23 activities to try during half term
Keep your children busy during half term with these 23 ideas for fun outdoor activities that are suitable for all ages.
When Steph Jackson-Horner became a PE teacher, her aim was to give the pupils in her care the motivation she had from her parents growing up. Steph is a National Aquathlon Champion runner up 2015 and qualified for European and World championships. Since taking up the sport she’s only ever finished races in the top four positions.
What does being a #GetOutside champion mean to you?
Promoting what I love doing and hopefully a picture of me doing something silly in the rain or on a mountain will grab the attention of at least one reader. If they then decide to take their family out in the fresh air at the weekend then it’s job done!
What are the benefits to you of being outside?
All my training (excluding a few pool swims when open water is out of the question) are outdoors. Yes even in the snow! If it wasn’t for this I’d be the size of a house, I love food too much!
What do you most enjoy about being outside?
That’s a huge question….
On a walk: Beautiful hills and mountains, although nothing beats the Peak District.
Surfing: Looking out to sea and seeing nothing but water. There’s something very calming and humbling about that.
Training: Chest down burpees in the mud.
What’s your favourite terrain to get out in? (Mountain / coast / woodland etc)
Hills in the Peak District
What’s your best memory of being outside?
Being taken on runs with my dad since I was a toddler. We’d do the short ones together and for longer ones kids couldn’t do, I’d run up to the line with him.
What’s your worst?
Get ready for this… I love scuba diving but get horrendously sea sick bobbing around on boats. I learnt to dive in Cuba and on one of the longer dives we had to practise coming to the surface steadily. However, as soon as I was near enough to the surface that you could feel the movement of the water I knew I was going to be sick. I also knew that ascending too quickly was really dangerous, hence why we were practising. I held on as long as I could but had to swim to the surface throw up in the water around me, put my regulator back in my mouth and go back down to equalise….Suppose it’s good fish food after all.
What do you like about Great Britain?
The variety of modern and old cities, coastlines, flat planes and huge mountains. There’s always something new to go off and see.
Where is your favourite place in Great Britain to be outside?
The Peak District
What are your favourite outdoor pursuits?
Surfing; DofE; walking; scuba diving; running; swimming; triathlon; mountain biking; gorge walking; sea kayaking; coasteering. You name it I love it.
In one line, how would you describe the feeling being outside gives you?
With nature: Power to which nothing else comes close.
When you’re outside, how do you change as a person?
Excitable - I don’t think it’s a huge change as being a PE teacher you have to be pretty resilient and excitable anyway to make your class fun.
Why should people #GetOutside more often?
Nowhere else can you exercise for free.
What would you say to someone who never goes outside to get them outside?
I’d invite them to join me. I’d let them choose something they’ve always secretly had their eye on and off we’d go.
Why as a nation are we not getting outsideas much as we could?
Because it does require a slight amount of effort. People are far too quick to ‘not be bothered’. It’s much easier to stay in and watch TV, not that you really watch it because you always have to be scrolling through some form of social media page at the same time. This then becomes the norm and norms become habits which we all know are increasingly difficult to break.
What are the most important things a person should do or take when they #GetOutside?
Like the true scout inside me – be prepared! There’s no such thing as bad weather just poor planning. Take what you need so you are comfortable to enjoy the activity.
What tips or pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to get more out of being #Outside?
Try something you like and something completely new to you. It’s amazing the people you will meet and the opportunities that become available once you’re getting involved
Before you became a #GetOutside Champion, describe your relationship with Ordnance Survey?
The map people I rely on especially when it comes to leading DofE.
What are your backpack essentials?
A map, waterproofs, compass, food food food and water!
What’s your favourite food when you are outside?
Anything of the edible kind, I love a good lunch stop at a pub maybe for a burger or pie. If I’m taking a packed lunch then to be honest its usually left over tea from the previous night but nothing beats halloumi and humus salad.