By Caroline Bunting-Palmer
Although the UK has opened up from its strictest lockdown, travel to the rest of the world remains uncertain.
This has led a lot of Brits to look closer to home for their travel fix. And after all, the British Isles are a beautiful and diverse place!
From days out to week-long excursions, if you're getting itchy feet for adventure, look no further than our round-up of the most exciting (and socially-distanced) things to do in the UK.
Amble alongside Hadrian's Wall
If the idea of a long walk or bike ride gets you fired up, follow the 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall. The largest Roman artefact in Britain still standing, the best theory for its construction is in helping Roman Britain to defend against the barbarians that lived North of the wall.
The Hadrian's Wall path starts in Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne, at a museum which gives full historical context on the wall. You'll pass through the cities and suburbs of Newcastle and Carlisle, although there's plenty of remote, open countryside and Roman ruins along the way.
The route is relatively easy to navigate, with mud in places but mostly flat landscape. The journey ends in a tiny village called Bowness-on-Solway in the North West.
You may need to book admission to some of the attractions, museums and English Heritage sites along the hike. Further info can be found on the Hadrian's Wall website.
Discover three picturesque waterfalls on the same walk
South West England
If secretive, wild and unspoilt is your type of adventure, a day trip to St Nectans Glen could be perfect.
Wander through grand ancient woodland, accompanied by the rushing current of the winding river. Lush greens, rare plants and mossy undergrowth greet you along the way.
You'll soon reach the first waterfall, a 60-foot spectacular. Step into the shallow pool in front of it, with a pair of wellies on, to feel the cold water on your face.
If you head downwards from this pool, you'll find the second waterfall, which beautifully bifurcates into two separate rushing streams.
Finish your journey at the newly discovered third waterfall, a magical series of smaller cascades totalling 80 foot in length.
For ticket prices and directions to St Nectans Glen, visit the website.
Gaze up at the stars like never before
South West Scotland
The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory is surrounded by some of the darkest skies in the UK, sat on a hill near the remote Loch Doon in Ayr, Scotland. Explore the moon, planets and stars with your own eyes and away from the light pollution that lingers above most of our towns and cities. The observatory is part of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park; Europe's first.
The observatory has two telescopes, and you can challenge yourself to search for more faint and distant objects in the night sky.
There's also an elevated observation deck for naked-eye viewing of the universe. And at the right time of the year, you can catch the stunning Northern Lights floating across the vista.
Fortunately, as Scottish weather can often get cloudy, the owners built a planetarium, where you can take in immersive views of space from indoors.
You'll need to pre-book your visit here.
Get lost in The Forbidden Corner
North West England
Originally built as a private wooded area in the 70s, The Forbidden Corner is now a public four-acre garden. Areas to discover include a maze, tunnels, paths and passages that lead nowhere, strange statues and sculptures, a giant woodsman, talking mice and a huge pyramid of translucent glass.
Tucked away in the Yorkshire Dales, there's even a lookout point to enjoy the beautiful views of the Coverdale valley.
Tickets must be booked in advance here and entry is through the mouth of a two-eyed tower. You won’t be given a map of the area, but rather a checklist of places to be found.
Take an unforgettable road trip from the Cairngorms
North East Scotland
You'll easily find plenty that suits your own taste of adventure when road tripping in Scotland. The North East 250 traverses 250 miles of beautiful Scottish scenery and can be experienced by car or bike.
To get an idea of where to start, choose one of these itineraries to follow, or mix and match.
Highlights of the route include:
- Seeking out a collapsed sea cave at the Bullers of Buchan
- Discovering the history of Peterhead Prison, Scotland’s ‘Toughest Jail’
- Coastal rowing or sea kayaking at the Cullen Sea School
- Zip-wiring in the Cairngorms National Park (Craggan Outdoors)
- Sampling Scotch whisky outdoors at the Glenlivet Distillery
- Geocaching in Glen Tanar
- Exploring the grassy ruins of 13th century Findlater Castle, which was once taken by Vikings
For full info on what's available to see, visit the website.
Assault-course your way through a mountain
Up for a physical and mental challenge? If the rest of this list looks a little tame for you, how about travelling underneath Mount Snowdon, through a series of underground obstacles?
Activities include traversing narrow cliff-face ledges, scaling vertical shafts, zip-lining into darkness, boating across lakes, navigating abysses, climbing waterfalls, abseiling and freefall jumping.
You can even book an adventure that lasts 14 hours and will take you from the deepest publicly-accessible point in the UK up to the top of the mountain.
Get a group together and experience a truly unique day out, in a part of Wales you've probably never seen before.
There's a range of difficulty levels available in Go Below's packages - visit their website for more information.
Sleep somewhere a little unusual
Across the UK
It's not all about daytime exploring - have you considered spending a few nights in alternative, quirky accommodation? In the UK, you can book a sleep in a:
- Guard tower
- Tiny gothic castle
- Railway carriage
- Tree tent
- Working convent
- Lookout tower
- Fort in the middle of the sea
Adventuring outdoors or spending the night in a cosy accommodation demand soft and comfortable clothing.
For when you’re spending all day on your feet make sure you’re wearing the right socks. Cool, comfortable we’ve got a socks to suit your everyday activities.
When it comes to unwinding after a long day out and about, don’t forget to pack your Boody Lounge. Comfy, breathable and thermoregulating loungewear and sleepwear are ideal for allowing your skin to breathe as you unwind and get into bed.
Happy and safe travels from Boody!