#1 Cycling The Way of the Roses
Days: 3 days but you could go for longer if you want to spend more time exploring the area. Note excludes travel time but any additional time for travel to the start and finish will depend on where you’re based
* train to the start and finish (it can be done in either direction but most people go west to east, so Morecambe and finish in Bridlington). Just remember to book your bike on the train!
* accommodation or wild camp
* the main site has loads of great info including the route in more detail and some accommodation options, aimed at various budgets (http://wayoftheroses.info)
* I bought a cycle map but to be honest, you don’t need it as the entire route is signposted really well with white and red roses
* Yorkshire is pretty cold so unless hardy, I’d recommend going in warmer months (I did it over Easter and had to spend an hour warming up in a cafe, as it was wet and cold all day… and I feel the cold)
* you cycle through loads of stunning areas so take a camera/phone if possible. I was too busy trying to stay warm so didn’t stop to take photos as much as I’d have liked!
#2 Running the Causeway Coastal Path
Days: 2 days excludes travel time (51 km in total)
* flight to Ireland (we had a return flight from Belfast and then caught a bus from Belfast to Portstewart, to start and then a bus from Ballycastle to Belfast, at the finish)
* accommodation (we ran with everything on our backs so to be kind to our backs, we stayed in B&Bs along the way and just carried clothes, water and food snacks)
* the route is signposted pretty well except for the beach section where the signs seemed to run out slightly and we started heading into the golf course, before backtracking. Tip – stay on the beach, as it’s the right way 🙂 Again, you don’t need to take maps as it’s all signposted so save yourself the money
* this was a running / sight-seeing adventure as neither of us had been to Northern Ireland before. If it’s your first time, make sure you stop at the Giant Causeway. It’s busy with other tourists but I still thought it was worthwhile stopping
* there aren’t loads of snack stops so make sure you stock up before you set off
* one of the main links I used for planning was http://www.causewaycoastway.com/index.php
#3 Cycling Dunwich Dynamo, 180ish km
Days: overnight, from London Fields in east London to Dunwich on south-east coast
* bus back from Dunwich, unless up for cycling back again! Or train back from Ipswich which is approx 50km away (from Dunwich)
* this is an unofficial / semi organised bike ride which sets off around 8/9pm from London Fields (and you cycle through the night)
* there are no rules on the type of bike you’re allowed to use and you’ll find a mixture, which is part of the charm. You’ll find pit stops set-up along the way by various generous people (Fire Station about halfway and then a much welcomed coffee/tea stop before Dunwich)
* make sure you book your bus space and bike if keen, which is normally organised through Southwark Cyclists – join the facebook group page for all information needed and enjoy!
* and try to have a nap if possible before you go, to help pull the all-nighter (adrenaline and camaraderie will get you through anyway though!)
#4 Walking the South West Coast Path
Days: 1 day excludes travel time (as far as you want)
* transport to and from the SW coast path
* the route is signposted pretty well and as the path is 630 miles long, you can walk as much or little as you like!
* check out https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk to plan your route
* if it’s a sunny day, and you’re in this part of the path, go for a paddle at Porthgwarra Beach
* we were there, as my friend was running the Endurance Life Classic Quarter so this was his way to stretch the legs post run! If a running enthusiast, then check it out – http://www.endurancelife.com/event-new.asp?series=93 – very well organised and hopefully the sun will be shining!
#5 Cycling the glute-busting 112 mile Fred Whitton route
Days: 2 days excludes travel time
* transport to and from start and finish. Remember to book your bike on the train too!
* accommodation or wild camp
* the route is part of a yearly organised cycle which is done as one cycle but you can do it on your own, which is what we did. You just need to download the map – http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.co.uk/the-route/. We spread it out across two days so could enjoy the area more (and hadn’t exactly trained for it!)!
* if keen to wild camp, stay by one of the lakes and go wild swimming in the morning to wake up 🙂
* the Lakes have hills galore with some steep gradients (25% became standard!) so make sure your brakes work well for the downhills and your glutes for the uphills!
#6 Hiking the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Days: 1 day, the aim is to complete the walk within 12 hours
* transport to the start / finish
* the weather is really changeable – we did it in Summer but had sunshine, rain and even hail (!) – so make sure you’re prepared
* there aren’t many stops along the way so take any food / snacks and water with you
* although it’s signposted, take maps just to be on the safe side especially as the weather is so inter-changeable
#7 Coasteering in Lulworth Cove
Days: half day or full day
* activity cost including any kit rental (helmet, wetsuit etc)
* to enjoy this activity, I’d recommend doing it in Summer
* take a Go Pro, if you have one, as you can capture some great footage when jumping into the water
* make the most of being in the stunning area, go for a walk to Durdle Door and/or wild camp on the beach
#8 Hiking the Three Peaks
Days: the aim is to complete the challenge within 24 hours
* transport vehicle and driver for the route
* the weather is really changeable so make sure you’re prepared
* following on from the above, go in Summer to give yourself the best chance of completing it. If the weather is really bad, it can be dangerous. We had this on Snowdon and had to make the tough decision to turn around
* a comfy van will be hugely appreciated if you’re wet and changing gear so I wouldn’t recommend being too frugal on the vehicle – you’re travelling in it and storing all of your kit, so you need a decent amount of space
* consider having a guide / leader who is experienced in mountain leading and someone who has first aid training so you’re able to manage all situations within the group
#9 Microadventure in Hampstead Heath, London (but shhhhh!)
* none 🙂
* make sure you leave the area as you found it, taking all rubbish etc with you
* enjoy the views in the morning from Parliament Hill and if time, head to the Ladies Pond for a refreshing swim
* if heading out for your microadventure on a Thursday evening, join the Project Awesome gang on Friday morning at Primrose Hill for a free fitness workout filled with hi-fives, hugs and laughs (jog down or jump on a Santander bike for a warm up 🙂 You can find the details on their Facebook page or website, http://www.projectawesomehq.com/london-tribe/
#10 Running the Chilterns Way
Days: day outing, you dictate how long you want to run/walk for (total distance is a circular 125 mile route)
* transport to and from the start/finish points
* food – we rewarded ourselves with an early pub dinner, overlooking the Henley River
* take a mini backpack with you with water, snacks and an extra layer
* we had paper maps but only because I’d previously bought them but just download OS maps, and the Way is well sign-posted with other route options if you wanted to do any detours (which we ended up doing)
#11 Seeing the sea in Norfolk
Days: as many as you want but we left Friday after work and came back Sunday evening, still feeling like we’d had a good break
* car hire – it worked out cheaper between 4 of us
* walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path (as long as you want)
*there are a few stately homes and good pubs in the area. Perfect if the weather isn’t in your favour (we had rain most of Saturday, despite going in Summer!)
#12 Exploring the Isle of Wight
Days: 3 days but could go for a weekend, or longer if over a long weekend
* train / ferry to Yarmouth (different ports you can go to on Isle of Wight though)
* lots of half day and day walking routes. The main one from Yarmouth being to The Needles, and nice pubs along the way
* the buses are easy to navigate and more frequent in Summer, so can visit another part of the island if time (Cowes is popular in Summer)
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Emma has always had a penchant for travel and the outdoors. But it wasn’t until she found her new tribes, a couple of years ago, that she really started pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Since then, she’s hiked in Slovenia, solo cycled Cuba and the North Coast 500, run the Causeway Coastal Path, undertaken micro-adventures in the UK and Europe, and more recently, cycled the Carretera Austral.