Staycations are the new vacations

Fun outdoor activities for your staycation

Already booked your summer staycation? Make your time outdoors amazing whilst you're there with these ideas for what to see and do across GB, brought to you by our OS GetOutside Champions.

Whether it's exploring your staycation destination on foot, by bike or boat, make time to enjoy an outdoor activity, a cracking view or a peaceful walk in the local area. Make sure you check that any sites, events, activity centres or adventure destinations are open and accessible before travelling.

Click on a button below to find a bit of outdoor fun at your staycation destination.


Wales

Mahroof Malik - 4 heart-pumping activities

  1. Zip World: Everyone's been on a zip line right? Not like this you haven't! This is not only Europe's biggest zip line... it is also the fastest zip line in the world! Whizzing through the Welsh quarries, you'll reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
  2. Coasteering and Canyoning: Coasteering and canyoning involve climbing, scrambling, swimming, jumping and exploring your way around the sea cliffs of Anglesey and canyons of North Wales.
  3. Mountain Biking: There are a number of trail centres in Forestry Commission land that are dedicated to all skill levels of mountain biking. Whether you are a novice cyclist or an extreme downhill adrenaline junkie there are trails for everyone. Trail centres include (North Wales) : Llandegla, Coed y Brenin, Nant y Arian, Antur Stiniog (Downhill); (Mid Wales): Coed Trallwm; (South Wales): Afan Forest, Brechfa, Cwmcarn.
  4. Rock Climbing: Some of the earliest rock climbing is known to have started in North Wales' legendary rock faces. You can enjoy scaling up the rock with an expert guide surrounded by Welsh mountains and top out to the most amazing views imaginable.

Find out more about the area and follow Mahroof's adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer OL17

Tracy Purnell - top outdoor activities in the Brecon Beacons

  1. Hiking with huskies: Have a special guided walk in the Brecon Beacons accompanied by a beautiful husky pup.
  2. Dolygaer Outdoor Centre: Parkwood Outdoors offers a fantastic range of activities such as sailing, hiking and gorge adventures with options available for all ages and abilities.
  3. Have a round of golf at Glanusk Estate.
  4. Go Fishing at Glanusk: 5-miles of fantastic double bank fishing on the River Usk offering day tickets for trout and salmon rods. Tuition is available, if needed, for small or large groups. Hampers can be provided upon request, full of delicious locally sourced and produced food.
  5. Muddy Boots guided walks: The routes are graded as gentle walks, moderate walks and challenging mountain days. With routes all over west, south and mid Wales with most starting within an hour and a half of home, as well as some longer routes further afield in Southern Snowdonia.
  6. Cantref adventure farm: Family-friendly activity centre with farm animals, an indoor play area, and horse/pony riding trips.
  7. Kevin Walker mountain activities: Navigation courses, guided walks and events.
  8. Trigpoint adventures: Hill and mountain skills courses for all.
  9. Landscapes uncovered: Brecon Beacons landscape photography tuition – You choose the day!
Kevin Walker mountain activities


Kevin Walker mountain activities

Hiking with huskies


Hiking with huskies

Parkwood Outdoors


Parkwood Outdoors

Find out more about the area and follow Tracy's adventures on Instagram.


Phillipa Cherryson - Abergavenny, Pembrokeshire & Gower

Abergavenny adventure

Abergavenny is the gateway to the Brecon Beacons. If you are feeling energetic take on Abergavenny's Three Peaks - Sugar Loaf, Blorenge and Skirrid.

  • National Trust owned, Sugar Loaf is popular but the route here takes you through a quiet valley and up to the peak on a great ridge with views.
  • The Blorenge can be a test of fitness if starting in Llanfoist and going straight up the old tramway and up the north face. Or, you can take the easy route and drive up `The Tumble' popular with cyclists. Park at the Foxhunter car park and just stroll along the easy path to the trig point enjoying the views.
  • Skirrid (Ysgyryd Fawr) is one of the top night walks in GB. Park in the pay and display and follow the clear paths to the trig point. Don't forget your headtorch and OS Maps app. Enjoy an amazing sunset, followed by a night time view over Abergavenny and the Black Mountains. Then retrace your steps back to your car.

At low level the Brecon and Monmouth Canal is great for old and young, either walk on the towpath or hire a day boat from Beacon Park Day Boats. In Abergavenny itself take a stroll through Castle Meadows on the banks of the River Usk, to Abergavenny Castle and its quirky museum. Visit St Mary's Priory and the Tythe Barn next to it.

