Active UK breaks

2 minutes

From trampolining in a cave to treasure hunting on the Yorkshire Dales, here are some unusual but fun activities you can do over the sunny months as part of a healthy lifestyle.

  • Try something new, under the ground or high above it
  • Great ideas throughout the UK to incorporate into trips
  • Exercise your mind as well as your body

1. Go sailing

Give your family the real Swallows and Amazons experience and go small boat sailing. Small boats, such as a dinghy or keelboat, are the perfect vessels in which to try out sailing. There are local sailing clubs across the UK where you can have a go, or alternatively, you can join an RYA training course.

Three great sailing spots:

2. Test your brain

Test your brain and burn some energy by exploring the Leeds Castle maze and underground grotto. The maze in Kent is made from 2,400 yew trees and has an unusual design characteristic that is unique to Leeds Castle.

Although it’s laid out in a square pattern, when it’s viewed from the air it appears circular – clever, right? This adds to its difficulty and length, so you can be sure to get plenty of exercise as you double-back from dead ends.

Three more amazing mazes:

3. Fly a kite

‘You can't beat a good kite flying session, especially with kids,’ says kite expert, John Barresi. ‘The ideal wind for kite flying is 5-25mph.’

Try flying a kite on the beach, or on a hill like Coombe Hill near Wendover, which is one of the highest points in the Chilterns and a classic favourite for flyers. Owned by the National Trust, you're greeted by amazing scenery when you climb to the top – and it's a great spot for a picnic too.

The UK’s top spots for kite flying:

4. Trampoline in a cave

Want to avoid being out too much in the summer sun? Why not bounce around Zip World trampoline cave in Wales? Bounce Below is located in a former slate mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, and is suitable for ages seven and over, including adults.

There are six levels of bouncing fun in an enormous underground cavern, plus four industrial  slides the height of two double-decker buses – a great way of burning off excess energy.

For more bouncing brilliance, why not try:

5. Hunt geocache treasure

Mobile phones always in the kids’ hands? Why not put them to good use?

‘Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt, where you navigate to coordinates using a GPS app to find a hidden geocache,’ says Sarah Murphy, The Geocaching Junkie (‎@thegeojunkie).  ‘The geocache contains a logbook, or logsheet to record your visit, and some contain extra goodies.’

Download a free mobile GPS app and search on the website to find coordinates for hidden geocaches.

Go digital treasure hunting in one of these three national parks:

6. Have a go at lake canoeing

Want a work-out as well as an experience? Visit the beautiful Cumbrian Lake District and have a go at canoeing.

There are numerous lakes to choose from and you can hire all the essential equipment from outdoor centres around Coniston, Derwentwater, Windermere and Ullswater.

Three links to beautiful lakes:

7. Try fossil hunting

There are hundreds of fossil sites across the UK, both inland and on the coast, where you can find anything from clay pipes to ammonites.

Popular spots, such as Charmouth in Dorset, have places where you can hire equipment, like hard hats and hammers. Search for location ideas on the UK Fossils website.

Three great fossil site websites:

8. Go llama trekking

If your kids love animals, why not go llama trekking? There are lots of places around the UK that offer it.

‘Llamas are great characters and make excellent walking companions', says Suzanne Benson, from Nidderdale Llamas (@nidderdalellama). ‘It's suitable for children seven and over and you lead the animals as you walk.’

Where to go llama trekking:

9. Learn orienteering

If geocaching is too tech-focussed for you, why not try orienteering? Your kids could be kept occupied with just a map and compass, searching for certain points in the landscape.

There are numerous permanent orienteering courses throughout the UK, in forests, country parks and moors. You can search for one in an area of your choice on the British Orienteering website.

Some of the best routes are listed below:

10. Try tree surfing

Love climbing trees and high challenges? Have a family day out on Dartmoor in Devon,  in an area of outstanding beauty, and try tree surfing. From rope bridges and zip lines to death drops and leaps of faith, there are plenty of exhilarating activities to test yourself with.

Go Ape is nationwide, but there are plenty of other options, including:


Getting outdoors and being active is a great way to bond as a family and make memories together. Whatever activities you decide to do, remember to have fun and enjoy yourself.

These fun summer activities could help you maintain your fitness and improve your health, but for peace of mind make sure you consider having life insurance in place.

For more ideas on great outdoor activities visit lifestyle and health writer Rachel Newcombe on twitter @RNewcombe.