Our Summer Staycation continues, only this week we are heading off course and away from your regular sports and activities and appealing to the thrill seekers and hard-core adventurers among you. From bungee jumping to sky diving, rock climbing and everything else in between. We really have got your adventures covered this summer.
There may be a couple of crossovers on activities that we have already covered, but this time, we have taken them to their extreme. As a result, some activities will require either specialist skills and training or a particular fitness level to enjoy them safely so always do your research and plan accordingly.
We have done our best to showcase a selection of thrill-seeking activities that everyone can enjoy and have given each a quick difficulty grading to help you decide what is best for you.
Anyway, without further ado let’s get stuck in and find out what our first alternative adventure could be…
Sea Kayaking & Canoeing – Beginner to Intermediate
As an island nation we are immeasurably blessed by some stunning lakes and rivers, but we cannot forget our even greater coastlines and estuaries. And no, you do not always have to go surfing to enjoy our coastlines. Although we would recommend giving surfing a go too!
But, for those who prefer a little more control (or sit down) but still a challenge; then kayaking and canoeing might just be for you.
Sea kayaking is a lot like lake, river or recreational kayaking, however, the actual kayaks themselves are generally narrower and longer and with an enclosed cockpit… just in case you were wondering. But depending on the location, a standard canoe or kayak will be more than adequate to get you started.
We would recommend starting small first, before launching from the coast and out to sea. A local lake, river or estuary would work just fine, and you are only a quick internet search away from finding your local kayaking school or dedicated shop.
When heading out, a life jacket is of course essential. Current guidelines from Coast Guards suggest that your life jacket need only be with you on-board your craft, however we would certainly recommend wearing one all the time, no matter what.
Weather will play a huge factor on your safety and enjoyment too. But safety should always be your number one priority. E.g., only launching in weather and water conditions that you are capable of paddling through.
One of the best parts about sea kayaking is that you can discover some incredible and often hidden gems on our coastlines, that you just wouldn’t get access to any other way. Here are just a couple of locations that you could explore this summer:
- Farne Islands (off the coast of Northumberland). The Farne Islands boasts stunning coastline, cliffscapes and overfalls so you will never be left without scenery to stare at in awe.
- Summer Isles (Scotland). Thanks to crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and views of coastal mountains that simply go on forever; the Summer Isles are one of the most scenic parts of the Scottish coastline. Prepare for a challenging kayak as you navigate the rocky archipelagos.
- Helford Passage (Cornwall). The Helford River is an estuary that spans from the west of Falmouth Bay all the way to the east of the Lizard peninsula. Calm waters and plenty of wildlife make a paddle here a perfect adventure for the whole family.
- River Wye. If you fancy staying inland, then look no further than the River Wye. Stretching up to 134 miles and right on the England – Wales border, this is a great place to start practicing your canoeing or kayaking and is suitable for all ages and ability levels
Fancy a mixed terrain, coastal adventure? Try coasteering, an up-and-coming coastal adventure sport that sees you explore a coastline on foot and by water. Only rule is – NO BOATS ALLOWED. Coasteering will see you scrambling up rock-faces, hiking across cliff tops and swimming cove to cove.
And seeing as you are going to get wet in this one, this is a perfect activity even if the weather isn’t great which in the UK is very likely. Even in July!
Up next, we are finally heading inland (woo hoo). Now this is where we get wild and adventurous…
Gorge Walking (Brecon Beacons) – Intermediate to Advanced
Gorge walking (also known as canyoning) is the perfect choice for those looking to push their limits but also enjoy a fun but altogether adrenaline fuelled activity this summer and you won’t find a better location than the Brecon Beacons.
We have graded this one as Intermediate to Advanced as this is definitely not an activity we would recommend doing on your own, out of the blue or without prior experience or expert training. So, do your research and plan accordingly. But most importantly, let us know how you get on!
Another place you could try canyoning is the stunning Falls of Bruar situated in the northern parts of Perthshire.
Rock Climbing & Tree Climbing – Beginner to Advanced
Rock climbing in any form is another absolutely fantastic way to get outdoors and get active. And with the option of either indoor or outdoor locations there’s never an excuse not to give this one a go. Cheddar Gorge in the heart of the Mendip Hills, Somerset is our recommended spot. Showcasing all the very best of the stunning scenery that the Southwest of England has to offer. And as the home of Cheddar Cheese, you can bet that lunch is covered too! Watch out for the famous Gorge goats too!
A forest getaway more your style? You must try Go Ape. For accessible and family friendly outdoor activity, then look no further than Go Ape. With locations dotted across the United Kingdom, we guarantee you are never more than an hour or so away from one.
From tree climbing, zip wires, and zip trekking all the way to forest floor segway activities, this is one of the easiest ways to get stuck in and live on the wild side this summer.
Still not found that new extreme you were looking for? Staying close to the ground just a bit too tame for you? We thought it might. That’s why our next selection of activities is perfect for you…
Zip-Lining & Bungee Jumping – Intermediate to Advanced
We must admit that sometimes hiking, cycling, wild swimming, canyoning or even kayaking won’t quite cut the mustard and so, naturally, we take to the skies. And no, we don’t mean hopping on a plane and continent jumping… that wouldn’t be staycation now would it!
So, when you get the need for speed, that urge to take to the skies; then turn your attention to Zip-Lining and Bungee Jumping. Luckily for us here in the UK, we have the world’s fastest zip line which also happens to be the longest line in Europe too! Situation in the heart of North Wales, this one-of-a-kind zip line reaches speeds in well above 100mph. Yes, that’s right… 100 miles per hour!
Now if this doesn’t quite quench your thirst for adventure, we genuinely don’t know what will. Just search for ‘Velocity 2 Zip Line’ or head over to: https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/velocity
Paragliding (Isle of Wight) – Beginner to Advanced
This next one is probably not one you might have expected, but we wanted to get it in the list anyway. We don’t like to set limits for what can or can’t be done so paragliding is definitely up there as quite a spectacular summer challenge… if you can brave the heights that is!
We did a little research into this one and came across a massive paragliding community on the Isle of Wight. Down to its incredibly reliable wind and fantastic scenery, The Isle of Wight on the south coast of the UK is highly regarded as one of, if not the best spots for you to take on your first or next paragliding adventures.
In the heart of summer, a moderate and predictable ocean breeze ensures smooth flying conditions that help those of all abilities get used to the skills and training that are offered by the islands’ many paragliding schools.
Well, we quite enjoyed that stop on our Summer Staycation. What did you think? Will you be taking up the challenge and stepping up your summer staycation with some thrill-seeking adventures? Let us know in the comments below. As always, we love hearing from you and catching up on all the sports and activities you are getting up to this summer.
Don’t forget you can share yours with us on social media. Tag us @uperformuk and use #uperform #uperformuk
Tune in next week for the penultimate stop on our summer staycation journey! See you then!