It’s crazy how much you can fit into 48 hours. Knock a day or 2 off work and a weekend becomes a chance to embrace a new adventure on your doorstep. It normally starts with a picture in a magazine. Or a friend with a stray idea. I suddenly start building the trip in my head. I get excited and the idea quickly gains momentum, like a snowball shooting down a mountain.
Below is a list of 8 UK Weekend Adventure Getaways that I’ve been made up and been on in the last few years. I’ll be over the moon if anyone is inspired to do a weekend after reading this:
- Beginners Surfing Weekend in Cornwall
I’ve never surfed before. Ever. Yet I loved the idea of it. Perpetually salty hair, soft sand beneath your toes and a gentle sea breeze whilst speeding across the water. Surfing is definitely hard. I had achy arms, bruises from hitting the sandbank and I remember the eternal struggle of dragging a board down to the beach that was too wide for length of my arms.
I loved the challenge of it and it can be done cheaply! 3 days of lessons, accommodation and bed and breakfast for only £89.00 with Blue Wings Surf School (highly recommended!). Grab a train to Newquay for £20.20 [YP Railcard, booked 3 weeks in advance] and a return Megabus back to London for £10.50.
2) A Ridge Hike in Snowdon
A train ticket to Bangor was £9.25 booked in advance. I stayed at Jesse James Bunkhouse in a private ‘flat’ for just £16.00 per person per night with a fully equipped self catering kitchen. This was a 3 day weekend with a knife edged ridge walk to Mt Snowdon and a chance to fly down the fastest Zipwire in the UK, Zipworld [£50.00].
3. Cycling the South Downs Way
The South Downs Way is a 100 mile walk/cycle consisting of open farmland, rolling hills and chalk cliffs just an hour from London. The return train tickets are less then £30.00 and I managed to blag a nights accommodation at Moonlight Cottage for only £20.00 in a tent, inclusive of a massive breakfast. You can read more about attempting this cheap weekend getaway here.
4. Caving in Cheddar
Cheddar Gorge is world-famous and a fantastic short break away from the bustle of London. I stayed at Neuholme B&B for only £30.00 per person. Do NOT go for the ‘all inclusive’ package with the cliff top walk, a bus ride, museum for £20+. The walk is available free of charge via a side route (the route notes are here). I went Caving for the first time in Cheddar. Petrol share with a friend and it is approximately £20.00 for a lovely weekend break.
5. Coasteering in Dorset
Guided coasteering for under £25.00 per person with a Groupon deal! (Jim Oakley). I stayed at Swanage YHA and Burnbake Campsite which were both amazing bases for hiking around Lulsworth Cove & Durdle Door, Cycling in New Forest and Coasteering at Dancer’s Ledge. Petrol share with a friend for approx £20.00, camp for £7.00, hostel for £15.00 and a multi activity weekend in Dorset awaits! We rented bikes (half day rate, to their discretion) on the day for £12.00 with free parking nearby.
6. Hiking in Peak District
Not as far as Lake District but still a breathtaking weekend away. I booked a return train ticket across a bank holiday weekend for £32.45 from London and I stayed at YHA Edale, just a 15 minute walk from the train station . YHA Edale is a great base with some of the best walks in Peak District just a stonethrow away, We discovered a plane wreck (on a unorthodox shortcut!), got lost on the boggy plains of Kinder Scout and explored forested trails.
7. Multi-Activity Scotland
A 4 day weekend of canyoning, hiking, fun buggying and a Via Ferrata in the Highlands (Vertical Descents). I left straight after work on a Friday and grabbed a Megabus gold (with a bed!) for £30.00 to Glasgow then a scenic train to Fort William for £18.00 [YP card]. I stayed at Glen Nevis Campsite for £9.00 per person, per night. My return journey was a train to central Glasgow, with an afternoon exploring the city and a flight back to London Gatwick with Easyjet for £25.00.
8. Adrenaline Quarry, South West
A great venue [Adrenaline Quarry] and an all inclusive price for coasteering, getting flung in the air via a ‘giant blob’ and a zip wire for £62.50. I took a Megabus gold for £28.75 return and stayed at Globe Backpackers for £16.00 per night. Take the train to Menheniot from Plymouth (about 15 mins on the train) and the venue is just a short walk away.
A adventure weekend doesn’t need to be out of reach, expensive or as my sister likes to say…“a ordeal”. Grab that spark of inspiration, let the idea grow and make some fond memories.
The cost of a train ticket booked in advance to get away from the city is the same as grabbing the tube to Zone 1 in London and having dinner with a friend! Let that picture/article/status/documentary inspire you and make it happen. Grab this blog post for ideas and if you have any questions about a weekend adventure, feel free to comment here or email me.
Potential Weekend Adventures for 2016 (forever dreaming!)
- Do a Winter Mountaineering Course in Scotland
- Lake District: Scramble up Jake’s Rake + Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine
- Lake District: Re-attempt Striding Edge (ridge walk) after a failed attempt due to snow in 2013
- Hadrian’s Cycleway: Cycle coast to coast in the UK (174 miles)
- Visit Dartmoor/Exmoor National Park for the first time
- More Microadventures!
- Go to Forest of Dean
- More Outdoor rock climbing – I love it!