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Get planning... mini adventure ideas

Adventures for a weekend

When thinking about adventures, your imagination can run wild dreaming up week-long (or more) trips and then a big sigh as you realise you don't have enough annual leave left, if in a 9-5er! Cue.... the mini adventure! It can be squeezed into a weekend (or long weekend) without feeling like it's been a right faff or rush.

Here's a list of 10 mini adventures I've done over the past couple of years, to share the adventure idea lovin' (we all love a bit of lovin' after all!) - from super close to home and catering to all fitness levels, to slightly more challenging. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts too!

1) Cycling the gluts-busting Fred Whitton route

Days: Two days cycling (or one day if keen to smash it out)

Costs involved:

  • Transport to and from start and finish. Remember to book your bike on the train too!
  • Accommodation or wild camping

Top tips:

  • The route is part of a yearly organised cycle but you can do it on your own, which is what we did. Just download the map here
  • 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!

2) Running the Causeway Coastal Path

Days: Two days excludes travel time (51 km in total, so can do in one day in up for less sight-seeing)

Costs involved:

  • Flight to Ireland (we had a return flight from Belfast and then caught a bus from Belfast to Portstewart, to the 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)

Top tips:

  • Check this site for all of your planning - route, accommodation ideas and more!
  • The route is signposted pretty well so no need to take maps (and save yourself the moola!). Watch out for the beach section though, where the signs seemed to run out slightly. We started heading into the golf course, before backtracking. Tip - stay on the beach, as it’s the right way :)
  • This was a running / sight-seeing adventure as my mate and I hadn't 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 still worthwhile stopping
  • There aren’t loads of snack stops so make sure you stock up before you set off

3) Walking the South West Coastal Path

Days: One day walking although could go for much longer!

Costs involved:

  • Transport to and from the SW coast path
  • Accommodation or wild camping

Top tips:

  • The route is signposted pretty well and as the path is 630 miles long, so you can walk as much or little as you like!
  • You can plan your route from here
  • 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 here - very well organised and hopefully the sun will be shining!

4) Cycling Dunwich Dynamo

Days: Overnight, from London Fields in east London to Dunwich on south-east coast

Costs involved: Bus back from Dunwich, unless you're up for cycling back again! Or train back from Ipswich, which is approx 50km away

Top tips:

  • 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 peeps (Fire Station about halfway and then a much welcomed caffeine stop just before Dunwich)
  • If you're wanting to catch the bus back, make sure you book your seat plus bike - it's 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!)

5) Microadventure in Hampstead Heath, London (but shhhhh!)

Days: Overnight

Costs involved: none (love this kind of adventure!)

Top tips:

  • 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 :)

6) Coasteering in Lulworth Cove

Days: Half day or full day

Costs involved: Activity cost including any kit rental (helmet, wetsuit etc)

Top tips:

  • 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 or the hills above

7) Hiking the Three Peaks

Days: The aim is to complete the challenge within 24 hours

Costs involved: Transport vehicle and driver for the route

Top tips:

  • The weather is really changeable so make sure you’re prepared with the right kit 
  • If possible, 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 don't be 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 

8) Hiking the Yorkshire Three Peaks

Days: One day, the aim is to complete the walk within 12 hours

Costs involved: transport to the start / finish

Top tips:

  • 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

9) Running the Chilterns Way

Days: One day, you can decide how long you want to run/walk for (total distance is a circular 125 mile route)

Costs involved:

  • Transport to and from the start/finish points
  • Food - we rewarded ourselves with an early pub dinner, overlooking the Henley River

Top tips:

  • Take a mini pack with you - water, snacks and an extra layer - unless you plan your route through villages and stop for lunch
  • 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)

10) Cycling The Way of the Roses

Days: Three days cycling time (exc. travel time) but longer if you want to spend more time exploring the area

Costs involved:

  • Unless you've managed to convince someone to chauffeur you to the start and finish (cake bribery can sometimes work!), train. The route 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 camping)

Top tips:

  • The main site has loads of great info including the route in more detail and some accommodation options, aimed at various budgets
  • 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 (I'm navigationally challenged so if I can do, anyone can!)
  • 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!
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