The best outdoor adventures to enjoy in the UK this summer – Part one
Keen to make the most of the great outdoors this year? We’ve got five of the best action-packed escapades to sign up for…
Cornwall: Fly over the world’s largest greenhouse
The Eden Project © Visit Britain/Adam Burton
Full disclosure: it’s hard to beat the views from Newquay’s Headland Hotel & Spa although the sights you can enjoy at the Eden Project – just a 30 minute drive from the hotel – come a close second. This is because our favourite botanical garden has one of the UK’s longest and fastest zip wires. Brave the Skywire and you’ll fly along the 660-metre zip line at 60mph, allowing you just enough time to take in the view of the Cornish coastline and the Eden Project’s enormous domes. Not quite satisfied? Test your mettle on the Eden Project’s giant swing or aerial trekking course.
North Wales: Tackle the world’s first underwater escape room
Apparently, we’ll all be frantically ticking off bucket lists this year. If yours includes learning to dive, don’t assume you’ll need to head to far-flung destinations such as the Maldives. One of the UK’s most spectacular diving spots is Snowdonia’s Vivian Quarry. Head beneath the water and you’ll find a shipwrecked submarine and an old mining hut. Its 20-metre depth makes it a great spot to complete a PADI Open Water Diver certification, although local dive schools also offer so-called try-dive tasters. Since April 2021 it’s been home to the world’s first underwater escape room, a zombie-themed underwater adventure created by local dive school Duttons Divers.
Buckinghamshire: Channel your need for speed on a trike tour of the Chiltern Hills
Buckinghamshire’s Hartwell House & Spa is a great base from which to explore the Chiltern Hills, but if gentle rambles don’t do it for you, opt for a chauffeured trike tour – you’ll enjoy a high-speed exploration of this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in an open-air motor trike (strike it lucky and you’ll get Bumblebee, a bright yellow trike with a Mitsubishi engine, seven-speed transmission and a black and stainless steel trim). There are a wide range of tours available, ranging from ones which focus on local breweries to tours through Midsomer Murders locations.
Lake District: Set sail on Lake Windermere
This summer, sail across Lake Windermere in style, on the recently launched MV Swift, the largest passenger boat launched on to the lake in 80 years. This 300-person vessel, which took to the water in 2020, has heated windows and electric doors, and is wheelchair accessible, too. Choose between the Bowness to Ambleside route or the Bowness to Lakeside route – there are audio guides on both, and notable landmarks include Wray Castle, where Beatrix Potter holidayed as a teenager. Afterwards, head to the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, perched on a hill overlooking Lake Windermere, to soak up the view while feasting on the hotel’s legendary afternoon teas.
Pembrokeshire: Try cliff camping
© The Climbing Company / Visit Pembrokeshire
Got a head for heights? How about spending the night secured (tightly, we should add) to the side of a cliff? Pembrokeshire is one of the most spectacular spots for cliff clamping, which involves bedding down in a portaledge – a tent suspended from the side of a cliff, in this case, a slab of rock on Pembrokeshire’s gorgeous coastline. You’ll be perfectly positioned to admire the local wildlife, and dinner, breakfast and drinks are included. The best bit? You don’t need any climbing experience – just a head for heights.
Article written by Tamara Hinson