Becky Angell is a British travel and outdoor blogger, content creator, writer and photographer. She is a solo adventurer who runs the Becky the Traveller website. Becky is a lover of all things outdoors and adventure. Her love for travelling and adventuring has seen her visit over 40 countries across 6 continents, travelling both solo and as part of a group. In our latest Q&A, we were delighted to get Becky’s insights into the beauty of travelling and being outdoors, her favourite UK hiking spots, what it was like doing a 950-mile hike for UK charity Mind, conquering mountains, and more. Read the full interview below.
Welcome Becky! Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Becky, from Nottingham. I love adventures, hiking and wild camping in the UK and abroad, when we’re allowed! I’m a Trainee Mountain Leader, hoping to get the qualification in 2021, fingers crossed.
I’ve travelled to loads of different places around the world, visiting 6 out of the 7 continents – Antarctica is my dream destination (one day!) But mostly you’ll find me mostly enjoying what the beautiful UK has to offer, visiting the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty.
After working for a bank for many years, I’m now self-employed and I run two outdoor websites. My first Becky the Traveller was created whilst still working full time for a bank. But after being made redundant I turned it into my full-time job nearly 4 years ago.
The second is a walking website Peak District Walks. I had the idea for a while before I finally plucked up the courage to go for it and it seems to be going well. There’s a lot of love for the Peak District and it’s brilliant helping people that are new to hiking find different places to explore.
As well as my hiking adventures and running my websites, I also love growing my own food in my little garden as well as creating things at home – baking, knitting and making candles – I’m not very good but I enjoy doing it!
What’s best about the great outdoors?
Oh wow, this is a tough one, I love so much about the outdoors. Mostly, it’s how I feel when I’m outside, whatever the weather I always feel happy when I’m outdoors. I love looking at the little things around me as well as those awesome scenic views too.
Delving into the world of hiking in the UK, where are your best hiking spots?
I’m not sure there’s a thing as best hiking spots, every hike is different and it depends on the weather, who you’re with and how you’re feeling at the time.
I love scrambling and more adventurous hikes so some of my top places would be the scramble routes up Kinder Scout in the Peak District, Hall’s Fell Ridge route up Blencathra, Foxes Tarn scramble up Scafell in the Lake District and Crib Goch in Snowdonia.
Tell us about your 950-mile hiking challenge for Mind.
In May 2019 I set off with a friend hiking across Great Britain, from the furthest easterly point in Lowestoft to the furthest westerly point at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse in Scotland.
We hiked via national and local trails including the Norfolk Coast Path, Pennine Way and West Highland Way. All our belongings were carried in our backpacks for the challenge, including camping gear. Our backpacks weighed between 15-18 kg, depending on how much water and food we were carrying!
What advice do wannabe hikers need to know?
Remember everyone starts somewhere, I remember my first hikes in the Peak District National Park, reaching Mam Tor summit and scrambling up Grindsbrook to Kinder Plateau.
A few useful things to know:
- The weather when hiking in the hills and mountains is never what it says for the local destination – make sure you have waterproofs and warm layers.
- Map reading isn’t as scary as you think – get yourself a map and compass. You can either teach yourself or sign up to a navigation course.
- You don’t need to start with the most adventurous hike, maybe a lovely low-level route will be perfect and build your confidence up.
If you fancy hiking up Mam Tor in the Peak District you can read all the different route options here on my Peak District Walks website. And even better when you’ve done that check out my new charity patches – the first one is Mam Tor 🙂
Mount Kilimanjaro, Patagonia and Mount Toubkal are on your list of hiking adventures. What have been your top 3 experiences to date?
My top 3 experiences, ooo, why are these questions so hard, ok in no particular order!
One of my favourite hiking challenges was the Tour du Mont Blanc that I did in 2014 and if all goes to plan I’ll be doing it again in 2021 (postponed from this year).
Hiking the Jurassic Coast has to be up there with my top three, since it was my first solo long-distance hike where I wild camped too, it was a tough but brilliant adventure.
And third, would be the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand, which I did in 2011 with my brother and sister. The views were amazing, in addition, we climbed up Ngauruhoe, the volcano also known as Mt Doom, covered in snow at the top.
What’s been the toughest challenge you’ve done?
For some time my toughest challenge was the Welsh 3000s, but this year I hiked the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District, wild camping and carrying all my own gear and food. It was definitely a tough mental and physical challenge, especially as the weather was pretty bad at times.
Lastly, there is something magical about standing on top of a mountain. Describe the feeling.
Yes, there certainly is but it’s a feeling that changes depending on what mountain you’re climbing and how tough it is! Sometimes it’s a feeling of ‘oh thank goodness I’ve made it’, other times it’s ‘wow, those views are incredible’ and other times it’s ‘yippee there’s a shelter at the top’.
Overall, for me, it’s a happy feeling and even if the conditions were tough I normally want to do it again!