There is nothing better than being out in the great outdoors and getting stuck into an activity that gets your heart going, fresh air in your lungs and has you spending time with others. Outdoor activities boast a plethora benefits, enhancing you overall health in a number of ways, such as:
- Improving fitness levels and boosting physical health
- Increasing adrenaline
- Helping to relieve stress and improving mental health
Not only that, but they are a great way to socialise and bond with friends, family, colleagues or like-minded individuals, all whilst allowing you to enjoy the natural environment that many of us take for granted nowadays and don’t often find time to fully immerse ourselves in anymore.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure, or looking to get your adrenaline pumping with fellow fitness fanatics, there is an outdoor adventure activity for you. Read our list below of outdoor activities for all groups, ages and abilities to engage in, and get inspired for your next outdoor adventure.
High Intensity Activities: Rafting to Extreme Canyoning
If you’re a fan of speed and don’t mind getting (very) wet, then whitewater rafting could be a thrilling adventure for you.
Great for adrenaline-seeking individuals and friends who want to challenge their team working skills, whitewater rafting involves a group of (typically) 4-8 people in a self-bailing raft (as well as a qualified instructor) working together to navigating their way down river rapids, having to avoid obstacles such as rocks along the way.
Whitewater rafting is not for the faint-hearted, with there being every possibility that you will fall out of the raft (don’t worry, helmets, lifejackets and an intensive safety briefing will all be provided beforehand) or at least be jolted around as you’re faced with the bumps and turns the rapids pull you down – which, in our opinion, is all part of the fun!
A step up from your indoor climbing wall, outdoor rock climbing takes climbing to the next level. Unlike bouldering, outdoor rock climbing (also known as sports climbing) often involves climbing at great heights, being more challenging to overcome. The idea is to scale large cliffs and rock faces, attempting to find the best route to the top.
This activity is great for active couples who are looking for a unique activity to do together that they may not have done before, and allows them to both work collaboratively and encourage each other.
For slightly larger groups, people who are looking to do something a bit more out-there and adventurous for their stag or hen do instead of traditional activities could enjoy outdoor rock climbing. People of all capabilities are able to participate – just because you can go high doesn’t mean you have to, so people who wish to participate but don’t wish to go out of their comfort zone are still able to have a go.
Outdoor rock climbing is also an activity that can be used in military group training, ranging from beginner to intensive courses.
Via Ferrata Xtreme
If you’re looking to take part in a challenging, adrenaline-filled 3 hour activity without having to travel abroad to find it, then the Via Ferrata Xtreme is the perfect activity for you. Located in the heart of the Lake District, the Via Ferrata Xtreme is an adventure course consisting of traversing across mountain edges, vertical ladder climbs, overhang descent, a Burma bridge and a sky ladder.
A good level of fitness is required to complete this course due to its physical intensity, but the effort is worth it at the end, not just for the self-gratification you will feel upon completing the course, but due to the well-deserved views you will be greeted with – looking out across Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater, some of the country’s finest lakes.
We recommend the Via Ferrata Xtreme especially to active individuals looking for a physical but rewarding challenge.
Also known as gorge walking, extreme canyoning involves abseiling down river gorges, scrambling across rocks, jumping and swimming through mountainous landscapes. This is an extremely rewarding activity unlike anything you’ve done before, albeit physically demanding.
Ideal for those with good fitness levels and are confident in their ability to push their physical boundaries, extreme canyoning is a great team building activity (for a team of employees, for example) due to the planning, communication and encouragement it requires.
Low Intensity Activities: Zorbing to Walking Days Out
An activity that can take place on land or water, zorbing is a great activity for adults and kids alike. Having grown in popularity over recent years, there are a number of ways you can enjoy zorbing as an activity.
For those looking to enjoy the fun zorbing has to offer without getting a queasy tummy from rolling down a hill, non-harness and aqua zorbing are the better alternatives. Especially great for younger kids, non-harness zorbing involves being sealed inside one of these inflatable balls and using your hands and feet to move the ball forward – akin to how a hamster would a wheel.
This can be done in a number of contexts, for example competing in zorb races or completing zorb obstacle courses, creating friendly competition between families or groups of friends.
Aqua zorbing works in the same way, except with the main difference that you are in the zorb whilst on water, making it much harder to stay on your feet and often involving lots of laughter as people fall over inside their zorb ball!
For those looking for a more exhilarating experience, harness zorbing is the way to go. This involves being strapped into the zorb ball and being hurtled down a hill – a great activity for slightly older kids and those who enjoy an adrenaline rush without heights being involved.
Camping is the perfect outdoor activity for people of all ages who wish to get outdoors without partaking in thrill-seeking activities. It’s for families who want to experience the environment in an immersive way, especially those with younger children who aren’t old enough or tall enough to partake in more physical activities, providing a great bonding experience by toasting marshmallows over the fire and sleeping under the stars.
It also allows friend groups who may not have a lot of disposable income, such as teenagers, a way to spend time together without the interference of others. Wild camping does not exclude anyone who perhaps cannot afford or does not feel comfortable completing other activities, but still encourages people to bond and work together through the self-sufficiency it requires (e.g. setting up tents, collecting firewood and cooking).
Mine Tours and Mine Climbing
Rich with centuries of history, many mines are now popular tourist destinations. Guided mine tours offer people a way to learn about the mining industry from a whole new perspective, more immersive than ever before. If you have a passion for history or geography, then mine tours would make a great visit for you; alternatively, they also act as great destinations for school trips, creating an engaging experience for children whilst letting them have a day out of a school environment.
For even more excitement, you could even climb the mine as part of your itinerary! There’s no better way to get a fully hands-on experience than following the route of the original underground mine workings and imagining yourself in the shoes of the mine workers all those years ago.
Complete with vertical climbs up ladders, rope bridge crossings and zip lines, climbing the mine doesn’t require the same degree of physical strength and agility as regular rock climbing (though it is still quite physically active), making it suitable for people of all abilities from the age of 8 upwards.
No matter where you live, there is sure to be a public footpath or hiking trail somewhere nearby. This is one of the easiest and cost-free ways of staying active whilst reaping the benefits nature has to offer.
Public footpaths tend to offer less intensive, flatter ground for those who wish to be active but are perhaps limited in what they can do. For example, elderly people, people with reduced mobility, or parents with babies and toddlers.
For a more demanding walk, hiking trails will likely be what you’re looking for. Offering longer routes, more inclines and more challenging terrain, it is important that you remember to bring enough provisions when hiking (e.g. water and food) – when you or someone else does need a break, hiking trails will no doubt have a number of idyllic spots to stop at for a picnic before continuing.
The great thing about hiking is that the trail you choose to take can be tailored to your abilities, making it an ideal outdoor activity for everyone from small families to groups training for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Outdoor Adventure Activities with Honister Slate
If you’re feeling inspired to go on your next outdoor adventure, book it with Honister Slate. We are home to the most thrilling, interesting and memorable adventure activities (whatever the weather) that the Lake District has to offer, catering to people of all ages and abilities.