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

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

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

Scarpa’s Mountaineering Boots & Grivel Crampons



Scarpa’s mountaineering boots are trusted all over the world.

Crampon-Compatible for a Variety of Challenges

Scarpa’s range of outdoor footwear includes boots that are crampon-compatible, made to be worn with different Grivel crampons for a variety of mountain activities.

Designed for grip on snow and ice to give extra traction and improve mobility, crampons have evolved since Henry Grivel commercialised the first prototype using re-forged railway ties over 100 years ago.

The oldest company in existence making equipment for Alpinism and climbing, Grivel began as blacksmiths forging agricultural tools in a small, metal-working factory in Courmayeur, near Mount Blanc in Italy, in 1810.

Their crampons are made of hardened steel, lightweight aluminium or a combination of the two – and are graded C1, C2 and C3, based mainly on their flexibility and compatibility with different boots.

Grivel G12

General Mountain Boot

Scarpa’s Manta is a general mountain boot, compatible with Grivel’s G12 New Matic, Air Tech New Matic and Air Tech Lite New Matic.

Ideally suited to hill, mountain and glacier walking on rugged terrain, and the occasional easier Alpine and UK winter climb, the Manta excels in winter walking, especially where crampons are used for extended periods.

At the serious end of the market, the Phantom Guide and Vega – for winter Alpine and altitude use respectively – are geared up for both the G12 Com and G14 Com. The Fast & Light G22 Com is also suitable for the Phantom, and the Air Tec Com for the Vega.

Other famous names within the Scarpa stable include the Mont Blanc for Alpine and mountaineering use, and the Jorasses mixed- and ice-climbing boot.

Scarpa Manta

Extreme Winter Conditions

The Mont Blanc is a blend of modern materials, including the new Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear lining, and the classic look of HS12 impregnated 3mm suede for weather protection and insulation.

Comfort is guaranteed in extreme winter conditions, keeping your feet warm and dry in the cold, rain and snow.

The Jorasses Pro GTX, named after the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc massif, is a versatile mountain boot suitable for long winter approach walks, general mountaineering and ice climbing.

Hiking and walking footwear from Scarpa includes the Ranger 2 GTX Activ and Terra GTX hiking boot, the men’s Crux and Vortex and the ladies’ Vortex and Enigma walking shoe, and men’s and women’s versions of the ZG 65.

Their legendary climbing shoes include the Thunder XS Edge, Vantage, Force and Vapour.


Nicki Williams works for outdoor and sports specialists Gear-Zone, where she writes about climbing and mountaineering from the depths of Norfolk – one of the flattest counties in England!


Citations: Images by Gear-Zone

Half Marathon Training Tips



Training for a half marathon involved much more than just jogging a few times a week. Unlike a 5 or 10km race, a half marathon is not something that most people could hope to complete without a certain amount of planning, conditioning and fitness prior to race day.

The following tips and pointers aim to keep your half marathon training on track and give you a few things to think about as you start your running.

Marathon Runner

Follow a Tailored Training Program

13 miles is a long way to run and chances are you wont be casually running 13 mile training runs when you start your half marathon training! It is important that you start with shorter distance sessions and then build up to 13miles over a period of at least a month or two as otherwise you can run the risk of injury.

There are plenty of training schedules available for free of the internet. Websites such as Runners World and The Running Bug have a number of excellent programs that can be tailored to your schedule no matter what your current fitness level, running experience or working pattern

Invest in a Specialist Pair of Running Shoes

This sounds like an obvious point but many runners fail to follow one of the basic rules of Running. Look after your feet and they will look after you.

Go to a specialist running shops and have something called ‘gait analysis’ done on your running style. This will usually involve you running on a treadmill whilst a member of staff looks on and identifies what shoes will be the best for you. Shoes are available in many forms so the member of staff will be able to talk you through your options and help you pick your perfect pair

Also, something that is worth remembering is that shoes do wear out. Aim to replace your shoes at least once every half a year as otherwise their structural integrity can fail, cushioning can wear down and your chances of picking up and injury can increase!

