Welcome to Whats Not To Hike
Hello, my name is Lizzy, and I founded ‘Whats Not To Hike’ to share my passion for the great outdoors. I lead most activities myself, but I have a small, dedicated, friendly and equally experienced team that I can fully rely on to deliver a personal touch and ensure you enjoy your day. We all bring something different to support your training and our broad experiences allow a variety of activities to be delivered under high quality, professional instruction and/or guiding. Most importantly though, our team will ensure we maximise your fun and enjoyment in a safe and rewarding way.
We can all gain so much from being outdoors – whether that’s new experiences, learning, making new friends, challenging yourself, or just enjoying the fresh air and the beauty that nature brings with it. I am a big believer that the journey, rather than the destination, is the most important thing and what brings us memories and happiness – although saying that I also like the sense of achievement that comes with reaching a summit or the top of a climb!
We offer numerous activities and guided adventures – whether you already love the great outdoors or are discovering it for the first time. We specialise in outdoor adventure experiences such as navigational skills, hill and mountain skills, lowland and mountain guided walks, Nordic Walking and rock climbing. With all our activities we aim to provide you with a rewarding, memorable and safe experience. I also have a blog that includes articles on hiking, climbing, travelling, nature and many other things. At ‘Whats Not To Hike’ I hope to inspire and help you to explore, learn about and love the great outdoors, after all, ‘Whats Not To Hike’!
The Great Outdoors – Whats Not To Hike – It’s Our Passion And We Hope It Becomes Yours Too.
I’m the founder and owner of Whats Not To Hike and I love exploring the beauty and freedom that countryside, hills, mountains, rock faces and rivers have to offer.
I grew up in the Lincolnshire Wolds, exploring a fantastic quintessential English farming countryside that not many people are aware of, and hence it’s a lovely quiet county to explore. Ever since I was little you would find me outside – whether that was exploring new countries with my parents or simply out walking and horse riding.
Nowadays, you will find me walking, scrambling, climbing or travelling and if not doing one of those, then you will probably find me horse riding, paddling or sailing. I now live in Hampshire, UK, which is full of beautiful countryside, from the New Forest to the South Downs, but day trips to the Cotswolds and Chilterns are also common! Despite having all this on my doorstep, I frequently travel to Wales to explore both the Brecon Beacons and one of my favourite places of all, Snowdonia. There will always be something magical about the mountains of Snowdonia to me. If I am not enjoying the UK’s great outdoors, then I am planning my next trip further afield.
My desire to explore has taken me travelling and working around the world. I have helped to lead expeditions not only all over the UK but also in Arctic Greenland and Nepal, and have personally trekked and climbed in Morocco, Norway, Iceland, the Azores, Canada, America, Spain and Italy to name just a few, and travelled to many countries including Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and Namibia.
I am a qualified teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience, which has given me a fantastic basis to develop my coaching and instruction in the outdoors. I have my Summer Mountain Leader Qualification and belong to The Mountain Training Association (MTA) and the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). I am an NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) course provider and a British Nordic Walking Instructor. I hold a REC Level 4 (expedition and wilderness) first aid certificate and a Mental Health First Aid Level 2. I am a Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trainer, Supervisor and Assessor and have an enhanced DBS Certificate. I also hold numerous canoeing and kayaking qualifications. All of these qualifications allow me to challenge myself, but more importantly to learn more about my passions and then to share this knowledge.
I really hope I can inspire and help you to explore, learn about and love the great outdoors as much as I do!
Outdoor activities have been a huge part of Andy’s life for over 20 years, and he loves sharing these amazing experiences with others.
After growing up hill walking, rock climbing, sailing and canoeing in the Lake District, he’s continued to adventure all around the world. Highlights include climbing above 6000m in the Himalayas, completing and naming previously unclimbed routes in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, sea kayaking the length of the longest sea fjord system in the world and making Alpine first ascents in North East Greenland. The British mountains will always hold a special place though, particularly Scotland’s mountains in winter.
Highly qualified, Andy holds the Summer Mountain Leader, Winter Mountain Leader, Rock Climbing Instructor and a number of canoeing, kayaking and sailing instructor awards, and is in the process of completing his Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor Award – the highest rock-climbing instructional award in the UK.
When not outside, Andy also works as an Anaesthetist and Intensive Care Doctor at University Hospital of Southampton where he’s also working towards a PhD in oxygen therapy. He is an investigator with the Xtreme Everest research group and has published many academic research articles and textbook chapters on high altitude medicine, space physiology and perioperative medicine. He also teaches on the University of Central Lancashire’s Post Graduate Diploma in Mountain Medicine and Imperial University’s Remote Medicine BSc Degree programme.
Whilst Mike fell in love with the mountains following his time at university, his career as an actuary took him to the city. After spending 12 years using all his free time to escape to the mountains, he decided it was time to change his career to work in the outdoors so he can share his passion with others.
Mike loves anything that involves being in the mountains, from hiking and trail running to climbing and skiing. In 2018 he planned and completed a continuous 550 mile walk across all 190 mountains of Wales, returning the following year to complete the Dragon’s Back Race, notorious as one of the world’s toughest mountain races. Mike also regularly participates in orienteering competitions including the OMM and Marmot Dark Mountains. Internationally he has competed in the Limone Extreme Skyrace and is always looking for his next challenge. He has extensive mountaineering and climbing experience both in the UK and abroad. Highlights include organising an expedition to Elbrus in Russia (Europe’s highest mountain) and numerous 4000m peak ascents in the Alps.
When not travelling abroad Mike enjoys mountaineering in Snowdonia and Scotland. In the winter he can often be found ski mountaineering in the Austrian Alps, ice climbing in Italy or enjoying some classic Scottish Winter mountaineering (when conditions allow!).
Mike is a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, NNAS Tutor, British Nordic Walking Instructor and holds a Wilderness First Aid qualification. He is currently working towards his Winter Mountain Leader and International Mountain Leader qualifications.