The United Kingdom and Ireland have not only a fine tradition of outdoor pursuits, but also a history of high quality, well written printed periodicals to support these. Some of these have become classic, much loved or, occasionally, much missed publications. In more recent years, there have also appeared a number of quite niche publications, some last, others do not.
It is evident that those most long lasted of magazines and journals has often been where a high standard of editorship has been maintained- the editor keeping an eye on the needs of the subscribers and how best to meet them with good authors and articles. Also where such a journal has a specialised and dedicated following whose needs are not being met elsewhere, or alternatively are more part of membership ‘package’.
The standard of photography too has risen to meet the requirements of a demanding readership. The last thirty years of the 21st century in particular saw the inclusion of some striking photography in many magazines. The photographers battling against the elements in desolate, high or isolated places to bring home amazing cover shots. This has more recently deteriorated into an almost generic form whereby an individual or couple, invariably smiling at each other, can be seen in the latest shiny gear on test, striding energetically across a landscape. Sadly this has also been at the expense of good art, now infrequently observed in many magazines and club journals. There are quite a few outstanding e-format ‘zines to be found online these days. No doubt these will continue to thrive. We are, today, probably witnessing the last dying cries of a printed medium, before almost everything is pushed into digital format. It will be a sad loss.
I have included below those printed magazines and journals of which I am aware. Do note that I have concentrated on UK and Irish magazines though many of these have featured overseas destinations and writers. There are no doubt many gaps and probably a handful of errors. Also, I am familiar with few of the older publications. Feel free to get in touch with any corrections or suggested additions.
Quarterly journal of the Backpackers Club, circulated to members Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
1940s-50s rival to Cycling. The two eventually merged
Bushcraft & Survival Skills
Six issues per year. Commenced 2006.
Purpleheart Wood ltd.
10 issues per year.
Published by Warners Group Publications Ltd.
Camping & Caravanning
Monthly magazine of the Camping and Caravanning Club
Canoe and Kayak UK
Monthly magazine focused on UK canoeing.
Warner publishing. Began March 2001, ran until 2014
Founded in 1953 as White Water Magazine. Became a solely digital format c2005
Published by S.T. & R.J. Fisher
Monthly magazine from Greenshires publishing
Climber 1962 – 1968, Climber and Hillwalker, Climber and Rambler 1969 – 1986 (incorporates Mountain Life), back as Climber from 1986
Climber [published by George Outram & Co. Ltd.
published by Holmes McDougall, Glasgow
First appeared 1979. Published six times a year.
“Britain’s National Orienteering Magazine”
13 issues per year.
Published by Immediate Media Co. Ltd., under licence from BBC Worldwide
Monthly magazine published by Bauer Consumer Media.
Launched in 1986
Quarterly magazine (book) first published Spring 1944
Later merged with Out of Doors
Cycle– CTC magazine
CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club) Members magazine, published six times a year
Since 2016, CTC called Cycling UK
Cycling, later Cycling Weekly
First published by Edmund Dangerfield Printing Company (January 1891–1894), then Temple Press (1895–1964), Go Magazine (1964–1967), Longacre Press (1967–1970), IPC Magazines (now IPC Media) from 1970.
From Jun 1957 until early 1960s, magazine title briefly changed to Cycling and Mopeds.
Published every Wednesday by George Newnes Ltd.
Published 13 times per year by Time Inc. Media.
First available September 2009. Relaunched October 2015. Last published September 2016. Magazine then incorporated with Cycle Sport into Cycling Weekly.
1969 – present
Bi-monthly magazine dedicated to underground exploration.
Originally published by Gloster Publications. Later, Wild Places Publishing
Monthly magazine. Current publisher is TI Media.
Published as a weekly magazine from 1853.
“the premier Field Sports and country magazine and champions rural pursuits, people and the environment”
The Great Outdoors
‘TGO’ magazine published every four weeks by Kelsey Media.
“written for Hillwalkers by Hillwalkers”
First published in 1978. It was the first commercially produced magazine devoted to walking.
Hiker & Camper
1930s magazine. First published February 1931. Dedicated to hikers, ramblers and campers
Followed on from Mountain magazine, last published February 2005
Monthly magazine of the British Mountaineering Council. Published by David Green Printers Ltd.
Bi-monthly magazine dedicated to walking in the Lake District
Published by Dalesman Publishing
Land and Water
Mountain, became High
Mountaineering, becomes Mountain Life (1972-1976), after four years becomes Climber and Rambler
Originally BMC until magazine incorporated with Climber and Rambler
On The Edge
‘OTE’, climbing magazine, ended December 2004
“remember you climb to do hard routes, not enjoy yourself”
Published by Greenshires Print Ltd.
Issues for February, March, April, May, June, July August, October, November, December
Out of Doors
Monthly magazine. Later incorporated Countrygoer.
Published by Open Air Publications Ltd.
The magazine of the Open Air
Outdoor Adventure Guide
First published in 1995 under the name Summer Alpine Guide. A thrice-yearly (April, June, August) magazine released by ski-ing magazine Fall-Line Ski-iing to suggest, mostly, summer outdoor activities for skiers
Primarily digital format magazine. Also available in print form. Four editions (seasonally) a year. First published September 2004.
“Outdoor Enthusiast is the UK’s only multi-activity outdoor magazine”
Followed by Foot by Foot walking guide launched April 2007. Re-branded as Top Trails Guide in 2012
Published by Target Publishing Ltd.
Monthly magazine from Kelsey Publishing-
Dedicated to fitness and training advice for readers undertaking outdoor challenges.
Magazine of the Ramblers Association.
Magazine was called Ramblers’ News 1949-1960, Rucksack 1960-1986, Rucksack Rambler, thereafter Rambling today
Published by Raven Marketing Group
The Rucksack Club Journal
Published annually, also Meetstaff, quarterly
First published 1902
Rucksack Rambler, later Rambler
Magazine of the Ramblers Association. Published by David Green Printers Ltd.
Magazine was called Ramblers’ News 1949-1960, Rucksack 1960-1986, Rucksack Rambler, thereafter
From 1976- magazine of the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (later Hostelling Scotland)
Monthly magazine on metal detecting published by Warners Group Publications (formerly published by Token Publishing Ltd.)
“The informed voice of metal detecting”
Sheffield Clarion Ramblers’ Handbook
Published annually by the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers. 1900 to 1958
Measuring just 3″ x 5″, gave information on walking in the Peak District, alongside local culture, history and geology.
Mountain biking magazine published six times a year. First published 2001. Later available in a variety of digital formats.
Warners Group Publications.
Journal of the Long Distance Walkers Association
Quarterly journal of the BMC, dedicated to climbing/walking/mountaineering
Monthly magazine published by Bauer Consumer Media.
Sister title to Country Walking magazine.
Trek and Mountain
First published October 2009
Monthly magazine from Greenlight Publishing
“Britain’s best selling metal detecting magazine”
First UK magazine dedicated to metal detecting First published 1977.
UK Cache Mag
Magazine launched in 2012- Dedicated to Geocaching.
“highlights the people, culture and community of what has been claimed as the fastest growing outdoor pursuit worldwide”
Quarterly magazine of the Ramblers
Walking World Ireland
Published quarterly by Athletic Promotions Ltd.
Published bi-monthly by Wild Bunch Media.
First published 2013. Final issue March/April 2016
Also available- women’s cycling, women’s running, men’s running