GetOutside Champion Debs Butler takes us on her stand up paddleboarding river trip in the Midlands.
Combine amazing coastal scenery and wildlife with a tough challenge, ideal for older kids and adventurous parents
As every Brit knows summer doesn’t last forever, and often the warm weather lasts for even less time! So why not take advantage of the heat during the summer holidays with an outdoor adventure suitable for all the family? Eco-coasteering is a wet and wild day out that gets people of all ages out of the house and straight into the water and getting up close and personal with some of the amazing wildlife that can be found on the British coast.
Normally, we enjoy the ocean from the comfort of the sand, choc-ice in hand and perhaps a paddle if we feel up to it. Eco-coasteering is a way for the whole family to be in the sea, rather than beside it. Ditch the deck-chair, explore the ocean and meet a totally new kind of local resident!
Eco-coasteering is the activity of exploring our stunning coast, sand dunes and coves, all with an expert guide leading the way to answer any questions and teach some amazing facts about the wildlife that lives in the area. An ideal family day out, this activity is less adrenaline filled, but much more enducational than typical coasteering.
Eco-coasteering allows families to slow down and enjoy the stunning landscape around them, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with children, big and small, taking in the natural environment and ecosystem of the ocean and surrounding areas that normally goes unnoticed. You should expect to see a huge variety of local flora and fauna, including seals, dolphins, starfish, hermit crabs, coral and sponges.
The summer holidays can often result in the dreaded cry of “I’m bored!” and spending days indoors can be monotonous, but experiencing life through outdoor recreation is a brilliant way to take in the scenery, learn more about the enivronment and bring some diversity to your daily routine. You will enjoy the amazing buzz as endorphins get released; Swedish Olympic rower Linda Hedenstrom explains the benefits of outdoor activities:
“We train outdoors; do a consultation outdoors, that’s the Nordic way. It’s great for cardio health and lung capacity – you have to work harder to keep warm, which makes you more efficient.”
While it may sound great fun, we wouldn't advise you to try eco-coasteering on your own, as it takes experience to plan a route safely – many of the best places will only be revealed at low tide, while access will mean scrambling over wet rocks and jumping into pools.
You can join regular eco-coasteering excursions in Cornwall, run by Vertical Descents. Each is led by an expert ocean scientist who guides guests through the often inaccessible coastline and helps to find and identify the many species to discover hidden in rockpools, crevices and caves. The company has adventure centres spanning from Newquay to Fort William bringing outdoor experiences to the whole family throughout the year. You can book eco-coasteering in:
For more information or to book see Vertical Descent eco-coasteering page.