dynamic duo are raising money and awareness for two great educational charities. You can find out more about their big adventure here.

Claire Le Hur

We saw three different sides to Cambodia, the smallest yet most interesting country in our Asian odyssey. The first side was the remains and memories of the huge and powerful Angkorian Empire 1,000 years ago. The second was the memorials and stories of the terrible Pol Pot regime three decades ago. And the third was a country desperately trying to escape its recent past and powerful neighbours and rebuild itself. Our group ride with United World Schools (UWS) really bought this hime to us. It made us realise how lucky we are and what vitally important work UWS and Beyond Ourselves in Zambia, do. The week we spent with UWS was incredibly humbling.