Trail magazine - January 2019 issue

On sale 1st November to 28th November


Easy Hills for Winter

  • The Brecon Beacons for beginners

  • A 36-minute Munro

  • The caverns beneath Coniston


  • Getting off grid in the mountains

  • Gear and know-how for icy terrain

  • 21 gigts for the outdoor enthusiast

All of this and more can be found in the new January issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 29th November.


Stepping up to snowy summits

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Because I have an embarrassing confession to make and one that I’ve not revealed to anybdy before. Deep breath. Ok, here goes…

I have yet to climb a mountain in winter. I am a cherubic maiden to winter hillwalking

Old Man’s Ribs

Ever wondered what lies beneathConiston Old Man? Trail delves below the surface of one of Lakeland’s most renowned fells, so you don’t have to…

We sploshed and shuffled along the dark, eerie passageway before being confronted by a two-way junction that divided our path


36 minute munro

It’s not the highest, or most exciting, and it’s certainly not the prettiest mountain. But if you’ve a little over half-an-hour to spare and are looking to bag a Munro, The Cairnwell is perfect.

Very few big Scottish mountains can be bagged in that sort of window, but The Cairnwell can

Off the grid

Mobile coverage is getting better. 4G is making the mountains more accessible than ever. Reliable communication, increased safety, greater connectivity with those at home. 2019 might be the last year you can be involuntarily off the grid in the hills. But is that a good thing?

Tis year over 75% of call-outs occurring in the summer, and over half of the calls to Scottish Mountain Rescue in 2017 involved no injury


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the January issue of Trail magazine
on sale 29.11.18

Trail magazine - December 2018 issue

On sale 1st November to 28th November


On the edge

Journeys to the UK’s exciting extremes

  • The secrets of Rum

  • Gower’s tidal island

  • Lost tarns of Lakeland


  • The gift of mountains.

  • Skye the easy way

  • Shoes vs boots

All of this and more can be found in the new December issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 1st November.


The Big little island

Read ‘Cuillin’, and you probably think of Skye. But Rùm has a Cuillin range of its own, steeped in Norse history, natural wonders, unique geological curiosities, and mountain adventures of the purest kind.

“A small isle it may be, but in heart and spirit it’s as big as they come”

Adventure: bottled

How a rainy day mission to visit Lake District tarns resulted in the discovery of dramatic ravines and hidden valleys. And all in one of its most well-walked places...

Rather than bagging summits, we were going to bag tarns.


The Greatest Gift

A century ago The Great War fell silent – and with it this clutch of Lakeland hills, mourning a lost generation of young rock climbers, became a legacy that lasts to this day... 

On each and every footstep on these fells you will be in the presence of the true spirit of freedom

Worm’s Head: The Gower Peninsula

Twice a day off the Swansea coast a wild peninsula is scythed from the mainland and a tidal island of limestone crags, golden beaches and Stone Age caves is born. Now imagine having that entire place to yourself for one night only.

It’s not fun until you have some of the landscape under your fingernails


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the December issue of Trail magazine
on sale 01.11.18

Trail magazine - November 2018 issue

On sale 4th October to 31st October


Escape to the hills

Discover the outdoors at the most spectacular time of year, including:

  • Snowdonia’s silent giant

  • Lakeland’s most secretive ridge

  • 3 days on the Great Glen Way


  • Hamocking & Stargazing for dark nights.

  • Waterproof fabric shootout

  • 3-4 season boots reviewed

  • New boot-fitting tech on test

All of this and more can be found in the new November issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 4th October.


Ole Man Mountain

Not all mountains shout their worth. Some are happy to sit quietly, while you discover their qualities for yourself…

Like Tryfan’s North Ridge on the opposite side of the Ogwen Valley, Pen Yr Ole Wen’s East Ridge is deceptively wide once you’re on it

The mountain hiding in plain sight

What do you get if you mix England’s only mountain forest, a thrilling mini scramble and a Cumbrian ridge that it inexplicably unfrequented? The best Lakeland fell walk you’ve never heard of.

Our route starts with Whinlatter, ‘England’s only true mountain forest...’



Disclaimer: the views expressed in this feature are those of teh author alone. The curious may read on, but this might not be for everyone…

Hammocking is like canoeing in the trees - one wobble and you’re out

How hard can it be? From walker to leader

Dream of becoming a Mountain Leader and making your life in the hills? Then read on to find out what it really takes…

I started my ML journey living less than a mile down the road from seven Munros, and finished it in the flattest part of England...


