Top UK adventure weekends
Backpax’s guest blogger Thidara Udomritkul, from Days of Adventure, shares her top UK adventure weekends… some of these are not for the fainthearted!
It’s crazy how much you can fit into 48 hours. Knock a day or two off work and a weekend becomes a chance to embrace a new adventure on your doorstep. It normally starts with a picture in a magazine. Or a friend with a stray idea. I suddenly start building the trip in my head. I get excited and the idea quickly gains momentum, like a snowball shooting down a mountain.
Below is a list of 8 UK Weekend Adventure Getaways that I’ve been on in the last few years. I’ll be over the moon if anyone is inspired to do a weekend after reading this:
1) Beginners Surfing Weekend in Cornwall
I’ve never surfed before. Ever. Yet I loved the idea of it. Perpetually salty hair, soft sand beneath your toes and a gentle sea breeze while speeding across the water. Surfing is definitely hard. I had achy arms, bruises from hitting the sandbank and I remember the eternal struggle of dragging a board down to the beach that was too wide for length of my arms.
I loved the challenge of it and it can be done cheaply! Three days of lessons, accommodation and bed and breakfast for only £89 with Blue Wings Surf School (highly recommended!). Grab a train to Newquay for £20.20 [Young Persons Railcard, booked three weeks in advance] or a return Megabus from London for as cheap as £10.50.
2) A Ridge Hike in Snowdon
A train ticket to Bangor from London was £9.25 booked in advance. This was a three day weekend with a knife edged ridge walk to Mt Snowdon and a chance to fly down the fastest Zipwire in the UK, Zipworld [£50.00].
3) Cycling the South Downs Way
The South Downs Way is a 100 mile walk/cycle consisting of open farmland, rolling hills and chalk cliffs just an hour from London. The return train tickets are less then £30 and I managed to blag a nights accommodation at Moonlight Cottage for only £20.00 in a tent, inclusive of a massive breakfast. You can read more about attempting this cheap weekend getaway here.
Backpax recommends staying at: Gumber Bothy Barn.
4) Caving in Cheddar
Cheddar Gorge is world-famous and a fantastic short break away from the bustle of London. I stayed at Neuholme B&B for only £30 per person. A walk is available free of charge via a side route (the route notes are here). I went Caving for the first time in Cheddar. Petrol share with a friend and it is approximately £20 for a lovely weekend break.
5) Coasteering in Dorset
Guided coasteering for under £25 per person with a Groupon deal! I stayed at Swanage YHA and Burnbake Campsite which were both amazing bases for hiking around Lulsworth Cove & Durdle Door, cycling in the New Forest and Coasteering at Dancer’s Ledge.
Backpax recommends staying at: Bunkhouse Plus.
6) Hiking in Peak District
Not as far as Lake District but still a breathtaking weekend away. I booked a return train ticket across a bank holiday weekend for £32.45 from London and I stayed at YHA Edale, just a 15 minute walk from the train station . YHA Edale is a great base, and just a stone’s throw from some of the best walks in the Peak District. We discovered a plane wreck (on a unorthodox shortcut!), got lost on the boggy plains of Kinder Scout and explored forested trails.
7) Multi-Activity Scotland
A four day weekend of canyoning, hiking, fun buggying and via ferrata (vertical descents) in the Highlands. I left straight after work on a Friday and grabbed a Megabus gold (with a bed!) for £30 to Glasgow then a scenic train to Fort William for £18 [Young Persons Railcard]. I stayed at Glen Nevis Campsite for £9 per person, per night. My return journey was a train to central Glasgow, with an afternoon exploring the city and a flight back to London Gatwick with Easyjet for £25.
A great venue [Adrenaline Quarry] and an all inclusive price of £62.50 for coasteering, getting flung in the air via a ‘giant blob’ and zip wiring. I took a Megabus Gold for £28.75 return and stayed at Globe Backpackers Plymouth for £16 per night. Take the train to Menheniot from Plymouth (about 15 mins on the train) and the venue is just a short walk away.
A adventure weekend doesn’t need to be out of reach, expensive or as my sister likes to say … “an ordeal”. Grab that spark of inspiration, let the idea grow and make some fond memories.
By Thidara Udomritkul, blogger at Days of Adventure