When we launched #UKexplore on April 7, Karen and I had no idea how popular it would become and also how much we'd enjoy flicking through all of the photographs on Instagram and joining in (virtually) with your adventures. With over one thousand photographs submitted in less than two months, we can't thank you enough for sharing our enthusiasm for exploring the outdoors.
For those of you who are not sure what I'm talking (or writing) about, #UKexplore is our new Instagram community that we'd like to invite you to join in with and share your favourite places in the UK and your outdoor adventures. It could be the most marvellous of meadows, the perfect place for a picnic, the loveliest lake for skimming stones, or rambling routes for running along. Wherever and whenever you're out exploring, simply take a snap and upload it to Instagram so we can all share in your adventures and explore the UK with you. All we ask is that you use the #UKexplore hashtag so we can find you.
Every month, both Karen and I will feature our favourite images on our blogs and we'll also select one winner each to receive a National Trust Family Admission Day Pass. Nice, right? #UKexplore will run from the 1st to the last day of the month and anyone can join in and be in with a chance to win.
At the beginning of May, Karen and I got three of our five mini UK explorers together for a trip to Loggerheads Country Park in North Wales. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it's a place I know well having once waded in to the River Alyn running through it as part of my geography fieldwork oh so long ago ... really, really oh so long ago.
Looking at these photos, I can't believe we were in coats and hats a mere four weeks ago when the weather's so lovely and warm now. And for those of you sitting there sniggering, no we didn't converse in advance and colour-coordinate our children, they matched purely by chance. They look good though, don't they? We couldn't have planned it any better.
But back to your adventures. There were so many amazing photos tagged with #UKexplore in May. I've spent hours pouring over them and it has been so hard to select a single winner.
Here are a few of my favourites:
But my winner this month, and the person who will receive a National Trust Family Admission Day Pass is @verymuchsoblog. At first glance, I almost didn't spot Amy's little girl, Lyra (one of my most favourite names), standing against the tree at Dyrham Park in South Gloucestershire. It's such a wonderful perspective.
If joining in with #UKexplore and getting the chance to win a National Trust Day Pass every month wasn't enough, we have some even more exciting news for June!
We’ve teamed up with the National Trust’s official outdoor retail partner Cotswold Outdoor and this month, a third overall winner (chosen by both Karen and I) will not only win a National Trust Family Day Pass but will also win a huge bundle containing all the gear needed for the perfect family camping trip, worth over £1,000!! Including a comfortable 4-person tent and even a coffee press for that vital morning brew, this essential kit will give you the perfect excuse to get back to nature.
Camping is more popular than ever, with increasing numbers of people choosing to holiday in the UK rather than heading abroad. For families with a love of the great outdoors and a sense of adventure, it's the perfect way to enjoy a low-cost break in some of the country’s most stunning locations. With a bit of planning and the right equipment you can make sure that your trip goes smoothly, leaving you free to explore your surroundings, spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoy sleeping under the stars.
What's more, you can Instagram you photos and tag them #UKexplore!
So what's included in the kit you can win?
2 x Adult sleeping bags. Robens Caucasus 600, £160
2 x Child sleeping bags. Easy Camp Comic Pixel, £25
4 x Inflatable roll mats. Vango Trek Compact, £22
1 x 4-person tent. Vango Beta 450XL, £139
1 x Large backpack. Lowe Alpine 65:85 (black), £190
1 x Medium backpack. Osprey Escapist 25 (black), £80
1 x First Aid Kit. Lifesystems Camping, £24.99
1 x Coffee Press. GSI Outdoors Javapress, £25.50
1 x Thermos. Lifesystems TiV Vacuum Flask (300ml), £13
2 x Water bottle. Nalgene Tritan Narrow Mouth (1L), £11
1 x GPS. Garmin eTrex Touch 25, £220
1 x Outdoor charger. Power Traveller Powermonkey Discovery, £40
2 x Headtorch. Petzl Tikkina (blue), £20
2 x Stormproof phone case. Aquapac (fits iPhone 1-6), £16
We're really looking forward to seeing all of your photos in June and a huge thanks to the National Trust for providing the day passes and Cotswold Outdoor for their amazing prize.
Now, why not head over to Mini Travellers to see who Karen has chosen as her May winner?!
Terms & Conditions
1. Please only submit (on Instagram) your own photos.
2. Add the #UKexplore hashtag.
3. The challenge runs from 00.00 on the first of the month to 23.59 on the last day of the month.
4. Only photographs uploaded during those times are eligible for that month's competition.
5. Winners will be announced on Mini Travellers and The Ordinary Lovely on the second day of the following month and will be notified on Instagram.
6. Winners have 28 days to provide their address in order to receive their National Trust Family Admission Day Pass (exclusions apply and can be made available upon request). The pass can be used by up to 1 adult and 3 children, or up to 2 adults and 2 children for one day only. There is no cash alternative.
7. Including the #UKexplore hashtag indicates approval for the images to be posted on Mini Travellers and The Ordinary Lovely, and the corresponding social media channels.
8. The judges' decision is final.