Summer is en route, and that means one thing: bidding adieu to winter hibernation and leaping into the great outdoors to turn every spare weekend into an epic microadventure - and the UK is the perfect playground. Now, pop that jumper back in your wardrobe, dig out your camping gear, rummage through the attic for your wetsuit and treat yourself to some hiking boots because we’ve got a list of weekend adventures that will see you shun your daily routine for a few days of freedom excitement and escape.
From climbing mountains at night to gourmet foraging for first-timers, we have the doorstep adventures for everyone. So go pack your Weekender, throw on your Backpack and head off on one of these hibernever escapes.
Snowdon Sunrise - Gwynedd, Wales
At 3,560ft, climbing Snowdon is a tough test to do during the day. But climbing the mountain at night is a totally different adventure. Navigating this rocky trek with nothing but torchlight to guide you, while the blanket of stars above serve as your only reference point is as tough as the UK gets. But summiting before the sun rises on the slopes below makes this challenge worth every bead of sweat that’s been sacrificed.
Difficulty level: Tough
Create & Canoe - Lake District, England
A good adventure usually involves stepping outside your comfort zone or doing something a little off-limits, but building a Davy Crockett-style canoe from scratch and then taking to the lakes of Penrith ticks both these boxes. It’s as challenging as it is rewarding, and you get to leave with a handcrafted momento at the end of your long-weekend.
Difficulty level: Challenging
Wild Swimming - Cornwall, England
There are a thousand microadventures to be had around Land’s End, but nothing beats turning your back to the crowds as you hike to a secret beach for a weekend of wild swimming. That’s what Nanjizal Bay is. It’s a spur-of-the-moment adventure to be enjoyed on any given day, complete with waterfall, stream and a rock arch that makes the Atlantic Ocean look irresistibly inviting. Pull your boots on, stuff some swimmers and a bottle of wine into your Backpack, and set the Sat Nav to Cornwall.
Difficulty Level: Let’s get wet
Foraging Foodies - Dorset, England
What we now consider to be the preserve of masochists was once considered the adventure of life - foraging for food. It’s the ultimate leap into the wilderness to feast on the freebies found in Mother Nature’s larder, and Coastal Survival offers weekend courses that teach you how to forage for edible goodies and then cook them to tongue-pleasing perfection. Living off the land never tasted so good.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Absolutely Steaming - Scotland
The only way to sample Scotland’s awesome scenery in one go is through steam locomotion. Ride the iconic Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, take in the Kyles of Bute aboard the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, sail across the calming Loch Katrine aboard the screw-streamer SS Sir Walter Scott, and then experience the most unique boat journey on the Falkirk Wheel - the world’s first rotating boat lift. It’s the sort of four-day adventure our Weekender was is built for.
Difficulty level: Easy
Clip & Climb - Lake District, England
Some places that weren’t meant to be accessed, and one of those is the Honister Slate Mine where you can take on England’s original via ferrata, a climbing route lined with steel cables and metal rungs drilled into the rock face. Simply clip in, promise yourself you won’t look down and set off a three-hour adventure that involves crossing the terrifying tightrope known as ‘Burma Bridge’ and zip-lining between two vertical cliff faces. And should you want to turn this into a weekend adventure there’s plenty of epic hiking trails to keep your heart-thudding.
Difficulty level: Challenging
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