After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Sheffield, I began my career as a journalist on regional newspapers in 1990. I then had a brief stint as a bored but well-paid editor of a business-to-business magazine before going back to newspapers in 1994 – as a sub-editor, mostly on busy evening titles.
With a growing interest in travel and the outdoors, I finally ripped off the chains attaching me to my desk in 2001 and spent a year getting to know Asia. On my return, I decided to focus my energy on the activities I love the most – hill-walking, writing, travelling and photography – so I became a freelance.
I now write and provide photography for a number of magazines, including TGO (The Great Outdoors), Lakeland Walker, Cumbria Life, Cumbria and Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly, and have walking/outdoor columns in several newspapers in the north of England. My work has also appeared in Countryfile, Walk (the magazine of The Ramblers), Country Walking, Camping, Balance (Diabetes UK's regular magazine) and Northern (the customer magazine for Northern Rail). Keen fell-walkers may already be familiar with the popular walking guidebooks that I have written for the Lake District and Cumbria, and I have also written or contributed to several travel guides.
Although I am passionate about Cumbria and the north of England, I do leave my adopted home from time to time. India and Canada, in particular, keep calling me back. My travel features – on subjects as diverse as sea-kayaking off Vancouver Island, trekking in Romania and bus travel through China – have appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Scanorama (SAS's inflight magazine), The Scotsman, the News & Star and other publications. I was also editor/compiler of TripAdvisor's Summer Travel Guides for the Amalfi Coast, Cote D'Azur, London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris.
I also work for conservation and tourism bodies, researching and writing walks leaflets, interpretation panels and apps. My clients in this area have included Scottish Natural Heritage, Nurture Lakeland, North Pennines AONB, Eden Rivers Trust and East Cumbria Countryside Project.
2013: Winner of the 'Outdoor Book of the Year' award as voted for by readers of TGO magazine (Walks with History, published by Northern Eye Books)
2013: 'Best Guidebook' in the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild's Awards for Excellence (Walks to Waterfalls, published by Northern Eye Books)
2012: 'Best Outdoor Feature' in the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild's Awards for Excellence (First on the Scene, published in TGO magazine)
2012: Shortlisted for the Lakeland Book of the Year Award (Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley, published by Cicerone)
2010: 'Best Guidebook' in the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild's Awards for Excellence (The Lake District, published by Cadogan)
2010: 'Best Outdoor Feature' in the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild's Awards for Excellence (Special Report: Skiddaw House, published in Lakeland Walker)