If you’re at a loose end this Weekend, or any other day for that matter, here’s seven last-minute outdoor adventures that’ll keep you busy until Autumn…
1. Search for treasure
Well not treasure hunting so much as finding stamps and books. Geocaching has taken the world by storm, but if your feeling more old-school (or just lack one of these fancy GPS/smartphones) then why not try letterboxing?
Head to Dartmoor – the home of letterboxing where the first one was hidden back in 1854 – and search for waterproof boxes hidden amongst the tors and wilds of the rugged Dartmoor landscape. Stamp your notepad, read the book for clues to moor and walk to your next one.
There’s literally thousands of them in the 365 mile park – some are easy to find, others are hidden in the depths of the Dartmoor wilderness. It’s bound to perk up a walk in the park, and costs nothing.
Hunt for lunchboxes in Dartmoor
2. Go for a pint
And not just any old pint – save it for a reward at the end of a long walk, cycle or kayak.
How about opting for a drink, or even lunch if you-re feeling peckish, at the Berney Arms Pub near Great Yarmouth. Situated amongst the marshes and Broadlands of Norfolk, its 3.5 miles from the nearest road: perfect for stopping off at on a day hike or boat trip from the River Yare.
Like the sound of rewarding a bit of exercise with a nice drink? Check out nine more hard-to reach-pubs from around the UK and Northern Ireland.
3. Pitch up
For a cheap, last-minute break, camping has to get a look in. Nothing says Great British Summer as well as a muddy field and a tent. Plus, with pitches starting at around a £5 per night, it’s just about the most recession-friendly way to holiday.
Choose your campsite, pitch up and get cooking some hearty three-bean chilli for a perfect night under the stars.
Don’t feel like going far? Pitch up in you back garden and let the kids spend the night out there – trust us, they’ll think it’s an adventure in itself.
Head for a recession-friendly break
4. Monkey around
Where ever you are in the UK, you’re never far from a high-ropes course. Playing in the trees is guaranteed to bring out your inner-child, get a little bit of adrenaline going and put a smile in your face (unless you’re afraid of heights maybe). And if you’re looking for a family activity or time to kill with mates you can’t go wrong.
Young ones will be enchanted by the magic of Bewilderwood in Norfolk, while teenagers and adults can head for treetop adventures at Jungle Parc in Northamptonshire, TT Adventure in Snowdonia or Go Ape (nationwide).
5. Go boating
If the weather holds out, there’s one place to be – the water. A spot of boating is one very British way to celebrate the Jubilee.
Feeling traditional? Try punting in Cambridge, complete with essential Brit accessories – think Pimms, strawberries and an obligatory sunburn if its warm (waterproofs if not). At least one of you is bound to lose the pole or end up head first in the River Cam.
Feeling different? Aqua-sphereing could be for you. Because lets face it, all good weekends start by climbing inside a giant plastic ball and rolling around on the water. You can try Aqua-zorbing all over the country, from Newcastle right through to Newquay. Visit www.sphereing.co.uk for more info
Or you could grab a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board and explore the water wherever you are.
Go quintessential with a punt down the Cam
6. Go wild (swimming)
One of the best things about this fair and pleasant land is that we’re never far from water. From taking the plunge on the beach, to dipping your toes in a pebbled-brook, wild swimming is a great way to spend a bank holiday. It’s free to do, takes minutes to prepare and is a guaranteed grin-inducer whatever your age. Oh, and it means no chlorine stench.
For river swimming try Slippery Stones on the Derwent River: Miles from the nearest road, you can really escape and just enjoy the water. Expect some strange looks from the local sheep though…
One of our top lake spots is Frensham Great pond, Hampshire. It boasts a huge sandy beach, so you can pretend you’re at the coast (minus the wind and crowds) and has a marked swimming area.
For coastal wild swimming, head to Bamburgh sands in Northumberland. Hidden among Harkess rocks is a network of natural swimming pools to lose yourself in.
Images: Visit Britain