Awesome Adventure Holiday Locations in the UK



Everyone assumes that when it comes to finding a great adventure holiday you have to look abroad and far away from the British Isles. This really isn’t the case as the UK provides a lot of great experiences that are right on our doorstep. Adrenaline junkies in particular need look no further than Britain for affordable and awesome getaways.

Fistrel Beach Surfer

Surfing in Cornwall

Cornwall is internationally recognised as one of the best locations in the UK for surfing, thanks to its large coastline, stunning beaches and great waves. Newquay is the capital for British surfing and its famous Fistral Beach hosts international surfing tournaments – but there plenty of other great places to ride the waves in. Watergate Bay on the north coast is also a very popular location with surfers and tourists, but if you’re really looking for challenging surf and consider yourself a seasoned pro, then beaches like Porthleven and Constantine might be right up your street.
Driving along the north coast of Cornwall reveals loads of surfing locations for both pros and amateurs. The culture of Cornwall also lives and breathes surfing and extreme sports, and the people are very laid back in nature, making it a great getaway destination.

Biking in Wales

Wales is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the UK that has an incredible rural landscape. With its rolling hills and untouched countryside, Wales is also the perfect spot for the avid cycler. From the national park of Snowdonia, where the biggest mountain in the British Isles, Mount Snowdon resides, to Coed Y Brenin which has beautiful forest scenery to admire, there are breathtaking cycling routes everywhere you go. The routes can be testing with a high inclining landscape and if you speak to the friendly locals they’ll divulge the secret locations of some really great routes. If you want a great cycling holiday, look no further than Wales.

Kayaking On the Scottish Coastline

Although the entirety of the UK provides great places to go kayaking or sailing, Scotland by far has the most stunning and mysterious landscape for water sports enthusiasts. Scotland’s coastline boasts picturesque views and has a rough and untamed quality to it that makes it a kayaker’s dream. With wildlife, secluded beaches, hidden caves and clean rivers, anyone who appreciates nature at its most beautiful will feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. The Orkney Isles, Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides are just a sampling of all the great places around Scotland’s coast as its rich in locations for seafaring holidaymakers.

Scafell Pike

Hiking Scafell Pike In The Lake District

England’s largest mountain, situated in the Lake District in Cumbria, is one of the biggest hiking challenges in the UK. Ascending its steep climb is a test for keen walkers but it’s all worthwhile once you reach the top and absorb the incredible views of the North of England and beyond. The location of Scafell Pike also presents plenty of other memorable walks nearby in The Lake District. A trip to Cumbria provides plenty of opportunity for exploration and admiration of beautiful scenery as well as various activities and camping spots.
With these great locations all within short travelling distance, you needn’t be so eager to jump on a plane to more exotic climes. The UK is beautiful and has plenty of its own incredible landscapes and heart pumping activities to engage in. So what are you waiting for, pack your favourite Converse walking boots and book a memorable trip to one of these fantastic destinations!


Citations: Images by Tim Simpson ChrisPerriman

The Best Snowboarding Locations



Although the common consensus around winter is moans and groans, for some people however, it’s this time of year, which they enjoy the most. Snowboarding is an incredibly popular past time right around the world and for many people it really offers the opportunity to make the most of that winter weather, while competing in a sport that they absolutely love. If you are considering a vacation this winter then you will be happy to know that there are a wide range of winter resorts for you to rip up.

Snowboarding

It’s hard to decide where to go – where do I start? – What if I’ve never been snowboarding before?

It’s not uncommon for first time boarders to have no idea where to go, and the reality is that if you count yourself as a first timer, it’s very important you pick the right place to go to – and avoid the black runs straight off the bat. Choosing a resort that has a wide range of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs allows you to go at your own pace while not being overwhelmed or getting in the way of more advanced snowboarders.

If you are looking for somewhere to try and come to terms with snowboarding then here are some popular locations that you could consider:

Whistler, Canada

The last time I visited Whistler was actually in summer and the sheer picturesque quality of this location makes it a popular choice all year round. In terms of snowboarding, the snow here is so sweet and as a previous host of the Winter Olympics, the snow in Whistler has been well-proven. Whether you are a beginner or you are a professional snowboarder, there is something for everyone in Whistler.

If you love the nightlife then you’ll also find something here. Filled with a younger crowd, Whistler is home to some of the most prestigious bars that you’ll ever find in a snow resort, so if you are looking for a little more than just powder, you’ll find it right here.

