Britain is turning into a nation of adventurers, with 41% of adults saying they have a keen sense of adventure, according to a recent survey by to the Discovery Channel, while more than 300,000 Brits said they take part in activities such as mountain walking, rock climbing, and abseiling.
If you’re looking to plan your own micro adventure, you don’t need to far-flung destinations as there are plenty of great adventures to be found on your doorstep.
From the top of Cheddar Gorge to the Orkney Islands, the British mountaineer Kenton Cool shares his favourite places to visit in the UK for an outdoor adventure.
“Adventure is what you make it, whether it’s the top of a mountain or your local park. The UK has some incredible scenery. A walk across the top of Cheddar Gorge on a summer’s evening is something rather special, and the view from the top of Ben Nevis is something that will stay with you for a lifetime.” says Kenton.
Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset, England
A natural defile through beautiful Somerset countryside, the top of Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills is a popular caving and rock-climbing centre, and on a summer’s evening a walk here is something rather special.
The Old Man of Hoy, Hoy, Orkney Islands, Scotland
A famous sea stack on the remote island of Hoy was the scene of the world’s first live outside broadcast in the 1960s. The magnificent 449-ft, Old Red Sandstone stack in Orkney is one of the tallest in the UK and some brave professionals occasional climb the stack.
Minack Open Air Theatre, Penzance, Cornwall
Outdoor adventures don’t always need to be epic – this open-air theatre perched on the cliff provides amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Envisaged by Rowena Cade, the Minack theatre is carved into the cliff face and creates a unique atmospheric for the Shakespearean plays performed.
Derwent Water, Lake District, Cumbria
One of the most beautiful lakes in the UK, the size of this lake is astonishing. The lake is so vast that it contains seven islands, one of which is inhabited.
White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
Stretching for eight miles, the iconic White Cliffs of Dover is an important landmark for Britain. A site of rare geological interest the cliffs have also been a site for key moments in history, such as the arrival of the Romans and are where the British forces returned from Dunkirk. Enjoy a refreshing coastal walk and a view across the Channel to France.
Waterfalls at Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales
Water country is one of the most beautiful parts of the Brecon Beacons. With steep, tree-lined gorges and an abundance of tumbling water, there’s so much to explore. There are several impressive waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons, including ones you can venture behind, such as Sgwd yr Eira.
Sutton Bank, Hambleton Hills, North Yorkshire, England
Dubbed England’s finest view by James Herriot, Sutton Bank is one of the most spectacular inland cliffs anywhere in Britain. Found in the North York Moors, this hill is perfect for walks or challenging bike rides, with the views as a reward.
Ben Nevis, Lochaber, Highlands, Scotland
This is the highest point in the UK and so, as a lover of mountain scenery, Ben Nevis is a given. At 1345 metres (4411ft), Ben Nevis boasts amazing views of the surrounding Grampian Mountains, if you’re lucky to have hike on a day free from fog!
Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The dramatic landscapes and cliffs at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, thought to have taken place 50 million years ago. The distinctive basalt columns are unique and highly memorable.
Kenton Cool lives in the Cotswolds with his wife and two young children. An ambassador for Argentinian wine brand Trivento, Kenton released his UK adventure guide in collaboration with the Discovery Channel.