Enjoy The Great Outdoor Space
Those clever people at VisitEngland.com are always whetting our appetite for adventure with inspiring ideas, places to go and things to see, and winter is no exception. Encouraging us to embrace the seasonal weather and get fit while trying something new, they offer plenty of top tips for great days out in the UK. Writer Kate Rowe says..
Crossing rivers, mounting rugged moors and hugging steep crags, Hadrian’s Wall remains a magnificent feat of Roman engineering. The best way to experience it is by tackling the National Trail. Marvel at the challenging landscapes and dramatic scenery of a Unesco World Heritage Site as you catch your breath along an 84-mile walking path between Bowness-on-Solway and Wallsend. If you don’t fancy doing the whole thing in one go, set up a temporary settlement at Hadrian’s Wall Camping and Caravan Site in Northumberland. Better still, opt for a day out at Chester’s Roman Fort, just over an hour from Newcastle Central Station on the AD122 bus – named after the date the wall was first constructed. The fort is home to one of the wall’s largest and best preserved bath houses, so you can get up close to a hot plunge bath and even peep into the compartments where the soldiers stored their clothes.
Jurassic Journeys in Dorset
Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is a great place to walk off the excesses of winter comfort-eating. Get a fabulous view of the sheer cliff faces as you ramble along the South West Coast Path, taking in 185 million years of history in the rock formation. Head along the shingle beach at Lulworth and you’ll see how years of erosion have created a horseshoe-shaped cove. A little further west, the iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door frames the open sea. Further west still, near the Devon border, carry out a fossil hunt on the beach in Lyme Regis before trying the catch of the day in one of the harbour side restaurants and cafes.
Kayak Around the Coast
The unspoilt coast around England’s Lake District packs in panoramic views and is teeming with wildlife. Swallows and guillemots circle above towering sandstone cliffs, and otters, seals, porpoises and bottlenose dolphins frolic in the frothy waters below. Without a doubt, sea kayaking is the best way to experience it all. Whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned paddler, there are plenty of experienced instructors in the area who can show you a vast stretch of undiscovered coastline chiselled with hidden coves and bustling with seal colonies. Kayaking hotspots include the stretch between St Bees and Whitehaven, and the two huge tidal estuaries of Morecambe Bay and Solway Firth.
Royal Bike Rides in Norfolk
Norfolk is renowned for its rural charm and tranquillity, with windmills gently turning under big blue skies. In other words, it’s gorgeous and flat. Add to that the country’s Royal connections and it’s just the place for an easy cycling break with a twist. The 22-mile Sandringham Explorer Loop sweeps by the Queen’s Sandringham Estate and past picture-perfect cottages and wooded glades. This route is the ideal way to experience the beauty of north Norfolk, and there are plenty of picnic spots and cosy country pubs to quench your thirst after a day in the saddle.