Or visit Sugar Loaf Vineyards or White Castle Vineyard for a taste of local wines. If you are feeling adventurous take a drive up the beautiful Llanthony Valley to the ruins of its ancient abbey and the high level walks along Offas Dyke Path and up to Hay Bluff. Or visit the hidden St Ishow's Church, at Partrishow, on the side of a mountain.

Sugar Loaf loop in OS Maps Map: OS Explorer OL13
Phillipa with her dogs at Sugar Loaf


Phillipa with her dogs at Sugar Loaf

View across Abergavenny from the Blorenge


View across Abergavenny from the Blorenge

Pembrokeshire activity days

Fancy coasteering or kayaking off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline? Muuk Adventures is a local firm specialising in adventure days out, which also raises money for charity with local events.

Hidden Gower

Gower is a perfect place for a staycation. But if Three Cliffs and Rhosili Bay are busy where else can you go?

  • Enjoy a walk across Cefn Bryn for afternoon tea at the Woodfield Animal Sanctuary, with views over North Gower
  • Try your hand at archery at Periswood Archery Centre
  • Take in the beautiful Norman church and ancient wood in Illston or else the stunning ruins of Pennard Castle
  • `Tread Gower' can take you on a guided walk to hidden spots and teach you navigation
  • Head to the north of Gower and walk from Cwm Ivy to the saltmarshes and nature reserve
  • And don't forget to stop off at Swansea on your drive through! You can visit Swansea Marina, Clynne Gardens and enjoy an Italian ice cream on the Mumbles.

Find out more about Phillipa and follow her adventures on Instagram.

Cwm Ivy Walk in OS Maps Map: OS Explorer 165
Stack Rocks, St Brides Bay. Photo: Lowa Malmström


Kayaking at Stack Rocks, St Brides Bay. Photo: Lowa Malmström

Walking in Gower. Photo: Tread Gower


Walking in Gower. Photo: Tread Gower


Scotland

Hairy Cow Experience


Hairy Cow Experience.

Debbie North - Hairy Cow Experience

A bunkhouse stay at Uvie Farm, Newtonmore is a perfect base for exploring the highlands of Scotland. At Uvie there is an opportunity to do volunteer work with the fantastic Highland Cattle.

Find out more about the Hairy Cow Experience and follow Debbie's adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Landranger 35

Hauxwell family - Discover your inner Viking in Unst, Shetland

On UK's most northerly inhabited island of Unst discover living history. Have you ever wondered how Vikings lived or how they crossed the seas? Unleash your inner Viking in Unst and visit the reconstructed Longhouse and board the Skidbladner, a full-size replica Gokstad ship.

<br/>Viking boat at Unst
<br/>Viking mask at Unst
Map: OS Explorer 470

Find out more about the area and follow the Hauxwell family's adventures on Instagram.


Ross Toole: Campervanning at Paxton House

An amazing small, quiet campsite with 80 acres of stunning grounds to explore. Aside from the historical Paxton House, its gardens, riverside and woodland, the site includes an adventure play park complete with a zip wire and scenic boat trips down the River Tweed. It's an ideal place for families to enjoy.

Find out more and follow Ross' Dad Adventure Diaries on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer 346

Sal Thornton: Gairloch

From beautiful beaches, to ancient woodland, incredible nature and the best mountains Great Britain has to offer, the north west of Scotland has something for everyone, and Gairloch offers the perfect base to explore. YHA, BnB, self catering, campsites, hotels. Whether you want easy accessible outdoor adventures or remote wilderness, you can find it all in this area

Gairloch


Gairloch

Find out more about the area and follow Sal's adventures on Instagram.

Explore Gairloch on OS Maps

Ben Turner - Cona Glen Bike Ride

Long and short options

Fort Wiliam is home to several hotspots for tourism and visitors, but there are some areas that are completely away from it all. Cona Glen is across the water from Fort William and offers a truly remote experience of rivers, mountains, deer, birds and nature. Either park at the start of the glen and cycle/walk/run up the glen and back again, immersing yourself in nature, following rivers, mountains and enjoying being truly wild.

Or for the adventurous, park at the Strontian turning off the A830 and cycle the 13 miles to the glen, then the 6 miles to its head. There is path that continues up and over the saddle to the North of the Geln (from the end of the track). This is a short hike/bike to a good path that leads downhill to the Callop River and to Glenfinnan. You are then only 2 miles from the Strontian turning to the east, if you have left your car there for your fantastic day out.

