Outdoor World

The wood life: my four days immersed in Latvia’s forests

Half of Latvia is woodland so no wonder its people derive so much wellbeing from foraging, ancient forest crafts and being at one with nature In Japan its called shinrin-yoku (forest bathing); in Norway its friluftsliv (appreciation of outdoors activity and nature). But in Latvia theres no special term for it. We dont need one this is just normal behaviour for Latvians, said Sigita Kltniece, our walk leader in a crisp, cold Gauja national park in the countrys north-east. We stood and breathed deeply, as light dappled through the snow-speckled…

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Outdoor World

10 of the best pilgrim routes in Europe: readers travel tips

From marching with monks to heavenly Korean food, our tipsters have experienced joy spiritual and earthly on these venerable trails Winning tip: Pilgrims Way, Winchester to Canterbury A 10-day pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury, following Walking The Pilgrims Way by Leigh Hatts (Cicerone), included many ups and downs, both literal and emotional. There are many glorious parts of the walk, but the one that took my breath away was the hard push up Hackhurst Downs in Surrey, through a gorgeous yew-lined avenue, which then opened magnificently on to Blatchford Down.…

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Outdoor World

She filmed sharks for ‘Jaws’ — then she dedicated her life to protecting them

(CNN)Below the shallow waters of the northeast coast of Australia is the world’s largest reef. Many people have dived in these waters, but few know them like Australian marine conservationist and shark enthusiast Valerie Taylor. Find out more about Call to Earth and the extraordinary people working for a more sustainable future Valerie and her late husband, Ron Taylor, were among the first to explore the Great Barrier Reef on film. In 1967, the couple partnered with the Belgian Scientific Expedition and spent six months filming its underwater habitats. In…

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Outdoor World

How to pack for your holidays from plug adaptors to painkillers

Plan outfits carefully, stack things up Tetris-style and wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane Roll, dont fold, when packing clothes in a suitcase. Folding creases your clothes and takes up more room, whereas rolling compacts them and also makes them easier to fit into tight spots in your case. You can pile things up like a game of Tetris. When it comes to bulkier items such as jumpers, it is better to fold, but try to wear your larger items if you are flying. Not only does this save…

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Outdoor World

Spain road trip: Granada to Almera

The Alhambra marks the start of a drive taking in historic cities, a river valley and mountains and ends in Almeras spaghetti western desert Granada is dominated by its mighty Moorish fortress, Santa Isabel La Real, with its Alhambra views, (doubles from 95 B&B, parking available). Barrio de la Villa is a labyrinth of fountains, churches, geraniums, with castle and panoramic views. Take all that in while staying at quaint Hotel Zahor (double from 55 B&B). Priego de Crdoba. Photograph: Alamy Day three and its time to head north-east to…

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