summer challenges


The sun is (mostly) shining and it's time to make the most of the summer and get outside, so we've put together the 5 best summer escapes that are sure to have you grabbing your hiking boots and counting down to the weekend.

Mountains: Lake Districs 3000 Challenge

The perfect adventure for one or two days away. Big mountains and rugged landscapes define the Lake District 3,000 Challenge, which involves 44km/70 miles of hard hillwalking and four of Lakeland's most spectacular Wainwrights: Scafell Pike and Scafell, Skiddaw and Helvellyn, via Striding Edge.


If you're taking on the challenge in 24 hours (fit hikers can complete the walk in about 16), don't forget to start early and pack a head torch. If you're tempted to take on the spectacular route over a weekend, don't forget to pack your camping gear.



All summer long, ideal for when the daylight hours are the longest.

City Escape: Thames Path National Trail

This long-distance trail is one of the finest pub walks in the city. Spanning 184 miles from the Cotswolds all the way to the Thames Barrier the most scenic stretches pass through the Cotswold and Chilterns AONBs toward the west, but a perfect summer's day walk can be found in central London.  


Starting at Kew Gardens and following the riverbank east, taking in the London Wetlands, Wandsworth Park (make a pit stop at Putt in the Park), Battersea Park, Jubilee Gardens and Southbank, Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe. Finish at Borough Market for some of the city's best craft beers and pop-up food stalls.


You'll also find an incredible selection of riverside pubs en route, including The White HArt in Barnes, The Ship in Wandsworth, Tamesis Dock in Lambeth, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Southbank.



This route is open all year round but a great excuse to soak up the sunshine and make the most of the pub gardens is throughout the summer.  

Music: Wilderness Festival

Nestled in the lakes and woodlands of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, Wilderness Festival is the ultimate four-day weekend for those seeking music and adventure in the outdoors.


The headliners include Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, Flaming Lips and Crystal Fighters, however this unique festival also offers wild swimming, woodland walks and runs, camp craft courses, sunrise yoga, evening banquets, karaoke with big band support, and the chance to explore Wychwood Forest.


Many of these activities need to be booked separately and are not included in the price of your ticket, so check out the programme before you saddle up your trekking backpack.


Choose between boutique camping in yurts and gypsy wagons or stand out in these lightweight festival tents.



4-7 August 2016

Coast: Scottish Sea Kayak Trail

Europe's first long-distance sea kayaking trail has an incredible 2,704km of ruggedly intricate coastline, stretching from the Isle of Gigha the Ullapool in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.


The route passes the likes of Skye, Knoydart and Torridon, where you can camp wild and bag some of Scotland's most spectacular and remote Munros.


If you're not an experienced sea kayaker who understands everything from tidal tables to what safety gear you need, book a guided tour for a section of the trail; Wilderness Scotland is an excellent option.


You'll need insect repellent for the midges and a waterproof jacket during the warmer, but sometimes wetter, summer months.



Ideal weather conditions from July to August.

Mulit-Adventure: Snowdonia National Park

If you're looking for an outdoor escape with some variety this summer, we recommend loading up the car and heading out to Snowdonia.


Hillwalkers are spoilt for choice with Snowdon, Crib Goch, the Glyderau, Tryfan, Cadair Idris, and Glyder Fawr all inside the National Park. There is also nearby Gogarth, which offers some of the finest sea cliff climbing in Britain.


For adventure seekers who want something a little bit different, Zip World in Llechwedd Slate Caverns has underground cave trampolining and 'Velocity', Europe's longest zip wire and the world's fastest, breaking speeds in excess of 100mph. On a blue sky, the views stretch as far as the Isle of Man.


Make sure that you book in advance for group activities at Zip World, especially on summer weekends.


The squeamish can enjoy a pint in the historical Miner's Arms if they haven't got the taste for heights.



Although available all year round, it's better in the sunshine.

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