We’ve had an energetic search, looking both high and low, and exercised all of our deal-finding know-how to seek out the most fun and active days out the UK has to offer – and for the least money. Here’s our top 10 suggestions, including plenty of running in the great outdoors, adrenaline-inducing adventures and a few things that are a little more relaxed too.
UK Climbing Centres
You may not be able to see these climbing wonderlands, as not many places have outdoor facilities, but more and more unusual buildings like old churches, windmills and castles are re-opening with bouldering and rope-climbing on offer. Spend an afternoon here clambering up the courses, and you’ll feel ready to take on the world!
Dinosaur Adventure Park
This park in Norfolk is your chance to get out and about and spot some dinosaurs! Models of these ancient creatures are dotted around the parkland, where you’ll also be able to discover some real-life moving animals too! There are also play areas, a maze and a deer safari at extra charge.
Based around the caves, this Somerset attractions has become much more than just an adventure underground to see where our ancestors once lived. There’s definitely a days’ worth of adventure here, with plenty to keep the kids happy. Once you’ve explored the caves, there are more dinosaurs to seek out, a mirror maze to visit, a fairy garden and pirate adventure land to play in and much more!
Part of Tupgill Park in the Yorkshire Dales, Forbidden Corner is an extraordinary creation, originally designed to delight and befuddle private guests, but thankfully the doors are now opened to the public. Crammed with follies, statues, riddles and intriguing problems at every turn, it’s an outdoor adventure that will also work out your mind. The rest of Tupgill Park boasts Red Deer, a herb garden and more, and is a great way to unwind after all those perilous decisions!
Take things down a notch with a visit to this Conwy garden. Take to the wilderness area, find the Poem – a small building – and follow the family fun trail to keep the little ones entertained.
Take a boat trip across Lake Windermere and walk back to your car for a pretty, active and cheap day out that will be sure to have to kids nodding off in the back seat before you can even say slap-up dinner. If you’re planning on a longer stay, there are plenty of fell and lake walks for everyone from beginners to hardcore hikers, so get yourself a map and some sturdy boots and get going!
These Roman fortifications were the Empire’s largest barrier, intended to keep the Scots out! Nowadays, they make for a rather exciting way to explore, with 84-miles to choose from. Follow the wall through farmland, marshland, into Cumbria or along the river in Tyneside for an exciting day out next to the most important Roman monument in the UK!
Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
A great alternative to just going on that same old walk over again, find out what adventure trails and outdoor exercise trails there are in woodlands near you. In the Forest of Dean they have a very exciting sculpture trail featuring 20 permanent installations including deer made from steel and a giant chair made out of tree trunks. There’s also plenty of wildlife to look out for, such as wild boars!
Potholing (also known as caving) isn’t about driving your car into potholes, it’s about exploring caves, often through posting yourself through small gaps (with the help of a trained guide of course!) and exploring caves on foot, with ropes and torches. A great way to get older kids out and about, this is a challenging and rewarding activity. We suggest trying beginner days in the Yorkshire Dales, but there are other places to try it too.
Ok, so it’s not the cheapest on the list, but a trip to one of the many Go Ape facilities around the country really will get your adrenaline going, and you’ll definitely know you’ve had a day outside. Stretch things out by taking hot drinks in a Thermos, lunch and a map of the woods so you can head out for a walk before or after your session in the treetops.
Need somewhere to stay overnight? Try our UK breaks page to find a place to rest your weary self without breaking the bank.