River at Cona Glen


River at Cona Glen

Map: OS Explorer 391

Find out more about the area and follow Ben's adventures on Instagram.


England: North, Yorks & Humber

Anna at plunge pool


Anna at plunge pool

Anna Humphries - Plunge pool at Glenridding Common

From Glenridding carpark, head due west towards the bunkhouse on Greenside Road, cross the footbridge and follow the path towards the sheepfold. On your right hand side you'll see the stream and there is a very deep plunge pool at the waterfall. It's a short scramble down but a refreshing dip once you're in the crystal clear cold water!

Explore the area in OS Maps and follow Anna's adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer OL5

Craig Henderson

Little Mell Fell

This little fell is a stunning place away from the crowds, you are often the only people on it! It has incredible panoramic views of the northern fells, good parking for 4 or 5 cars and only takes about 15/20 minutes to reach the summit giving instant gratification. The height is 505m however, you set off from The Hause at a height of 380m, there is only a height gain of 125m. The start and finish grid ref is GR NY 423 235. You also head to the National Trust coffee shop at Aira Force afterwards, it does awesome cakes ! Grid Ref: NY 399 199

Map: OS Explorer OL5

The Dam at Keppel Cove

This disused dam is a pretty impressive structure located in Keppel Cove just below the summit of Catstye Cam. Approximately 1hr 30min walk. You can park in Glenridding and look at an awesome little mountain sculpture in the tourist information centre car park. The dam was used during the mining period around 1920’s for Glenridding mine.

Find out more about the area, the history of the dam and follow Craig's adventures on Instagram.

Craig and his wife on the Fell


Craig and his wife on the Fell

Tea break and checking the map


Tea break and checking the map

Craig and daughter on trig point


Craig and daughter on trig point


Alan Hinkes

Roseberry Topping

A great stroll that starts and finishes at Great Ayton via Captain Cooks Monument. Captain Cook is said to have got his taste for adventure by exploring the slopes of Roseberry Topping as a young boy.

Map: OS Explorer OL26

Richmond, Easby Abbey

Easby Abbey is a ruined Premonstratensian abbey on the eastern bank of the River Swale on the outskirts of Richmond. There is a short riverside walk from Richmond Castle.

Find out more about the abbey and follow Alan's adventures on Instagram.

>Roseberry Topping


Roseberry Topping

Alan at Easby Abbey ruins


Alan at Easby Abbey ruins

Richmond Castle


Richmond Castle


Helen Pollard - Two Dales

Looking for an active car-free staycation then this adventure is for you. Explore stunning Swaledale and Wensleydale by mountain bike. Using off-road trails you can visit places that are truly untouched remote and beautiful.

Find out more about hiring mountain bikes from Stage1Cycles and follow Helen's adventures on Instagram.


England: Midlands

Jessie Leong - Stay Alert - or rather, stay in a yurt

Leave the beautiful Peak countryside and step into a Himalayan yurt, complete with a log burner stove, a hob to cook your dinner on and complimentary, raw milk from the dairy just a stone's throw away.

This yurt is located at the start of the High Peak Trail, a gravel trail that's perfectly suited for families and cyclists who want to ride in confidence away from the main roads.

Find out more about the area, the yurts and follow Jessie's adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer OL24
Jessie in her yurt


Jessie in her yurt


Yvonne Witter - The Trail without a tail - Monsal Trail

A lovely scenic route in the Peak District. This route is suitable for individuals and families of all ages. You can enjoy the trail by walking, cycling, running and horse riding. Monsal Trail is ideal for family walks and suitable for pushchairs and wheelchair users with level access at Bakewell, Hassop and Miller Dale stations (disabled toilets at Bakewell and Millers Dale).

The route is flat and there is plenty to see and learn about the old railway which was built in 1863 to link Manchester with London, it closed in 1968. The tunnels were formally opened on 25 May 2011. There are various information points along the way. There are numerous landmarks including 4 railway tunnels; Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel. You can bring a pack lunch and have a picnic along the way or treat yourself to a tasty lunch at either Millers Dale cafe or Hassop Station cafe.

Find out more about the Monsal Trail and follow Yvonne's adventures on Twitter.

Explore Bakewell in OS Maps

Zoe Homes - Green spaces in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury is a wonderful place to for pounding the pavements to find the hidden nooks and crannies of the urban world, as well as being blessed with green spaces and nice views. Perfect for a weekend break or midweek getaway this summer. There's even a very famous grave to visit...

