Are you looking for outdoor adventures in the UK that will get the whole family excited? From thrilling zip wires to enchanting wildlife encounters, we’ve compiled a list of activities that are perfect for enjoying quality time together in nature.
Water and Wildlife in the New Forest, England
Immerse yourself in the autumnal beauty of the New Forest with a Canadian canoe trip to Beaulieu River along England’s south coast. New Forest Activities provides family groups with a 90-minute guided paddle through the private nature reserve, where you can spot kingfishers, osprey, buzzards, and even a resident seal.
Suitable for ages 18 months and up, buoyancy aids and child-size paddles are available.
Forest Safari in Perthshire, Scotland
Embark on a 4WD expedition with Highland Safaris in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, and search for signs of Scottish wildlife. This 90-minute Forest Safari takes you through the ancient Caledonian pine forest, where you can learn about animal tracks and signs. At Highland Safaris HQ, children can try their hand at panning for gold and gems, go pond dipping, visit the Red Deer Centre to see deer and barn owls, or enjoy the play area and tractor park.
Suitable for all ages. For families with young ones, the Forest Safari combined with a visit to the Red Deer Centre is highly recommended.
Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland
Kelburn Castle stands out not only for its medieval charm but also for the exciting activities it offers. In the castle’s grounds, you’ll find the Secret Forest transformed into a Freaky Forest during specific periods. Kids can learn circus tricks in October and explore the Adventure Course with high walkways and rope swings. Don’t forget to take a walk in Kelburn Glen, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views across the Firth of Clyde.
Kelburn Castle grounds include certain paths that are narrow and meandering, making them unsuitable for strollers.
The Infinity Bridge at Honister Slate Mine, England
Honister Slate Mine in the heart of the Lake District National Park, England, is home to Europe’s longest high-wire bridge – The Infinity Bridge. Suspended 1,000 feet above the valley floor, this iconic bridge offers a walk like no other, with breathtaking views that will leave you feeling like you’re walking on air.
As you step onto the bridge, you’ll be greeted with a thrilling sensation as the transparent floor beneath your feet reveals the sheer drop below. It’s a true adventure for anyone seeking an adrenaline rush and a unique perspective of the rugged landscape.
As you cross the bridge, take in the panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Lake District’s natural beauty stretches out before you, offering an unforgettable backdrop for your family adventure. It’s no wonder The Infinity Bridge was recently voted Experience of the Year 2023 by Cumbria Tourism.
The Infinity Bridge experience is suitable for 8 years+ and a minimum height of 1.3m.
Circular Cycling Routes in Shropshire, England
The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre has designed six cycling routes that allow you to explore the beautiful countryside on quiet lanes. Ranging from 14 to 30 miles, these routes offer something for all skill levels. One of the easier options is a 16-mile loop that takes you to Flounders’ Folly, a 24-meter high tower, Wenlock Edge, and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm. At the Discovery Centre, you can grab a bite at the cafe, visit the Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition, and explore the Onny Meadows nature reserve.
Forest Zipwire in Conwy, Wales
At Zip World Forest in Conwy, you can combine the vibrant colours of autumn with an adrenaline-pumping zip wire adventure. With six different experiences to choose from, including the gentle Treetop Nets and the exhilarating Plummet 2, there’s something for everyone.
Children between the ages of 3 and 8 are required to be accompanied on the same sled by one participating adult (or a child aged 9 or older and over 1m) per child. Children aged 9 to 17 need to be accompanied by an observing adult at a ratio of one adult per five children.
Welly Walks in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Colin Glen Forest Park, nestled at the foot of Belfast Hills, is an outdoor haven with activities ranging from mountain biking to bubble football. During half-term, they host Ghouls & Gruffalo’s Welly Walk, a guided adventure where children can listen to a reading of Julia Donaldson’s book, explore the forest, and pick their own pumpkin to carve into a lantern back at the visitor centre.
Deer Safari at Holkham Estate, Norfolk, England
Experience rutting season at Holkham estate on the north Norfolk coast with a deer safari by a tractor-trailer. Get up close to the fallow deer herd on selected dates in October. You can also explore the park’s cycle trails with bike hire, have fun in the woodland adventure play area, and discover the interactive Field to Fork Experience, which includes a slide, tunnels, and a scale model of a combined harvester.
Wildlife Watching in Ravenscar, North Yorkshire, England
Ravenscar, located north of Scarborough, offers hands-on activities during National Mammal Week. Join a ranger on a guided walk to the seal colony near Robin Hood’s Bay and contribute to the collection of information on small mammals. Other half-term events include a Halloween-themed woodland trail and a hedgehog house-building session.
Climb the Mine, Honister Slate Mine, England
For a truly unique and thrilling outdoor adventure in the Lake District mountains, head to Honister. Honister Slate Mine offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to climb inside the mine and explore the fascinating underground world of slate mining.
Put on your helmet, strap on your harness, and join an experienced guide as you venture deep into the heart of the mine. Traverse through narrow passageways, climb ladders, and navigate the intricate network of tunnels.
Once you reach the surface again, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Lake District landscape. The rugged mountains and shimmering lakes provide a stunning backdrop to this unforgettable adventure.
The Climb the Mine adventure at Honister is suitable for adults and children above 8 years of age with a good fitness level.
Be a Ranger for the Day at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England
Kedleston Hall offers a unique opportunity for children aged 8 and over to join National Trust staff as they manage the wildlife habitats and parkland of this magnificent 18th-century mansion. Experience the behind-the-scenes work of Britain’s stately homes. Kedleston Hall also hosts fungi walks, outdoor crafts, and “tree-o-caching,” their version of geocaching.
Best suited for ages 5 – 12, but all ages are welcomed.
Moonlit Runs at National Trust Properties, Nationwide
The National Trust offers Night Runs at 12 properties across the country. Running or walking around stately home grounds by moonlight is a unique and exciting experience. The routes cater to all ages and abilities, with gentle Explorer routes (1-3km) and more challenging Adventurer routes (6-9km). Enjoy the traffic-free trails and create unforgettable memories with this family day out.
Exploring Rockpools in Cornwall, England
Join the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornish Rock Tors for an Extreme Rockpooling session around Port Isaac. This two-hour adventure takes children over 8 years old on a shoreline exploration, learning about wildlife and enjoying coasteering activities. For a more relaxed experience, gentle guided rock pool rambles in Bude are suitable for all ages.
Suitable for 8 years+.
Canyoning at Honister Slate Mine, England
For those seeking an adrenaline-fuelled outdoor experience, Honister Slate Mine in the Lake District, England, offers a fantastic canyoning experience. Prepare to plunge into the rugged and beautiful world of canyons as you navigate through a series of natural obstacles and immerse yourself in natures own waterpark.
Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you and your family can explore the stunning surrounding just a short 10-minute drive from the mine. Don your wetsuits, helmets, and safety gear as you embark on this thrilling descent. Prepare to jump into crystal-clear plunge pools, slide down natural rock slides, and navigate through cascading waterfalls.
Canyoning at Honister Slate Mine is an adventure combining climbing, swimming, and scrambling elements, making it an exciting and dynamic experience.
Honister in the Lake District is the perfect destination for an action-packed adventure family day out. From zipping through underground mines to high-wire bridges, Honister offers an array of thrilling activities that cater to all ages.