With its diverse range of scenery that include moors, mountains, plains, wild or peaceful coastlines, lakes, and forests, the UK has enough things to do to keep even the most active outdoor enthusiast at bay. From a gentle game of golf to mountaineering in the Scottish Highlands, hiking on the moors or surfing in Cornwall, the country’s overall mild climate make it possible to enjoy the fresh air all year round. The range of temperatures from the far south all the way north of the main island could have you skiing in the winter in Scotland and walking wild North Cornish cliffs in a windbreaker all in the same week.
Golfing is as big in the UK as it is in the US, with the famous resort Gleneagles the main hub, but fine courses and golf hotels scattered all over the countryside. Scotland alone has 550 links and is considered the home of golf. Exec Golf Leisure (+44-178-683-2244) offers a luxury tour of Gleneagles and games on all the best greens.
Mountaineering in the dramatic Scottish Highlands is an unforgettable experience, whether you’re a novice or an expert. Although the peaks aren’t exactly Alpine levels, they provide challenging climbs in both summer and winter, and the beauty of the remoteness and still lakes is one of Scotland’s greatest treasures. A guided trek is offered by West Coast Mountain Guides, (+44-139-770-0451) and ensures a safe, enjoyable experience. The skiing is some of the best in the UK, as well.
The far southwestern coast of Cornwall is as famous for its surfing as it is for its wild moorlands, pretty bays, dramatic coastline, and quaint fishing villages. Great beaches are found on both the north and south shore, with southern Whitsand good for beginners and intermediates and nearby Porthleven (best in fall and winter) the most challenging of the 15 spots in the UK. Go Surf School (+44-173-671-1289) can provide lessons and instruction.
The UK’s moorland expanses are known for their wild, wide open spaces purple with heather in late summer and early fall, and sprinkled with snow in winter. Walking, horse riding and hiking across Dartmoor, Exmoor the Yorkshire Moors or the loveliest of them all, the Derbyshire Peak District, is the best way to enjoy their beauty and spot bird life. Guided walks or bike trips across the stunning landscapes can be organized with Peak Tours (+44-145-785-1452).
The Lake District is a wilderness of still waters, rushing rivers, quaint towns, fells, and high moorland peaks, with boating, fishing, and swimming favorite occupations. It’s the largest of England’s national parks, a haven for wildlife, and holds 16 large lakes along with charming villages and towns. Lake District Tours (+44-153-955-2106) offer half day and full day excursions through the breathtaking scenery.