8 top outdoor activities and challenges

Date Posted: 14/03/2013

Hadrians Wall, credit VisitBritain, Rod Edwards.

Pictured: The Hadrian's Wall Path celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. (Photo credit: VisitBritain/Rod Edwards).

Despite the recent Arctic conditions, it’s officially spring, so why not dust off those cobwebs and entice your group into the great outdoors with these top outdoor activities and challenges.

A dirty weekend on the world's biggest assault course

Lincolnshire's Burghley House - one of England's finest Elizabethan houses - plays host to the Rat Race Dirty Weekend on 11th May. The world's biggest assault course consists of 20 miles, 20 zones and 200 obstacles.

From tackling the world's largest hay bale and bushwhacking through thick undergrowth, to swinging through treetops and wading through lakes, groups will be soaking wet and covered in mud by the end of the course, but with a huge sense of achievement.

Trek across a Roman frontier

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall Path becoming a national trail, so there’s no better time for hiking groups to attempt this 84-mile sign-posted trail which stretches from coast to coast.

Travelling from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west, you'll come across the Roman fort at Segedunum and the river Tyne bridges during your journey across this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nordic walking - the fastest growing fitness activity in the world

Group travel organisers with a keenness for new trends may like to try Nordic walking. This new exercise experience is designed to make the most of the diverse terrain and staggering beauty afforded by Dartmoor National Park, the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England.

Developed by cross-country skiers, who needed to keep fit ‘out of season’; Nordic walkers use poles to achieve an all-over body workout using both the upper and lower body muscles. The Nordic fitness experience is bookable for groups of up to ten people and costs from £190 per person including two nights’ accommodation at The Prince Hall with a three-course dinner each evening, plus a full day of Nordic fitness.

The Jurassic Coast, credit VisitBritain, Rod Edwards.

Pictured: The Jurassic Coast. (Photo credit: VisitBritain/Rod Edwards).

Wild swimming in Dorset

Durdle Door is one of England's natural wonders and swimming through the arch out into wide open sea should help explain what the wild swimming fuss is about. It's a beautifully scenic swim, under the arch, past the near vertical cliffs of Purbeck limestone, then into Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Tee off on England's Golf Coast

The Golf Coast, stretching from Cumbria down to Cheshire, is home to 19 challenging and spectacular courses, including three Royal links courses.

Book a group golfing break at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, situated at the heart of the Golf Coast, and tee off on an 18-hole championship golf course in beautiful surroundings. The golf break includes accommodation, dinner, breakfast and two rounds of golf.

Ride the waves in Devon

North Devon’s beaches are home to some of the best waves and attract the top surfers in the country. Croyde Bay tends to be the epicentre of all things surfing in this part of the world; the pretty thatched village’s inhabitants’ lives revolve around the wind, the tide and the waves.

Organisations like Surfing Croyde Bay offer expert guides, a private sandpit for learning, surfing gear, and a two-hour lesson in the surf. If you’re organising a longer group holiday, pitch up a tent at Croyde View Farm; a campsite with a bar, swimming pool and entertainment.

Walk from white to dark in the Peak District

The White to Dark Way is a three-day walk linking the Peak District's two halves: the White Peak and the Dark Peak.

The 27-mile course encounters a varied terrain ranging from meadows, woods and farmland to wild moorland and grit stone edges. The walk, which is in its first year, showcases some of the area’s most beautiful landscapes.

National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham

Pictured: Try white water rafting at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottinghamshire.

Stay literally on the trail at the 16th century tower house, North Lees Hall, which sits just above Hathersage. Suitable for small groups of up to six people, two-nights accommodation costs £690 (£115 per person).

Get wet in Nottinghamshire

Grab the opportunity to go rafting at the National Water Sports Centre on the edge of Nottingham. Take to the rapids on this naturally powered water course used by the British Slalom, Freestyle Kayak and White Water Rafting Teams for training.

The National Water Sports Centre also has its own accommodation, and group travel organisers can opt for either the hotel or campsite.

These ideas were generated through VisitEngland, partnered with Blacks, promoting outdoor breaks in rural England.

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