Outdoor Activity Breaks You Need To Try

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Here’s a little secret about the UK: these isles are alive with natural wonders, and where there are natural wonders, there’s always some outdoor-focused fun close behind. Whatever you’re into, whatever your vibe, whatever edge you want to get closer to, you can guarantee to find something epic hiding in the dramatic wilds of the UK. 

From the rocky valleys of Snowdon to the snow-capped Scottish Highlands, the dense Cumbrian forests to the maze of Welsh mines, there’s an awesome landscape to take advantage of no matter which way you wander -- and that’s why we’ve combed this isle in search of the outdoor activity breaks that are definitely worth your time.

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Wild Camping, Cairngorms

When it comes to enjoying the real outdoors, it’s hard to beat wild camping. The escape, the freedom, the thrill of going back to basics -- it’s epic, and there’s nowhere more epic than Scotland, where you can pitch up almost anywhere you like. The question is, where should you end your road trip? The answer: beneath the starry skies of Glenfeshie. Surrounded by mountain views and tumbling waterfalls, this place is about as remote as the wilderness gets. You could even sign up for a three-day wilderness weekend and put your survival skills to the test, with lessons on how to construct a snow hole and then prepare a three-course meal inside it. It’s your call. 


Subterranean Abseil, Snowdonia

Anyone that’s visited North Wales will know it has a mining history richer than Midas, which is why we recommend pulling on a harness and exploring it. We’re talking about Into The Mountain Extreme; a two-day getaway that will see you abseil over 1,300ft beneath the ground to the very deepest point of one of Snowdonia’s abandoned slate mines. As far as outdoor activities go, this one doesn’t settle for standard; it sets the standards. Kitting up with harnesses and head lamps, you’ll head to the mine entrance in Land Rovers, which is where this excursion gets tough quickly, and then stays tough. Enduring lofty traverses, balancing on old beams and hiking over breathtaking voids of darkness, no one forgets their time in the underground mazes of Snowdonia. 


Trail Running, Devon

There are people who enjoy pounding the city streets to kick start their day, and then there are people who prefer scampering across landscapes so desolate even the sight of a footpath is rare. Welcome to Wild Running, a raw form of escapism that involves pounding the wilderness around Dartmoor, Exmoor and the south west coast with other trail-hungry enthusiasts. Led by a local guide, you’ll be running between 6 and 12 miles a day, seeing parts of the English countryside most miss, living out of a weekend bag and staying in a riverside bolthole that overlooks the adventure-ready Dart estuary. This is how to do Devon in 48 hours.


Foraging, Suffolk

The second best meal you can enjoy is the one you’ve cooked from scratch, and the first best is the one made from ingredients you got out and foraged for yourself. Snapping stems, uprooting mushrooms, nibbling leaves, sniffing herbs and rummaging through the hidden cupboards of Mother Nature’s pantry; there’s something about wild food that tastes like nothing else you’ve ever eaten -- and Wild Food UK is promoting this with a range of foraging courses across the UK, from Edinburgh to Cardiff, Kent to Suffolk. The aim is to help you learn where different foods grow and to identify which wild foods are edible, whether they be shoots, plants, flowers or fungi. And if that’s not enough, you’ll then learn how to create different dishes using your wild finds. Camping just got even more epic. 


Hiking, Yorkshire Dales

Anyone looking for a rough n’ ready hike, the Yorkshire Dales is as rugged as walking gets. The daunting bit is knowing how, when and where to explore this 2,000 square kilometres mass of staggering countryside. The answer: step in line and follow the experienced guides HF Holidays. Based in the beating heart of the Dales, you can enjoy anything from a three-day excursion to a seven-night guided break, exploring the different trails that wind their way through this National Park. From six-mile stretches to more hardcore 13-milers, there’s this is how to get a true experience of the Yorkshire Dales, from the ancient limestone pastures of Malham Tarn to the endless views found from Simon’s Seat. 


Coasteering, County Antrim

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland -- they’re all packed to the skies with epic landscapes, but none is more jaw-hits-floor than Giant’s Causeway -- and the best way to explore this coastline is to leap, scramble, swim and cliff jump your way along it. Led by a guide and clad in lifejackets, wetsuits and helmets, you’ll get to experience every nook and cranny of this dramatic coast, clambering along the basalt columns, swimming in the turquoise waters, splashing your way through the hidden coves and hiking over rocky islands. The best outdoor activities are the ones that give you a close-up look at the wilderness while testing your limits, and this getaway does that better than anywhere. 


Snorkelling, Outer Hebrides

Think of snorkelling and your mind no doubt wanders off to Bora Bora, Tahiti, the Great Barrier Reef and the cenotes of Mexico -- but the Oban and Lorn coastline is a must-snorkel spot too. Setting off on a four-day trip to the Outer Hebrides, you’ll depart from Oban and head to the 13 mile-long Isle of Coll, a stones skim away from Mull, to explore the 23 beaches before diving beneath the swell to an underwater world full of basking sharks, bottlenose dolphins, porpoises, otters, grey seals, kelp forests and rays, with a marine biologist guide to lead the way. 


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