Photo: Zipworld

    9 adventure breaks to try this summer – from kayaking to swimming with seals

    22 July 2020

    Taking on a new challenge, trying out an extreme sport or learning a new skill can be a perfect way to add an extra dimension to your summer holidays. Many adventure holidays in the UK offer a range of different courses and levels, meaning that many are perfect for children and families looking to add a bit of excitement to their trip away. It also allows you to see the landscape in a totally different way, accessing areas with the help of guides and teachers that would otherwise be unreachable.

    Sea Kayaking in Scotland

     West Coast Explorer Sea Kayaking trip by Wilderness Scotland. Photo: Donald Thompson

    There’s something endlessly fascinating and enticing about seeing the impressive coastline of Scotland from the water – and these water-borne trips offer a fantastic opportunity to spot sea-life up close, weave around hidden inlets and coves and camp wild on uninhabited patches of land untouched since time began. Plenty of different trips in different areas of Scotland are available, with a range of accommodation options from camping under the stars to local B&Bs and hotels. Led by experienced guides in small groups – the trips provide the opportunity to see the area from the land as well as the sea, with downtime to walk, rest and swim.

    Climbing and Bouldering in Dorset

    Photo: Climb Southwest (Guided Climb)

    Well known for its excellent climbing and bouldering options, Dorset is a rock-lover’s paradise, and there are many courses and trips available in this area to start out in the sport, or test your experience as a seasoned climber. Dorset has one of the most varied coastlines in the UK, with fantastic sport climbing, rocky crags and challenging coves – with a seasonably warm climate and fantastic swimming and beach options.

    Swimming with Seals – Isles of Scilly

    Photo: Scilly Seal Snorkelling

    Surrounded by crystal clear waters, the Isles of Scilly has some of the best stretches of coastline anywhere in the country, with sandy beaches, shallow turquoise waters and endless swimming opportunities. For something a little more adventurous, take a boat from St Martins with Scilly Seal Snorkelling, allowing you to get up close to a seal population on the Eastern Isles, a craggy outcrop of rocks to the east of the main inhabited islands. It’s a truly remarkable experience to be able to get up-close to these magnificent, gentle water beasts. Wetsuits, snorkels and all appropriate gear is included.

    Paragliding in the English Countryside

    Photo: Green Dragons Airsports, Caterham

    England’s green and pleasant lands are often best seen from above – a patchwork of interwoven fields, small towns and villages. Paragliding is one of the purest forms of flying and allows you to glide silently across the countryside. Green Dragons Airsports offer paraglider training close to London and the M25 in a convenient location near Caterham. They provide taster days and one-off tuition as well as fully-approved courses if you want to stretch your wings a little bit further!

    Via Ferrata in Cumbria

    Photo: Via Ferrata, Cumbria

    Via Ferrata, Latin for ‘iron way’, is climbing with a difference, in that it uses cables, ladders and rungs embedded into the mountain side to aid your climb. With all the right safety equipment, climbers attach themselves to the metal structures and follow a pre-determined route, which means that not only is it safe but an easy way to get into more complex climbing – it’s a good balance between full on climbing and more beginner-friendly scrambling. This option in Cumbria uses an old miner’s track, high up onto Fleetwith Pike.

    Classic Sailing around the UK

    Photo: Classic Sailing, Mascotte Ship

    Classic Sailing offer boat and sailing holiday experiences with a difference – in the fact that during the journey you become an important and valued member of the crew, helping to sail these beautiful old tall ships and vessels around the coastline of the UK. From Land’s End to the Isle of Skye, a traditionally-rigged 56ft cutter will be your ship for the duration of the trip, and is a fantastic learning experience for those new to sailing. Each voyage is a challenge, with varying weather, wind and wave conditions on the route as well as the challenge of navigating on some of the country’s most treacherous and exciting stretches of water. It’s a ‘hands on holiday’, but the sense of achievement at the end is incomparable.

    Velocity 2 zip wire, Wales

    Zipworld, Wales

    Zipworld’s Velocity 2 zip wire in Bethesda, North Wales will have you sailing over the expanse of Penrhyn Quarry at speeds of over 100 miles an hour. Whilst a series of measures have been put in place to make the experience Covid-safe, rest assured that this one is definitely for the adrenaline junkies. You can tie in a ride on the zip wire with a trip to nearby Anglesey, climb Snowdon or explore the beautiful beaches of the Llyn peninsula.

    Coasteering in Cornwall

    Coasteering at Shrimp’s Gulley with Cornish Rock Tors

    With miles of wonderful coastline in the southwest, coasteering opportunities and experiences are not to be missed, and allow you to fully see these points at which land meets the sea in a completely new way. There are so many coasteering options in Cornwall it means it’s a great part of the world to get into the sport, and going on an organised trip with a guide means that the safety aspects are taken care of and the routes are already picked out for you. Different levels of coasteering courses means it’s also a great option for exciting family trips.

    Map Reading and Navigation Skills in the Peak District

    Learn how to map read with Pure Outdoor

    This is a perfect option if you’d like to set your family up for a lifelong relationship to the great outdoors – not only learning how to read maps properly and follow routes but also key orienteering skills like learning how to use a compass, advances navigation skills, safety training and getting yourself out of danger if the weather closes in. Excellent instruction to have, and a good idea for novice and seasoned hikers alike who want some formal training in the art of outdoor navigation and finding your way around no matter the weather or the time of day.