A guest post blog, from our friends at 4 PointsLeisure. As you know, we love all aspects of being outdoors, and so do 4 Points Leisure, so we’re delighted that they accepted our invitation to share with us (and you!) their 5 Mini Adventures this Summer. So over to our 4 Points Leisure to tell you more….
5 Mini Adventures outdoor this Summer
We like being outdoors. What a shock eh? We are 4 Points Leisure after all. Even so, we share the struggle of getting the family away from the TV and off assorted digital devices. We chronicled our adventures in doing that in our blog all about our tech-free Sundays.
I’m a bit of a planner and control freak. But, trying to break free from my despotic tendencies, I asked the daughter what adventures she’d like to have over the summer. Here’s what she came up with. Five ‘mini’ adventures to have as a family with children or with family and friends.
The adventures begin
Body boarding – we know nothing about this sport, except the other side of the family had a go at it a couple of summers ago and it looked like fun.
Wetsuit and body board aside, you need only the sea!
It’s much like surfing, except in body boarding you ride the crest, face and curl of the wave. Instead of standing up on the board (invented by Tom Morey, it’s called a a boogie board) you lie down and hope to get carried to shore.
Theres loads of videos on how to body board, but I ‘enclose’ one which we thought was pretty good. And the scenery looks fab if nothing else!
As much as I love a new activity I don’t want it to cost me a fortune. Especially if I’m not into it after a few goes. So I went Ebay mooching and discovered second-hand wetsuits for as little as £5. It’s obvious that a good deal of caution goes hand-in-hand with that one.
Boogie Boards were under £10, and the leash for the board (which you attach to the board, and your ankle/wrist, so you don’t lose the board) was about £5. So, for a cost of £20-30 you could get set up in the sport.
As we’re an island, theres some great places to go body boarding. And in the UK no one is more than seventy miles, (under 2 hours in the car) from the sea.
Night hiking – we used to night hike all the time in Scouts, using our wits to get across the Quantock Hills in Somerset. Aged 18 it seemed excellent fun. Yet, no matter what I do our daughter remains scared of being outdoors at night. A sign, of our troubled times?
This summer I want to show her that there’s no need to be afraid. If you use sensible precautions, outdoors can be as much fun at night as it can be at daytime.
Hiking at night is not an activity to undertake alone. You need to be in a group. And if one of you sneaks away to relieve themselves do wait for them to come back!
Somehow or other the night amplifies sounds. Last summer me and my sister, taking my daughter with us, went star watching on the Quantocks. We scared ourselves silly with the sounds of the night.
We also love a bit of ‘headlamp etiquette’. You might be wearing a head torch, but can you please remember that when you turn to face me, you blind me, thank you! I joke, but when you walk at night without any light, it doesn’t take long for your eyesight to adjust and you can soon see pretty well.
With some planning and a note to someone who cares about you, that you’re off hiking, and we reckon this one could be a real adventure.
Bike riding – whoever said bike riding could be a mini adventure? That’ll be me then! It’s possible I’m the world’s worst cyclist. Where I’m concerned even getting on is an adventure!
What I’m saying here is, a well organised bike ride can be an adventure. Most towns have a cycle map.
Swindon’s own cycle map is free from the library. Get it out, share it with the children and plan a route. Pack a picnic and discover new parts of the town. Go on an EXPOTITION, Winnie-the-Pooh style.
Friend of 4Points Leisure, Swindon blogger Born again Swindonian, has some posts on the blog about cycling and walking in Swindon, notably the Western Flyer. The Western Flyer in Swindon is part of the Sustrans, national cycle network, route 45.
On one of our EXPOTITIONS we found a nature reserve, called Hagbourne Copse, tucked away in the corner of an industrial estate.
Climbing Trees – I include this one as, when asked, our daughter said this was high on her list. Is that a sad response? I don’t know, but I actually found an article on how to climb a tree.
Feeling a little sad now, and off to find a good old tree to climb, I’ll bring crash mats for the base of the tree, #healthandsafety sniff.
Swimming in the sea – I’ll be honest here, I hadn’t properly swum in the sea until three years ago in the Isle of Wight. You know, like proper, take your feet off the seabed and let yourself go.
It was a hot summer that year. We’d finished visiting the Isle of Wight Zooand Dinosaur Isle, both of which I recommend, when we decided to chill on the beach. It was sooooo hot, scorching enough for me to go back to the campervan and get my cossie out. It must’ve been hot!
We ventured further and further out until the daughter and I were able to lift our feet up and bob about. Then we did a little swim, and then we swam. I would never have done that much if it hadn’t been for our daughter encouraging me. It was rather exhilarating, and felt a little dangerous. The same thrill I would’ve got on a roller-coaster, but altogether more pleasant.
If you’re not by the sea this summer, then perhaps you could try it in a lake? Wild Swimming seems to be this year’s buzzword and I seem to see an article at every turn – that Baader-Meinhof phenomenon again. I tend to take such things as a sign to try it out. Remember though there’s safety in numbers: never go alone.
I’m hoping you’ve found a bit of inspiration to #getoutside and have a mini adventure this summer. If you’re thinking of being a bit more fearless and feel inspired, you might want to check out Alastair Humphreys book Microadventures.
Or the Wild Night Out, supporting the Youth Adventure Trust. We’ve missed the one for 2017 (1st July), but get prepared and practice for 2018.
At 4 Points Leisure, we’re passionate about getting outside, whether that’s through festivals, glamping or just the adventure of camping. Find us on Twitter and Facebook where we share innovation as well as all things outdoors. Until next time, #getoutside.