Best Outdoor Activity & Adventure Holidays in the UK
Looking for your next adventure? The UK has some of the most spectacular outdoor locations in Europe which makes it the perfect location for activity and adventure enthusiasts. If you want an adventure holiday, then forget about looking further afield, in the UK you can find so many amazing places and exhilarating things to do.
Where to Go & What to Do?
There are lots of amazing destinations in the UK so to help you choose your perfect break we have put together a list of the top activities to consider:
1. Caving in The Peak District
The Peak district has various caving and pot holing destinations which are perfect for any adventurous traveller. The Peak district is also home to the highest natural cave in the UK known as Titan Cave in Castleton. Due to safety you will need expert guides to explore the best caves and chambers. So, with experiences that cover the whole spectrum, all ages and abilities can enjoy caving.
An example of a challenging caving experience is Carlswark Cavern with its small winding passageways tunnelling into the limestone. You can abseil into the cavern before squeezing yourself through the walls, passing trickles of streams and spotting fossils embedded in the passage walls. An easier cavern experience is Pooles Cavern in Buxton. Here you are taken through a large cavern by a guide and you can see stalactites and crystal formations lit up along the route.
An underground adventure in the peak district is an excellent way to enjoy an adventure holiday in the UK. This is one you can combine with other activities too making your holiday even more adventurous.
2. Mountain Biking, Wales
There are lots of mountain biking opportunities throughout the UK but North Wales is one of the best places to go. In Gwynedd there are lots of hostels, hotels and activity centres where you can hire bikes, equipement or join group trips. You can research trails and destinations online or get information on arrival.
The North Wales landscape is perfect terrain for biking as there are lots of hills, mountains and trails. Snowdonia is a popular place for mountain bikers of all abilities and you can find lots of trails to suit you. As well as natural trails, you could do a challenge like bikingt o the summit of the majestic mount Snowdon. There are also beginners tracks for familes and options for more advanced levels like the Wild Cart trail at Antur Stiniog.
3. Sea Kayaking, Scottish Highlands
The coast of Scotland is stunning with white sandy beaches and towering cliffs. There are various water based holiday activities available to book and one of the top rated adventures we recommend is to go sea kayaking.
To get the most out of the experience and also due to the ever-changing weather and sea conditions it is best to book on to a structured tour where you will get an experienced guide. This is a great way to explore different parts of Scotland and guides will know exactly where the best places to take you for scenery.
Popular places in Scotland we recommend visiting include Arisaig village in Lochaber, Inverness-shire, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. Here you can find sea kayak centres who offer half, full day or multi day sea kayak trips. There are trips for beginners and families as well as options for the more experienced kayakers too.
If you are looking for an alternative destination to consider check out the Sea Kayak Scotland centre based on the Isle of Seil which is in an amazing destination. Some organisations also offer combo travel and conservation opportunities, these are perfect if you would like to volunteer in the UK, meet new people and also explore the great outdoors.
4. Surfing in Newquay
Newquay is known as the surfing capital of the UK and is famous for its excellent beaches and surf conditions. Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK and many visitors come to enjoy the scenery as well as the many water sport activities on offer. However, one thing you must do here is to try surfing.
There are lots of surf schools to choose from in Newquay who offer beginners and more advanced courses. We highly recommend Fistral Beach surf school who are the only surf instructor school located on the famous Fistral Beach.Another top rated school is the Blue wings surf school who offer family friendly surf lessons.
If you are looking to learn to surf then choose one of these schools and you will be out there into the sea standing on the board in no time!
5. Walking on the Isle of Wight
Often described as a walker’s paradise, the Isle of Wight is an incredible destination to explore. There are lots of different routes available for all time frames and abilities. The scenery on the Isle of Wight is absolutely stunning and you’ll enjoy some amazing sea views along the coastal routes.
One of the best trails to take is to walk the entire Isle of Wight coastal path. This route covers 65 miles of coastline and can usually be completed between four and seven days depending on how many miles you cover each day. You will need a good level of fitness and plan your route carefully so you have accommodation in the right place each night. Some parts are very rural so you won’t find places to stay or facilities so planning ahead is key and also packing a tent.
The great thing about the Isle of Wight is that there are walks available to anyone no matter what your ability. Whether it's the high coastal cliffs or strolling through local towns or villages in your self-guided walking holidays, the Isle of Wight will not disappoint.
Other Destinations & Options
There are lots of other breaks available throughout the UK which didn't quite make our list, these include:
- Bouldering, Dorset
- GO APE, the UK’s no.1 forest adventure with locations across the country
- Hiking, Yorshire Dales
- Mountain Biking, New Forest
- River swimming, Oxford
- Sailing, Poole
- Scuba diving and snorkelling, Scotland
- Waterskiing, various locations
- Windsurfing, Bournemouth
Top Tips for Planning an Adventure Break in the UK
There is the option to plan an adventure break independently or it can be stress free and more cost-effective to book through a tour operator. There are lots of companies who offer activities and tours in the UK and they will help you arrange holidays, transport, equipment and accommodation.
Before you decide to go, try to work out how much time you have available, the time of year you want to go and also your interests and budget. Also one of the main things to keep in consideration is the weather in the UK can be unpredicatable even in summer so you will need to be prepared for this. You could have torrential downpours one day and beautiful blue skies and sunshine the next. So, you should prepare for all types of weather and pack accordingly.
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- Multiple Destinations
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What to Pack
When you book a break with a tour agency they will often give you a kit list so you don’t forget any essentials for your trip. But it is worth checking out what items are best for you before you go especially if you are organising everything yourself.
There are a few things that are essential for your adventure holiday whatever activities you going to do. As mentioned above you can never really plan for the weather in the UK so a waterproof jacket is usually a good start. If you plan on walking or climbing even short distances then a good pair of walking boots is a must. They should also be worn in too, otherwise you will have sore feet which is not ideal if you are just starting a trip!
Another great thing to pack which you might not have thought about is a dry bag to keep all of your valuables safe, this is recommended for both land and water based activities. You can take a look at some of the best dry bags to choose from here. You will also need plenty of layers, good walking socks, possibly a tent and a comfortable backpack to put everything in.