9 Adventurous Women Who've Inspired Us In 2016

2016 has been a big year for our founder Adelaide and it has been these kickass adventurers and courageous explorers, that have inspired and motivated Adelaide to continue to push her comfort zone, stretch her limits and live life to the full. We hope they’ll do the same for you!


1. BELINDA KIRK

Lilly Wild Belinda Kirk

Belinda Kirk first introduced Adelaide, our founder, to what it means to adventure about 4 years ago. Since that trip to the Gower Peninsula, Adelaide has never looked back.

Belinda is on a quest to help others live more adventurously by starting an adventure revolution. She is a expert expeidtion leader, having spent 20 years leading group in the wilderness, including walking across Nicaragua, searching for camels in China’s Taklamakan desert, so-called Desert of Death, discovering rock paintings in Lesotho, managingremote trips for Bear Grylls and Ray Mears and was skipper of the first female crew to row non-stop around Britain, a challenging 2,101 mile, 51 day voyage!

Sir Richard Branson described the adventure as, “Quite the most remarkable achievement carried out by any women alive today. Absolutely magnificent both for mental and physical achievement bar none!”

In 2009 Belinda launched Explorers Connect, a social enterprise connecting people to adventures in the UK and overseas. It’s now a community of more than 25,000 from total beginners to experienced explorers who can go on small, accessible Explorers Connect adventures and link up with team-mates and adventure industry jobs. 

Belinda’s also launched Base Camp Festival, which is Britain’s most adventurous festival, where you can tray a range of adventure activities, listen to tales of adventure from explorers and party in the woods to live music and entertainment!

This year, Belinda also established Britain’s first national day of adventure, Wild Night Out, to help disadvantaged kids get outdoors.

In-between adventures and business, we managed to catch up with Belinda and you can read all about her journey, motivations, inspiration, ambitions and adventures here.

Connect with Belinda on her website or Facebook!

2. Anna McNuff

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We heard Anna McNuff at an Explorers Connect a couple of years ago and have been hooked by her infectious smile, boundless energy and marvellous humour. 

She’s on a mission to find the limit of my own potential and hoping to help you unlock yours too, by exploring the world through long human powered journeys.

Currently you can find Anna cycling across South America with her friend Faye! Her posts will bring you joy, laughter, inspiration and wanderlust!

Anna’s mega-adventures have seen her cycle 7 months ,11,000 miles and through every US state on a pink bike and last year, she amazed us by running the length of New Zealand, following all 1,911 miles of the Te Araroa trail!

However, she is also partial to mini-adventures, including running along Hadrian’s Wall dressed us a Roman, rollerblading 100 miles around Amsterdam, running the Jurassic Coast in a dinosaur onesie and midweek wild camp outs around London! Anna also walked out of her back gate with a bivvy bag and a backpack, with the aim of her European adventure being decided by her social media followers.

Through her adventures, Anna has raised awareness and more than £20,000 for the charities Right to Play and The Outward Bound Trust.

We hope this snippet of Anna has inspired you! Anna has certainly inspired our founder, Adelaide, as she has signed up for an iron man in October 2017 with an aim to raise money for a charity and hopes that she too can go on a mad human-powered adventure!

To hang with Anna visit her website and follow her on Facebook!

3. Megan Hine

Lilly Wild Megan Hine

Megan is a British adventurer, wilderness expedition leader and survival expert, as well as one of Bear Grylls’ two survival captains on ITV’s “Bear Grylls’ Mission Survive! Her lifelong thirst for travel and adventure has led her to amass a huge amount of expertise and experience in all aspects of the outdoors & remote wilderness environments. 

By pushing her mental and physical limits in extreme environments, Megan has explored remote jungles, arid deserts and high and cold mountains; taking private clients, celebrities and television crews to extreme and beautiful places that they didn’t even know existed!

Megan’s fascination with cultural diversity and local skills and traditions has led her on a journey of discovery, spending time working with local tribes’ people all over the world; from the San Bushman of the Kalahari to the Kelabit of Borneo and the Sami of Scandinavia.

When not adventuring overseas, you can find Megan playing the mountains of Chamonix, France!

iscover more about Megan on her Facebook and Twitter hangouts.

4 .Laura Kennington 

Lilly Wild Laura Kennington

Laura’s on a mission to encourage and inspire people to think a little bigger; a firm believer in living life to the full, in following your passion and in redefining your limits. Whatever your challenge, whatever your goal – wonderful things lie just outside of your comfort zone.

Very much living her mission, Laura has inspired and motciated us to push our comfort zone through her recent endurance escapades. 

This year Laura created her very own triathlon in the Channel Islands! This was Laura’s first ever triathlon and saw her swam around Sark island, kayak around Guernsey and cycled around Jersey! In November Laura unleashed the power of running in Nepal where she took part if Nepal\s international marathon with Impact Marathons!

