We love escaping for a weekend of adventure after a busy week, these are our top 10 weekend adventures to recharge your batteries. Just one word of caution – take along an experienced friend or guide if any of the activities are new to you.
1 Climb a mountain
Mountain walking has always been my favorite activity. I love the great views and sense of achievement when reaching the top. The Mountain Guide has a list of all the mountains in the uk. There are plenty to choose from and you don’t have to choose the highest peaks as some of the less famous mountains have terrific views such as the Black Mountain in South Wales.
2 Scramble along a classic ridge
If you enjoy fine views with a sense of exposure then you can’t beat an airy ridge scramble. Three of the classics ridges in the UK are the Aonoach Eagach
in Glencoe, Crib Goch
in Snowdonia and Striding edge
in the Lake District. Make sure you go with an experienced mountaineer as all three ridges can be dangerous and require good route finding and scrambling skills.
3 Ride a sportive
The growth in cycling since the 2012 Olympics has been amazing, the sight of lycra clad men on Sunday mornings has become a common site across the country. This surge in popularity has led to an increase on the number of Sportives and charity cycling events. If you haven’t tried one yet Sportives are great fun, typically 60 km, 100 km or 100 miles in length and well signposted with fuel stops along the way. There are sportives most weekends from Spring to Autumn, check out the Book my Ride
websites for details of events
4 Mountain biking
There has been a massive growth in mountain bike parks and trail centers over the last 20 years. The first park was established in North Wales in 1994, there are now scores of parks all over the country with runs graded similar to ski runs. Many of the parks have uplifts in the form of transit vans and bike trailors. Two of the largest parks are Glentress south of Edinburgh and Bike Park Wales north of Cardiff, check out the More Dirt and Bike Radar sites for details of the best parks across the country.
There is no better way than getting close to nature than by paddling a canoe across a lake or river. We recently padding around Loch Ba
in the Scottish highlands and within 5 minutes from a busy road it felt like wilderness with no signs of civilisation. There are plenty of canoe hire centers around the UK and most places will transport the canoe to and from the water for you, check out the Go Canoeing
website, it’s a great resource for planning your adventure
6 Surfing or body boarding
It’s a great feeling catch to catch a wave and ride it to shore. Body boarding is easy to pick up while Surfing require a few lessons to learn the basic techniques.
The UK has a great range of surf locations with Devon
the most popular. Wales
also has some great surf spots. It may surprise you to hear that the Isle of Tiree
in the Outer Hebrides is of the best surf locations in the the UK, it has very high sunshine levels, fantastic beaches
, uninterrupted Atlantic swell and excellent surf schools
, what’s not to love!
A sneaky weekend to the French Alps is a terrific way to cure the winter blues. There are a number of resorts an hours drive from Geneva so if you get an early flight you can hit the slopes in the afternoon. Our favorite resorts are Morzine and neighbouring Les Gets with their miles of runs from treelined slopes and link to Avoriaz for mountain skiing with classic alpine views
8 Try a new activity
Once a year its good to push your boundaries and do something different and enjoy the great feeling of achievement afterwards. I enjoy actives that utilise human power or forces of nature so kite surfing, sea kayaking
, rock climbing coasteering and open water swimming fit the bill. One cautionary note – make sure you partner up with an expert or professional, you don’t want to be blown out to sea or find you don’t know how to tie a knot half way up a rock face.
9 Wild Camping
There’s something special about wild camping and being alone in the wilderness . The mornings are fantastic with beautiful fresh air and a sense that you have the mountains to yourself. We recently camped high on a Scottish mountain before bagging a couple of munros, it was the one of the best days I have had in the mountains for years. The Ordnance Survey
has some great tips for wild camping including an unofficial code of conduct.
10 Beach fire and sunset
I can’t think of a better way to round off an adventurous day than a driftwood barbecue on a deserted beach. We have had some fabulous evenings on the west coast of Scotland watching the sky turn red red as the sun drops over the horizon.