If you’re considering a staycation, then UK holidays are all about making the most of our beautiful countryside. For families with energetic little ones, this often means having a go at some adventure sports or activities. To help you find the best sports you can do as a family, here’s some of our top suggestions.
A bushcraft-themed family holiday
Available all over the UK, bushcraft holidays give kids the experience of living out in the wild. Teaching unique survival skills like shelter building, campfire cooking or woodcarving, these holidays are a great option for adventurous families. Plus, they offer plenty of fuel for young imaginations after the holiday ends.
Usually aimed at children eight years old and over, you might be able to take younger children along if you check in advance at the time of booking. These courses often run even during bad weather, so even if it rains all summer there are still adventures you can enjoy.
Go wild swimming
Another adventurous kids’ activity, wild swimming encourages you to move out of your comfort zone and experience the many incredible lakes, lochs and rivers of the UK. Why not take a swim in the hidden beauty spots of the Lake District, or be brave and dip your toes into the cold waters of the Highlands?
It’s important you’re aware of the necessary safety precautions when swimming outdoors before you take the plunge. However, if done carefully it’s a thrilling adventure for older children, teens, and parents looking for a brisk wake-up!
The Lake District is the ultimate destination for wild swimming, and you can get the train to Penrith or Oxenholme for a picturesque start to your break.
Find your way around with orienteering
An alternative sport, orienteering is a great way to explore new places, get off the beaten track or challenge your map-reading skills. Found across the UK, orienteering clubs have set up permanent courses that are easy to find and complete with both young children and older kids. Kids’ clubs are available too - check the British Orienteering organisation for local clubs at your holiday destination.
Suitable for people of all fitness levels, orienteering adventures can be a great way to get the whole family involved in activities during longer breaks in the UK. Plus, it’s easy to get started and often doesn’t need any additional equipment other than your phone, making it a great activity for spontaneous walks.
Challenge the West Highland Way
One of the more adventurous activities on our list, the West Highland Way is one of Scotland’s greatest trails and is a great challenge for older children and parents who want to take in some of the country’s most beautiful views. You can complete the walk in as little as six days, or enjoy a more leisurely pace over nine days. The signposted route also takes you past some of the area’s major settlements and historical monuments.
Wild camping is also possible if the weather’s good, or you can stop at hotels each night for a warm, comfortable rest. Simply get the train to Glasgow and onward to Milngavie to get to the starting point of the route.
Go on a magical nocturnal safari
Kids love animals, and when you combine that with a thrilling nighttime walk, you’ve got a recipe for a wild adventure. A UK family holiday with a difference, these nocturnal safaris - offered at one of the largest rewilding projects in Britain - give you the chance to see creatures in their natural habitat in a truly special setting. Search out bats and moths on a nocturnal stroll, or enjoy the gentle calls of nighttime birds on their owl-spotting walk. Suitable for children aged 12 and above, Knepp Castle and the wider wildlife safari park area is accessible via trains from London Euston.
Take your adventure to new heights
When it comes to children’s holidays you can’t miss out the incredible institution that is the Youth Hostel Association. Offering family holidays in the UK for over 90 years, this charity aims to enrich the lives of young people by providing amazing adventures at their many locations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Scale new heights by taking on the high rope courses at one of their activity centres, or plan for a more relaxing - but still adventurous - cycling break for a weekend away in nature.
Go pony trekking in the forest
Parent to an aspiring jockey? Family-friendly horse riding breaks have been around since before the Victorian times, and there’s no better place to take in the sights on horseback than Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
With more than 500 miles of trails and off-road bridleways, this is the perfect family break for pony-lovers of all ages. Routes vary from beginner to advanced, so there’s a suitable challenge for every rider. Change trains at Northampton or Manchester to get to your horseback adventure.
Plan your next adventure
Leave the holiday home behind and take to the outdoors for your next family holiday, or better yet, enjoy an adventure and then come back to the hot tub once the kids are asleep. If you take the train, your holiday can start before you reach your destination as you sit back, relax and look forward to the adventures ahead.