From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, England is home to some of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. Adventure travelers love to visit this historic part of Europe, where it’s possible to find a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities. Whether you want to enjoy white water rafting, wilderness camping, or paragliding, there is much to see and do in England. Here are 9 places you don’t want to miss on your next trip to this adventurous destination.
Swim with the Seals at Lundy Island
If you love playing in the water and you also have an interest in wildlife, Lundy Island is a must-see destination. You’ll find this quaint island hidden off the coast of Devon. It is a true mecca for the wildlife enthusiast. Take a hike and you are likely to spot all sorts of birds from puffins to razorbills and even kittiwake. Near the grassland harbors, you might see a Lundy pony or spot a sika deer. Most memorable will be the sea grey seals. They are well known for being friendly with snorkelers, often getting close enough to give swimmers a nuzzle. While signs encourage visitors to keep a distance, seals often seek out attention from tourists and enjoy getting up close and personal in the water. Swimming with the seals is an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss.
Set up Camp and Stargaze in Elan Valley
The Elan Valley is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. This area has multiple reservoirs and bothies hidden in the woodlands where travelers can camp and spend the night enjoying the incredible views of stars overhead. At Lluest Cwmbach, you’ll find a former shepherd’s cottage that has been fully restored for use by curious travelers. Inside, there are basic sleeping platforms, a fuel stove, and an outdoor toilet. Best of all, accommodation is free, but it’s on a first come, first serve basis so space isn’t guaranteed. Because it’s so far from the nearest village, the night offers stargazing like you’ve never experience before. Just remember to bring your own fuel if the weather is chilly as the stove won’t have fuel furnished.
Ride an Eco-Friendly Roller Coaster
Greenwood Forest Park is a one of a kind destination with environmentally friendly adventures for families and adrenaline-junkies. The theme park offers a people-powered roller coaster, a barefoot walking trail and a solar powered ride. The park goes to great lengths to take a green-approach to tourism. An estimated 80 percent of the park is powered using a solar generation system on sight. Food and beverages are served in biodegradable containers. Even the used cooking oil is saved and processed into biodiesel. The park staff also continuously plants new trees, with more than 10,000 trees planted since it opened in 1993.
Take the Ultimate Mountain Bike Ride
The UK is home to a number of bike trails, ranging from the simple to the challenging. For adventure lovers who aren’t afraid of a challenge, the big Brecon peaks offers nonstop fun with muddy trails and steep climbs. If you aren’t up for the difficult uphill bike ride, Adventure Cycling Wales will transport you and your bike to the top of the peaks and let you enjoy an epic, easy downhill ride to return to your starting point.
Go White Water Rafting at Hertfordshire
Just a short distance from central London, you can visit the Lee Valley White Water Centre. Originally constructed for the canoe slalom in 2012, it is now open for adventurous travelers and locals who want to take a ride in the rapids. Choose from smaller, foaming routes to extreme rapids. This is an action-packed day trip, just a short drive from the capital, and it’s well worth the time to work it into your travel itinerary.
Build Your Own Canoe
For a one of a kind experience, visit Open River Canoe Adventures. Here you can enjoy a hands-on day of building your own canoe, with three different models to choose from. You don’t need any experience in wood working as the friendly staff will walk you through the process from start to finish. Once your canoe is finished, it’s yours to keep and use on all of your future river adventures.
Try Wilderness Camping at Rams Island
If you want to really get away from the grind and experience the solitude of England’s vast wilderness, try camping on Rams Island, just a mile from Lough Neagh. The quiet setting will make you feel like you are millions of miles from civilization, but you’ll find an ancient Celtic settlement to explore along with a round tower dating back to the 9th century. Rams Island is uninhabited today, so your only companions will be other campers and the natural wildlife that includes a wide variety of ducks and herons. For adult only campsites in England, there are several options, but Rams Island is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
Paraglide at Isle of Wight
Located on the southern coast, the Isle of Wight is less than two hours from London. Here you will find breath-taking scenery and a steady sea breeze, making it the perfect place to try paragliding. This destination is known for its smooth flying conditions, making it easy for even first time flyers to master paragliding skills with the help of one of the many instructors in the area.
Climb Ben Nevis
If you enjoy a challenging hike, make sure you visit Ben Nevis. This highest mountain in Britain offers a steep path from the bottom to the top. Only accomplished climbers should attempt the upper section, which is quite rough and stony. In colder months, it’s often blanketed in snow making it easy to get lost without proper navigation equipment. If you dare to brave the complete climb, it promises incredible views at the top and a sense of accomplishment like no other.
Whether you prefer a low-key camping experience in the wilderness of a heart-pumping ride through the rapids, England offers something for every type of adventure seeker. Plan a trip and you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.