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the November issue of Trail magazine
on sale 04.10.18

Trail magazine - October 2018 issue

On sale 6th September to 3rd October


Britain's Highest Walks

  • Ben Nevis

  • Scafell Pike

  • Helvellyn

  • and more!


  • History At Height - retracing one of the Lakes' most intrepid walks 200 years on.

  • Peak District Badlands - exploring the ill-famed Saddleworth Moor.

  • Cool Ascents - why ghyll scrambling is the most fun thing you'll do this year

  • The wildest sleep ever - canoes, Highland lochs, islands = paradise found.

All of this and more can be found in the new October issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 6th September.


Wordsworth Retraced

Two centuries ago this very month, Wordsworth made a daring climb of Scafell Pike. But there’s a twist in the tale that deserves a closer look.

The air changed to cold, and mighty masses of cloud came boiling over the mountains
— Dorothy Wordsworth

across the divide

On the border with England and Wales there is a landmark hill. As it turns out, as well as signposting something magnificent, it’s quite special in itself…

It’s not a 360° view, but in this direction it might be a 360-mile one


An Uphill Paddle

It’s hot, you’re sticky, and the clear flowing water of that cascading stream is oh so tempting. There’s never been a better time to go ghyll scrambling...

The cascade was braided by ridges of bare, dry rock

Finding Eden

In the north-west of our island is a loch. Within that loch is an island. Within that island is a lochan. And within that lochan is an island. An island in a lochan in an island in a loch in an island. And somewhere, amid all that, is a piece of heaven.

Slioch stood admiring its reflection in the mirror-still water



The summer’s fires on Saddleworth Moor are the latest in a line of dark events to befall this wild place. Trail takes a walk amongst it and asks whether a place can ever transcend the sins of its past…

The fire was so big it could be seen from space


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the October issue of Trail magazine
on sale 06.09.18

Trail magazine - September 2018 issue

On sale 9th August to 5th September


Wales... the wild way

  • Crib Goch step by step
  • Brecon Beacons by night
  • Snowdonia Slate Trail: your next big walk!


  • Torridon’s best day ever! 
  • 40-50L rucksacks on test
  • Coolest soft shells for your cash
  • 6 hands-on scrambling routes from easy to mind-blowing all with os maps!
  • All of this and more can be found in the new September issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 9th August.


Snowdonia Slate Trail

Middle Earth, Mordor, The Shire. Dorothea, Ffestiniog, Rhosydd. Welcome to your next big walk. It’s a trip like nothing else...

This world is rich in mosses, ferns, liverworts and lichens – a mini rainforest in Snowdonia.

How Hard is... Crib Goch

Ragged, razor-sharp and – if reputation is to be believed – risky, the ridge of Crib Goch is a polarising place.

If you are thinking of traversing Crib Goch my advice is to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge...


Back to life

Trail takes a digital detox in the Brecon Beacons and discovers there’s no better way to spend a summer night than a back to (almost) basics wild camp....

Every time I’ve wild camped I’ve walked back down the mountain in a much better mood than the one I walked up in.

Lost Causey

It’s one of Lakeland’s signature hills – yet deftly escapes the masses. Trail takes on a mountain underdog with charisma to spare…  

...and there, poking out of a blue mist, was an outline that imprinted on me: the buckled summit of Causey Pike...


The big test: 40-50l backpacking rucksacks


To explore the mountains day after day on one continuous journey requires a rucksack that allows the backpacker to be self-reliant. Trail headed to the Lake District to test 40-50 litre models built for just that...

To journey for days, weeks or months through the mountains requires a commitment to the task...


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the September issue of Trail magazine
on sale 09.08.18

Trail magazine - August 2018 issue

On sale 12th July to 8th August


Dream Mountain

From the perfect first hill to the toughest challenge out there - why Brecon Beacon icon Pen y Fan truly has it all.


  • Escape the crowds - the secret to getting the best routes to yourself... every time.
  • Your kid's first hill - ideas, locations, and tips to make that first mountain epic.
  • Scrambling on Arran - risk, reward and what you can learn about yourself on the way.
  • News, how-tos, reviews and routes

All of this and more can be found in the new August issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 12th July.


Biggest Fan

Whether it's your first time or your 50th, the iconic Pen y Fan is the hill with everything.

