It’s difficult to escape the popularity of the Six Nations rugby tournament at this time of year, but while the teams duke it out on the field, we asked GO Outdoors blog readers to vote for which of the Six Nation countries was the best for the outdoors person. In third place we have England.
Ignore the weather, there’s plenty to see!
Six Nations of the Outdoors: 3rd Place England.
Over the next 3 blogs we’re touching ground on home soil with England, Wales and Scotland, and while Britain is more famed for it’s hit and miss summer time, we’re firm believers of that old outdoor quote which has been accredited to many:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”
‘Staycations’ the idea of holidaying here rather than abroad are on the rise with the economy in the state it’s currently in, and while many long for the hot sandy beaches of abroad, we’re here to let you know that England (and indeed Scotland and Wales) has a lot to offer you and your family.
Camping is the ultimate ‘staycation’ holiday and it’s popularity is on the rise in England. Whether you are camping at a festival or creating those early memories with small children on a family holiday, camping can be a low investment hobby that can enable you to take part over the next few years.
With a huge array of campsites across England to choose from; it doesn’t matter whether you’re a group of friends, or you’re looking for family entertainment – there’s definitely something out there for you. The sunny south coast; or the beautiful New Forrest are great areas for camping. Most quality tents are built to tolerate rain, so don’t worry about the traditional summer time we’re used to.
If you’re new to camping, introduce yourself slowly. Start with a weekend and build from there, you may just surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it.
2) National Parks
10 of the 15 UK National Parks are in England. These include: Peak District, Lake District, Dartmoor, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor, Northumberland, The Broads, New Forest and South Downs. Each of the English National Parks has something unique to offer, whether you’re climbing England’s highest peak Scafell Pike, taking in the fantastic Dark and Light peaks of the Peak District, or take part in a spot of wild camping in certain areas of Dartmoor, these vast spaces are ideal for adventure.
With 10 parks spread over area of England, you’re never too far away from one of them to pay a visit. Many of the countries national trails which account for 2500 miles of signposted, waymarked paths and tracks come through these National Parks and make for ideal days out for walkers.
Cycling in England (and the UK in general) is on the rise, spurred on by success at the Olympics in 2012 and Le Tour De France hosting it’s Grand Depart in Yorkshire in 2014, the appetite to get back on the bike has been well and truly whet. The National Cycle Network is made up of 10,000 miles of marked paths and tracks, which are ideal for cyclists. There are tracks for all abilities whether you’re a serious road biker, a family taking a leisurely ride or you’re looking for something a little more extreme on one of the number of the countries mountain bike trails, there’s somewhere for you.
One of our favourite cycling routes is at Kielder water, which we wrote about not so long ago.
4) Activity Centres
With such a wealth of different terrain in England, our activity centres are a fantastic way of trying out different activities and sports that you might not usually try. Whether you’re by the coast taking on surfing, coasteering, or your in land taking on quad biking, ghyll scrambling or bouldering – There’s plenty on offer from land, to water to air to keep you occupied when holidaying at home. Sites such as http://www.factivities.co.uk make it easy to find different activities in the area you are travelling to.
Another activity that stepped up a gear after the London Olympics was running. As a nation we’re always being told to keep/get fit and running is one of the best and cheapest ways to do just that. In a country with so many trails, and bridleways – there’s always a much more interesting run to be had than simply running around your street.
If you’re looking to get away from the road or treadmill, look into trail or fell running, both will enable you to see fantastic scenery and the added rigour of a trail will help with that fitness goal. Think you’re doing pretty well? Why not try your hand at a mountain marathon or some trail running events hosted by http://www.tra-uk.org/. Local running clubs are also a great way to get to know new routes and see parts of the country that you might not have thought you would. Oh and that milder weather? It makes for ideal running conditions.
So there we have 5 ways to take in the English outdoors, there are hundreds of activities you can take part in that we haven’t even touched on, including geocaching, fishing, climbing, caravanning, horse riding and more that are all big hits throughout England.
Join us again next time as we take a closer look at our rank number 2 place in our Six Nations countdown: Wales.