I like people but …
- Wednesday 17 March 2021
As restrictions end, we are all going to want to go on holiday. We will all be looking for the best open water wild swimming spots to plunge into, the best climbs to do, the best trails in the UK to run and the best places to enjoy cycling. Whether it be a short local walk you are looking for or a multi-day trail, finding solitude could be top of your wish list for the summer of 2021.
We will all be looking for the same thing; the most amazing places to visit in the UK to enjoy adventure sports.
Hotels, guest houses, campsites and even laybys will be full throughout the summer. Forget Snowdon, forget Ben Nevis, ignore Scafell – what you need is a few pointers to where two metres social distancing might just be easy.
Presipe Bay © Alistair Hare, The Beaches of Wales
There are over 500 named beaches in Wales, but the vast majority of holidaymakers go to about ten of them: Llandudno, Barry Island of course, Abersoch, Broad Haven etc. But there are so many more to visit that all have their own unique charm. So whether you’re looking to go swimming, surfing, or just a remote spot to launch your kayak out into the Irish Sea, our Beaches of Wales guide gives you hundreds of choices for where to visit. So much more than one of those ‘not so secret’ ten beaches of Wales articles in the Sunday travel supplement.
Day Walks books are a great way to discover new walks in some undiscovered corners of the UK. Each book has twenty walks, all written by local experts. Each one will help you discover new areas and quiet corners in many of the national parks of the UK. Whether you’re looking for a walk around Chrome Hill in the Peak District or want to explore the Pembrokeshire Coast there are 19 books to choose from. For a taste of our favourite walks in the UK have a look at Classic Day Walks.
Monsal Dale and Upperdale © John Coefield, Day Walks in the Peak District
Mountain biking trail centres will be very busy this summer, but the trail network of England, Wales and Scotland is really extensive – there are literally thousands of kilometres of mountain bike trails to explore. Our favourites are all gathered together in one book: Great Britain Mountain Biking. Equally regional guides to Wales, Scotland and the Yorkshire Dales all make for hundreds of new ideas of where to go mountain biking in the UK.
Climbing up the back of Garburn Pass, Lake District © John Coefield, Great Britain Mountain Biking
Exe Estuary Trail, Traffic-Free Cycle Trails
If it is something a bit less extreme you’re after, our guidebook Traffic-Free Cycle Trails has over 400 cycling routes in the UK where you can enjoy canal tow path rides, former railway lines and forest trails, all with the sound of bird song and without the sound of cars. As one reviewer said, ‘this really is the best guide to where to go cycling in the UK’.
If you really want to get away from it, there are 99 islands off the Scottish coast with regular transport connections and 55 more that are worth making the extra effort to try to get to. Some Scottish islands are really bucket list destinations like Skye and Mull, but if you want to find a bit of solitude, there are many other islands for the dedicated island bagger to visit. Our favourites reasons to visit are for wildlife spotting, Munro bagging or exploring a millennia of human history. Shetland, The Orkneys, little Sula Sgeir are all worth exploring, and you can discover more about them in Scottish Island Bagging.
Lamb Holm, Churchill Barrier © Paul & Helen Webster, Scottish Island Bagging
Descending into Adrigole, on Bantry Bay © Thomas Barton, Big Trails: Great Britain & Ireland
Great Britain and Ireland have some of Europe’s finest long distance hiking trails, including the Dales Way, Hadrian’s Wall Path, Kerry Way, the West Highland Way and of course the Pennine Way to name a few. Big Trails is a great book to discover many of the best ones to try, from two- or three-day hikes to proper walking or, if you are keen trail running monster, hikes that can take a few weeks. You might want to try some of the trails out on the West Coast of Ireland to really get away from the crowds. A favourite of ours, the Beara Way, is set in very remote part of Ireland and has some of the best hill and coastal walking you’ll ever encounter.
Jon Barton on Play Huway © John Coefield, Peak District Bouldering
The Peak District is one of the best rock-climbing destinations in the world and the gritstone crags have some of the world’s easiest and hardest climbs. It is a great place to practice and perfect your outdoor climbing skills. Our Peak District Gritstone climbing guide is the latest guidebook to thousands of classic rock climbs.
And finally, our guide Swimming Wild in the Lake District is a great book to help you discover hundreds of swimming spots in all the watery corners of the English Lake District. As well as popular swim spots like Windermere and Derwent Water, it’ll also guide you to the tranquil hidden gems of Bassenthwaite, Crummock Water and Devoke Water.
Hursthole Point © Stewart Smith, Swimming Wild in the Lake District
Happy adventure holidays!