With the English and Welsh schools about to break up for the summer holidays, parents everywhere will be wondering what on earth they can do to keep the kids happy for weeks on end. Of course, we will all be hoping for some sunshine, too. The recipe for success for happy summer holiday families is a few treats to look forward to, outdoors play, activities for both grown-ups and children and things to do even when it’s raining.
Thank goodness then that Britain offers lots of outdoor activities. Here we bring you eight great outdoors activities for the summer holidays.
Zorbing: Go solo, or grab a friend or unsuspecting relative and climb inside a huge inflatable zorbing sphere before you are sent tumbling at speed down the side of a hillside. Zorbing has to be experienced to be believed. See Zorbing South
White water rafting: Thrills and occasional spills are all part of the fun as you rush headlong down frothy white water rivers. Check out The National White Water Centre at Canolfan, Dwr Gwyn, Genedlaethol. Here you’ll raft the steep chutes and boulder-strewn rapids of the river Tryweryn, which is set amid the stunning Snowdonia National Park.
Canyoning: Swim gorges, jump cliffs into deep pools, abseil through waterfalls, and generally have a laugh slipping and sliding over rocks. This is the activity of canyoning and it’s a must-do for adventurous families. Check out Vertical Descents for the highly rated canyoning experiences.
Mountain biking: Scotland is Europe’s premier mountain biking destination and offers an exciting trail or downhill outing for every age and fitness. Some of the best can be found at the Forestry Commission’s 7stanes network of centres in the Borders. It’s well worth the trip north. See www.7stanes.gov.uk
Tandem kayaking: Kayaking is one of the fastest growing adventure sports in the UK and you’ll find kayak hire centres at many lakes and coastal locations. For even more fun in a kayak, give tandem kayaking a go. You’ll take on the challenge of kayaking the world championship course in a tandem kayaks!
Coasteering: You’ll never see the shoreline in the same way after giving coasteering a go. This is the pursuit of traversing the coast by swimming, jumping, scrambling and generally having a lot of fun in a wetsuit. Coasteering is guided by experienced instructors. Try coasteering in Pembrokeshire with Preseli Venture
Orienteering: All you need is a map, a compass, a bit of energy and the determination to tick off all the checkpoints. Or join a guided orienteering day. At Reach Beyond Adventure Orienteering you can try orienteering at whatever pace you fancy, learning how to use and improve your navigation skills in and around the beautiful areas of the Lakelands.
Bodyboarding: This is a great sport for all and even if it’s a rainy day. Pop on a wetsuit and buoyancy aid and try rising the waves on a bodyboard. There is no need to stand up on the board as with surfing, instead you hug the board to your body and enjoy the thrills of whizzing back to dry land on a fast-moving wave. Take lessons or hire the kit at numerous coastal places and give it a go for yourself. Make sure you seek advice about the safe spots of bodyboarding.
Wakeboarding: Like water skiing, only on a mono-board, and like surfing, only you’re pulled along by a cable, cable wakeboarding is fast becoming the trendiest adventure sport there is. Give it a go at Milton Keynes