A year of micro-adventures : 6 months recap
In January, I set myself the challenge of having a year of micro-adventures. The idea behind the challenge was to be present and fill up my year with mini adventures, and things I’ve wanted to do locally, instead of waiting for the big adventures. It stemmed from a feeling at the end of last year that I hadn’t really done as much as I wanted, and that time just disappeared. I didn’t want that feeling again, and so the challenge of 52 mini adventures came about.
If you’re wondering what constitutes a micro-adventure – it can be anything! I truly believe that adventure is more a state of mind. They’re small adventures, exploring somewhere new or trying something new, but affordable.
So, where have the last 6 months taken me? Here’s a micro-adventure recap for the first 6 months of 2023…
Table of Contents
6 months of micro-adventures
Isle of Mull
The year kicked off in style with a trip to The Isle of Mull. It’s become tradition to see in the new year on the island, and it’s GORGEOUS. The week I spend here at the beginning of the year is a really relaxing trip. The highlight was doing the lighthouse walk at Tobermory and taking the best picture I’ve probably ever taken!
Surprise View, Keswick
Sometimes, we forget to explore our own back garden. It’s safe to say that living right on the edge of The Lake District means there is so much to explore close to home. And honestly, I really haven’t explored as much of the lakes as I’d like to. That’s part of where this challenge stemmed from.
One place I’d never gone to was Surprise View, where you get a stunning view over Derwentwater. There’s national trust car parks there as well, so it was really easy to get to, although the road up there is single track and I imagine in Summer is incredibly busy!
Smardale Gill Viaduct
I love viaducts, there’s something so majestic about them. Smardale Gill Viaduct is at Kirkby Stephen and is a stunning (and very flat) walk. The beginning of the walk is slightly boring, and there isn’t much to see on a winter’s day, however, it is so worth it when you get to the viaduct.
The 1975 at Newcastle
To me, a concert is 100% a micro adventure – the travel there (this time it was a scenic train journey), going out for food, having fun with friends, and then seeing an act you love and getting to dance and be free.
This concert was amazing, and we had the added bonus of Lewis Capaldi (who sand Taylor Swift’s Love Story and it was amazing), and Tim Healey came and sang as well.
Vision Board Workshop
The final micro-adventure of January was at TYRO Studios in Shipley. The Manifestation Collective ran a vision board workshop and it was a calming and gorgeous evening, getting focused on the year ahead. Getting crafty is one of my favourite indoor micro-adventures and this was the perfect cosy Saturday adventure on a cold winter’s day.
An epic adventure to London
February kicked off with one of my favourite adventures this year – a trip to London.
It felt like a micro-adventure from the start because we only decided to go two weeks beforehand. This was because we got tickets to see a live recording of The Last Leg. The next hurdle was rail strikes, so we got the national express bus down. It left Carlisle at 12am, and we arrived on Friday morning at 6am.
We had an epic day walking around London, as we couldn’t check in until 3pm! We saw the sights, had an amazing breakfast at The Good Egg and just enjoyed being in the city for the first time this year. The TV show recording was so interesting (and THE David Tennant was one of the guests!) and we landed back at the hotel at 12pm.
After a lie in the next morning, we headed to Kew Gardens for a gorgeous day exploring, before getting the 10pm bus back up north!
Poets Walk, Kirkby Stephen
After an epic adventure the week before, I needed something a bit calmer. Poets Walk is another Kirkby Stephen walk that I’d never actually done. It’s not my favourite, but it was interesting to find the poetry stones that guide you along the walk, as well as being outside and taking in the fresh air!
The Great Print Exhibition
Art galleries are another indoor micro adventure that I love, as I always find myself feeling super inspired after them.
The Great Print Exhibition happens every year at Rheged, and is filled with local print makers. They are stunning and it always gets me in the mood to be artistic!
Amsterdam with DFDS
The first international adventure of the year! I worked with DFDS to share their Amsterdam mini-cruise, and headed off with my best friend for the weekend.
This was the 7th time I’d travelled with DFDS on their Amsterdam mini cruise, but the first time I was staying in their Commadore De Luxe cabins which were stunning. We had a great day exploring Amsterdam and because we’d both been a few times before, we decided to just wander, eat good food, and soak up the atmosphere.
The only downside to this micro adventure was experiencing seasickness for the first time on the way home which was not fun.
Whilst only 1hr30 on the train, I’ve never actually been to Glasgow before. With tickets booked for another concert at the Hydro Arena, it was the perfect chance to explore the city, and I can’t wait to go back.
Two stand out food places were going to Wee Paris for brunch, and Paesano Pizza for tea (it’s totally worth the queue)
Lakeland Motor Museum
Back to the lakes, and it was time to explore some local museums. I’d never been to Lakeland Motor Museum before, and I can firmly say it’s a perfect place for all the family. It’s fascinating to see all of the different vehicles, and the way they’re displayed makes it really interesting!
There’s also a gorgeous cafe here, and a brilliant walk to the lake. Plus, it’s entirely dog friendly!