Despite the relatively easy climb, we now stood higher than anything else in sight

First Hill Ever

How to make a child's first hillwalk set the scene for a lifetime of adventure (with a little help from hopes, promises, bunnies and poo).

You can’t make your kids love the outdoors, however terribly important it is to you


Beyond the crowds

Getting the very best from the Lakeland fells might just involve a night on the wild side...

I felt I had taken the bits I loved most in life and scrunched them all up into one night on a hill

Risk and Reward

A gnarly island ridge requiring scrambling skills aplenty and a tolerance for exposure? No, not the Skye's Cuillin - this is the A' Chir ridge on Arran, and it offers rewards for all levels of risk-takers...

Accessing the summit required a dose of bloody-mindedness


The big test: one-person single-skin shelters

A simple question: which duo-sized tent would you spend your cash on for the fickle British climate? A wild camp in the Lake District is the setting for a scrap to find out...

The shattering of rock on Great End had not woken me, but merely added to the sympohinc experience


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the August issue of Trail magazine
on sale 12.07.18

Trail magazine - July 2018 issue

On sale 14th June to 11th July


The Ultimate Escape

  • Amazing 32-stop mountain road trip - from Dartmoor to Cape Wrath
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Tick off remote summits
  • Go wild swimming


  • Lakeland's island mountain
  • Snowdonia's hidden valley
  • Life as a Cuillin guide
  • News, how-tos, reviews and routes

All of this and more can be found in the new July issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 14th June.


The Hillwalker's grand tour

32 pit-stop adventures, one summer: are you up for the ultimate road trip?

What if the next time you escape to the hills you never come back? Well, at least until you have a zillion miles and a bucket-list of adventures under your belt?

Island in the Lakes

St. Sunday Crag, floating between mountains, may have the best view in the Lake District. But why stop there? It might be the best hill full stop...

There’s Ullswater’s ruffled silver-blue sweep and Place Fell’s greening irregular hulk...


Snowdonian Secret Recipe

Tucked away in a quiet and overlooked corner of the Carneddau, this secluded slice of North Wales offers the perfect escape...

Nurturing. Protective. Cosseting. Not words you’d usually associate with mountains who tend to attract adjectives like brutal, wild, and menacing.

A Cairngorm Curve ball

With over 100 bothies hidden around the UK, the chances of the one you're heading to being full to the rafters are fairly low. Aren't they...?

A sandy beach to bed down on, running water on tap, an unrivalled view of the magnificent Devil’s Point, and space to breathe.


The big test: two-person tents

A simple question: which duo-sized tent would you spend your cash on for the fickle British climate? A wild camp in the Lake District is the setting for a scrap to find out...

The night that followed was windy with rainshowers, and colder than forecast, and at first light we all emerged and compared notes.


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the June issue of Trail magazine
on sale 17.05.18

Trail magazine - June 2018 issue

On sale 17th May to 13th June


Lake District Special

  • Lakeland's animal peakst
  • Ghosts of Souther Fell
  • Blencathra and Scafell routes
  • 6 more challenge ideas!


  • Stac Pollaid - Exploring Scotland's mega mini mountain
  • Snowdon YHA - Tales from Wales' highest hostel
  • News, how-tos, reviews and routes

All of this and more can be found in the new June issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 17th May.


The new Lakeland three peaks

Want a challenge? Like mountains? In the Lake District? Stop everything: Trail's just found your next Big Day Out...

If you love the landscape around Keswick there is really little better worth doing for nine hours

Stalking the hills

Exploring unknown places, finding new routes and scoring points... Trail has a new favourite game. We're going on an animal fell hunt.

We weren’t hunting animals, but their namesake fells - found all over the Lake District


The ghosts of souther fell

When darkness falls on midsummer's eve, legend and locals say that strange goings-on occur on this north Lakeland fell. It was as good an excuse as any for a wild night on the hill...

The sound of a legion of footsteps seemed a distinct possibility in my half-consciousness...

“Not just a job but a way of life”

Working at the hostel below the busiest mountain in the UK has its challenges, but Steve Webb greets 35,000 guests a year with a smile on his face.

So far, no Pen-y-Pass Hostel guest has become a mountain rescue fatality statistic.


Small Mountain, Big Character

Stac Pollaidh is little by mountain standards. And yet it receives the kind of attention that peaks around twice its size can only dream of...

