5 of the best places in the UK for adventures
For those of us who love to explore, adventure, and spend time in the great outdoors, the allure of travel is almost always there. Many UK explorers will set their sights on the far and wide, planning adventures such as treks along the Appalachian Trail or coral reef dives in Indonesia. Naturally, ambitious travels and experiences abroad will be near the top of any adventurer’s list, but it’s not always practical or possible to travel the world when you’re yearning for a bit of adventure.
That’s why we love the UK – as it offers just about anything that any explorer could wish for. You just have to look for it. So, whether you’re looking for answers on how to backpack in the UK, where to camp or the best spots in the UK for hiking, we’re here to help you realise the adventure potential on your front doorstep. To help we’ve collated the top 5 places in the UK for adventures with notable destinations suited to any adventurer.
Famous for its gorgeous highlands, its moody lochs, and its rich history and architecture, Scotland has so much to offer any keen adventurer. Cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh (plus many others) boast a wealth of historical and cultural sights and experiences spanning from ‘haunted’ underground vault tours to whiskey and cheese tasting sessions in the historic pubs above.
For those who like to get out in the wild and explore nature, Scotland has so much to offer. It’s packed with amazing walks and hikes (don’t forget your boots and your backpacks) and is home to sights and experiences that could have been plucked out of a fantasy novel.
The North Coast 500: The North Coast 500 is a 500-mile route around the north coast of Scotland, offering some of the best coastal views. Whether you explore by car, caravan, or even as a cycling route, this experience will tick several adventure boxes at once. Not only will you have ample opportunity to get outdoors and experience nature, but you’ll also have access to several local villages, beaches, landmarks, and so much more.
Additional ideas: Exploring the Fairy Pools of Skye, Snowboarding in Cairngorms National Park (check out our ski gear including ski helmets), or Canyoning in Fort William
If you’re someone who loves to walk, hike, or camp, chances are you’ll love Wales. Known for famous mountainous landmarks like Snowdon / Snowdonia National Park as well as its breath-taking Pembrokeshire coastline, Wales has so much to offer any nature lover.
With colourful seaside towns like Tenby or historical market towns like Conwy (which also boasts an impressive castle), Wales also caters to those who love history and architecture. Not only that but many of these towns are located along the seafront, meaning plenty of paddling and opportunities for water sports.
Gower Peninsula: As the first place in Europe to be deemed an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,’ the Gower Peninsula in Wales is ideal for any passionate explorer and sightseer. Packed with stunning natural beaches and coastal views along with beautiful walking, cycling and hiking trails, this area is a long-running favourite for UK adventurers. It’s also ideal for anyone who enjoys coastal camping, with plenty of designated sites to pitch up and relax.
Additional ideas: Wild Swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire or experiencing the world’s fastest zipline in Penrhyn Slate Quarry.
Another area of the UK known for its stunning coastline, Cornwall is a popular destination for holidaymakers and adventurers. While Cornwall tends to get busy in the warmer months, it offers year-round opportunities to explore, particularly outside the high traffic spots.
From quaint, historic fishing villages to medieval and prehistoric landmarks such as Bodmin Moor, Cornwall has a broad variety of adventures to enjoy. It’s also known for its amazing food and drink as well as its water sports - whether you’re looking for a new culinary adventure or want to try windsurfing, Cornwall has you covered.
St Nectan’s Glen: Regarded as one of the more unspoilt locations in Cornwall, St Nectan’s Glen is home to a host of truly striking waterfalls and pools, nestled away in ancient woodland. With a host of rare plants and species to observe, this hidden gem was deemed a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is also considered one of the UK’s most spiritual sites.
Additional ideas: Underground caving in West Cornwall or unspoilt camping near Gwithian Beach
- LAKE DISTRICT
While there are plenty of coastal areas to enjoy water sports and boating in the UK, the Lake District has it perfected. Home to Lake Windermere - the UK’s largest natural lake - the Lake District is packed with opportunities to explore and get out in nature. It’s also ideal for camping, and as one of the darkest locations in the UK, this area offers up some unbeatable stargazing.
Windermere Lake or Coniston Lake: While the lakes can get a little busy in peak tourist seasons, it’s certainly worth the hustle and bustle. As hubs for a host of water sports, Windermere and Coniston Lake are both scenic and safe places to try your hand at something new, be it paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, boating, and more.
Additional ideas: Wet canyoning / abseiling in Windermere or exploring the Honister Slate Mine in Seathwaite
- PEAK DISTRICT
Perfect for those who love to hike, climb, camp, and enjoy quaint and quirky pubs along the way, the Peak District is home to a host of amazing adventures. Known for famous walking and hiking paths like Saddleworth Moor, Mam Tor, and Kinder Scout, finding days and days’ worth of adventure by foot is easy with all the Peak District has to offer.
Despite its mountainous and hilly reputation, the Peak District is also bike-friendly, whether road biking or off-trail / mountain biking for those with a little more experience. It’s also jam-packed with a variety of campsites ranging from tent-only pitches to caravan sites, many of which welcome furry friends so you can bring the whole family.
Bakewell: Located at the very heart of the Peak District, Bakewell is home to several culturally significant landmarks such as Chatsworth House, located just off the gorgeous River Derwent. Handy to walking and hiking trails as well as historic buildings, quaint cafes, and lovely pubs, Bakewell offers something for both nature and culture lovers.
Additional ideas: Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire or the Peak and Speedwell Caverns in Castleton
No matter where your UK adventures take you, there’s plenty to do and see right here at home - we hope today’s list has inspired you to get out and about to enjoy all the UK has to offer. Happy adventures everyone!