The Isle of Mull is one of the best bases for watching whales and dolphins in Britain.
These people offer excellent short whale watching breaks:
This popular weekend break gives you two days on the boat exploring the islands (Eigg, Muck, Coll, Tiree, Staffa, all with their own character and charm). You will sail through the whale and dolphin grounds and land on islands with colonies of puffins, razorbills, gannets, shearwaters, and otters…The people who run these trips carry out marine research and they work closely with local charity the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
One client wrote:
The most memorable part of the holiday was the surveys trip … seeing Minke whales and basking sharks on such a beautiful day – I will remember this for many years to come. We even moored on a tiny island close to Coll and Tiree – it was like being on a Pacific atoll … seals swimming, white sand, clear blue sea – just perfect. More
Grey seals in Wales give birth around September-October. A good place to see the conspicuous white pups is Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park which has enough attractions to satisfy all members of a nature-loving family. As well as seals, there’s a good chance to spot Bottle-nosed Dolphins, resident in Cardigan Bay. Birdwatchers can observe Peregrine Falcons or Red-billed Choughs. For young visitors (or not so young) there are friendly farm animals, including Dilwyn the Donkey.
The Guardian has put together this excellent interactive map of its compendium of some the best walks in Britain. everything from Bronze age Perthshire and the beauty of Ullswater to the Watership Down warren! Here
Here’s a wacky way of spending a day. Go on a tree climbing course in the Isle of Wight. The organisers meet you at their “secret” tree climbing field in rural Isle of Wight. Once you have climbed as high as you want to go, you can hang out in the canopy, maybe resting awhile in the tree hammock before abseiling to the ground through the branches. Then, come down for homemade refreshments & a cup of tea.
Whetever will they think of next! Help construct a roomy communal snowhole lit by the reflected light of candles! Wake up to the absolute silence of a pristine winter wonderland bathed in the soft light of a Cairngorm dawn, in the highest mountain range in Britain. They claim “This will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.” Whatever the case, sounds more fun than playing golf.
Once you’ve undergone a day of essential skills training we embark on a two-day expedition to head deep into the snowy wilderness. The route takes us across the Cairngorm (4085ft) – Ben Macdui (4295ft) plateau to spend a night in a communal snowhole. You learn the essentials of good snow hole design and efficient construction. The challenges are unique and the rewards unrivalled – this is Britain’s ultimate winter mountain experience & one not to be missed.
Read more about this holiday
Here’s a weird one. Fancy going llama trekking in cream-tea Devon? It seems walking with llamas is the latest thing on East Devon’s spectacular Jurassic Coast. This is an excellent example of farm diversification in the UK and I wish Peak Hill Llamas, the organisers, the best of luck.
Llamas are friendly, gentle and intelligent animals and make ideal walking companions. Our llamas are easy to handle and will happily carry your refreshments and waterproofs – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Looks great fun. More here
Easily accessible from London by rail or road, the Chilterns offer a great mix of forest singletrack and open farmland, with plenty of superb descents (and a cheeky climb or two). With the odd technical section to keep you on your toes (none are too daunting and are aimed at the less experienced), our routes take in the ancient Icknield Way and Ridgeway. Accommodation for the weekend is at a superb 17th century coaching inn, perfect for post ride ‘relaxation’. Based in Wendover. £245 (2 days) 2009: 08 May, 03 Jul.
Jon Monks runs walking tours along Hadrian’s Wall from beginners to strenuous hiking holidays. Here
Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is an unbroken 84 mile signposted trail stretching from coast to coast, from Bowness-on-Solway in the west to Wallsend in the east. It passes through some of the most beautiful parts of England – from rolling fields and rugged moorland to the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Carlisle. These holidays follow the trail and enable you to see the beautiful countryside and experience the culture as well as discover the history of this remote part of the country. Visit
Self guided walking holidays are also available
This interesting wildlife holiday in the Highlands is centred on the flora and fauna of Wester-Ross and Sutherland and learning about wild foods. The week includes a trip to the famous Handa Island reserve where you will have the chance to see many nesting birds, including Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins, Fulmars, Arctic and Great Skuas. Birds of prey such as Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles and Peregrine Falcons are also common. The trip is also focused on identifying wild plants and leanring about wild foragable food.
