High Peak local Laura Purcell, 29, is on a mission to get women into the great outdoors while feeling good at the same time.

Born out of a passion for adventure, along with a frustration for ‘not being able to find a puffer jacket that didn’t make me look like the Michelin Man’, she set up My Urban Trail.

Post-lockdown, Laura ended up in a pub post-hike where she had the idea of designing activewear that women actually feel good in and, most importantly, wouldn’t break the bank.

‘I found you would go outdoors, but not necessarily feel good in what you were wearing,’ she says. ‘I think women like to feel good, as well as have practical clothing.’

Realising what was on the market was either super expensive, highly branded, or just not very attractive, she set out to create something that would appeal to women.

‘It was all about making something affordable that ticks all the boxes that they like,’ says Laura.

Great British Life: Derbyshire's Laura Purcell is on a mission to empower women Derbyshire's Laura Purcell is on a mission to empower women (Image: Laura Purcell)

‘For example, lots of pockets and leggings that don’t fall down - that can be the difference between trying to get into running and giving up on week one!’

It’s the little details that make a big difference. By focusing on these, Laura believes women will not only feel good, but will feel comfortable and feminine at the same time.

‘I found if there’s something that appeals to women more, and makes them feel more comfortable and more confident, it actually helps get them outdoors,’ she reveals.

‘But I also wanted to create something that didn’t feel like hiking gear, something they can wear for so much more.’

My Urban Trail isn’t just about looking and feeling good, it’s essentially a community-based brand making the outdoors more accessible for women.

By wanting to get outdoors more, Laura quickly learnt the biggest barriers for women to do this are ‘what do I wear and who do I go with.’

As a result, Laura started free walking groups around the Peak District in a bid to get more women exploring our great outdoors.

‘It gives people the opportunity to mix with likeminded people, enjoy the walk, build confidence with different routes and mileage, and to relax and be part of something that changes their mindset.’

Laura pours her heart and soul into these walks, always conducting recces and making sure she works her way around the group to chat to every person that attends, revealing that ‘It could be the difference between someone having an amazing journey and building friendship groups or sending them the opposite way back into themselves.’

Great British Life: Enjoying the great outdoors sporting My Urban Trail leggings Enjoying the great outdoors sporting My Urban Trail leggings (Image: Laura Purcell)

Testament to Laura’s desire to go above and beyond so each person has the best time possible is the fact she even created a hike for a wheelchair bound customer.

‘We did six miles around Carsington Water which she loved, so I’ve promised to do another in the springtime,’ she adds.

Located just ten minutes from Castleton, Laura has her pick of beautiful hikes on her doorstep, however Kinder Scout is her favourite as this is where she got into trail running.

‘There’s just so many places to keep discovering,’ she says passionately. ‘Thor’s Cave and the grounds of Chatsworth are stunning too. We’re so lucky to have what we have around here.’

Laura’s hope for My Urban Trail is to give back to as many people as possible.

‘These customers are spending their money with me, they could choose anyone, but they’ve chosen me,’ she concludes.

‘The clothes are only one part, if I can get people outdoors, that’s amazing. I just want people to feel included – nobody should be left out.’