Try something different in 2018

Fancy trying something new in 2018? Here are our top suggestions for activities to get you out and about in the countryside in the new year

A view from cat bells,Cumbria,England

Every year we make our New Year’s resolutions, but they rarely ever seem to last. So, this year motivate yourself to try something different, by picking one of the following more unusual activities to test out. 

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1. Give glamping a go
The rising phenomenon of glamping - glamorous camping
​Go outdoors – without leaving your comforts behind! © Getty 

Save yourself the hassle of flights and hotels and stay in the UK for your holiday. New glamping sites across the country now offer modern luxuries such as smart TV’s, hot tubs and heating, so there’s no excuse not to try it! Britain has an abundance of beautiful areas to explore, see our top suggestions here.

2. Try mountain climbing
A view from cat bells,Cumbria,England
A view from Cat Bells, Cumbria © Getty

Kick off the New Year with a refreshing and rewarding climb up one of the UK’s many mountains. If you’re new to the world of hiking, check out our Top 10 Beginner’s Mountains. Once you’ve tackled the summits of Cumbria’s Cat Bells or the modest Conic Hill in the Highlands, we guarantee you’ll be hooked.

3. Get your garden ready
Gardening stock photo of a gardener wearing bright red wellies digging over soil in a vegetable patch.
​Start preparing your garden for the year ahead © Getty

Growing veg is a year-round activity, as there’s always something ready to be harvested or sown! In the early months, you can start sowing for beans, lettuces and onions indoors and carrots, parsnips and salads outside. It’s a good idea to plan your crops in advance, so you don’t miss your chance. Check out rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own for some handy tips on when to sow your seeds.

4.  Become a volunteer​
Group of people plant a tree together outdoors
Group of volunteers planting a tree © Getty

Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet new people and there are opportunities to work in some incredible places around the UK plus, you’ll be helping a great cause. You could be doing anything from planting trees to fundraising. The Woodland Trust, RSPB, Canal & River Trust and National Trust all run excellent volunteer programmes, head to their websites to get involved!

Woodland Trust: woodlandtrust.org.uk

RSPB: rspb.org.uk

Canal & River Trust: canalrivertrust.org.uk

National Trust: nationaltrust.org.uk

5. Take up photography
Male photographer taking photos in a beautiful nature setting
​Discover some gorgeous sights and preserve them through a lens © Getty

This is a great way to see more of the country, as you explore and capture the unique beauty of natural Britain with a camera. Plus, there are plenty of competitions to enter, you might just discover a new hidden talent! Check out our Countryfile Magazine’s contests or get inspired by Adam Burton’s Top 10 tips for great landscape photography.

6. Go swimming in the wild
Father and son jumping into lake
​The UK has so many pretty rivers and pools to explore © Getty

Brave the elements and give wild swimming a go. The Hampstead Ponds amongst wild, hilly heath are a great, safe place to start or for the more daring, Salmon Leaps in Devon offers three plunge pools with a powerful current. It’s best to wear a full wetsuit, to protect you from the cold and if you’re taking kids, they should be supervised at all times. For more info, visit wildswimming.co.uk

7. Listen to podcasts
Woman in headphones listening music in nature and at the mountain (intentional pale color style)
​There are so many different podcast genres to choose from © Getty
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If you’re always on the go, listening to podcasts is a wonderful way to learn, laugh and discover new interests. The National Trust have a great walking podcast series and there’s a whole variety of science and nature podcasts by the BBC. For something a little different you could try comedy, film reviews or true crime stories – there’s something out there for everyone!