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SUMMER ESCAPES IN THE UK


Summer is here but with dreams of far flung places long gone and hopes of ticking a few things off your bucket list dashed, we’re all looking for an escape, now more than ever. Park the island hopping, peak bagging, city tripping plans until next year, and spend a little time finding a new challenge on your doorstep. Because our own island has a lot more going on than you might think, you just need to know where to look. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and have even thrown in a few expert gear picks to keep you looking and feeling great. You’re welcome.

Walking

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Planned to take your trusty walking boots on a holiday this year? No worries. If there’s one thing the UK offers in abundance, it’s on-foot adventures. There are over 2,500 miles of National Trails in England and Wales alone, and a further 1,900 in Scotland, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to (literally) fill your boots – and the only way to properly experience the majesty of our long-distance walking trails is backpacking.

 

Backpacking is all about carrying everything you need - including your tent, your food and everything you’ll be wearing – on (you guessed it) your back, so the real challenge is dropping weight from your gear wherever you can and taking only what you need. If you really want to go high-stakes, why not ditch the tent completely and give our alternative to camping a try?

Camping

When you’ve had a foreign adventure in your sights, camping in the same old British fields doesn’t quite cut it in comparison. Which is exactly why it’s time to get wild. If you don’t know, bivvying is sleeping outside without the shelter of a tent, so you put your sleeping bag inside a waterproof outer called a bivvy bag and fall asleep looking at the stars. Views aside, going minimal equals less weight to carry, meaning you’ll be able to venture further and find the most enviable spot for your makeshift camp. Don’t stress about straying too far from home the first time, though - just find some flat ground and a water source and you’re ready to live the dream. It’s your adventure after all.

Running

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Now hitting far-flung trails isn’t an option, it’s time to up your game and conquer a different kind of challenge at home. Your first 10k, a marathon, an extreme endurance event – whatever the next step is, there’s nothing better than crossing that finish line. Plus, all your training will put you way ahead for when you can go running abroad again – what’s not to get on board with?

Climbing

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You don’t need to leave the UK to find climbing routes few Brits have discovered. A far cry from favourites like Stanage Edge and the Old Man of Hoy (although these have a special place in our hearts), venturing deeper into climbing hotspots like the Peaks, Cornwall and North Wales reveals hidden gems which promise challenging climbs, epic views and a real chance to be the only climber(s) around for miles. Check out Rivelin Edge, Bass Point and Sheep Pen for a bit of inspiration.

Mountaineering

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A tradition as Scottish as kilts and Hogmanay, Munro bagging should be high up the bucket list of any mountaineer – so the need to rethink travel plans could be a blessing in disguise. Scotland’s 282 Munros (mountains over 3,000ft, for the uninitiated) are the ultimate UK-based mountaineering challenge, and in summer, you can expect some serious daylight hours in which to conquer multiple Munros in a day. The sudden changes and extremes in weather are all part of the Highlands’ charm, so just make sure you’re prepared and have gear for all conditions.

Cycling

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If you had a multi-day cycle tour planned in warmer climes or a few epic cols you wanted to conquer, who’s to say you can’t plan an alternative version right here in the UK? We’ve got some of the best cycling routes around, and even if you’re not up for Land’s End to John o’ Groats just yet, there are plenty of one-day sportif-style rides you could take on, with punishing climbs and epic views which serve as great training for when you can eventually take on your overseas challenge. Alternatively, why not plan a multi-day ride that starts and finishes at home every day? You can do a different route each day, winning new segments and taking on unconquered climbs, to cover the same distance you would have done on holiday but at the end of each ride, you can come back to the comfort of your own home. We reckon that’s a win-win.