There are loads of weird and wonderful things going on across the UK National Parks all year round. We picked out our top 15 Quirky Adventures happening across the UK during National Parks Week for you to choose from.
Discover an underground world of beautiful natural playgrounds waiting to be explored! There are beautiful natural playgrounds to be found in the Beacons, hidden from view...The caves and mines underneath the hills are waiting to be explored!
Saint Helen’s, sometimes called the ‘cathedral of the Broads’, was completed in its present form by about 1450 on the site of a previous church. Climb the 89 spiral steps and two ladders to the top of the flint-lined tower for a spectacular view. Much of the Broads river system is visible, with boats weaving their way through farmland and marshes that grow reed for thatch. The church is open during daylight hours, and is also famous for its rood screen and antiphoner – a beautiful illuminated service book written in Medieval Latin and produced around 1460 in Norwich. Other church towers and drainage mills are sometimes open too for a bird’s-eye view of the Broads.
Whilst you’re walking through the forests listen out for the skittering of claws on tree bark, and perhaps even the thud of a chewed pine cone hitting the floor. Look up amongst the branches and you might see a soft, bushy red tail arc along a branch and spring through the air. More skittering claws, perhaps a bit of chitter-chatter to let you know you’ve been spotted. And if you’re lucky you can follow one of nature’s finest acrobats as it dances amongst the tree tops!
Photographer and Instagram sensation Jo Bradford will be leading small groups out in to the park and giving them tips and hints on how to get a great photo on your mobile phone. She will also spend time teaching participants how to use software and apps to edit and enhance your images. To finish off the session you will be able to print out your images and enjoy Jo's exhibition at the Visitor Centre.
Wimbleball Lake is located in Exmoor National Park and comprises of nearly 400 acres of water. The large lakeside location is centred within the picturesque countryside of Exmoor and offers a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. Enjoy a range of water sports such as kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing or swing through the 40ft high ropes course set within Wimbleball woodland.
Extend your stay at Wimbleball and choose to camp or glamp in one of our luxury wooden glamping pods. Our campsite overlooks the lakeside and is situated adjacent to our onsite café. At the lake you can enjoy fantastic fishing, Wimbleball is rated as a premier trout fishery which offers the unique opportunity for fishermen to fish from the banks or boat.
With bike & boat hire available, there is adventures to be had on water and land. Rowing boats, Paddle boards and Canoes are all available, amongst others, to be hired to take out. So cause a splash or stay dry and race around on two wheels , whatever floats your boat (excuse the pun).
The dark and atmospheric trail here is like stepping into the lost world, this is a magical narrow gorge walk that will enchant anyone who finds themselves fortunate enough to come across it. Expect to see waterfalls, rock pools, moss covered rocky walls and bridges spread throughout the woodland.
Try kayaking on the picturesque Beaulieu River for an unusual way to discover more of the New Forest. Kayak hire is available from New Forest Activities and you can travel to Beaulieu on the open-top New Forest Tour in the summer
A lovely family walk to Hethpool Linn, a dramatic waterfall on the College Burn, returning along St Cuthbert’s Way – we can’t guarantee it, but a good vantage point to see the wild Cheviot goats.
Become a ‘musher’ for the day with Pesky Husky in Staintondale in the North York Moors and capture some canine excitement with these wonderful wolf-like animals. There’s a purpose-built training circuit where you can be pulled along on scooters by enthusiastic huskies, or go hiking with a difference, attached to the dogs with a special belt as you explore the hills and dales of the North, erm…Siberian Moors!
Stay at Stanage – book a night in a camping pod or bring your own tent to experience nature’s peace and quiet at North Lees campsite near the famous Stanage Edge. Great for walking, climbing and bird watching. Look out for North Lees Hall – the Elizabethan tower house that inspired Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
Come and meet these crusty crustaceans in this fun filled family activity. Bait your line and send it down into the water, then wait for the crab to the bait. Learn all about these fascinating creatures and how they are adapted for life at sea.
Enjoy a journey through the tree canopy on a zip safari at Zip World Fforest. Formerly known as Tree Top Adventure, this offers a number of adventures for all the thrill seekers out there. You can free-fall from up high or enjoy Skyride, the five seater swing, set way up in the trees. There is also a Junior Tree Trail for any little adventurers!
Join a high-tech treasure hunt revealing the South Downs National Park’s hidden gems. Follow the South Downs GeoTour over hills, across commons and through woodland, collecting passport stamps and points along the way.
Using the Geocaching smartphone app, an Ordnance Survey map or GPS, seek out secret caches disguised in fake bird boxes, hollow logs, false stones and other cunning containers.
The tour is made up of 30 sites in the National Park across Hampshire, East and West Sussex. As well as the usual log book and small trinkets to trade each cache will also include ideas for things to do and see whilst you’re in the area.
Have an adventure into the past and learn something about our amazing industrial heritage at the Craven Lime Works Hoffmann Kiln. Situated off the B6479 about 3/4 mile north of Langcliffe village, near Settle and built in 1873, it had 22 individual burning chambers. Limestone was burned continuously in a circuit around the kiln and it took an average of six weeks for one whole circuit. There is a trail laid out around the site with interpretation panels and you might find a torch useful!MiniAdventure