Spending your lunch hour at your desk, looking at other people’s Instagram adventures while you’re stuck in the office can sometimes feel like slow torture. But it can also be a great way to spark ideas for new challenges, experiences and places to visit. These adventurous women are a case in point – every single one of their posts makes us want to get out and do something epic. In fact, we think they’re some of the most inspirational women on Instagram.
Our top ten includes serious ultra-runners and big wall climbers, crazy adventurers and all-weather wild swimmers. And you won’t find loads of over-saturated, filtered images either. These are real women, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly side of adventure.
Followers 21.7k | Adventure Traveller + Endurance Challenger. Mountain Lover. Tree Hugger. Running across a mountain range on every continent, solo
Tough by name, tough by nature. Jenny is currently completing a series of solo, unsupported ultra runs across mountain ranges on every continent, often travelling where no woman has ever travelled alone before. She grew up in the Canadian Rockies, but is now based in Scotland, so it’s no wonder that Jenny feels so at home in the mountains. Be warned – her Instagram account pulls no punches, sharing both the highs and lows of life as an endurance athlete. @jennytough
Followers 12.8k | Wales, adventure, health
'Unconventional' is perhaps the word that best describes this atypical adventurer. Sarah comes up with some of the most bizarre challenges, and never lets us down as she sees them all through. From scaling the equivalent of Everest in the Welsh mountains dressed as a Welsh dragon, to sledging or mountain boarding 100 hills in the Brecon Beacons, we are always excited to learn what she’s dreamed up next. Her YouTube videos are well worth checking out too. @fitforadventure_
Followers 4k | Extreme Sleeping Adventurer. Award-winning Travel, Adventure & Outdoor Writer, Broadcaster, Photographer, Author, Presenter and Calm Storyteller
Phoebe Smith has inspired hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts across the UK to discover the joys of wild camping. She has slept wild in a host of incredible places, from mountain peaks to glaciers, as well as organised events and challenges that help raise money for those who don’t have a choice when it comes to sleeping outdoors. Her account not only makes us want to head for the hills with a bivvy bag, but also leaves us feeling humbled by the lengths she goes to in an effort to help and inspire others. @phoebersmith
Followers 174k | Pro-climber / Mental training coach / Podcaster
Proving that big wall sport and trad is definitely not just for the big boys, Hazel Findlay is a highly accomplished British climber. She started off climbing on the limestone sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire and became the first female Brit to climb E9, plus the first to climb 8c/5.14b. As well as pushing the grades, she also co-hosts the Curious Climber Podcast, which she shares on Insta, chatting to other female adventurers. A must-follow account for anyone who climbs, or even aspires to. @hazel_findlay
Followers 2k | Trad climber and snowmobile guide. Photographer and filmmaker
Put simply, Jessie Leong is a badass adventure photographer, often found hanging off cliff faces or on top of mountains to capture extraordinarily adventurous people in their element – or should that be elements? Her talent for storytelling means her Insta feed is an absolute treat for anyone who loves to see people doing cool stuff in awesome places. @jessielphoto
Followers 51.9k | Championing ordinary people achieving their extraordinary
This adventurer and endurance athlete is on a mission to help ordinary people achieve their extraordinary. She certainly leads by example, though arguably Sophie is far from ordinary. She’s climbed the highest mountains in eight Alpine countries, cycling between them. She’s cycled from London to Paris in less than 24 hours – multiple times – and she’s biked coast to coast across the USA. We can’t wait to see what she does next. @challengesophie
Joanna is a lover of the outdoors who runs a campsite on her family farm in the Peak District. Her account isn’t all high-octane adventure. Instead, it offers a behind the scenes look at the trials and tribulations of running a successful campsite, while managing to find time for plenty of exhilarating micro-adventures. She’s a huge advocate of wild swimming, even breaking the ice in winter to take the plunge, and often sports a muddy face in her photos from hours spent tackling MTB trails. If ever there was somebody who epitomises the work hard, play hard attitude, it’s Joanna. @joannashimwell
Followers 37.7k | Adventurer, Speaker, Mischief Maker. Ran 2,352 miles (90 marathons) barefoot
Anna McNuff doesn’t just love running – she lives running. Take 2019, for example, when she ran a total of 90 marathons barefoot, in aid of UK girls’ charity Girlguiding. Let Anna take you with her on all her running adventures and share every stride of the journey. The runs aren’t always pleasant – there are plenty of pics of dirty feet and peeling skin – but they’re definitely real. @annamcnuff
Followers 2.8k | You’ll find me in the hills with some sort of head covering
Glasgow-based Zahrah Mahmood’s Insta feed is all about sharing everyday adventures in Scotland. The hillwalker is dedicated to getting out and about in her home nation and shares all her adventures to inspire other women, especially Muslim women, to explore the great outdoors. She’s a leading light among those who are trying to make the UK hiking and hillwalking community more representative and inclusive. You’ll find plenty of motivational words here, along with some stunning landscapes. @the_hillwalking_hijabi
Followers 70.4k | Olympic Snowboarder, World Cup Champion, X Games medallist
Check out Katie's Insta right now, because you’ll be hard pushed to find more impressive snowboarding shots and videos anywhere online. She gives a unique glimpse into the life of an elite athlete and her travels around the world, as well as the gruelling and intense training involved in being an Olympic Snowboarder. Great for a fix of pristine white powder when you can’t get out on the slopes yourself. @ormerodkatie
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