Category Archives: Outdoor activities

Parahawking in Wales

Paragliders will use birds of prey to guide them to the best thermals.  They often report that the birds are not afraid of them and will even approach out of curiosity.  Parahawking takes this one step further.  You’re taken on a tandem paraglider and specially trained birds of prey will accompany you on your flight, rewarded by offerings of food.  This unforgettable experience is available in Wales, organised by the Axis paragliding school

Husky trekking in the Yorkshire moors

With Pesky Husky Trekking you can become a musher for a day.  Instead of a sledge, you stand on a specially designed non-motorised scooter.  And instead of snow-covered arctic lands, the Siberian huskies whisk you through the Yorkshire countryside.  The experience is only available between October and March, after which it becomes too warm for an energetic husky.  You can start off on a practice lap or do a more advanced trek of up to two hours.

Rambling on Kinder Scout

bannerpicture-kinderscoutreservoir

The 1932 mass trespass at Kinder Scout has passed into rambling legend and is seen as a milestone in the fight for the right to roam. Located in the north of the Derbyshire Peak District, and very close to the Manchester conurbation, this moorland plateau is of outstanding beauty, with views of Snowdon on a clear day and a 30-foot waterfall that the winds blow into the sky.

But 70 years ago, Kinder Scout was a private moor reserved for grouse shooting. And the famous demonstration, organised by the British Workers Sport Federation, was very much part of the 1930s class war. The confrontation with police and game keepers on the one side and a mixed group of communists, students and ramblers on the other resulted in scuffles, arrests and prison sentences. In his statement at the dock, Bernard Rothman, one of the organisers, argued their case: Continue reading Rambling on Kinder Scout

Bananas not so biodegradable

Apparantly it is best not to throw away bananas on hikes as they can take up to two years to biodegrade. The John Muir Trust, which protects many of Scotland’s wild places, estimates that there are now 1,000 banana skins strewn across Ben Nevis alone. But at least they aren’t as bad as chewing gum.

Biodegradable times:

  • Paper bag – 1 month
  • Apple core – 8 weeks
  • Orange peel and banana skins – 2 years
  • Cigarette end – 18 months to 500 years
  • Plastic bag – 10 to 20 years
  • A plastic bottle – 450 years
  • Chewing gum – 1 million years

More here

Canals: corridors of wildlife and the slow-life

kennet-avon-canal-in-winter

The designers of Britain’s canals, built to haul coal and lumber, or fragile goods when roads were still rough, would have been flabbergasted to see how their engineering efforts are valued today, not for industrial purposes, but for giving folk a respite from urban stresses or for bringing kingfishers into city centres. Continue reading Canals: corridors of wildlife and the slow-life

Snowhole holiday in Scotland

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

Llama trekking in Devon

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

Mountain bike holiday in the Chilterns

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.

More here

Walking holiday along Hadrian’s Wall

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

Sea kayaking in the Outer Hebrides

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.

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Sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire

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.

More here

Rodborough Common: walking among orchids and butterflies

An airy place to stretch your legs, Rodborough Common is perched steeply over Stroud, on the edge of the Cotswolds.  Any time of the year is good for extensive views of the Severn estuary and Welsh mountains on the horizon, but spring to summer are best, as the carefully managed chalk grassland is a haven for butterflies and wild flowers.  Continue reading Rodborough Common: walking among orchids and butterflies

Red light for night walking

Left to their own devices, your eyes can adapt to the darkness by producing a photosensitive chemical called rhodopsin.  But once you turn on the torch the rhodopsin breaks down and your built-up night vision is lost.  That’s why a headlamp with a red light setting is strongly recommended for night time activities.  Red light is enough to read a map, but won’t leave you blinded. The Ramblers Association has a list of head torches of all shapes and sizes, like the recommended Petzl e+LITE pictured above.

Campsite on Gower coast

Main image of Three Cliffs Bay as seen from the Holiday Park

Three Cliffs Bay campsite in the Gower Peninsula was awarded site of the year by the Independent in 2006. It is ridiculously pretty and enjoys a spectacular position with the panoramic views of Three Cliffs Bay and has its own public footpath leading down to the beach. Families and couples and dogs welcomed. Attractions: Water skiing, sailing and sind Surfing and for the nature enthusiast, a 540 acre National Nature reserve. Visit