Bad step, mauvais pas, the crux - call it what you will, but if you want to reach Stac Pollaidh’s summit, you have to get past it


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the June issue of Trail magazine
on sale 17.05.18

Trail magazine - May 2018 issue

On sale 19th April to 16th May


Views to thrill!


  • WAINWRIGHT'S FINAL FELL - why this Lakeland tarn is perfect for a wild night out
  • GLYDERS IN THE MIST - Testing skills in Wales' most atmospheric hills
  • WONDER IN A WARZONE - why the Congo's highest peak is back on the map

Trail's Gear Guide 2018!

Get 100 pages of the year's hottest outdoor kit included FREE with this issue!

All of this and more can be found in the new May issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 19th April.


Britain's best views

For walkers' eyes only: the 23 best views in Britain (and how to get there).

For most locations the notion of wildness is a fairly abstract concept... You really need to work hard and enter a lonely, high-walled corrie deep within high mountains.

Sleeping With Ghosts

It’s the final resting place of Lakeland’s most famous character. But with so many picturesque fells to choose from, why did Alfred Wainwright settle on Haystacks? Trail beds down to find out... 

Half a kilometre south-east and 80 metres lower than the summit is Innominate Tarn.


Castles in the clouds

Castell y Gwynt refusing to submit to the gloom. Given the right mountains, a day in the gloom needn’t be a day wasted. Trail heads for the Glyders...

The dark spires of rock seemed bigger, more menacing. I half expected a crack of lightning to hit the top.

“Eat, sleep and dream mountains”

Driven by dedication and commitment, and perhaps just a touch of obsession, there’s always a way to find your way back to the mountains...

300 days a year in the mountains were no longer sustainable.


Mountains of the Moon

It’s the stuff of adventurers’ dreams... and nightmares. Join us on a
journey into the Congolese jungle, and the summit of Mount Stanley.

Surrounded by darkness and mystery, there has been hidden to this day a giant among mountains.


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the May issue of Trail magazine
on sale 19.04.18

Trail magazine - Spring 2018 issue

On sale 22nd March to 21st April


Scotland's Greatest Days!

  • Ben Nevis
  • Liathach
  • Ullapool


  • Hunting Wales's highest lake
  • A night in England's highest hostel
  • The highest cliff on earth
  • Know-how, gear and routes

All of this and more can be found in the new Spring issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 22nd March.


Hard rock hallelujah

Liathach is, quite simply, one of Scotland's greatest and biggest hill days. A word or two of warning, though – don't confuse 'great' with 'easy'...

The mountain’s terraces give it a constructed appearance, and it’s fortress-like...

From here to the sea

How a small diversion to the highest lake in Wales became a big discovery...

A huge black wheel lay in its own perfectly circular pool


The biggest drop in the world

Mount Thor's west face is the biggest cliff on earth. It's located in one of the wildest parts of Canada, and takes five days to reach on foot. Here's why it's worth it.

Rescues can depend on the weather and, at worst, it can take a week to get help

The house at the back o' beyond

Over 5km from the nearest road and 470m up the mountain whose name it takes, is a night at Skiddaw House as isolating as its 'loneliest' epithet suggests?

It’s difficult to think of another hostel whose access is quite so challenging


"All I knew was that I was hooked"

Tea-girl turned Coniston Mountain Rescue team member Janice Hamilton reflects on a life-changing 10 years.

‘I’m always thinking...if we have a call-out, how can I get home quickly?’


Know-how, gear, and routes

All this and more in the Spring issue of Trail magazine
on sale 22.03.18

Trail magazine - April 2018 issue

On sale 22nd February to 21st March


Helvellyn - discover the mountain that won the nation's vote!

  • The best way up
  • The kit you need
  • Could you do Striding Edge?
  • Behind the scenes with Julia Bradbury


  • The Cuillin Ridge for walkers
  • Snowdonia's Underdog
  • The world's biggest view
  • Hunting the Helm wind

All of this and more can be found in the new April issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 22nd February.


Helvellyn - celebration of a Lakeland Legend

Following the biggest walking poll ever conducted, an ITV show recently named Helvellyn not only as Britain's favourite mountain walk, but its favourite walk of all. Trail takes a look at the best bits of England's third-highest mountain and asks - what makes it the nation's favourite fell?

