Tag: adventures

Best winter adventures in the UK: readers’ travel tips

a rocky beach next to the water: Photograph: Alamy

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy

Winning tip: White sands and surf, Iona

water next to the rock: Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.

© Photograph: Alamy
Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.

Head to Scotland’s beautiful twin islands of Mull and Iona in winter and you will have beaches and caves to yourselves. Take a warm tent, a decent wetsuit and warm clothes for exploring the cliff paths, pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Port Ban beach is sheltered and if the sun comes out you are in heaven – you could be in the Caribbean here if the temperature were 20 degrees higher. The surf is good at Ardanalish beach if you are into that – or just walk and enjoy fresh air and open views to the wild Atlantic.


Cold water boost, Cornwall

a man standing on top of a sandy beach next to the ocean: Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England

© Provided by The Guardian
Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England

I swim year-round in Cornwall, and in all sorts of places: tidal pools, rivers, quarries and beaches. I take short dips without a wetsuit, but use one for long-distance swims – along with two swimming caps and thermal undergarments! Find tips on wildswimmingcornwall.co.uk. It was set up to promote the mental health and community benefits of wild swimming in the UK and encourage people to get closer to nature, and also raises money for Mind UK, using the #selfcareswims hashtag.

Lydia Paleschi

King of the hill, Cheltenham

a close up of a hillside: A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.

© Provided by The Guardian
A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.

My favourite wintry walk is up Timbercombe Hill in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham. You get beautiful views of the town, houses, cars and people scattered below like an upturned toy box, upright sparse trees and raggedy bushes marking the way up the hill. Standing at the top you feel like the king of the world. A hotty choc in hand is my sweet reward.


English skiing, Lake District

My top tip for a UK winter trip has to be the Lake District Ski Club next to Helvellyn. Boasting a 360-metre button-tow and up to nine ungroomed runs (depending on conditions), this is an amazing place to ski, snowboard or just visit! Access is a little challenging as it’s an hour’s walk from the mines at Glenridding, but this hidden gem is well worth putting in the effort for. The Club members are lovely, welcoming folk, and there’s even a heated ski lodge to have a rest and a brew in. The snow conditions are obviously very variable, but on a good day this is a unique experience for intermediate-to-advanced skiers and snowboarders.


Woodland wonderland, North Yorkshire

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a man riding skis down a snow covered slope: woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

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woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

For a wonderful winter adventure for all the family, go exploring in the North Yorkshire’s beautiful Dalby Forest. From active stuff like mountain biking, Segway riding and ziplining to gentle strolling, there is something there for everyone.

Andrea Smith


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    Start planning ahead for future vacation adventures

    The world is your oyster, but at the moment, there’s no lustrous pearl inside. Until travel returns, spend your time planning the best vacation ever. Here are 10 things you can do.

    1. Figure out who is going

    Whether the family, you and your siblings or some other collection of folks, check whether there are dates that won’t work. If you’re going solo, congratulate yourself and skip to Step 2.

    2. Set a goal

    Gather your group — even if virtually — and figure out what each of you wants from your respite. It’s critical to find out who wants to lounge undisturbed on the beach for a week and who wants to do the equivalent of study abroad. If this doesn’t go well, maybe some folks should go one way and some another.

    3. Choose your destination

    A beach vacation may sound simple, but California alone has more than 400 public beaches. Which one of the thousands around the world will work for you? A learning trip can be any place you choose; what’s a favorite and what are the risks?

    Start planning now to make your future vacation go smoothly. Getty Images

    4. Decide how much you want to spend

    Start saving. How much can you set aside? You don’t want to rely on credit cards. A vacation savings account is one of the most important girders in this construction.

    5. Begin expense calculations

    If you’re driving, figure your mileage, miles per gallon and the cost of gas. Go to AAA Gas Prices. Flying? Start perusing airfares. Lodging, meals and incidentals? See the federal government’s per diems for international travel and U.S. travel in the Lower 48 and in Alaska, Hawaii and the territories.

    6. Add up hidden costs

    Do you need insurance? (See below.) If you need to board a pet, pay someone to bring in your mail and check on the house, park at the airport or a cab or ride-share, figure in those costs. Unless you’re tent camping or staying with family, calculate tips, and don’t forget the housekeeper. Figure in transportation at your destination.

    It’s never too early to think of what you’ll need to bring with you on your next trip. Getty Images

    7. Begin your bookings

    A travel adviser (don’t call them agents) can help with complex vacations. But if you prefer to do it yourself, save the details of each transaction. Keep meticulous records. Consider using a planning app (TripIt is one), but many people also like to keep paper records as a backup.

    8. Buy insurance, but be careful

    Because coronavirus is now a known event, you probably won’t be covered if you want to cancel your trip, unless you have cancel-for-any-reason insurance. Read the fine print, talk with an agent and find out whether a travel provider’s default is covered.

    Don’t forget to factor in costs like pet boarding. Getty Images

    9. Make sure your documentation is current

    If you’re traveling internationally, check passport expiration dates; know that some

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