You may not be able to climb Everest in your lifetime, while the sense of achievement gained from completing a micro-adventure is a thrill that can fit into your 9 to 5 or short break. You can find these mini adventures in the UK, so satisfying the explorer in you needn’t take you to the furthest reaches of the earth.
It’s not strictly necessary to tackle the highest summits to say you’ve climbed or abseiled. You can head to the west of the UK for the Welsh National Park that is the Brecon Beacons and enjoy a memorable adventure that will take in the stunning vistas of South Wales. Whether you are interested in climbing up or sailing down, choose from a variety of available routes including cliffs and quarries. Adventures can be tailored to beginners or seasoned experts.
Go subterranean to discover the disused parts of the London Underground tube network. Organised tours of the tunnels of Euston Station and the shelter at Clapham South Station are available through The London Transport Museum’s Hidden London series. There is also a shortened tour of Euston’s tunnels designed for photography enthusiasts. Above ground, you can explore Highgate Station and pick through an urban treasure that has been reclaimed by nature, and is now home to many protected species.
You may not be an Olympian, but you can enjoy the legacy of the London Olympics by white water rafting in Lee Valley, Hertfordshire. Situated a 40-min train ride from London, the water centre features an adrenaline-filled Olympic course previously paddled by champions. White water rafting here is an extreme sport, so thrills and guaranteed spills are available as you tackle the exciting grade four rapids. There is also a bar and café to decompress after all of the excitement.
Edinburgh may be known for its beauty from the ground level, while climbing Arthur’s Seat can open up a vantage point from 251m (823 ft.) above sea level. Situated in Holyrood Park and a short distance away from the city centre, Arthur’s Seat is an area of special scientific interest. The ascent is a 3 mi. (5km) hill walk that takes 2–2.5 hours, and when you have reached the summit you can absorb panoramic views across the city and along the coast.
It’s far from the Tour de France, while no doubt an infinitely more enjoyable ride for those fit enough to take on the challenge. Cycling London to Brighton is a 54 mi. (87km) journey taking you from the centre of London to a favourite coastal destination of the South East. Take in two great locations on one day, as well as the sites you’ll view journeying from one to the other. Don’t worry about how tired you may be at end of the route as there are fast trains back to the city centre.
Take a good old fashioned walk along a historical trail around London, and absorb the sights that embody anything from Roman history, to Shakespeare’s haunts and Dickens’ London. You can also escape to greener spaces and take in trails across Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest. The City Of London’s website provides a list of where to find organised tours, as well as printable maps to inspire those who wish to make their way self-guided. Maps are also available to pick up at the City Information Centre by St Paul’s Cathedral.