Swirral Edge pleasantly surprises people with how divertingly gnarly it is

Into the limelight

Firmly in the shadow of other celebrity Snowdonian peaks, the gaze of the masses is blinded to Moel Siabod, but occasionally it's the little stars that shine the brightest.

Shadowy cliffs, the haunts of ravens and not a lot else...


The Cuillin Ridge for Walkers

Think the most fearsome mountains in the land are just for steely-nerved climbers? You're only half right. This is the other half...

Straight away, we have to bend double to climb and soon enough are also breathless with exertion

Blown away

A wind reputed to be so powerful it can strip trees, rip off rooftops and topple horses - no wonder it's the only wind in the UK to be named. Trail heads up Cross Fell in Cumbria to take on the Helm

Who did we think we were anyway, taking on the mighty Helm wind?


The greatest view on the planet

The Faroe islands are not only home to some incredible walks, they also hold a special world record too. Trail climbs The Faroe's tallest peak in search of a once-in-a-lifetime view...

The high vantage point gives another view of the turquoise waters, those crashing waves so still from 880 metres above


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the April issue of Trail magazine
on sale 22.02.18

Trail magazine - March 2018 issue

On sale 25th January to 21st February


New year, big dreams, more mountains!

  • 31 must-have experiences for your ultimate 2018
  • Scafell - England's highest scramble... in winter.
  • Camping in winter - Totally bonkers or seriously worth it?
  • John Muir Trust - Getting to the heart of the trust on Helvellyn.
  • Gear on test - hi-spec rucksacks and cosy fleeces.
  • Winter routes - 12 ready to go hill walks

All of this and more can be found in the new March issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 25th January.


The other side of summer

An easy scramble becomes a tantalising expedition in winter. This is Lord's Rake under ice.

The harder and more wintry it becomes, the more enchanting it all is.

Dream it? Do it!

Whether you're a newcomer looking for a fasttrack to a hill walking life list worthy of teh best or simply want a cool 'List of Things to Do in 2018', here's a ready-made hillwalking CV just waiting for your boots!

31 things that will make this your most epic outdoor year yet.


Winter wild camping... how hard can it be?

For the uninitiated, the idea of lugging a tent up a snow-covered mountain in search of somewhere to sleep raises a lot of questions. We'll do our best to answer them here...

The fact remains that winter wild camping doesn’t have to equate to unbearable icy torment.

Extreme attraction

The most northerly point of Scotland is not John o'Groats. Trail goes to the very top of Britain and asks, "When it comes to cardinal extremes, where's the point...?"

It’s said that during storms the windows of the lighthouse have been blown out by stones thrown up from the cliffs.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the March issue of Trail magazine
on sale 25.01.18

Trail magazine - February 2018 issue

On sale 28th December to 24th January


Winter Rocks!

Stunning days out to spice up the coldest month

  • The Peak District - think this place lacks summits? Think again...
  • Mountain Photo of the Year revealed
  • The Massacre Cave - Trail unearths history on the the tiny Scottish island of Eigg.
  • Aurora-hunting in the UK.
  • Master ice axe and crampon skills
  • Andy Kirkpatrick's Psycho Vertical film reviewed.

All of this and more can be found in the new February issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 28th December.


Peaky Blinders

Full-on hill walking without venturing into a high, white wilderness? Here's how to pack six of the Peak's sharpest summits into one epic weekend.

Limestone reefs of Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, both jutting up like clam shell halves

The bones of Massacre Cave

In October 2016, Trail discovered human remains on the Isle of Eigg. Now, after a year of archaeological investigation, they've been revealed to be those of a 500-year-old teenager. It's the island's darkest chapter.

Protruding from the dark earth was a row of curved rods, the same tainted colour as the initial discovery. “These are ribs.”


The hills saved my life

Making a living from a passion is a dream for most of us, bur for photographer Nick Livesey, the highest places of Wales became his saviour as well as his way of life.

I immediately knew that I had found my escape - not from reality, but to it.

Lunar Tick

What do you get if you combine England's highest mountain with fresh snow and a full moon? A classic in the making.

Headtorch off, detail began to emerge, starting with a brightening in the U-shaped bite of Mickledore.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the February issue of Trail magazine
on sale 28.12.17

Trail magazine - January 2018 issue

On sale 30th November to 27th December


Big walks - the easy way

  • Get the best of the Pennine Way in a long weekend - plus three more epic journeys made super-achievable.
  • Cairngorms for short days - a bothy night, a clutch of summits, and back for tea.
  • Your body vs the hills - What goes into getting you high on Wasdale's steepest climb.
  • What makes good kit? Out with an expert to break down what your money buys.
  • Winter gear special! Headtorches, winter boots and axes face Trail's test.

