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The British adventure experience
Relaxing on a beach or lazing around a pool might sound like holiday heaven to you, but for others, it may well be their idea of holiday hell. If you feel the latter, an adventure activity break may appeal to you. I was looking through the Glasgow classifieds for some tour ideas a few months back, and came across a local guide who gave me laods of ideas of alternative tours and acticities to do, and here are a few from Scotland and the UK:
Climb, swing, reach and guide your way through an assault course...up in the trees! High rope courses have become increasingly popular over the last decade with courses now available throughout the UK. Most courses are 20 foot high but if you’re looking for something higher, Extreeme adventure offer a course with two elements at 80 feet high! There's no need to worry though, every high ropes course in the UK has to pass a strict safety test before it is open to the public. Safety systems using wire rope, friction devices, and climbing harnesses are always in place to manage any possible risks and there will always be an instructor nearby.
Ropes course challenges are used for a number of educational, developmental, and recreational goals by schools and businesses and are also recommended by medical professionals for patients wanting to confront their personal fears and anxieties. The ropes package available at Beamish Wild in County Durham incorporates a wide range of activities from the breath taking High Ropes Course with its 45ft freefall finish to Abseil Platforms, Archery and Shelter Building.
Feel the adrenalin as you ascend up the side of a vertical mountain; if you’re scared of heights...don’t look down! Rock climbing has always been an important component of mountaineering for discovery and scientific purposes however the ‘sport’ of rock climbing in Europe only began 200 years ago. Today, rock climbing is popular choice with those looking for a vertical challenge in the great outdoors. Rock climbing courses are available around the UK for people of all ages and abilities. Most climbing centres offer courses with personalised climbing instructors or if you’re attending as a family, you may be provided with a group guide. With rock climbing, safety is an important issue and all instructors are trained to specific levels and all equipment will have met a certain safety criteria. Hebridean Pathways offer you the opportunity to experience extremely rewarding rock climbs, walks and scrambles on the Isle of Skye and throughout the Highlands as well as French Alps Walking Holidays.
Also known as gorge scrambling, this is an adrenalin fuelled activity where you will get wet! Gorge walking involves climbing in and out of rivers, jumping into pools, climbing up waterfalls, criss-crossing walls and much more. You’ll be provided with all the equipment you need, including wetsuits, safety helmets and buoyancy aids. The average gorge walking session lasts around three to five hours and you will be accompanied by fully qualified instructors at all times. The minimum age for a gorge walking experience is usually 8 years however it’s best to check with the company before booking. G2 Outdoor offer gorge walking experiences alongside loads of other adventure activities including white water rafting, canyoning, rock climbing, sea kayaking, skiing and ski mountaineering based in Aviemore in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Too far north? As well as bushcraft and canoeing, Pro Adventure provide the experience of gorge walking amongst the best gorges in North Wales.
Gorge walking for school groups or large teams is extremely popular at Nant Y Frith where the famous "Welsh Marmottes" live and at the challenging Cynwyd. Visit sas4schools.co.uk for more information and to book.
For the ultimate adrenalin rush try coasteering, one of the exciting outdoor activities Northern Ireland. Coastseering is an experience exactly the same as gorge walking but based on the coast rather than rivers and gorges. Adventure Centre in Cornwall offer activities such as surfing Cornwall but also specialize in coasteering. Prices start from £55 per person. For more coasteering adventures in Cornwalll, visit www.activecornwall.co.uk. They offer the very best activities in Cornwall and arrange them for families, singles, couples, groups, beginners and experts.
The skill of Archery has been used for centuries for the use of hunting and combat. Many associate archery with Robin Hood, a legend known by many who had an accomplished aim. Today, archery is classed as an Olympic sport which makes it a popular activity around the UK. For novices, most centres around the UK such as New Forest Activities in Hampshire offer archery lessons. Expert tuition and supervision is provided, making an archery lesson a great activity gift experience for family and friends of all ages. Archery is suitable for adults and juniors, and sessions usually last around two hours. Activities Wales in Cardiff offer an assortment of outdoor activities and exciting challenges. Their archery experience is held outdoors, with fabulous views of the valleys below, or if it’s raining, they’ll complete the session in their extensive barn. Prices start from £12 per session based on 6 persons or over.
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Live pigeon shooting competitions were made illegal in the UK in 1921 which is when clay pigeon shooting became a sport. Clay shooting is classified as an Olympic sport and is an extremely popular and is vastly spreading from countryside to city. The experience is thrilling; demanding concentration, a keen eye and quick reactions. Clay pigeon shooting is a popular choice for stag-do’s and mainly the masculine type with centres widely available throughout the UK. Based in beautiful Speyside in the Cairngorms National Park, Craggan Outdoors offers a wide range of outdoor activities in the Highlands of Scotland including clay pigeon shooting. Price per person for 25 shots is from £32. For somewhere to stay, Self Catering Holiday Cottages Scotland offer over 3000 self catering holiday cottages, houses, crofts, castles and apartments throughout Scotland and the Scottish Isles. Book directs with the owners and save up to 30%. Includes online search. Adventure North Wales organise activity short breaks, weekends and events in North Wales. Thier activities include a selection of adventures such as clay pigeon shooting and accommodation that have been specially selected to offer an exciting programme to give a real taste of outdoor adventure for groups, clubs and families.
For extended information on activities and family days out that are available across the UK, visit ActiveBreaks.com. This is a fast and direct way to over 1000 UK activity and adventure centres or for team building activities, conferences, incentive trips and stag and hen events, try CinnamonActive.com.
Familytravelexperiencesblog.com is a new Family Travel Experience Blog by Trafalgar. Family Experiences by Trafalgar focuses on family-friendly travel adventures filled with eventful sightseeing and activities. One of the main benefits for families planning their next vacation is that all the arrangements, including hotels, transportation and dining are taking care of by Family Experience.