• OS Champion

Alex Middleton

Meet Alex Middleton – Entrepreneur getting Britain hiking. Also likes trail running and hummus.

What drives you to spend time outside?

In simplest terms it is where I am happiest. We have some awesome nature here in the UK and I’m keen to highlight how accessible some of these places are. Along with the benefits that exploring them by foot can have on one’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Where are your favourite places to go?

Out of London: West Coast of Scotland, South Devon (South West Coastal Path), Blackdown, South Downs, Jurassic Coast, Dorset. In London: Epping Forest, Parliament Hill Lido in Hampstead Heath.

What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?

Hiking, bikepacking, trail running, wild swimming.

Who inspires you and how?

Present day… I think Erling Kagge, the Norwegian explorer, whose writing on all things walking is pretty great. He talks a lot about the importance of slowing down in our fast-paced world. There’s also a guy called Thomas Stevens, who was the first person to cycle around the world in the late 1800s (on a penny-farthing!), I think it took him about 2 years. He then came back to London to run the Garrick Theatre. As you do…

What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?

I hope to continue to inspire people to go hiking and explore somewhere new, here in the UK. I mainly do this through my business, Vespucci Adventures. We curate self-guided hikes all around the UK. We started by focusing on hikes accessible from London, but excitingly this year we are launching in a bunch of new cities. I will be visiting and engaging with communities in these new cities to discover and highlight the best, most accessible places to go hiking.

What are your 3 biggest life achievements?

Cycling from Istanbul to Hong Kong. Completing the Marathon des Sables. Setting up my own company, Vespucci Adventures.

3 words you live by

Rather be outside.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I guess I have to reference the hummus again. I have recently had to limit myself, so it must be a guilty pleasure…