Join a Running Club or Society

Committing to a running schedule is hard work. Sometimes you really wont want to don your shoes and go for a 6pm training run in the pouring rain, but sometimes these things have to be done!

By joining a running club, society or at least training with a few friends will make running seem less of a chore and there is nothing like the thought of letting a friend down that motivates you to get outdoors more!

For more tips and tricks on how you can get the best out of your running, see the half marathon training plans available at Runtheline.com or consult a website such as RunnersWorld or TheRunningBug for a full selection of running resources aimed at all levels and experiences of athletes. For reviews on all things running such as the Polar RCX3 Review check out the same blog.


This half marathon training article was written by Ross from the running blog Run The Line


Citations: Image by through my eyes only

Understanding White Water Rafting Terminology



If you are planning a white water rafting expedition, it is important for you to know and understand the different terminology used in the activity. Even if you aren’t leading the boat yourself, you need to know what the rest of the crew is saying to you, otherwise you may not correctly relate instructions to others in the boat, or you may even perform the improper maneuver, which can lead you in a completely opposite direction. Because of this, going over the most used whitewater rafting terminology is going to go a long way in ensuring you are always safe and know what the instructor and tour guides are telling you to do.
White Water Rafting

Back Pivot:

A back pivot is a more in which you turn the raft from a ferry angle to a stem downstream positioning. This is generally only used when in a tight location and you need to recover from the current ferry angle. The move helps move the raft through a narrow passing, as it may need to come in closer contact with objects in the water.

Bar:

Chances are, while you are out rafting, your tour guide is going to point out different sand ‘bars’ along the way. These are a build up of sand, rocks and other debris that pushes up along the bottom of the river, making it incredibly shallow in given areas. Generally, you are instructed to avoid these sand bars at all times to avoid beaching the raft.

Big Water:

This is a common term used in reference to very fast currents with large waves, which may lead to turbulence. You are told this to prepare yourself for the upcoming “big water.” Chances are, if this is your first time going down rapids, you won’t come in much contact with this kind of water.

Boof:

This is a move in which the raft slides directly over rocks and then drops off the rocks so the bottom of the raft lands completely level with the water. This keeps the water on the surface. If the nose were to land in the water first it would cause it to either flip or submerge in water.

Cartwheeling:

This is when you want to turn the raft right before it comes in contact with rocks, as it is able to rotate the raft around the rock.

Dig:

This is when you dig your paddle deep into the downstream current in order to gain better traction and resistance. This is usually used to move rafts through larger holes in the rapids.

Eddy:

The Eddy is a location in the rifer where the current either completely stops flowing or it turns upstream instead. this generally occurs when it is located right below an obstruction and on the inside of a bend.

Ghost Boat:

This is generally exactly what it is sounds. You basically push a raft or boat into the current and let it float away. This gives the appearance of a ghost captaining the the raft.

Heightened Awareness:

This is clued for when there is a shift towards faster, more violent rapids. This is just a common phrase used when you need to be on the ready for what is coming ahead of you.

High Side:

When an instructor or tour guide yells to get to the High Side, it means you need to jump to the upstream side of the raft. This command is usually used right before a collision with rocks and other obstacles. When performed fast enough, the current allows the raft and everyone else to travel around the rock and other obstacles, instead of going directly over it, which can cause damage to both the boat and people inside of it.

Logjam:

A logjam is an occurrence when there are logs dammed up along one another across the river. This usually only occurs in smaller streams but can become rather dangerous, especially when the logs are not seen and partly (or completely) submerged. When this happens, it can lead to accidents and may result in injury, if the logjam is not avoided.

Knowing and understanding different terminology while going on rafting trips is impotent, as you need to know what the instructor and tour guide is telling you. This helps you react faster and ensures you are safer than if you just sign up for the trip and show up. There are literally hundreds of different terms used while white water rafting, but as long as you understand these basics, you should be alright to start off.


Pete Wise works with Wilderness Aware Rafting doing Content Marketing. Wildernes Aware is the leader in Colorado White Water Rafting and employs the best guides in the country. If you liked the article, check out Pete’s site for Denver SEO: PeteWiseSEO.com


Citations: Image by Kaydin Carlsen