Learn First, Plan Next, Then Go
It feels mean to go away somewhere to go away somewhere and not tell anyone about it afterwards. Maybe that's partly why this website got started though curiosity about the web in its early days probably helped too.
It was the photo gallery that came together first. The featured locations were Scottish and Irish until life brought me the way of Welsh and English ones too. It was only later that the Isle of Man started an expansion of horizons that have taken me as far as Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland, Austria and Norway. What you get is more than labelled photos for descriptive text is included too.
Surprisingly, it took me until the discovering of blogging to realise that the stories of those trips were worth telling too. That brought the outdoors blog into being and encouraging comments from a good few readers made sure that it became what it is today. Handily, it also means that walking and cycling escapades in wonderful countryside are retained somewhere for reference.
What you find here is a logical next step. Much of it collates handy information for planning your own trips as well as other musings on what makes featured destinations so alluring. The selection has been made more international by my overseas trips and that could be a growing trend. There also is a section devoted to highlighting the work of other photographers since it is my own efforts at photography that are the cause of taking me out and about this wonderful world of ours.
Éire & Northern Ireland
It might be the land of my birth and upbringing but Ireland has much that I have yet to explore. It is the south-west of the island that I know best though other parts have seen my passage too. Western and north-western parts of what is billed the Wild Atlantic Way remain unseen and the newer Ireland's Ancient East contains more that I yet to savour. Whenever I go to Ireland, other things always eat up the available time so a bit more planning is needed to address my oversights.
After living in Scotland, I moved to England for work and it really got my wanderings going. It is its northern and midland counties that I know best for many a walking trip has taken me around those parts. Indeed, such has been my interest in exploring hill country that the country's southern reaches have not be explored as much. What you find here is gathered not only from my own trips but also whatever has come my way in magazines and other periodicals too.
Scotland still charms me throughout these uncertain times. My time at university in Edinburgh was the making of me and its very special countryside has drawn me back many a time. Though other places now attract me, I have intention of giving up on the place yet. Places can be revisited and places can be seen anew. Many are stilly too and those are much prized in this unsteady age of ours.
For many years, going north during the summer meant a trip to Scotland's highlands and islands. Now, Scandinavian shores call for much the same reasons. Business trips to Denmark and Sweden have been followed by leisure excursions to Iceland and Norway. A return to Sweden's capital city is in mind and there is more of the others to explore. Only the surface has been scratched so far…
Wales & Isle of Man
To anyone who knows more, this might seem a very odd pairing. There are differences of history, physical geography and current political arrangements so there are other reasons why I am bundling Wales together with the Isle of Man in this section.
After all, both are small places that offer much to explore. From an outdoor enthusiasts point of view, each has dramatic coastal scenery to go with wilder stretches of hill country and that combination has been enough of a lure to keep me returning to them on walking trips over the years. There have not been enough of those to stop me making a return when such an opportunity arises.
More Places to Visit
It is not just Europe's north-western reaches that have got my attention for parts of central Europe beckon too. Here, it is the Alps that stand out for me. There have been trips to Switzerland and Austria and more may follow. The French Alps have not seen me yet though Brittany once did during my schooldays. At the same time, there was an excursion to Jersey and, since then, I been to the Isle of Man a few times. A business trip took me to Delaware but it is the wilder parts of North America that look more appealing. If I really get adventurous, New Zealand or Tasmania could take my fancy but I may just consolidate for now.
Practicalities & Inspiration
This is what was the United Kingdom section and I am changing what you find here to have a more general scope. There remain references to the U.K. and these will be softened. Recent political events mean that my feelings about the conglomerate of nations are not what they were (it has been home for more than twenty years and I am Irish) and the constituent counties have a bigger identity in any case. After the changeover, some hangovers from the current state of affairs may remain but they will be repackaged to fit the new intent. It will become somewhere for more general articles on travel, both domestic and overseas.
Work by Other Photographers
When I first looked for photos on the web, the quality of what I could find was far from staggering. That was during the late 1990's and the world has changed a lot since then. Photo sharing on the web is pervasive these days and many a professional or amateur photographer have a website in this digital age. It is some of these that you'll find here along with a guide to using established channels such as photography magazines to find more and perhaps getting a developing photographic hobby going yourself. After all, it's only by seeing the work of others that you gain inspiration and realise how your abilities compare.