All of this and more can be found in the new January issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 30th November.


Pennine Way Perfection

Short on time? Just do the best bits of the UK's oldest long-distance path with Trail's take on an ultimate weekend on the 'Way.

The train was the perfect ticket to Pennine highlights.

A Man vs mountain

What happens to your body when you trek up a mountain? Sporting an array of gizmos and gadgets, human guinea pig Jack Hart sets off to the Lake District to find out.

It had the exact conditions we needed to test the effect of mountain on this particular man: a bloody steep climb.


Land of little wonders

There are rock-star hills we all know. There are cult classics that are appreciated but less visited. Then there are the rest: the never'eardof'ems. But just because they're low on fame doesn't make them short on charm...

To the south, the imposing brawn of the Cairngorms glowered. To the north, a haze-diffused wilderness brooded.

What Makes Good Kit?

Good gear keeps you alive, but how is it made and how can you make the best of it? Trail finds out...

If you know how to dress appropriately for the UK hills, then you’re fairly well sorted for worldwide walking.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the January issue of Trail magazine
on sale 30.11.17

Trail magazine - December 2017 issue

On sale 2nd to 29th November


On Foot in the Lake District

Where has the year gone? It's flying by! But despite the month written on the front of the latest issue of Trail, we've actually got a bit of 2017 left.

So, in the December issue you'll find Trail eeking the last drops of Autumn out of the year by dossing down in an iconic Lake District hostel in a wild valley, applying mindfulness to a day on the hills, breakfasting on a pointy Welsh peak and, umm, sleeping under a rock.

Plus there's a 24 page autumnal gear guide, the usual news, reviews and know-how, and 12 routes to walk this month. All of this and more can be found in the new December issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 2nd November.



Walls and a roof. That's all a building is. But where Black Sail hut's walls and roof reside make this particular building so much more. COme sit by the fire and find out why...

This is a landmark fell for most. For Black Sail, it’s just a neighbour.

Castles in the sky

Invisible on the map, unexpected on the ground - and the perfect foil for a dodgy weather day in the Peak District.

Atmospheric, scrambly, crumbly, intrepid - Alport Castles offers the hillwalker a little slice of the big country...


From under a rock

With tents offering reliable wilderness accommodation, why would anyone sleep under a rock? Maybe, just maybe, it's the morning that makes the night worthwhile...

Aching bones and sore muscles have been replenished by something far greater than sleep. The mountains are calling.

The Power of Nature

Could mindfulness really be the key to happiness and saving the planet? Trail investigates.

Our innate bond with nature is being forgotten and we are losing our ability to experience life with our senses rather than our minds.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the December issue of Trail magazine
on sale 02.11.17

Trail magazine - November 2017 issue

On sale 7th September to 4th October


Awesome Autumn

Autumn is here. The days are getting shorter, the hours of darkness more numerous. It's probably time we started slowing down and spending more time indoors...

No chance.

In the November issue you'll find Trail taking Himalayan mountaineer Alan Hinkes on his first ever trip up Suilven, exploring the secret life of a Lakeland Cave, rediscovering Wales' forgotten mountain and pointing beginner bothyers in the right direction. Plus there's ice climbing, navigation of Special Forces standard, scrambling grades explained, waterproof jackets reviewed and no fewer than 13 walks to do this month in the form of our detailed route guides. And breathe...

All of this and more can be found in the new November issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 5th October.


Legend of the north

Suilven is a magnetic mountain, drawing attention and devotion from all mountaineers. But one had yet to fall under its influence. Trail took him north to discover the attraction...

Clouds billowed up from its belly and poured over the rock, cascading earthward before catching the breeze and spiralling skywards once more.

Beyond the boundaries

Wales is covered with wild land, but not all of it is protected by National Parks. What does that mean for these hills? We went to one of the highest to find out...

This entire mountain range isn’t corralled by a national park. If it were, it would surely receive far more love than it currently does.


Langstrath cave

High in the Lakeland fells, hidden far from the eyes of mere Wainwright baggers, is a 'secret' cave. So secret I've known about it for at least 15 years. So secret most people with a few years' hillwalking experience know about it. So secret it has a visitors' book, a stove, and a legendary hidden door. For this is no secret. This is the Langstrath cave.

