10 Years of The Helpful Hiker

10 Years of The Helpful Hiker

This Bank Holiday weekend I have been looking back over ten years of The Helpful Hiker. I first started this blog back in 2013, after a couple of camping trips. Back then we went on lots of walks and Luke took lots of stunning photos, so I was simply looking for a way to keep track of where we’d been. The first incarnation of The Helpful Hiker was a basic blog on Tumblr (remember Tumblr?!)

It started out as a personal project, but I grew to love blogging almost as much as the outdoor adventures, so it took on a life of its own!

I used to post regularly and was active in the blogger community, but in recent years things have been a bit quieter on here. The pandemic obviously had a big impact (more on that later), but the reality of having two children and working is that I have very little time these days.

The Helpful Hiker is still here, and hopefully one day it will get back to its former glory. In the meantime, here’s a look back at a decade of adventure.


Back in 2013 me and Luke went on our first camping trip as a couple (we had met in May 2012) and I have to say that I wasn’t very excited by the prospect. We headed to the Peak District in a borrowed tent and had a lovely weekend. I was well and truly bitten by the camping bug!

Happily our set up (and photography) got better over the years!

We also enjoyed a trip to the Lake District, and to Great Langdale campsite, which has become a favourite. We had a few lovely walks in the area, and this inspired us to carry on with our outdoor adventures.

Keen to combine some of our favourite hobbies, we combined a camping trip to the Cotswolds with a tour of the Hook Norton Brewery later on in the year.

After a summer holiday in Crete (our last beach holiday) we had a final trip to Southwold, to enjoy some coastal walks and nice meals out.


2014 started as we meant to go on with lots of local walks and outings. We bravely headed out in March for our first camping trip of the year (I can still remember how cold it was!) and enjoyed our first visit to Cotswold Farm Park.

In May that year we enjoyed another trip to the Peak District (and a rather embarrassing trip up Kinder Scout – well we can’t be perfect all the time!) Unbeknown to me, I was pregnant during this trip so I’ll blame my lack of direction on that!

Summer 2014 we embarked on a big road trip and our longest walk to date. We headed to the Lake District for a long weekend, and then headed north to Scotland and the mighty Ben Nevis.

We stayed in the most beautiful campsite ever (despite the midges) and absolutely loved our first trip north of the border.

Luke and I also got engaged during this trip, when Luke popped the question when we reached the top of Ben Nevis.


2015 started with a bang as we became parents at the beginning of January. Despite repeatedly telling ourselves that nothing would change…..everything changed!

We still managed a couple of camping trips, taking Finn on his first trip to the Peak District aged 4 months, and a trip later in the summer to Stowford Village in North Devon.

Needless to say, he took to camping like a pro!

We ended the year with a blustery walk from Wetton to Thor’s Cave in the Peak District. The joys of maternity leave and having lots of time!


I went back to work full time in Jaunary so our time for adventures was somewhat curtailed, needless to say we tried to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

I found time to do my first ever gear review. It was the first time a brand had ever wanted to work with me, and I can still remember how excited (and cluesless!) I was. I was so happy to have a new pair of Grisport boots to try out.

There were lots of local walks, but we also managed to head further afield, enjoying trips to the Brecon Beacons and Norfolk.

2016 was also the year we got married, and enjoyed a lovely day with friends and family. We also squeezed in a mini honeymoon in the Peak District.

In the Autumn that year Luke and I headed back to the Lakes and enjoyed one of our best trips, with a challenging 10 mile hike up Helvellyn and a lovely hotel stay.


At the start of 2017 I could announce that I had been chosen to be a GetOutside Champion for Ordnance Survey. It was an honour to work with such a well known organisation and I was in distinguished company!

It was a fantastic year, I got to go to the launch, write articles for the Ordnance Survey website and meet up at events throughout the year. I still follow many of my fellow champions on social media and it’s great to see their many adventures.

2017 was busy! I think this was possibly when I hit peak blogger. For the first time I felt that I could call myself a ‘proper’ blogger, and was confident to put myself forward for opportunities that I wouldn’t have ordinarily considered.

