Finally, the cold and rainy days are getting fewer and farther between – it looks like summer is nearly upon us! And while the British climate isn’t exactly renowned for its scorching weather, there should be plenty of sunny days coming up to take advantage of. So what do you like to do during the warmer months? Whether it’s rocking out at a music festival to your favourite band or relaxing with a family picnic by the sea, nothing raises the spirits and puts a smile on your face quite like a spot of sunshine. Here’s our pick of the best things to do outdoors this summer:
Take a day trip
Despite the popularity of package holidays to exotic destinations, many agree that nothing beats a good old fashioned day trip. So why not celebrate summer by packing the family into the car and heading for the great British countryside? The UK is packed full of great places to visit, many of them free – ideal for families on a tight budget. Got a wide range of ages to keep entertained? The seaside is a great solution. Little ones can build sandcastles and splash in the waves while older children can get their thrills from extreme sports like surfing or coasteering. And while they’re kept busy, parents and grandparents can enjoy a little rest and relaxation in the sun! For couples wanting to enjoy a romantic day out, Britain’s moors and valleys offer plenty of opportunities. Enjoy beautiful scenery, cool ponds and rivers for swimming and – most importantly – cosy pubs and inns for snuggling up together at the end of the day.
Go for a hike
While some people dream of spending the summer months laid out flat on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand, for others the longer days and warmer weather are the perfect opportunity to tackle some of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The UK is blessed with a huge variety of hiking destinations suitable for everyone from complete beginners to dedicated pros. There really is no better way to discover the diverse and beautiful landscape of the British Isles than by exploring it on foot. For families with young children, choose an easy base like Center Parcs which offers accommodation and entertainment with easy walks on your doorstep. For couples and older families, the world is your oyster – why not plan an adventure encompassing part of famous walks like the South West Coast Past or the West Highland Way, or plan to tackle famous peaks like the Lake District’s Scafell Pike? Wherever you go, you can combine some heavy-duty walking with visits to attractions and picnics in beauty spots to make sure it stays fun without getting too intense.
Spend the night under canvas
Despite the British tendency to moan about the weather, Britain’s unreliable climate doesn’t stop us from being a nation that loves camping. From the thousands of young people that cram into pop up tents at Glastonbury to the yummy mummies that take their brood on glamping holidays in yurts and bell tents, camping is an important fixture in the British summer. However, to avoid frayed tempers and ruined weekends it’s important to plan ahead. First off, invest in a good quality tent – that £9.99 single skin might seem like a bargain, but it won’t be worth it when rain is leaking in and every gust of wind threatens to send you into orbit. For any trip longer than a night or two, you’ll want at least a person’s worth of extra room to sleep comfortably – so choose a three man tent for two of you, a five man tent for a family of four etc. When choosing your site, think about what you want. Family sites are great for those with young children but not so good for friends who want to stay up drinking around the campfire into the early hours, while cheap sites near popular party destinations may be too loud for those that want to get a good night’s sleep.
Get the right gear
While no summer is complete without an adventure into the great outdoors, easy paths and gentle weather can never be relied on. That’s why it’s important to get kitted out with all the right equipment, whether you’re planning a short hike or a week-long trek. For all-weather gear that will keep you warm, comfortable and dry across all terrains, check out stores like Millets. They offer high-tech clothing for men, women and children as well as a fantastic range of accessories and gadgets designed to help you cope with every eventuality. From compasses and water filtration tablets to camping stoves, backpacks and thermal socks, every budding Bear Grylls will find plenty here to keep them entertained – even if they’re just planning a short stroll to the park!