Bike exploring: Help for Heroes
OS GetOutside Champion, Helen Pollard, takes us on a great Mountain Bike (MTB) route used as part of the delivery of MTB leadership training to Phoenix House staff in collaboration with Cycling UK.
On Sunday 30 September you could be part of something big. Something that’ll make you healthier and happier, and more connected with friends and loved ones. Because that’s when you can join Ordnance Survey’s National GetOutside Day.
National GetOutside Day aims to get 1 million people outdoors and active across the UK.
Walk, forage, cycle or plan your own activity – it could kick start a wealth of adventures that’ll see you live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more.
How often has it happened – a Sunday spent indoors or inactive? Families in the same room but not really together, instead communicating with others via tablets and phones.
Sunday 30 September is your chance to change that!
To swap screens for horizons.
To marvel at views better than any filtered photo.
To walk together.
To talk together.
To laugh and make memories.
You can do all this just by joining a National GetOutside Day activity.
From guided walks and cycle rides to sea swims, bushcraft days and fitness sessions. From London to the Peak District, from Loch Lomond to Pembrokeshire, from the South Downs and Cornwall to the Cleveland Way. Head off on a self-guided trail or simply plot an adventure on your own doorstep.
There are plenty of things to help you get started.
You could join guided walks in the Peak District or Shropshire in collaboration with HF Holidays and our ambassadors - adventurers Ben Fogle and Sean Conway, mountaineer Kenton Cool, and Paralympian Mel Nicholls.
Scores of Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions are also staging activities nationwide...
You can download a free Welcome Pack which includes a 1-month free OS Maps subscription, plus exclusive offers from our supporters.
Also, there are hundreds of guides available, ranging from planning a walk, to camping and free family adventures, to help you get started outdoors.
Events With GetOutside Champions...
A leisurely 4 mile stroll through the unique lowland heathland at the heart of the Weald
GetOutside Champion Glyn Dodwell says: "When I was a young boy, my father was one of the country’s leading authorities on butterflies and moths, and we made frequent trips to heathlands and the chalk uplands of the South Downs.
Despite a lifetime spent walking the high ground of the world, I still have a connection with the heathland and the unique eco-system that can be found there. The joy of walking through this rare landscape and seeing the butterflies only found in this habitat reminds me of those wonderful days with my father, whom I sadly lost over 30 years ago at a far too young an age.
For me, walking is about the joy and vitality of getting outside that has kept me going over the past 60 years. It keeps me healthy and reasonably fit. But more importantly in the fast, commerce-driven world that I work in - it keeps me grounded."
This walk sees you exploring gritstone edges, open moorland, exposed monuments and drinking in impressive Peak District views.
GetOutside Champion Nigel Vardy says: “This is a walk that encompasses the beautiful Gritstone Edges of Derbyshire, historic monuments and ends in the beautiful parkland of Chatsworth House.
So much is compressed into the day. Extensive views of the moors and valleys of the Dark Peak (cloud permitting), open moors, climbing, park and pubs..!
The outdoors is where I breathe, physically and mentally. The outdoors is where we were born to be...”
GetOutside Champion Anna Humphries says: “The Malvern Hills inspired composer Sir Edward Elgar to write many of his most famous works including the Enigma Variations, Caractacus and Pomp and Circumstance Marches.
I love hill walking, you get to see the world below you when you stand on high ground and there is something amazing in that.
Getting outside is vital for the human body- we need the oxygen, the sun and the water. We were born with limbs that move yet not everyone uses them enough.
The outdoors is complete freedom and it is good for our physical and mental health.”
A scenic, half-day hike that’ll lead you to the highest peak of Worcestershire’s Malvern Hills; 425m above sea level.
Discover some of the best views in the Trossachs on this 14km (8.75 mile), 6 hour hike – guided by not one but two GetOutside Champions.
GetOutside Champion Catriona Webster says: “Ben Venue might not reach the heights of neighbouring Munros but it is hard to beat for stunning views. The panorama from the summit, taking in the length of Loch Katrine and a large sweep of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, is up there with the best in Scotland.
