Staying in the United Kingdom rather than going abroad is becoming ever more popular, especially as the cost of living is rising and making it harder for many people to travel overseas. The good news is that there are plenty of great adventurous holidays just waiting to be discovered in Britain. With some of the finest landscapes and one of the best coastlines in Europe, staying at home is no obstacle to memorable and wonderful holidays.
When it comes to finding some of the wildest locations in Britain, then it is sensible to look north of Hadrian’s Wall and west of Offa’s Dyke. Scotland and Wales have all the mountains and rivers that hikers, climbers, white water rafters, mountain bikers and abseilers could want. Many people head to Wales and Scotland for walking holidays and there is a good way to add an interesting twist to any family breaks like this. In Scotland there are a series of peaks known as ‘Munros’, which are over a certain height. In Wales, they are known as ’3000s’ and a family group can see how many of these peaks they can tick off during their vacation.
The Hebrides on Scotland’s north west coast are one of the most beautiful locations in the whole of the United Kingdom. Exploring them by bicycle is an unusual and interesting example of the kind of adventure holidays one can find in Scotland. Not in many places can a family cycle past crystal blue sea lochs, white sand beaches and even cross causeways onto different islands.
England’s Green and Pleasant Land
Of course, that does not mean that England does not have its fair share of locations for the adventurous family to explore. One place, perhaps surprisingly, that offers excellent activity holidays is Norfolk. Not only are there some superb beaches in this county, but there are also the famed Norfolk Broads. This massive area of wetlands consists of rivers, channels, canals and lakes, all winding their way through reed beds and past quaint villages. Exploring the waterways is a great holiday for a family. Fitter people may want to do it by canoe, but a narrowboat is also an active and exciting way to travel.
Further north in England are some of the country’s finest National Parks. The Peak District, largely in Derbyshire with some parts extending into Yorkshire, is a paradise for climbers of all ages. With its distinctive ‘edges’ forming escarpments, learning to climb here is a great way to spend activity holidays for a family group. With the big cities of Sheffield and Manchester within easy reach, there are plenty of other good facilities should circumstances change.
Great Britain may not have the high mountains like the Alps, or huge rivers like the Danube, but it has its fair share of wild and exciting trips to take. Add in the changeable weather and the varied and interesting landscapes and environments and you have the perfect recipe for a great adventurous family getaway.
Ewan Johnston is a Scottish Borderer born and bred, who has been tramping the hills of his homeland for a lifetime. A former competitive climber, he now writes about a whole range of adventure holidays, travel issues and extreme sports, both online and in print. He lives in his hometown of Hawick and still enjoys turning out for the odd veterans’ rugby union game.
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