The steel door was rumoured to have been faced with rock.

Ice cool skills

Escaping a wet weather day on the West Highland Way. Honing skills for coming winter. Ticking off an ambition. Just three reasons to give ice climbing a go...

Some 500 tonnes of frozen water coats the walls reaching 12 metres.


Special Forces Navigation

Discover how you can use techniques used by Special Forces to enhance your safety on the hill and be aware of sensory experiences you might have otherwise missed.

I’m weaving about the patrol taking photos when the navigator drops to the floor - shot and killed.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the October issue of Trail magazine
on sale 05.10.17

Trail magazine - October 2017 issue

On sale 7th September to 4th October


Snowdonia's Ultimate Route

Tryfan, Bristly Ridge and The Glyders

North Wales is stuffed full of incredible routes taking in magnificent mountains, so trying to establish which is the best is no mean feat. But we think we've done it, and we're pretty sure you'll approve. Plus, we've got wicked wild camping amongst Skye's Quiraing, a love letter to the Arrochar Alps, a crash course in navigation in the Lake District, plus an in-depth look at the rights and wrongs of wild camping including the legalities and loopholes. And of course there's the usual hefty dose of skills and tips, gear reviews and epic routes.

All of this and more can be found in the new October issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 7th September.


Chain of Gold

Routes whose every detail seems sculpted specifically for the adventurous mountain walker don't come along all that often. But when they do, they come in threes...

“The rock of Bristly Ridge is frilled like some mythological horse's mane - horned, twisted and curly - the sort of strange, physics-defying form that looks like it might blow given a stiff breeze.”

Accessible Alps

Right by Loch Lomond and moments from the road stand a cluster of knobbly peaks. You could spend several days and nights lost here. Or you could walk the best in one epic trip...

“Topping out means threading the infamous needle - too vertigo-inducing for my liking.”


The night between

Some places are known as 'thin'. Not quite of this world, not quite of the next. What's it like to sleep there? In the Quiraing, we found out...

“A gentle ruffle across the loch, a pale kind of darkness, and vibrant silence.”

Foundations of Navigation

A good grasp of route-finding fundamentals is the basis for confidence in the hills. We head out with an expert to brush up on these vital skills...

“You don't know what you don't know, right? And when it comes to navigation we're talking potential catastrophe avoiding skills.”


Wild camping is a pleasure for many. But should it be a guilty pleasure? What exactly does the law say about where and when you can pitch your tent? And is it time those regulations were changed? With input from those who set the rules and those who would challenge them, Trail examines the rights and wrongs of...

Loitering within tent

“Sadly for those who would us the privilege responsibly, the behaviour of a minority of disrespectful campers led to an unfortunate outcome.”


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the October issue of Trail magazine
on sale 07.09.17

Trail magazine - September 2017 issue

On sale 10th August to 6th September

16 Instant Escapes

Mountain adventures ready-made for right now... just add YOU!

  • A great ridge, amazing view... and solitude guranteed on Lakeland's lost Pike
  • A night on Snowdon's wild side
  • Snowpatch hunting in the Highlands
  • Mountain photo tips to shoot like a pro
  • Rucksacks and soft shells reviewed
  • Hill-prep your mobile
  • Yor bivvying kit-list

All of this and more can be found in the new September issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 10th August.

Better together

Take a wander around the head of Buttermere to discover two fells that, while splendid in their own right, are scintillating as a pair.

The one-storey hut is nearly invisible from above, blending seamlessly into the crags and spoil around it.

16 Instant adventures

September is the golden month. There are 30 days of this brilliance, so make them count! Need inspiration? Here's 8 pages packed with ideas...

With the sun lower in the sky, the light has a kind of clarity, depth and warmth - like a filter has been laid over the landscape.

An unexpected find

A substandard campsite beneath a lowly hill? In Snowdonia, this sublime wild camp equalled more than the sum of its parts.

Two summer-fat ponies ambled to the shore, nibbling at the grass.

Life at boot level

Montane flora is the galaxy of life that changes with every metre of height - and appreciating it can bring rich rewards to a day on the hill.

With mountain plants it’s about their tenacity... their enduring of the elements.

The last of the summer snow

You'll find them in unusual places, hidden away and hard to reach. Getting there has a satisfaction matched only by the wonder of what you'll find - a small patch of winter in the height of summer.

