Great British Escapes: The countryside
Naturally, getting out and about is great fun
Friday 11 May 2012
Gone Swimming, Wales
Enjoy a wet weekend with Gone Swimming, a company that launched this month to offer wild swimming experiences in North Wales. Snowdonia, the Llyn Peninsula and Anglesey provide the spectacular locations for river, lake and sea swims led by local experts who will also coach you and supply tips to boost your confidence in open water.
Gone Swimming (01244 940740; goneswimming.co.uk), from £175 per person for two nights' B&B, transfers, lunches, activities and the services of a guide.
Yurt and Traveller's Hut, Suffolk
Best of Suffolk has built a reputation for searching out stunning holiday properties to hire. Now it's expanding into luxury camping. The Yurt and Traveller's Hut is the result. Set in the woods at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham, these two unusual structures are set apart, but share a kitchen-dining area. Both sleep two and are stylishly furnished with a king-size bed and supplied with a wood-burning stove, barbecue area and separate shower room.
Yurt and Traveller's Hut (01728 638962; bestof suffolk.co.uk), from £525 for a seven-night break.
Pennine Bridleway Trail Ride, Yorkshire
The latest section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail opens in June, completing a 200-mile route from Derbyshire to Cumbria. Experienced riders can explore this stretch on horseback on a five-day group tour with the Eden Valley Riding Centre, taking in the scenery between Settle and Kirkby Stephen, with overnight stops in ancient villages including Austwick, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Garsdale.
Pennine Bridleway Trail Ride (01539 623444; edenvalleyridingcentre.com), from £795 per person, including four nights' B&B, picnic lunches, four days' riding, hire of horse and tack and luggage transfers. Pennine Bridleway National Trail (nationaltrail.co.uk/PennineBridleway).
Forest Segway Adventure, Sherwood Forest
Explore Britain's woodland on the new Forest Segway adventure at Go Ape! Sherwood Pines. Use the two-wheeled electric vehicles to follow specially designed forest routes on an hour-long trail led by a qualified instructor. And you can try out the new luxury log cabins that have just opened in the forest while you're here.
Forest Segway Adventure (0845 643 9215; goape.co.uk), one hour tour £25. Sherwood Forest Cabins (0845 130 8223; forestholidays.co.uk), from £564 for three nights.
Heli Fly-Fishing and Whisky Weekend, Scotland
Fish a beat of the River Tay and try some of Scotland's finest whiskies on a new break at the Craigellachie Hotel near Elgin. Guests will fly by helicopter to one of the best private stretches of water on the Tay for salmon fishing, accompanied by a guide and all the necessary tackle. A Range Rover will be the mode of transport for the next day's whisky tour of the Aberlour, Glenfiddich and Macallan distilleries.
Heli Fly-Fishing and Whisky Weekend (08444 146600; oxfordhotelsandinns.com), from £1,010 per person based on a group of four, including three nights' full-board and activities.
Get a close-up experience of the British wilderness at Lower Mill Estate, a 500-acre nature reserve and lakeside retreat near Cirencester in the Cotswolds. Its new Stayfari is a bespoke itinerary of night-time walks, amphibian adventures and woodland wildlife-spotting – more than 500 species of wildlife live in the reserve, including beavers, which were recently reintroduced to the area. Don't think you'll have to rough it; luxury accommodation is provided in a community of modernist lakeside cottages.
Stayfari at Lower Mill Estate (01285 869489; lowermillestate.com) Three nights from £371 based on four sharing. Additional activities from £16 to £500.
Lake District Adventure Ale Trail
See Cumbria through the bottom of a glass on the Lake District Adventure Ale Trail. The newly expanded walking routes, designed by Jennings, a local brewery, are free to download or order as a booklet titled From Here to Beer. Hikes through the heart of the lakes, from Kendal to Cockermouth, vary in length from one to four days and include rest stops at recommended inns and hotels along the way that serve Jennings real ales.
Lake District Adventure Ale Trail (golakes.co.uk/Jennings).
All Aboard Tram Driver Experiences, Devon
Learn to drive a tram on a two-night break at The Bulstone Hotel near Sidmouth in East Devon. Taster and full driving experiences have been organised at the nearby Seaton Tramway, where guests can get behind the controls of one of the heritage trams and ride the rails along the River Axe Estuary on the Seaton to Colyton branch line.
All Aboard Tram Driver Experiences (01297 680446; childfriendlyhotels.com), from £442.50 for a family of four, including two nights' half-board accommodation and a half-day tram-driving lesson for one adult.
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