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Staying motivated can be difficult when you're stuck at home, dreaming about the hills. To help combat the air of uncertainty and frustration, we've chosen our top ten adventure books so you can sit down, chill out, and let your mind roam the wild places of the world.

We've got anthologies, biographies, stories from yesteryear and those bang up to date. Some daring feats, wild travels and curious pondering from all parts of the globes. Have a gander and let us know your own favourites too.


A story of travel, history, science and reflection, The Magnetic North sees Sara Wheeler hitch a ride on a Russian icebreaker and herd reindeer over the tundra with the Lapps, among a host of other encounters across the frozen North. It's a varied tour of the Arctic Circle, meeting people who have been there for generations, those newly arrived, and seeing the effect of the modern world on this ancient land. Beautifully written and thought-provoking, it's an intelligent & inspiring tour of the top of the world.

"Her adventurous spirit, tireless intelligence, and joy shine through...a rare and precious talent" -- Roger Hutchinson, Scotsman

SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET | Heinrich Harrer

One of the greatest adventure stories of all time. Harrer was caught up in the beginning of World War II in British-controlled India before escaping over the Himalayas to Tibet. Here he spent time with the Dalai Lama in the last years before the Chinese invaded the country and changed Tibet forever. Harrer's writing is simple and straight-forward, but brilliantly evokes the incredible mountain landscapes, as well as documenting a place and time forever lost to the world. One of the best stories of the 20th century, this is a must read.

"Some books, like some mountains, are lonely and unrivalled peaks. This is one of them." -- The Economist

THE PUSH | Tommy Caldwell

In climbing circles, Tommy Caldwell is known for being one of the very best climbers in the world, but his story goes way beyond climbing. The Push explores a terrifying hostage situation in the depths of Kyrgyzstan, a mishap with a powertool which almost cost him his career, and going from climbing prodigy to the most accomplished climber in the world with his ascent of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite. This ins't just a story about climbing, it's a tale of a life well lived.

"The authenticity is compelling, the stories inspiring . . . impossible to put down." -- Sarah Ryan, Trail

DARE TO DO | Sarah Outen

For most people, planning to row solo across the Atlantic would be an expedition in itself. However, Sarah Outen planned to go a little further. To circumnavigate the world under her own steam, she would row across the Atlantic, and the Pacific, kayak between the treacherous Aleution Islands, and cycle through Europe, Asia & North America. This monumental challenge brought her many uplifting encounters with people across the globe, as well as some spectacular lows in an expedition that spanned years. Entertaining and inspiring, Outen takes the reader beside her on the journey to share in the toil, disappointments and elations, in one of the biggest expeditions in history.

"Sarah is an honest, open, courageous and inspiring person... and has a contagious love for life." -- Dame Ellen MacArthur


Unlike many of the author's here, Paul Theroux doesn't break records of endurance, but far from being easy, his journeys are full of difficulties and adventure. Dark Star Safari charts a journey from Cairo to Cape Town via any transport going. Theroux's inimitable style challenges the reader and allows the tale to linger long after the story's end with amusing anecdotes and interesting characters. From intriguing encounters on the Nile to balancing on top of a bus through darkest Africa, it's a story of travel, discovery and wonder.

"Always a terrific teller of tales and conjurer of exotic locales, he writes lean prose that lopes along at a compelling pace" -- Sunday Times


If you want to inspire your child (or yourself) to get out and explore, there are few better books than Fantastic Female Adventurers. This anthology spans expeditions across the world, and even follows Britain's first female astronaut into space. 14 accounts from different adventurers provide a wealth of wonder, exploration and inspiration. The stories contained within are wonderfully told, but more than that, they're an encouragement to anyone to put themselves to the test and make their dreams happen, whatever they are.

"...the stories are eternal, heartening and should be enjoyed by young and old" -- The Professional Mountaineer

THE GREAT EXPLORERS | Robin Hanbury-Tenison

A different anthology this time. The Great Explorers is a look back to the very first adventurers who pioneered exploration across the planet. From Captain Cook discovering new lands in the South Seas, to Jacques Coustea exploring under the waves, the first astronauts, polar explorers, mountaineers and more. The collection of lives and stories contained within offer a glimse to many periods of the world, and many places. It's an interesting read, great for boosting your pub quiz knowledge, and ideal for anyone who appreciates heading over the horizon.

"A genuine contribution to modern thinking about the nature of exploration ... nigh-on perfect" -- BookDealer

WHERE THERE'S A WILL | Emily Chappell

Ultra-distance cycling isn't for the faint of heart. On her first try in the newly formed 4,000km Trans-Continental Race, Emily Chappell ended up lying in a field and abandoning half way through. A year later, she not only made it to the end, but won. Where There's A Will is about cycling, but also about the doubts of an athlete and person, the dedication involved in pursuing such a tough goal, and keeping going with only your thoughts for company.

"Lyrical writing and compelling reading - a real treat." -- Isabel Best, author of Queens of Pain

MY LIFE AND TRAVELS | Wilfred Thesiger

We really struggled to pick just one Thesiger book. Having lived with the pastoral Samburu people in Kenya for 20 years, and in the marshes of Iraq, witnessed the crowning of Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, and traversed the Arabian Empty Quarter twice, his was a life less ordinary. Speaking of places and peoples long since vanished, it's a collection of stories from a forgotten time, written with real understanding as someone who didn't just visit, but lived as one with some of the most remote communities on earth.

"One of the very few people who in our time could be put on the pedestal of the great explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries." -- David Attenborough


After losing her husband to cancer, 57 year old Rosie Swale Pope made the momentous decision to go for a run. But not just any run. Over 5 years Rosie ran from Wales right around the world, pulling her worldly belongings behind her in a small wheeled cart, encountering bears, frostbite and sore feet. Her story is one of taking disaster and using it to fuel a new future. Whilst Pope's tale is full of fun and anecdotes, the deeper message is of hope and inspiration: anyone can do anything.

"Somewhere between Jilly Cooper and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Rosie Swale-Pope is an archetypal British survivor" -- Sunday Times

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