Getting outside is fantastic for the exercise, fresh air and getting away from it all, but it's also about meeting new people and sharing experiences in the outdoors, so we're really looking forward to welcoming some new faces and introducing people to this special place!”
GetOutside Champion Charlotte Mackrill says: “Woodland Adventure Days are a wonderful opportunity to explore, learn and play in the wonderful outdoors, a classroom without walls. So come along and join the adventure.
I’ve spent all of my life in the outdoors, and there’s something very magical about being in the woods, lighting fires, building dens and simply having an adventure, whatever your age!
Getting outside helps put life back into perspective and I always feel refreshed after a day in the great outdoors, as my company tag line says 'step outside and join the adventure'. Life is one great adventure, and I love learning and exploring the ever changing world around us.”
Spend a day exploring woods near Truro, building dens, lighting fires, and making cakes
An 8 mile, circular trail, starting and ending in the market town of Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales.
GetOutside Champion Helen Pollard says: “Cotterdale village gives its name to the Dale you’ll be exploring. It’s the remnants of a larger 19th century thriving coal mining community. An Iron Age sword, with bronze scabbard, was found in Cotterdale, and is now in the British Museum.
It is a fabulous route passing through a range of environments from moors to woodland and has a great mixture of challenging climbs but great descents. The views afforded from the route’s highest point of Wensleydale are stunning.
Mountain Biking is an excellent way to explore the area covering a higher distance than walking will allow and experiencing the sense of freedom and excitement the descents provide.
Being outside and cycling provides a great opportunity for me to recharge and rebalance. It is fabulous to work with children, young people and families, supporting them to access the great outdoors and demonstrate the positive benefits to their family and health.”
See one of the most famous trees in the world on this family-friendly 5.5km (3.4 mile) stroll beside a memorable stretch of Hadrian's Wall.
GetOutside Champion David Wilson says: “The route starts at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre which given the name needs no introduction. We're quickly climbing up onto Peel Crags and its amazing sections of Hadrian's Wall and views out to the Borders. The star of the walk is Sycamore Gap - a lone Sycamore nestled in a steep dip of the wall. This spot is one of the most photographed in England and we'll celebrate with our very own Sycamore Selfie!
For me walking provides the perfect pace and position to enjoy coast, crags and countryside. It can be the perfect solitary activity to get a bit of mind space or to meet or make new friends as a social walk. Walking will always be the greatest sport never invented. I love to GetOutside as it’s the perfect place to stretch your mind and legs - and who doesn't need a bit of that everyday?
On this gentle, 3 hour walk you’ll explore ancient woodland and the huge range of edible and medicinal plants to be found at this time of year.
GetOutside Champion Manse Ahmad says: “The natural world is an amazing place, and it becomes even more amazing once we start learning about the various plants that abound. No longer is it a simple walk in the outdoors; it becomes a walk amongst ‘friends’ who can feed and heal us.
Whenever I go for a walk now, I no longer see ‘green’ things, I see plants with lots of uses. It is lovely to see them emerge in spring and watch them grow to maturity in Autumn, with all the accompanying smells and colours. Nothing, for me, beats the smell in autumn of fallen apples on the ground, the smell of mushrooms and the sounds of the woodland animals busy preparing for winter.
Or devise your own perfect outdoors day, a bespoke one – especially for you. Check out our series of GetOutside Guides for inspiration and information.
They might see you discovering a new Dartmoor tor, going rock pooling in Kent, surfing in Cornwall, cycling mountain bike trails in south Wales, wild swimming in the Lakes, going climbing in Scotland, heading out on a Dorset fossil hunt, or going sailing, canoeing or Stand Up Paddleboarding on your local lake. Hammock camping, paintballing, map reading - the options are endless; simply select an activity that suits an outdoor space near you.
However you do it, National GetOutside Day is your chance to be part of a massive movement of activity.
To feel the breeze on your face, smell the salt in the air. To feel fitter and be happier. And to start planning your next adventure, with your friends and family, in the great outdoors.