The particular drift that forms in Garbh Choire Mor has been known about for centuries and holds the title for Scotland’s Longest Lasting Snow.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the September issue of Trail magazine
on sale 10.08.17

Trail magazine - August 2017 issue

On sale 13th July to 9th August

Scotland's Secret Highs.

There's a mountain goldmine that even regular visitors north of the border may not be aware of - and it's a stunner. In the new issue of Trail magazine, we give it some of the attention it deserves, but come away deciding it requires much more. Plus, there's a quiet summit in Lakeland that's just big enough to sleep on (making it a great place to do so) and a scramble that provides valuable life lessons to both young and old. Our new columnists Mary-Ann Ochota and Alastair Humphreys are settling in well, TV adventurer Steve Backshall continues to give us the benefit of his experience when it comes to kit, and the Trail UK Mountain Photo of the Year 2017 competition is launched! All of this and more can be found in the new August issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 13th July.

Inside this issue...

Scotland's Sanctuary

A remote peninsula with an island feel and thrilling hills, along with the oldest rock and ancient woodland. Trust us, Applecross demands considerable time to appreciate it...

It’s rivers are fringed with native woodland, its highest points drop away in dark terraced cliffs.

Hidden Jewel of the Brecon Beacons

Nestled in the corner of Wale's most remote corner, Trail discovers the Brecon Beacons' very best view.

The Beacons Way takes in the seven-mile ridgeline that rewards you with a high-level linear escapade along the edge.

Sleeping at the sharp end

On top of a silent, shapely outlier of Helvellyn, there lies the perfect Lakeland wild camp. Don't believe us? Read on

It’s a pity this not-so-little fell isn’t more famous in its own right.

School of rock

Limits explored, expectations challenged and bonds strengthened - there's more to be learned on this ascent of Jack's Rake than simply a new way up a mountain.

The earth around it cracked and crumbled as the stone moved from side to side.

Mountain Photo of the Year 2017

Whether it's a quick snap on your phone or a carefully composed shot on your DSLR, if your photo captures the magic of hillwalking in the UK it could win Trail's 2017 Mountain Photo of the Year competition - and Fujifilm prizes worth over £3,000.

Bigger, better and more prizes than ever.


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the August issue of Trail magazine
on sale 13.07.17

Trail magazine - July 2017 issue

On sale 15th June to 12th July

Routes you don't know. Secrets you've missed.

Imagine you've been extolling the virtues of Snowdon for years, then somebody told you you may well have been missing the best bits. Like, half of Crib Goch, for instance. And a summit that's almost as high as the one everyone visits but minus the station, café, and 7,000 people. You'll find your eyes opened by the new issue, along with musings from our brand new columnists Mary-Ann Ochota and Alastair Humphreys, plus gear reviews from TV's Steve Backshall. All of these insights and intrigue can be found in the new (and visually refreshed) July issue of Trail magazine - on sale Thursday 15th June.

Inside this issue...

Secret Slopes of Snowdon

Mysterious paths and shunned summits: did you know such things existed at all anymore? Let alone on one of the busiest mountains in the world? Well, they do...

It’s often a shock when you realise how little you actually know about the slopes and mountains you love.

Genuine Giant

It may lack knife-edge excitement, but Skiddaw is a good, honest, hillwalker's fell with height, views, and one or two surprises up its big green sleeves.

It’s green and rounded, lacking the rock and ridge of its neighbour Blencathra. But is writing Skiddaw off as a bland alternative to Lakeland’s more charasmatic fells an error of judgement?

Camasunary Bothy

We spend the night at this legendary outpost at the feet of the Cuillin Ridge. No fireplace, no phone signal, no worries.

There is acres of space, no nooks and crannies for mice and monsters to hide.

The Rock Beneath your feet

The secrets of 450 million years of our planet's astonishing history are best revealed in the mountains, and it's right there for you to see, with a bit of insider knowledge where - and how - to look that is...

Mountains are often associated with stability, but actually they represent constant change.

No other option

Two broken legs, a storm, no food and no way off the mountain but to crawl. So began mountaineering's most gruelling survival story. 40 years on, Doug Scott and Chris Bonnington remember the Ogre.

Looking down, I remember thinking ‘This is going to be interesting, getting down from here...’


Skills, gear, and routes

All this and more in the July issue of Trail magazine
on sale 15.06.17