(More) Reasons To Stay Home – The Best Things To Do Outdoors In The UK This Summer – Member Suggestions

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been building a list of the top 20 things you could do outdoors in the UK this summer; and we hope we’ve inspired some of you to try your hand at new adventures over the coming months!

However, a top 20 list inevitably leaves a few good ideas to fall by they wayside; and we’ve been asking all of you along the way if there’s anything you think should have made the cut. Here are the five that we think deserve a rightful mention:



Hang-gliders and paragliders use warm air currents to stay airborne for hours on end. The same thermals are used by birds of prey, who’ll often fly alongside you – that’s a cool enough reason for us to recommend these great pastimes.

Accessibility? 6/10
Challenge? Unfamiliarity, Nerves
What Do I Need? For your first flights, warming clothing should be all you need – protective equipment and gliders will be provided by the operator. Later you’ll need to buy a glider, helmet and all the kit.
Costs? Taster flights can be had from around £130. A glider and the required equipment can be had from £2500, and qualifying to fly solo can be between £400 and £1000
Where? Nationwide – Hilly areas are most common because they provide better flying conditions
How Do I Get Started? British Hang-gliding & Paragliding Association
South Downs Hang-gliding
Peak District Hang-gliding Centre
Fly Sussex Paragliding
Axis Paragliding 




Sir Richard Branson is a well-known kite-surfing aficionado, and last week gained the record (yes, another) for oldest man to kite-surf the English Channel. It’s not easy to master, requiring a degree of multitasking in both surfing and flying your kite; but it’s one of the best ways to spend a day in the water.

Accessibility? 7/10
Challenge? Unfamiliarity, Balance
What Do I Need? In the UK, a wetsuit. Training centres will provide all the equipment, though.
Costs? Depending on if you’re doing lessons or looking to learn yourself, the costs vary from £170 for all-inclusive 2-day courses, to c.£1100 for starter packages
Where? All around the British coastline
How Do I Get Started? UK Windsurfing Association
British Kite Surfing Association
The Kite Surf Centre
Project Windsurf
Kite Surfing UK




Orienteering conjures up images in many of us of school-day or corporate ‘team exercises’; but orienteering can be extremely competitive at the top-end. In Scandinavia, competitions are regularly televised, with up to 15,000 entrants. It can be extremely exciting, and requires some very quick thinking as you plot your route!

Accessibility? 10/10
Challenge? Fitness
What Do I Need? Membership to British Orienteering and a pair of outdoor footwear, that’s it.
Costs?  Around £20 for annual membership, plus event entry fees; Orienteering is one of the most accessible of outdoor competitions.
Where? Nationwide, see the British Orienteering website for events near you.
How Do I Get Started? British Orienteering
Scottish Orienteering
NI Orienteering
Leicestershire Orienteering Club
Mole Valley Orienteering
Devon Orienteering Club



Sea Kayaking

Sea kayaking is a great way to island hop and trek around Britain’s coastline. Long and shallow, with small watertight compartments for any creature comforts you might wish to take along the way; sea kayaking is done in all conditions, but a warm summer’s day is hard to beat.

Accessibility? 9/10
Challenge? Unfamiliarity
What Do I Need? A sea-kayak, a paddle and a buoyancy aid; all can be hired from centres around the country
Costs? Sea kayaks can be picked up from around £500. Trips and hire vary in price from £100 upwards, depending on the itinerary.
Where? Calmer coastal waters, usually in sheltered areas of coastline
How Do I Get Started? Sea2Summit
UK Sea Kayak Guidebook
Sea Kayaking Cornwall
Norwest Sea Kayaking




The closest you’re ever going to get to Ironman’s flying suit, flyboarding offers any number of ways for you to embarrass yourself, but to get it right is to allow you to quite literally fly above and below the water. If you’re not sold yet, just watch the video below:

Accessibility? 4/10
Challenge? Just about everything
What Do I Need?
Costs? You can buy a flyboard and jetski package from about £14k, but we’d probably recommend you try it first – experiences start at £100
Where? There are currently nine locations nationwide
How Do I Get Started? Flyboarding.co.uk



The Best Things To Do Outdoors In The UK This Summer:

Part 1 Trail Running
Adventure Racing & Urban Adventure Racing
Whitewater Kayaking
Part 2 Obstacle Endurance Racing
Beach Riding
Wakeboarding & Wakeskiing
Climbing & Abseiling
Part 3 Quad Biking & ATVs
Mountain Biking
Part 4 Jetskiing
Duck Herding

Doug Stidolph 2013