Chevalier, France

Maybe not very well-known, but Chevalier is still an absolutely lovely spot. I’m lucky enough to have friends who own a chalet just around the corner from here and in winter time it’s an incredibly popular area with families and couples alike. As one of the lesser-known resorts in France, you don’t run the risk of it being so busy that you can’t get a clear run down the mountain, but at the same time you do get to benefit from some great snow.

Chevalier is certainly not short of runs or space, as it takes up a fair part of the French Alps. You can be guaranteed of long snow seasons and a decent amount of snow each time.

Davos – Switzerland

Absolutely my favourite snowboarding resort and I been coming here since a child. If you do have a few extra pounds to spend, then Davos is a great place to head to. Davos is often overlooked, due to the high cost of accommodation and the price for snowboarding here, but at the same time, it is one of those places where you really do get what you pay for. Davos is a popular choice for experienced snowboarders and people who are looking to get started alike, as the snow in Davos is hard to beat.


Citations: Image by Sean Molin

A Beginners Guide to Surfing



Whether you just moved to the coast or visit frequently, you may want to learn to surf. Now you don’t have to ride huge waves for miles at a time to enjoy surfing. You can enjoy surfing at just about any skill level, and get the most out of your visit to the beach.

Surf Lesson

Not Your Brother’s Boogie Board

Those boogie boards are great for helping to support your weight as you explore the surf, but to truly learn to ride waves, you need a surf board. Sorry, there aren’t any surf boards with training wheels, but there are plenty of different styles to choose from to help you learn to balance and steer.

Performance Boards

Performance boards are actually designed for the more advanced surfer. They are designed to make quick turns and do tricks in the water. They usually are not as stable as the wider beginner boards. If you tried surfing on a friend’s board, and had no success, you may have been on a performance board. Instead, try again with a fun shapes board.

Fun Shapes Board

This isn’t the funny little boogie boards with pictures of Spongebob. A Fun Shape board looks like a regular surfboard. But there are some significant differences between the Fun Shapes and a performance board.
Fun shapes are usually shorter, at 7’2” to 7’10”. They are also narrow enough for you to lie on and still reach the water so you can paddle out into the waves comfortable, but they’re wide enough to be easy to balance on. Usually, you’ll find them to be a little over 21” wide. Generally, a longer board will be more stable.

Long Boards

You can, however, get a board that is too long. Sure, long boards are stable, but they are usually really hard to turn. Some intermediate or advanced surfers may like long boards because they’re great for riding really big waves, but for the beginner, they’re more like driving an old truck with standard transmission and no power steering. These are usually about 8’ or more in length.

Short Boards

Short boards are the Ferraris of surfing. They turn easily and quickly, and can be very fast. This makes them hard to learn on, because they quickly will scoot out from under you.

Build Skills

Beginning surfers have a lot to learn besides balance. It takes a lot of physical strength and endurance to be a surfer. If you’ll start with a fun shapes board, you have a stable board that you can steer. It will develop all of your skills, where if you learn on a long board, you won’t learn to steer as quickly. If you learn on a short board, you may get too tired and can’t keep going. Endurance is a big thing for surfers. Once you build up your strength, you can move to a long board for those big waves, and you can enjoy popping around in the surf on a short board.


Ed Brooke enjoys his watersports, when he isn’t riding the waves or traveling you can usually find him working for his local surf shop.


Citations: Image by Mike Baird

The Beauty and Dangers of Winter Running



Running when the air is cold and crisp in winter is one of the most beautiful times to be out running. The fresh clean air inspires you to feel as if you can run that extra mile, till you reach that extra mile of course. Your body is cool, your nose is frozen and your legs are numb. All symptoms of winter running, but as the weather gets cooler the danger of ice can be a real problem.

snow winter walk

Most of the time you can handle the odd slip here and there but as the winters get colder (as they seem to be doing) it can often seem more of challenge to beat the ice rather than beating your last pace. That’s why last winter I bought some Spikes, or mini crampons as they are also known. Developed from the idea of crampons which are used when mountaineering, Spikes are for the general hiker who needs to handle some ice or snow in winter.

running snowCosting around £50 I was a bit sceptical about how this little device could handle my running however after walking the dog and conducting a little test running I was really surprised. Not only did the Spikes really grip into the ice, it seemed to crush the ice beneath my feet. They really gave me the confidence to hit my top pace when faced with ice and now I have the freedom to run all year. The pair I got are made from elastomer, so you really get a sense of free flexibility in your feet but at the same time feel in complete control.

I would really recommend picking up a pair of Spikes this winter and giving yourself the confidence to reach that extra mile. I even got a pair for my Dad who often finds it hard to get out the house when the pavements are icy. A real freedom giving piece of gear.