We enjoyed our first camping trip to Hickling Campsite in Norfolk, which we have returned to a couple of times as we loved it so much. We also headed back to the Peak District, this time in the company of Millets and some other bloggers. We also headed down to Devon once again, this time staying at Andrewshayes Holiday Park in East Devon for a hosted stay. It was amazing to explore the Jurassic Coast.

Plus, I probably bit off more than I could chew when I walked the Northamptonshire Round (all 50 miles of it!) in 2 days in aid of the Lullaby Trust.

We also undertook an absolutely brilliant adventure as we travelled around Poland, 2 year old Finn in tow, to go to a family wedding. We took the opportunity to visit as much as we could in a few days and had a blast!

We crammed a lot in, 2017 was going to be a hard act to follow!


2018 was a hot summer. I remember this distinctly, because I was heavily pregnant (Ollie was born in August) and I can honestly say I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. There was no respite, I was hot at night, I was hot all day and by the end I could barely move. Needless to say, our adventures were much more sedate this year!

We still managed a camping trip to the New Forest, a day trip to Timber festival and a weekend in the Malverns, which happened the week after we moved house. I remember this bit of 2018 being slightly chaotic and busy!

Our first day out as a family of four, was a gifted trip to Paradise Wildlife Park, luckily Ollie was a very chilled baby (he’s making up for it now!) so slotted right into our routine.


2019 started strongly with a January trip to Center Parcs. We had a great time, it’s such a great place for families as everything you need is right there. It can get pricey so we were lucky to be able to go off peak before Finn started school in September.

We were lucky enough to get a gifted stay at Bluestone in Wales, which is one of the highlights of the recent few years. Again, going in term time made a massive difference and we all enjoyed it. We loved exploring the local area and taking advantage of the facilities on site.

Our first camping trip as a foursome, was a trip to the picturesque Catgill Campsite in Yorkshire. It’s right next to Bolton Abbey, which is well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.

Later in the summer, we made it to Timber again, this time for a whole weekend. We also headed back to our old favourite Great Langdale, for a wet few days camping. We still managed to have fun!


Well, what can I say about 2020. For obvious reasons, my posts are pretty sparse for this year. I’m not going to lie, it was a struggle to keep blogging when everything this blog stands for (i.e exploring outdoors) became illegal overnight. I felt that I couldn’t in any way be encouraging people to go outside, so I stopped blogging and, to be honest, I haven’t ever regained the enthusiasm I had before.

We still managed a couple of trips to campsites we had visited before: Hickling Campsite and Cotswold Farm Park. Both had changed since we had last visited and both were great trips away.


2021 was another quiet year as we all recovered and moved slowly forward. We found a lovely new campsite, where we stayed in the summer and combined with a trip to Alton Towers.

We made another trip to Hickling Campsite, this time visiting Bewilderwood while we were there, and enjoyed catching crabs in rockpools.

At the end of the year, we made the most of the October half term and did something we’d never done before: we went glamping! We stayed in a pod at Low Wray campsite in the Lake District. It was cold and wet, but we still loved the relative luxury and no wet tent to deal with!


Last year felt a little more normal, although still a little quiet on the adventure side. This round up is a good place to start.

We enjoyed an early (and cold!) camping trip to the Peak District, whilst it was nice have a quiet campsite and all the facilities to ourselves, it is easy to see why most people wait until the summer!

We had another trip to Timber, this time enjoying a lovely chilled weekend. I started a new job the week after so it was a nice chance to spend some time together. Since then I haven’t worked weekends, which after 16 years in retail is a still a novelty!

In the summer holidays we headed down to Paignton and spent a few days camping at Whitehill Holiday Park. As ever it is lovely to see the sea and spend time at the coast.

We also went to a few events of the Commonwealth Games, which was a great experience. We were lucky enough to see the basketball and rugby 7s. The atmosphere was great and Birmingham did a really good job.


So far, despite the challenges of the cost of living crisis and other factors, 2023 is looking good so far. I am still enjoying my new job, and it offers a great work life balance. As I speak we are packing ready for our first camping trip of the year, and have other things planned too.

Stay tuned for more updates!



  • Gem Gem May 29, at 15:12

    You will get your enthusiasm back!!! You’ve been on so many campin trips, great read!! Xx


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