Reasons To Stay Home – The Best Things To Do Outdoors In The UK This Summer (Part 4)

And so to the final part in our  ‘UK Adventures‘ blog series; all you’ll be needing this week is a coastline and some open space!

 

Jetskiing

image credit: webhamster

Jetskiing is traditionally considered a de rigeur part of any holiday to Florida or the Mediterranean; often with the craft lined up outside some impossibly stereotypical beach hut, rented out by a leathery man wearing little but his shades and boardshorts. Whilst many might consider the UK the wrong setting for blasting about on these exhilarating watercraft; we’d beg to differ, and there are many centres around the country – either on lakes or the coast – that can offer you an experience that’s very hard to rival.

Accessibility? 8/10
Challenge? Unfamiliarity
What Do I Need? Everything should be provided from the centre – from wetsuits and buoyancy aids to helmets and the jetskis themselves
Costs? Hiring a jetski starts at around £50, and can go up to around £200 depending on the conditions of rental. Alternatively you can pick one up second-hand from about £3,000…
Where? Nationwide – lakes or calm coastal waters are your best bet
How Do I Get Started? Jetski Safaris
Tattershall Lakes
Lagoona Park
Action Watersports 

 

Coasteering

Image credit: James Qualtrough

Coasteering – as the picture suggests – involves a great deal of rocks, water, and gravity. If this doesn’t sound like a particularly safe concoction, then you’re about right; which is why finding a guide who knows what they’re doing is essential in enjoying this adventure. The coastal equivalent of ‘canyoning’, coasteering is about traversing the rocky coastlines around some of the most stunning parts of the country.

Predictably, the water is a little chilly, so expect to be kitted out in a hard-wearing wetsuit, as well as a buoyancy aid and helmet for your protection. Some centres will provide footwear, but take an old pair of trainers with you in case; you’ll want a good grip as you scramble up some of the faces…and as you go to leap back off them!

Accessibility? 6/10
Challenge? Nerves, Unfamiliarity
What Do I Need? Confidence in the water. Helmet, wetsuit and buoyancy aid are all standard, but provided by the centre. You may need to take some old trainers to protect your feet though.
Costs? With expeditions lasting around 3-4 hours, prices start at about £50, but fall to about £40 in group bookings
Where? Coastal regions in the South-West and North of the country have the best conditions
How Do I Get Started? British Coasteering Foundation
TYF
Land & Wave
Celtic Quest Coasteering
Clan Adventures
Extreme Coasteering

 

Zorbing 

image Credit: Colin & Glenda Clarke

One of the definitive ‘extreme sports’ that appeared in the 1990’s, Zorbing (or ‘sphering’) became a worldwide phenomenon. Today, few travellers can manage an expedition without at least the opportunity to get into these oversized hamster balls appearing along the way!

Zorbing can be enjoyed in a few different ways, but the constant is that you jump into a giant inflatable sphere at the top of a slope, and emerge laughing like a loon a few minutes later at the bottom! For those with a strong stomach, you can try a dry zorb; where you are attached to the wall of the ball and roll head-over-heels as it makes it way down to the bottom; however we’d recommend taking some spare clothes and opting for the wetter option. This involves a bucket of warm water going into the ball with you (and a friend if you know each other well enough for bruises to be laughed about!); and can be best described as like the inside of a washing machine on final spin! Some centres offer you a t-shirt if you can remain standing to the bottom of the hill, which gives you some idea about the more likely outcome! A must for a Summer’s day.

Accessibility? 9/10
Challenge? Unfamiliarity, Claustrophobia
What Do I Need? Nothing at all. Clothes you’re happy to get wet if you choose the water-option (which we recommend)
Costs? Ranging from £20-40 depending on the location you choose, and the quality of the centre
Where? Nationwide
How Do I Get Started? Rollmania
Pod London

 

Slacklining 

Whilst it may look like tightrope walking; slacklining is more like trampolining than anything else; perhaps best described as a cross between the two. Started by climbers who ratcheted cargo webbing tight enough to walk along, the sport has since taken off in its own right, and today can be found practiced by teens and young adults in many a park and open space across Europe and the US.

The appeal of slacklining is both the infinitely creative challenges it offers due to the simplicity of the design, and the full-body workout you provide yourself with in the process. Slacklining requires an immense amount of balance, that can only be developed by spending more time on the line; and by keeping yourself on this fine line, you find your core muscles are thoroughly worked, providing a fun toning workout too.

There are few limits to where these lines can (and do) go; from starting with a 15m line a few feet from the ground, the world’s best will create lines up to 500m long suspended thousands of meters above the ground (highlining), as was famously demonstrated in 2011’s Flight of the Frenchies.

Accessibility? 7/10
Challenge? Balance, Fitness
What Do I Need? Comfortable clothes, good outdoors footwear, and probably your own slackline
Costs? Slacklines can be found on SportPursuit starting from around £40; otherwise expect to pay around £50-60.
Where? Wherever you choose to set it up! Most public spaces are ok with their installation, although best to check with the landowner first.
How Do I Get Started? Maverick Slacklines
Elephant Slacklines
Gibbon Slacklines 

 

Duck Herding 

image credit: Tony Hisgett

Yes, it’s a thing. One of the more unusual ‘team-building’ events out their; you’ll either be set up with a sheepdog or a group of friends, and collectively have to run around the field trying to herd a team of Indian Runner ducks. We’ve included it into the list because – depending on your proficiency – you’ll most likely end up running more than the ducks do. Open to all ages, so perhaps an unusual way to entertain come the Summer holidays.

Accessibility? 10/10
Challenge? Coordination
What Do I Need? A sense of humour is going to be well-served
Costs? Prices vary depending on group sizes and location; call the organisers for more information
Where? Nationwide – Provided you have the space they’ll often come to your location
How Do I Get Started? A Day In The Country
Claire Whiteley
Lee Leisure
Phoenix Leisure

 

That rounds up our four-part series; however next week we’ll be running one more post; going through some of the best adventures suggested by you! Stay tuned!

 

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

 

Part 1 Trail Running
Adventure Racing & Urban Adventure Racing
Whitewater Kayaking
Tubing
Skydiving
Part 2 Obstacle Endurance Racing
Beach Riding
Paintball
Wakeboarding & Wakeskiing
Climbing & Abseiling
Part 3 Quad Biking & ATVs
Surfing
Mountain Biking
Highropes
Gliding
Part 4 Jetskiing
Coasteering
Zorbing
Slacklining
Duck Herding

 

Doug Stidolph 2013

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