Author – Scott Taylor: Scott Taylor is a young blogger who likes to write about anything involving the outdoors. You can connect with Scott on twitter @Scottthegreat1

5 Tips for Building Muscle



As anyone who’s ever set foot inside one will know, gyms can be diverse places, attracting different people with different motivations. While some are more than content to ply their time on the treadmills repeatedly, others are focussed on trying their hands at the weights and stepping their muscle mass up by a level or two.

While it’s important to spend time on the weights, this isn’t the be all and end all to building size. Amongst everything else, those wishing to increase their physical strength need a balanced diet and exercise regime, not just going all gung-ho on the dumbbells.

Muscle

Here are five top tips for anyone looking to be the next Mr. Olympia.

#1 – Know Your Limits

While it’s always tempting to push the boundaries on your first few attempts at something new, you must remember that you’ve got limits and you need to stick to them. You should remain realistic throughout your regime and lead a steady weightlifting session as oppose to pushing yourself too hard. Should you do that too often, you’ll damage muscle tissue, which will have dire consequences for your healing after training. Set achievable goals for yourself and only when you’ve reached them should you pick it up a pace.

#2 – Do the diet

If you’re a serial dieter, you’re probably used to thinking that any food is bad food and that you need to eat as little as possible. When trying to build muscle, that really isn’t the case. Stay well nourished and eat protein heavy foods, including chicken and eggs, when possible. This will strengthen muscles and help them grow.

#3 – Lift smart

When weightlifting, it’s important to recognise that adding variety to your training exercises is important and will allow you to work different muscles with different lifts. Ideally, go for four to eight repetitions for each lift, so you don’t overstretch yourself and stop serious damage occurring. With a variety of drills, your muscles will build healthier and faster.

#4 – Keep on the cardio

As you’re probably already well aware, it is important to focus your sessions on strength drills, but don’t completely dismiss the benefits that cardio training can bring you in your quest to increase muscle mass. Stamina will become a huge part of your sessions and endurance will be important when lifting those heavy weights. Nothing will get you fitter than cardio work.

#5 – Relish the rest

Amongst all the hard work, come to realise that rest is as important as every other part of your regime. Take a breather from time to time and allow your body to recuperate after a hard session, so you’re ready to go again the next day. While training, pace yourself so you can take mini-breaks in between sessions. You’re building muscles, not running a marathon, so don’t be worried if you need a breather.


These tips for building muscle were brought to you by Barrie from Watchco – authorized watch retailer for Swiss Army watches, Fossil watches, Seiko watches, and more!


Citations:Image by Robert Fornal

Too afraid to skydive? Try it indoors!



Indoor skydiving is an adventure for people who want to feel like they’re flying, but don’t want to jump from an airplane. With the assistance of a vertical, high velocity wind tunnel, it’s possible for enthusiasts to experience body flight in a safe, highly controlled environment. There’s very little equipment involved, and no need to worry about parachute failure. In fact, this recreational activity is so easy that children as young as three years old routinely participate in it.

Without a doubt, skydiving is a thrilling proposition. Some people might like to try it, but they just can’t picture themselves actually taking that initial leap out of the airplane. They see themselves careening through the air some 15,000 feet above the Earth, and their heart fails them.

However, with indoor skydiving, it’s possible to experience similar thrills without the risk inherent in traditional skydiving. Most indoor skydiving facilities are constructed with a soft, trampoline-like base. The walls are padded to ensure that the vast majority of bumps are soft landings. Best of all, people with a fear of heights will find very little reason for this adventure to raise their level of anxiety. It’s possible for them to float just a few feet above the trampoline surface. In many instances, their instructor will be right there with them the whole time, holding on to them to ensure a safe and secure experience.

Anyone can participate in indoor skydiving with just a little instruction and the right equipment. Instructors will offer tips and advice, and some facilities also provide a video presentation. This educational session takes just a few minutes and provides participants with everything they need to know, including essential hand signals to be used during flight.

Indoor skydiving facilities are popping up all over the world. They are becoming quite popular in vacation destinations like Las Vegas and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The facility in Las Vegas, known as Vegas Indoor Skydiving, is recognized as the oldest operating facility of its kind. In Pigeon Forge, visitors take a flight at Flyaway. Orlando has long been considered a major vacation destination, and their iFly Orlando facility definitely cements this reputation.

Indoor skydiving is an adrenaline rush for every participant. It lets people feel the thrill of flying through the air, but without the risks typically associated with jumping from an airplane. It’s an unforgettable experience, and one which most people want to try again.