Past awesome adventures have seen Laura kayak the length of the River Thames,  cycle 2600km though Ireland and bravely attempt to kayak the length of the Volga River in Russia until the trip had to be abandoned after 6 weeks for safety reasons.

Hang with Laura on Facebook and check out her website for amazing videos of her adventures! 

5. Sarah Outen

Photo credit: Jeames Sebright

Photo credit: Jeames Sebright

Adelaide recently had the pleasure and privilege of seeing Sarah talk at Base Camp Festival about her most recent extraordinarily epic adventure: London2London. 

Sarah had Adelaide and the audience in a state of jaw-dropping amazement throughout the talk. They walked out with their bellies aching from laughter and feeling truly inspired and motivated to ‘Dare To Do’.

In April 2011 Sarah set off from Tower Bridge on her global expedition London2London via the World! Completely human powered, Sarah rowed, cycled and kayaked her way around the northern hemisphere, a total of 25,000 miles! 4 years later she pulled into Tower Bridge, earning her title of Adventure of the Year at the National Adventure Awards.

Sarah’s first major expedition was a solo row across the Indian Ocean in 2009, where she became the first woman and youngest person to accomplish such a incredible feat!

Sarah’s London2London is a stunning tale of human exploration, both of the world and inner self. If you don’t have the chance to hear Sarah talk, we urge you to read her book Dare To Do! Which is also on audible, the best of both worlds!

Be inspired by Sarah on Facebook and her website 

6. Sophie Radcliffe a.k.a. Challenge Sophie

Lilly Wild Sophie Radcliffe

Sophie is fuelled by her philosophy ‘One Life. Live It’ and this has led her to becomea adventurer, endurance athlete, blogger and speaker. She believes that everyone has the capacity to achieve something extraordinary and is on a mission to inspire and help you transform your life, to make the magic happen.

Adventures include becoming the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, climbing five times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days; cycled 300km from London to Paris in 24 hours on nine occasions; completed multi-sport adventure races around the world including the worlds toughest mudder; raced her bike coast to coast across the USA; completed 100km ultra-marathons, and is a two-time Ironman finisher!

If you want to discover how she’s turned her big dreams into reality, check our Wild Woman Q&A with Sophie!

You can follow Sophie’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram

7. Phoebe Smith

Lilly Wild Phoebe Smith Wanderlust

Phoebe is the Queen of Wild Camping, or as she like to call it Extreme Sleeping! Being the Editor of Wanderlust doesn’t stop her from embarking on exciting adventures and she always has her ‘Go Bag’ packed and ready!

Her love of wild places has led her all over the world and to the extreme points of mainland Britain. Phoebe set herself the Extreme Sleeps Challenge in 2014, which involved sleeping at the extreme points of mainland Britain, solo on consecutive nights. These included the highest, lowest, northernmost, southernmost, easternmost, westernmost and centremost reaches of our island!

She’s definitely inspired us to go wild camping with her Wild Nights book and in Decemeber, Adelaide is extreme sleeping at Europe’s most western point!

If you want to be inspired and motivated to go wild camping, you’ll love our Wild Woman Q&A with Phoebe

Hang out with Phoebe on Twitter and Instagram

8. Emily Penn

Lilly Wild Emily Penn

Emily is a force to be reckoned with, with her mission to clean up our planet of plastic. If anyone can do it, Emily definitely can.

She is a skipper, ocean advocate and artist, dedicated to studying environmental challenges in the most remote parts of our planet. Emily is also an international public speaker and advisor on issues relating to our ocean and future society. 

Emily has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage and rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace.

She splits her time between leading expeditions and running Pangaea Explorations, the organisation she established to enable scientists, filmmakers and everyday people gain access to the most remote parts of our planet; collecting data on global issues and along the way have discovered previously unknown oceanic gyres – huge areas of plastic pollution accumulation.

Adelaide met Emily at one of the Royal Geographical Society’s infamous Explore weekends and has been inspiring her ever since! They recently met again at Escape The City and their conversation is coming soon to the Lilly Wild Journal!

If you can’t find Emily on dry land, then she’ll be on the water looking after our planet. But you can catch up with her on her website or Twitter.

9. Sarah Williams

Lilly Wild Tough Girl Podcasts Sarah Willaims

In 2013 Sarah ditched the life of finance for inspiring and motivating women and girls everywhere to take on and overcome tough challenges. 

To get her message heard, Sarah founded the Tough Girl Podcast where she interviews inspirational female explorers, adventurers, athletes and everyday women who have overcome great challenges.

Sarah’s certainly walking the walk, as she recently completed the Marathon des Sables, a 200-mile race across the Sahara Desert - it hasn’t been called the world’s toughest footrace for nothing! 

Start getting inspired now by listening to her podcasts and you can read about her Marathon des Sables adventure in her new book!