Bored of being stuck indoors, but don't know where to start when it comes to finding a new outdoor hobby? To help you find some inspiration, we've put together a list of outdoor hobbies you can (hopefully) have a go at after the national lockdown ends!
Outdoor Hobby Ideas
Hiking is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to enjoy the great outdoors. It's essentially a long distance walk along a (traditionally) pre-determined route, usually located in a nature reserve or scenic area, such as the Lake District. A long walk across across the countryside or popular fells will do anyone a world of good, allowing you to take in some breath-taking views, capture a great photograph with your family or friends and experience the landscape from an entirely new perspective.
Equipment wise, you don't need a lot to get started with hiking. There are very few essentials, like a good pair of walking boots, a waterproof jacket and a sense of direction. It's worth checking out our beginners guide to hiking if you're interested in learning more on what to bring along.
Fancy giving hiking a try? Check out some of our walking guides to find some inspiration on where to go on your first hike:
- Malham Cove Walking Guide
- Tolkien Trail Walking Guide
- Arthur's Seat Walking Guide
- Pen y Fan Walking Guide
- Helvellyn Walking Guide
- Keswick Walking Guide
- Pen y Ghent Walking Guide
- Arnside Knott Walking Guide
- Windermere Walking Guide
- Wainwright Walks
Photography is a very rewarding hobby, and as your skills develop over time you could even build your own Instagram following or trying your hand at freelance work.
One of the hardest parts about photography is figuring out what you actually want to take photos of, but the outdoors is filled with potential subjects! If you just want to get started, try and incorporate photography into some of your other favourite activities, for instance if you're a fan of hiking, take some pictures on your smartphone or even bring your camera along!
Some other potential subjects could be...
- People (yourself or a friend/partner)
- Beauty / Nature Spots
Have a scroll through Instagram and start a note on your phone to jot down anything which inspires you. Start with a super generic hashtag like #nature, then check out some of the more niche hashtags used on the posts that stand out to you.
Camping is an experience best shared with friends and family, it's a great little getaway, especially during the summer. Enjoy some sunbathing surrounded by nature and good company. Equally, you don't have to camp exclusively in the summer, lots of people also enjoy camping in the rain as it brings a whole new type of ambience and experience to enjoy.
As with most hobbies there's a bit of a buy-in. Depending on how you want to sleep, you'll either need to buy a small pop up tent for yourself or a decent size family tent to fit the rest of your group in. If you're pretty certain that you'll only ever go camping with a group of friends, you could consider splitting the cost of a larger tent amongst your group to save some cash, and you'll also be sorted for other group events such as music festivals
Some of the most popular camping locations to try across the UK include:
- New Forest
- Lake District
- Peak District
Enjoy the ambient sounds of trickling water and wildlife? Fishing is one of the more relaxing outdoor hobbies, but it's certainly not for the impatient.
If you're thinking of taking up fishing, you'll be needing the right equipment. That includes things such as appropriate fishing clothing, fishing rods, bait and everything in-between. What's less commonly known is that in order to actually legally fish in the UK, you'll both need to buy a license and have permission from the land owner, depending on where you intend to fish. Fishing licenses are time-based and can be obtained from the UK government website.
If you're into your video games, airsoft is pretty much like playing Call of Duty in real life. Airsoft plays very similarly to paintball, though instead uses BB's as ammunition. There's a strong following behind it, with players across the UK coming to their local venues each weekend for some tactical fun. Whether you enjoy the planning, teamwork or simply shooting airsoft guns, there's plenty of avenues of airsoft to enjoy along with the opportunity to make some new friends.
It's also a great way to get some exercise in, as you'll be ducking, dodging and running towards your opponents. Things can end up a bit messy running around in the woodlands - especially during the rain - however there's plenty of indoor venues around the country if you think you'd prefer a drier, more close-quarters style of play. (at least for your first time.)
For your first few visits you'll be able to rent equipment, but it won't be long before you'll want to buy an airsoft gun of your own.
The fun doesn't stop at the end of your session though, there's a big element of collecting, customizing and maintenance involved in keeping good care of your airsoft equipment, making it an excellent outlet for the mechanically minded.
Climbing is a fantastic way to exercise both your upper and lower body, and build your overall core strength. It's just as much of an indoor hobby as an outdoor one, as it's best to build up some confidence before rock climbing outdoors. There are plenty of indoor training venues to learn the basics and work on your technique in a safe environment.
There are a few different types of climbing to try, such as:
- Free Climbing
- Speed Climbing
- Sport Climbing
If you do decide to pick up climbing as a hobby, it's likely that you'll enjoy a mix of both indoor and outdoor environments, as it's nice to be able to take what you've learned and apply it to a non-artificial setting, or even try your hand at a competition!
7. Horse Riding
Learning to ride a horse is a very rewarding hobby, especially if you're an animal lover.
In order to begin horse riding, you'll have to find a local equestrian centre and get some lessons booked in. During your early lessons, you can expect to learn all about things like leading a horse, riding position and dipping your feet in the water with some basic movements, before moving on to different riding styles, like trot.
Both adults and kids will enjoy learning to ride, but if you'd like to take up riding as your next hobby you'll need some comfy horse riding clothes, as well as being clued up on how to care for a horse (which you'll also have the opportunity to learn about).
Archery is a very historic hobby and needs very little introduction. It's by no means as popular as sports like golf or cricket, but in the world of shooting sports and target practice, it's right up there with clay shooting, though with a much more affordable buy-in.
If you want to try your hand at archery, have a search for some local archery ranges in your area. You'll have the opportunity to learn via 1 to 1 tutoring, covering things like eye dominance, draw length and of course - how to accurately fire your arrows.
Football, rugby, cricket, golf there's always plenty of local places to get involved in learning a new sport, it could even be as local as your own back garden depending on your sport of choice!
One of the best ways to get involved in a new sport is by forming a team or joining a club. Got five friends who love football? You could form your own five-a-side team! Equally, sports like tennis or badminton are great to enjoy with another friend keen to get some exercise in.
Some popular outdoor sports to try include...
Explore off-road trails on a mountain bike, try your hand at tricks at a BMX park or even build yourself up for some endurance racing on the roads. There's a type of cycling for everyone, but regardless of which you choose, it'll get you outdoors and exercising. It could even be a gateway towards cycling to work instead of using a car or public transport. The freedom cycling brings is also an excellent stress reliever, and the best part about this hobby is you can cycle any day of the week!
Still not feeling inspired? Here's a few more honourable mentions:
- Bird Watching
- Clay Shooting
- Rafting / Kayaking
- Open Water Swimming