Citations: Image by lintmachine

Build the Body of a Greek God in Your Living Room



There’s lots of reasons why you might not want to join a gym. Maybe money is a bit tight at the moment. Gyms can cost a lot of money. Especially if you don’t go all the time and end up wasting most of your membership. You also might feel a little worried about training in front of other people. It’s a little nerve racking if you aren’t very experienced. You don’t want to embarrass yourself using all the machines.

The truth is, you don’t even need to go to the gym to get a good workout. All you really need is your own body. Working out at home has just as much benefits as working out at a gym. Most importantly, it’s free and you are completely alone. Nobody watching everything you do. Now that Youtube is around, all you need to do is look up a video explaining how to do a certain exercise and you’re good to go. Here are some simple exercises to get started.

Weight & Pressup

A Simple Squat

Most people don’t even bother training their legs, which is a big mistake. They are the biggest muscles in your body. You’ve seen guys walking around with hunched shoulders because they do nothing but chest press. Training your legs will give you a much more balanced physique. It’s so simple to throw into a routine.

All you need to do is bodyweight squats to get started. Make sure you wear loose fitting clothes and you should be able to squat down a good distance. If you don’t think you can get a good workout with your bodyweight come back and tell me once you’ve done one hundred. If you want to increase the weight you can just pick up something heavy and squat away.

Pecs of Steel

Press-ups are one of the most underrated exercises in the whole world. The chest press is one of the most popular exercises anyone ever does in the gym. You usually can’t even find a free bench. The guys that squat usually can’t even do a press-up. Big mistake. Press-ups can give you an amazing amount of growth and they are great for shoulder health.

Some people will have trouble pressing their own bodyweight. That’s cool. Just start with your knees on the floor. Once you can manage 3 sets of 10 you’ll be ready to try a normal one. Once that gets easy all you need to do is raise your legs of the floor. Put them on a chair or something solid. No doubt you will have a great chest after you can do this easily.

Build that V-Shape

Everyone wants a V-shape. It sets you apart from everyone else. It gives your body a complete transformation, turning you from someone who looks like they sit around all day into someone who trains. And the women love it. To achieve this you are better of learning how to do chin-ups. It’s the ultimate exercise for a strong back. You will need a chin-up bar which you can put in between a door frame.

A serious accomplishment for anyone is to be able to do 3 sets of 10. This is of course impressive because it’s very hard work to achieve. Most people can’t even do one. Can you imagine not being able to lift your own bodyweight? It’s something we all should be able to do. If you struggle you will need some help. The easiest way is to focus on lowering your body as slow as possible. This means you will need to jump up, hold on then start lowering. Once you can do one proper one you are on your way to greatness.


Allen is a freelance writer specializing in health and fitness niche. He would like to produce thorough articles like Athletic Greens review on FourHourBodySupplies soon.


Citations: Image by Suketu Gajjar

Common Bicycle Touring Problems



One of popular activities that travellers can enjoy is going on a bicycle tour. They can range from a leisurely ride for the family covering short distances per day to long distance speed touring.

I personally prefer the leisurely type as it allows people on the tour to experience the country and culture that they’re visiting. If you ride for very long distances every day, you probably won’t have time to actually enjoy the many beauty and cultural spots.

Bicycling Tour

Here are some common problems and mistakes that can occur when going on a cycle tour.

Feeling Weighed Down

If you’re anything like me, you like to plan everything in advance, including making a huge list of all the ‘vital’ items that you just have to bring on the tour.
It all looks fantastic on paper and you know you’ll be prepared for any situation!

But if you do this you’ll probably find the cycling quite hard going with all the gear on your bike.

So my advice is to go through your list of items and decide if each item is really essential or not. Try to reduce the load you’ll be riding with, you’ll thank yourself later once you’re on the tour.

You can also use a bicycle touring company to help with this as they usually travel with you with a van or couch nearby, carrying most of your items.

The Bicycle Breaking Down

This may sound obvious to some but you need to know at least the basics of repairing the most common mechanical and electrical problems.
At least learn how to fix a puncture and align the brakes.

Tip: One of the most depressing things to happen on a tour is breaking down in the dark, especially when the weather turns nasty. So bring a small but powerful torch, ideally a headband torch which would allow you to use both hands in the dark.

Choose the Wrong Bicycle

You need to think about the quality of the roads that you’ll be riding on then choose the correct cycle for those roads.
You have many choices such as a traditional road cycle, hybrid, mountain bike or even a fixed gear bicycle, so you need to decide which is best for your tour.

