Top 5 English adventures: Best activity holidays in England

Jul 30, 2021 BY Luke Rees

It has been a strange year and half. Covid has meant travel is almost non-existent and even English adventures have been very limited. But with restrictions lifted on the 19th of July our freedom has returned. But if, like many, going abroad still seems a step to far then perhaps the five best activity holidays in England below may appeal!

cheverton MTB park on IOW image copyright of

Best English adventure holidays

Why holiday in England?

Before we get into the top English adventures that we recommend I wanted to talk about why a holiday in England is a good idea. Regardless of the Covid situation and travel difficulties of going abroad, there are a wealth of activities and adventures you can get up to here.

This article is not just aimed at us Brits choosing to vacation at home, but also at visitors arriving from foreign shores. While those numbers will be vastly reduced this summer, travel will return and these best activity holidays in England would suit both locals and tourists alike.

Top 5 English adventures Best activity holidays in England Wikimedia CC image of Stonehenge by Sanjay Nair

Obviously England is well known for its culture, history and nightlife. We have world renowned festivals, museums, theatres and more castles than a chess tournament. Make a booking at one of the fabulous hotels and spas you’ll find in major cities and in the countryside. Or stay in a quaint B&B, rent a home, stay in a hostel or camp.

Top English adventures

What is less well known about England is how adventurous you can be here. There is a lot of varied countryside and many great activities ranging from extreme sports to more relaxed pursuits. Surrounded by sea, and often windy, water sports are very popular. You can try everything from kitesurfing to kayaking, windsurfing to wakeboarding and surfing to sailing.

And on land it is just as good. There are a network of fabulous long distance treks in the UK, and everywhere has footpaths with local walks and hikes you can enjoy. Cycling is big both on and off road, with many areas of woodland hosting mountain biking trails of varying difficulties. Rock climbing and bouldering are huge both in and outdoors.

Coasteering one of the best isle of wight adventures image copyright of

And the fun extends to the air too. There are around 25 dropzones where you can skydive in the UK. There are hang gliding and paragliding launches all over the country where you can learn or have a tandem experience. Plus you can bungee jump, go coasteering or canyoning or get involved in many other wonderful English adventures.

5 of the best activity holidays in England

Narrowing down the vast array of possible adventures in England to just five holiday ideas is no easy task. Everyone will have their own opinion about what is the ‘best’. However, any of the below options will provide wonderful a English activity holiday.

Hike and bike in the Lake District

Cumbria in the north west of England is home to the infamous Lake District. Not only is it stunningly beautiful but it is home to England’s highest peaks. Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Ill Crag are all pushing towards 1000m high, and while not a patch on mountains elsewhere they are still challenging day hikes.

Top 5 English adventures Best activity holidays in England Photo on Striding Edge towards Helvellyn in the Lake District

The Lake District is home to many well maintained trails for both mountain bikers and hikers. You can choose anything from an easy hour long stroll to full on multi day trip. Also there is great climbing, fun scrambles, mountaineering and water sports in the lakes, plus many other great Lake District experiences.

Multi activity on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has always been a popular destination for beach and family holidays in the UK. And the 40 minute Wightlink ferry crossing from Portsmouth or Lymington makes it feel more like a real holiday. Some of the warmest and sunniest weather in Britain and lovely Blue Flag sandy beaches all add to this feeling.

In recent years the IOW has reinvented itself as an activity destination. There is everything from surfing and sailing to hiking and horse riding and skydiving to scuba diving available. It is this range of more than 25 Isle of Wight adventures that makes it perfect for a multi activity holiday.

Surfing one of the best IOW activity holiday ideas image copyright of

Surfing and water sports in Cornwall or Devon

Cornwall is an ever popular, and at times ridiculously expensive, English holiday destination. Good weather, stunning scenery and a less commercial feel are all part of the attraction. However, many people don’t realise that Devon offers much of the same but at a lower cost.

The surf in Cornwall and Devon is the best and most consistent in England. There are waves for everyone from complete beginner to experts plus plenty of surf schools. But surfing isn’t the only water sport available, kitesurfing, sailing, wakeboarding, water skiing and windsurfing are all possible. In land there is plenty to do too.

Climbing in the Peak District

Located between Sheffield, Manchester, Stoke and Derby the Peak District is renowned as one of the world’s best rock climbing destinations. There are thousands of routes to choose from with varied rock types including the infamous gritstone. From sports to trad to multi-pitch to some of the best bouldering in Europe, you’ll find almost every style of climbing here.

Pablo Sordo on Trust 7a in freezing conditions at the Roaches in the Peak District Photo by Pete Edwards

The Peak District is also exceptionally good for hiking, scrabbling, cycling and mountain biking. Stunning scenery, lovely traditional pubs and down to earth friendly locals makes climbing in the Peaks one of the best activity holidays in England.

Active staycation

Staycations have been all over the media this year as they discuss holidaying in the UK due to the Covid pandemic. However, they have got the meaning of it wrong. A staycation is not going on holiday within your own country it is staying at home but treating the time off as a holiday.

Check out these active staycation ideas that will make holidays at home far more adventurous. For example, you could take up a new adventure sport, try lots of different activities or explore your local area like never before.

Paragliding a great adventure in England flickr CC image of Westbury or Bratton White Horse in Wiltshire by John Picken

You’ll be surprised by what English adventures you can get up to close to home, all while saving money and travel time. Check out these tips to plan an adventure staycation for plenty of ideas of how to to have the best activity holidays in England while staying at home!

We hope you found this guide to some of the best English adventures useful and inspiring. You can find more England adventure travel ideas here.


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