We use naturally produced, local meat and vegetables some from the farm you will be staying on. Our fish and seafood comes straight from the ocean. We make all our breads, cakes, jams and pickles and we harvest wild foods according to the season. Come home to a venison casserole with wild garlic or a nettle and goats cheese tart, followed by home-made puddings such as a raspberry or apple tart or gorse flower and honey ice cream with rose hip syrup.
Read more here
Spend 5 days exploring on this fun and adventurous sea kayaking holiday in the wild coasts of the Outer Hebrides. You’ll access uninhabited islands such as Taransay (setting for the BBC series ‘Castaway’), discover vast empty beaches of Lewis explore sandy beaches, headlands, uninhabited islands. This is simple some of the best sea kayaking anywhere in the world.
Great opportunities to see many birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins and whales. Camp on remote beaches. Some previous experience of sea kayaking is needed for this trip though beginner and intermediate trips are also in the available.
Pembrokeshire is a sea kayakers paradise, and on these breaks you’ll get the chance to experience at close hand the inspirational National Park coastline as you kayak beneath towering sea cliffs and into sun dappled caves. This is an ideal way to explore the coast with its clean Atlantic ocean waters and waterfalls, sea caves and natural rock arches. Kayaks are also the best way to watch sea wildlife You might find yourself kayaking amongst Atlantic grey seals that breed around the coast and off-shore islands, or porpoise and dolphins that live in the deeper waters of Cardigan Bay. Large numbers of kittiwakes, razorbills, choughs, shags and cormorants, also the impressive gannets who have their colony on Grassholm island.
Suffolk-based Food Safari organise days out to learn about wild edible plants and mushrooms. This autumn they have two activities lined up: on September 19 a trip to hunt for berries and nuts and on October 24 they will be going out to identify and pick mushrooms. A day’s foraging ends with a gastronomic wild food feast.
Stretching perhaps somewhat the nature remit of britainnature, I know, but I came across this sizziling site which has cooked up this useful interactive map of the best legal places to have an outdoor barbecue in the UK, showing 50 of the best of what they call ‘grillocations’ See map
Though many locals call it Jersey Zoo, this is not a fair description. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has been saving species from extinction for fifty years.While many think halting the terrifying rate of extinction of animal species is a lost cause, the trust has made it its mission to do what it can to protect endangered animals across the planet. Visit
They have so far saved a long list of species from extinction including the Mauritius kestrel, the Madagascar Teal, the Pygmy Hog and the Mallorcan midwife toad. More here
Gigha, located three miles west of the Kintyre peninsular, is the most southerly island in the Hebrides and measures just seven miles long by half a mile wide. The island has unusually mild weather for Scotland tanks to its proximity to the North Atlantic Drift, which has helped to create the world-famous Achamore Gardens. Idyllic walks along beaches offer good chance of spotting seals and otters. Note Gigha is community-owned.
The Gigha Hotel (gigha.org.uk) has double rooms with breakfast from £48pp. The website has lots of information about the island.
Because it is set on the eastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Gigha attracts a wide variety of sea birds such as Guillemot and Eider, which breed on Eilean Garbh. Inland, ducks such as Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Pochard can be found along with Heron, Snipe, Pheasant and Red Grouse. The Hooded Crow and Jackdaw are present in considerable numbers, but geese are only occasional visitors. Mammals are under-represented, with Red Deer, Stoat, Weasel, Red Fox and Hare all being absent. In the mid-20th century Gigha had eight boats engaged in fishing for Cod and Lobster, but commercial activity ceased some time ago. Wikipedia
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