Falling Behind Schedule

It’s only natural for travellers to want to see as much of the country as possible in the time they have but planning your tour with very long distances per day can often ruin it for you.

So when you’re planning the tour, try to limit the distance that you’re trying to ride per day, especially if you’re new to doing bicycle tours. For a leisurely tour, a good distance to aim for is from 30 to 50 km (around 19 to 31 miles) per day.

Another reason for falling behind schedule is misjudging your fitness levels. You might be able to ride for 80 km as a one of day ride but what about keeping that up day after day for two weeks straight?

So try picking a conservative daily distance goal then try riding this distance every day for a week before going on the tour. If it’s far too easy then you know you can increase the daily distance. And if you find you’re struggling after a week of doing this then you know you need to cut down on the distance or get fitter fast!


Jack is a writer, traveller and cyclist. He is writing for Pedaltours that runs bicycle tours in many countries including New Zealand and Vietnam. They have been doing fully guided tours since 1985 with experienced guides.


Citations: Image by betsyweber

Harnessing the Art of Mountain Climbing


A Brief History of Climbing

It was at around the start of the nineteenth century that Man began to climb mountains for sport and adventure. Prior to that time he had done so only for sound, practical reasons – to source food, to hunt or to fulfil a military objective. When he didn’t need to do so he would avoid the mountains, not only because of their hostile terrain but also because they were believed to be populated by demons, ogres and fearsome beasts.

Indeed even today the legend of the yeti persist, a huge hairy creature marauding around the Himalayas, leaving its awesome footprint in the snow and behaving abominably, though its misdeeds remain subject to reliable witness testimony.

Lone Climber

The largest mountains and their most daunting faces were challenges that were risen to and tackled throughout the nineteenth century and beyond. Elbrus, the highest peak in Eastern Europe, was conquered in 1868. Kilimanjaro, the largest in Africa, succumbed in 1889. Then Aconcagua (South America) in 1897 and McKinley (North America) in 1913. Even the elusive Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world, was finally cracked by Edmund Hillary in 1953 after several attempts by others were unsuccessful.

Using Climbing Harnesses and Climbing Ropes for Optimum Safety

Mountain climbing by its very nature is, of course, a most hazardous of sports. Enthusiasts can encounter falling rocks and ice, hazardous weather conditions, volcanic activity, altitude sickness, snow blindness and sunburn as well as the ever-present risk of a serious accident caused by human error. This is why those who engage in it endeavour to minimise the inherent dangers by ensuring that they have all the right equipment and are trained to use it properly.

The typical mountaineer’s kit will include an elaborate array of picks, hooks, climbing ropes and climbing harnesses. Of course, the typical rock or mountain climber will never attempt to climb Everest, but as a general sport every much as a world-beating challenge it is necessary in the interests of safety – always a first consideration no matter how bold the adventurer – to be properly equipped for the task ahead.

When using climbing equipment of any kind it is important that whatever is being used is appropriate to the climber, as well as to the assignment. This is why ropes of different lengths and in different forms, as well as a range of harnesses, is always available from any decent supplier.


Article brought to you by Phil, a keen mountain climber and a firm believer that the right climbing equipment is essential to ensure safety.


Citations: Image by John Brennan

Nature at its Wildest – River Rafting in the Grand Canyon



Choosing the perfect holiday destination can be quite difficult because every tourist hotspot in the world has its own charm and attractions.  However, if you are the adventurous sort and want to have an exhilarating experience then river rafting in the Grand Canyon is something you should try.

Grand Canyon Rafting

North or South Rim?

Located in the state of Arizona in the United States, the capital city Phoenix and the other major cities are well connected by air and road.

Most people visit the south rim of the Canyon since its open all year round and is easily accessible. Getting to the river from the south rim requires an amount of hiking.  Mule services are available to carry equipment but you will still need to carry a pack that contains water bottles, your camera and food supplies.

The north rim, which rises a thousand feet higher than the south, is for the more adventurous to tackle.

Rafting for All

There is no one-day trip to the Grand Canyon – the river trips can last from a few days to around three weeks.   As highly trained and experienced personnel supervise rafting, everyone from teenagers to much older adults can enjoy the raging white waters.

Best Seasons to Raft

Although there is no ‘bad’ time to visit the Grand Canyon, spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit.  While a visit to the canyon in April gives clear weather and clean sparkling water, October is the ‘yellow’ season.  Numerous yellow plants light up the way with their yellow blooms and the mild weather add to the beauty of this exploration.  The summers, which run from June to August, can be a bit hot with intense heat around midday.


Catations: Image by Al_HikesAZ