The British countryside is blessed with untold beauty. From snow-capped mountains to misty moorlands, wildflower meadows to ancient forests, charismatic coastlines to dramatic dales, chocolate-box villages to prehistoric sites, it is not a case of whether you will find an adventure in these isles — but what kind of adventure you fancy.
With ten national parks, 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and countless nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, there is something for everyone. As Britain is relatively small, even the most remote landscape is never more than a few hours’ drive from a major town or city, making it super-easy to get out and explore.
In this Collection, we suggest five wild-and-wonderful weekend adventures for you to try, four hiking and one cycling. Each trip explores a national park and has two breathtaking routes that are packed with interest and beauty; a longer one for Saturday and a leisurely Sunday route (you can try them any day of the week, of course). The Tours begin from awesome accommodation, too, and all the adventures are convenient to reach by car.
First of all, we sent four explorers on an epic road cycling weekend to ‘God’s own country’, Yorkshire, to reconnect with nature and each other through their favourite sport.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, keen cyclist Nick Robinson began to feel increasingly isolated and alone because he could not meet his buddies for rides in the great outdoors. When restrictions were finally eased, Nick immediately arranged a weekend adventure with his cycling friends.
He loaded up his beautiful and brand new camper van with cycling gear, everyday essentials, plus a whole lot more, and headed to the stunning Yorkshire Dales, home to some of England's most evocative landscapes. After two breathtaking rides in the countryside, Nick’s social batteries were fully charged and he felt reconnected once again.
Nick’s weekend adventure showcases the immense beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the Nidderdale AONB. The rides are a one-hour drive from Leeds, 90 minutes from Manchester, and two hours from Liverpool.
We have also suggested five awesome hiking weekends in Britain:
Adventure 1 explores the Lake District, home to the highest mountains and deepest lakes in any of England's national parks. Dramatic, beautiful, overstated and proud, it is a spellbinding place that everybody should discover. The hikes start from Seatoller, in Borrowdale, which is a one-hour drive from Carlisle and a two-hour drive from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
We head to Britain's only coastal national park, Pembrokeshire, for Adventure 2. Expect enchanting coastline, ancient sites, sandy beaches, wooded estuaries, heavenly hills, and a warm Welsh welcome on this trip. The adventure begins from the coastline near St David’s, which is a 90 minute drive from Swansea and less than three hours from Bristol.
Our third hiking adventure explores the Peak District, a glorious land of breathtaking views and rolling hills interspersed with sleepy villages, stately homes, meandering rivers, picturesque dales, and mystical ancient sites. Right in the heart of England, Britain’s first national park is surrounded by the vast urban conurbations of Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, and Derby, which are all roughly a one-hour drive away.
Adventure 4 discovers the wild landscape of Dartmoor, where granite tors, lonely moors, waterfalls and ancient forests are yours to explore. With the largest number of archaeological remains in Europe, abundant stone circles and some of the clearest night skies in Britain, you can really step back in time. The adventure begins near Bovey Tracey, which is a 30-minute drive from Exeter, 90 minutes from Bristol and less than four hours from London.
Our final hiking adventure explores the South Downs, a national park and AONB that is widely considered to be the most picturesque part of South East England. With rolling chalk hills, mighty coastal cliffs, wooded heaths, and countless historic sites, the folklore-rich landscape has inspired many artists and writers. The adventure begins from Alfriston, which is a two-hour drive from London, 40 minutes from Brighton, and two hours from Southampton.
Hopefully, these weekend adventures will inspire you to get out and explore the beautiful British countryside.
This spectacular ride took us through the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
With 70.2 miles (113 km) of distance and 4,987 feet …
This enchanting loop through the Yorkshire Dales packed a lot of fun and beauty into 150 minutes of riding, making for a great finish to the weekend.
With 38.6 miles …
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
This hike visits some iconic spots in the Lake District, including Derwentwater, Catbells, Maiden Moor and High Spy.
With 13.4 miles (21.5 km) of distance and 2,725 feet (830 m) …
Buttermere is one of the few lakes in the Lake District that it is possible to walk all the way around. As such, it makes for a quick and easy …
As the only coastal national park in Britain, Pembrokeshire is a very special place. On this Tour, you experience the magical beauty of the coastline first-hand.
With 14.2 miles (22.9 …
This leisurely loop visits the spiritual heart of Wales, St David’s, and explores a spellbinding stretch of coastline.
A relaxing end to the weekend, this hike is 4.3 miles (6.9 …
Enchanting moorland, picturesque dales, pretty farmland, ancient stone circles and mythical rock formations combine on this classic Peak District route.
With 11.9 miles (19.1 km) of distance and 1,150 feet …
This hike explores the picturesque town of Bakewell — home of the world-famous Bakewell Pudding — and the quaint Peak District countryside it nestles within.
It is possible to walk …
If you have never visited Dartmoor, this hike is a perfect introduction For those that have, this Tour will reacquaint your love with the national park in a heartbeat.
This hike explores Grimspound, an atmospheric Bronze Age circle hut that sheltered fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the novel, Hound of the Baskervilles.
It might feel like this Tour takes …
Taking you through picturesque countryside, along the Seven Sisters cliffs, beside the sweeping River Cuckmere and into sleepy villages, this Tour is a wonderful introduction to the South Downs.
Cissbury Ring and Chanctonbury Ring are two of the best-preserved Iron Age hillforts in the country. This route takes you to both, via glorious countryside.
With 10.2 miles (16.4 km) …