Find out more about the area, how to find greenspaces and follow Zoe's adventures on Instagram.

Shrewsbury Greenspaces in OS Maps


Shrewsbury Greenspaces in OS Maps


Ben Turner - Long Mynd Sky at Night

The Long Mynd at the heart of the Shropshire Hills is a Dark Skys Discovery Site where the Milky Way is often seen with the naked eye.

Find out more about the area and follow Ben's adventures on Instagram.


Get Out With The Kids

Shropshire family friendly Grinshill and Corbett Wood walk

This walk takes you from the wooded car park of Corbett Wood and up to the summit of Grinshill. Lots of history and amazing views to take in on this route.

Views from cliff edge down to Grinshill


Views from cliff edge down to Grinshill

Follow the route in OS Maps
On the cliff edge overlooking Grinshill


On the cliff edge overlooking Grinshill

Map: OS Explorer 241

Find out more about the walk and follow Get Out With The Kids's adventures on Instagram.


England: South and East

Zoe Homes - 24 hours in Lincoln

I happen to think that Lincoln is a beautiful little city with so much going for it. The Cathedral-topped city is a wonderful combination of modern and medieval, with enough history and culture to keep the enthusiast interested, and yet with all the shops and restaurants the rest of the family might need. It is the perfect location for a short break away. I know a lot of people who have said “oh Lincoln, I’ve been meaning to visit there”… if you’ve never been – or if you live nearby and haven’t played tourist in this wonderful city, you are missing out.


Find out more about the area, follow Zoe's suggestions of what to see in the city and follow her adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer 272

Anna Humphries - Bibury "The most beautiful village in England"

<br>Picturesque Bibury

One of my favourite tiny villages, called “Bibury”, is 6.5 miles from Cirencester. The River Coln runs through it which you can see from the little bridge in the village. The village is known for its honey-coloured 17th century stone cottages that almost look like hobbit houses from the Lord of the Rings.

Nearby is Adlington Mill who once supplied cloth for the weaved roof tops. William Morris, a 19th Century artist once called Bibury “the most beautiful village in England” - I completely agree with him! It’s well worth a visit and there is a quaint little coffee shop on the river side or you can head to The Swan, a traditional country bar just near the bridge.

Explore the area in OS Maps and follow Anna's adventures on Instagram.

Map: OS Explorer OL45

Zoe Homes

Hidden Cheltenham AR Trail

Wandering around urban areas without an aim can easily lead to spending too much time in coffee shops... enter the new Hidden Cheltenham Augmented Reality Trail, taking visitors around some of the most interesting spots in this beautiful town.

Use your phone to scan the QR codes to meet "Lucy", who will tell you historic information, fun facts and introduce interactive challenges and competitions. It's a great way to explore with purpose on your own, or with your family.

Map: OS Explorer 179

Forest of Dean Sculpture Park

Established in 1986, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail was apparently one of the first to open in the UK.

There are sculptures created by artists to interpret the environment and history of the forest itself plus artworks designed to sit amongst the trees to help tell the story of the area. It is a wonderfully intriguing and beautiful place for a wander.

Map: OS Explorer OL14

Find out more about Zoe's visit to the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and follow her adventures on Instagram.


Phillipa Cherryson - Winchester weekend

A perfect staycation weekend. Spend Saturday morning strolling around the centre of Winchester, then Saturday take in a 7.3km stroll along the river to St Cross and the Bishop's Palace, then up St Catherine's Hill for great views, before returning to the cathedral along the river. Then on Sunday morning, take a bus or cab out to Bishop's Waltham and return to the city along the Pilgrim's Trail or to Exton and return on the South Downs Way.

Find out more about the area and follow Phillipa's adventures on Instagram.


With your staycation on the horizon, start making outdoor plans now to create memories that you'll cherish this summer. Spread out a paper map, or download the OS Maps app, spot what you want to see and do, visit views with the wow-factor and explore new places.

Make sure you check that any sites, events, activity centres or adventure destinations are open and accessible before travelling, plus what the weather plans to do. The Met Office have these beach and mountain forecasts to help you enjoy the outside safely.

Share your staycation adventures with us by using #GetOutside and tagging us on Twitter (@OSLeisure), Facebook or Instagram (Ordnance Survey).

If you’re in need of more motivation or inspiration to keep you active outside, visit the GetOutside Hub.

Published 16/07/2020

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