Outdoor activities can contribute to great memories of time spent with friends and family members. It is a way to develop your physical and social skills, as well as boost your confidence. You can even get a sense for adventure by trying new experiences.
The United Kingdom's many diverse landscapes offer great outdoor options. There are 15 national parks where you can stretch your legs. From majestic lakes and mountainscapes to endless forests and great pristine beaches: there an outdoor activity for everyone.
England offers a good variation. Even if places are easy to reach they can still offer a sense of remoteness and calmness. Starting from the southwest, Cornwall is the ultimate place for beachgoers and ideal to test your surfing skills. Popular surfing destinations are Fistral and Watergate Bay beach in Newquay. There is also Sennen Cove and all of them attract surfers all year round due to the good waves there.
Travelling north, we have two of the most visited parks in the UK: the Peak District and the Lake District. These two parks offer visitors hiking, running, kayaking, cycling, horse riding and rock climbing opportunities. Since 2000 one of the most popular activities to do in the Peak Distirct is caving. You can discover the inner beauty of the mountains and visit the highest cavern in UK: Titan Cave, Castleton (464ft, 141.5m). In the Lake District, it's about conquering Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain at 3,209ft, or 978m. For most walkers it's a hike of average difficulty but nonetheless a long way to the top and it can be tricky to navigate in bad weather. So save it for a sunny day to be awarded with the beautiful views from the top.
In Wales you can enjoy great views of the ocean by doing one of the longest seaside hikes in the country. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path covers 186 miles of breath-taking scenery and is up there with some of the best hiking trails in the world. Along your way you will be able to explore hidden beaches and more.
For those who prefer walking in the mountains rather than by the sea, the Snowdonia National Park has the highest peaks in Wales. There are also the Breacon Beacons with a range of peaks to conquer in the southern part of the country. With all those mountains and hills there are many rivers ideal for rafting. The River Tryweyrn is famous for white water rafting and has this trend has been spreading across Wales.
Famous for its natural beauty, Scotland has great things to offer. The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in Britain and it is considered to be ideal for hiking opportunities with six of the highest peaks in Scotland. During the winter months it is the best place for skiing and there are three different ski centers for you to choose from.
When in Scotland you need to see some of the lochs (lakes or sea inlets). There are thousands of them around the country and they are considered to be as one of the country’s most iconic features. The lochs are for those who are keen on boating activities, fishing or even monster hunting at the most famous of them: Loch Ness.
Last but not least, Northern Ireland is mostly famous for its golf courses, with more than 100 of them around the country. But there is more. The country can offer some thrilling and exhilarating activities such as hang-gliding or paragliding. It is a majestic way to see the beauty of the country from above. The sport is considered to be relatively safe and easy to learn when the weather conditions permit it.
If you prefer to be somewhere closer to the ground but still get the thrills, you can try mountain biking in one of the routes designed around the country. Overall, there are more than 100km of tracks for you to ride your bike. Famous locations are the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails and the Davagh Forest Trails which offer a range of routes from Green (Easy) through to Red (Difficult).
For more ideas and to get the full overview of activities as well as advice on accommodation, transportation and staying safe please visit the Visit Great Britain website.
Enjoy the great outdoors and stay safe!