A Lake District Spa Weekend
Sometimes you just need to switch off and relax, which is exactly what I did at Beech Hill Hotel and Spa. They have an amazing restaurant here, and it’s worth a visit for the food alone. The spa overlooks Windermere, and even when it’s slightly raining, it still feels magical when you’re sat in the jacuzzi.
An arts and culture day out in The Lakes
I teamed up with Cumbria Tourism to have an arts and culture day out in the South Lakes. So often, people think of the lakes as a place to come walking, however, there is so much history and culture here too.
I headed to two places I’d never been to before – Fairfield Mill at Sedburgh and Blackwell Arts and Crafts house at Windermere.
David Hockney Exhibition at Lightroom
The final micro-adventure of March was on a work trip to London, where I squeezed in a trip to the David Hockney exhibition at Lightroom, near Kings Cross.
I’m a huge David Hockney fan, and I love immersive art experiences as you feel the art in a different way. What I thought was brilliant about this one is that David Hockney curated this, creating new pieces specifically for this medium, and narrating the whole experience.
A trip to Manchester
Manchester was where I called home for four years at University, and it was my first trip back this year. It was a flying trip, and the main aim was to go to The Lowry to see the easter pantomime, Mother Goose, which starred Sir Ian McKellan and John Bishop! It was brilliant fun, and goes to show a different type of micro adventure!
London to see A Little Life
A Little Life is one of my favourite books, and I can’t belive that I managed to get on stage seating for the short run in London. It also meant that I had another London micro-adventure!
It was a flying visit however we stayed out in Chiswick which meant we had a gorgeous Saturday morning exploring the area – amazing food places, charity shops and coffee shops!
10,000 Daffodils at Lowther Castle
Lowther Castle is near Penrith, and they have amazing gardens you can walk around. So, on a very wet April day, we headed here to see their exhibition of 10,000 daffodils. These were 10,000 hand crafted pot daffodils that had been put into the garden and they looked amazing.
Inspired by Wordsworth’s poems, these daffodils were also for sale, to raise money for 6 local charities.
Brockhole is an amazing place, right on the shore of Windermere, which has gardens, tree top treks, adventure activities, playgrounds, galleries, luxury restaurant, and workshops. Honestly, there is something for everyone here.
This trip was a more chilled one than when we came to do the zip wire! Instead it was a walk through the grounds and going to see a friends photography exhibition which was up for a short time.
Aira Force, Ullswater
Kicking off the new 2023/24 National Trust membership with a trip to Aira Force. This is a stunning water fall and walk, and genuinely one of my favourite places in the lakes. It’s beautiful no matter what time of year you go, and there is something so magical about this place.
There’s also a National Trust cafe here, which do amazing curried cauliflower pasties!
A micro-adventure to Kippford, Scotland
A perk of living close to the Scottish borders is it’s easy to go on a road trip and spend the day on the Scottish coast.
We headed to Kippford, a small coastal town, and had some amazing fish and chips at the pub there. We then headed to Rockcliff Bay, where we spent the afternoon on the beach and it was beautiful! There are some brilliant camping spots around here, so I’m definitely hoping to head back and camp there at some point too.
Eurovision at Liverpool
Possibly my favourite micro-adventure of the year, Eurovision!
Only living 2 hours from Liverpool, we had to make the trip during Eurovision. We decided on the Thursday evening, and Friday afternoon headed down for Eurovision Eve. It was so much fun, and we even managed to get into the Eurovision village which we didn’t think we’d manage!
The key to this micro-adventure was spontaneity, which gave an added element of adventure!
Canoeing on Ullswater
The first warm weekend of the spring means a trip to the lake with my Mum, Uncle and the canoe. We headed on Ullswater and took a picnic for an adventure. There’s something about being on the lake which makes you realise just how BIG the hills are in the lakes and how small we are.
June kicked off with the annual two-week trip to Wigtownshire. Two weeks filled with walks by the sea, browsing the bookshops of Wigtown and switching off.
Wild Swimming for the first time
Whilst in Scotland, I went wild swimming for the first time, and fell in love with it! It definitely helped that it was warm, but it was so much fun and felt like a real achievement.
We went swimming at Riggs Bay, which is absolutely stunning.
A day trip to Belfast
Did you know that you can do a day trip to Belfast from Scotland for just £15?? As soon as I found out we were only 40mins away from the port whilst we were away, we decided to do the trip!
We only had a few hours, so did the open top tourist bus, and then had some lunch. It was a brilliant day, and so exciting to head out somewhere new, and head there on a boat!
Full blog post coming soon!
And the final micro-adventure of June was back to Ullswater to go paddleboarding.
I bought a paddleboard from Aldi and was desperate to get on the lake with it. So we parked up at Glencoyne Bay car park (free for national trust members) and spent the day paddleboarding and swimming in the lake – the ultimate micro-adventures are ones like this!
And there’s the 6 month recap on my 2023 year of micro-adventures. I’m so excited to see what adventures happen in the next 6 months! If you’re looking for daily micro adventure inspo, make sure you’re following me on Instagram as I’m posting daily micro adventure prompts on there all summer!