Imaginative Ideas for Your Next Sporting Holiday
Published: Tuesday 1st Jul 2014
Written by: Sally Sims
The Great Outdoors knows no bounds and for holidaymakers into sport there are a host of new activities out there just waiting to be tried. From the heights of rock climbing to the depths of caving, from the speed rush of land yachting to the control and precision of field archery, there are lesser-known sports to suit all different types of enthusiast. Here are a few imaginative ideas for your next sporting holiday:
Also known as sand sailing, land yachting is an incredibly thrilling way to spend a day at the beach. This involves climbing into a sand-buggy and using the wind to propel you across a sandy expanse. Apparently it is easy to pick up, and beginners can find themselves travelling along at up to 40 mph before too long. Coastal Kent is a centre for land yachting, especially the gorgeous Greatstone Beach on the east coast. Penzance in Cornwall is another place to try out the sand buggy as well as speed sailing – a similar pursuit but this time the participants stand up – think windsurfing crossed with skateboarding.
There are a number of locations in the UK where beginners can go underground and try out caving. One place is the Brecon Beacons National park – home to some of the best cave systems in the country. At the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, underground caverns have been lit and made easily accessible so people can get a taste of the subterranean world. Qualified instructors are on hand if people want to don suits and helmets and try something more challenging by visiting a greater variety of locations. Caving experiences are also offered in the Lake District and North Yorkshire where families can go underground together to share this amazing experience.
There can be no better place to learn archery than in Battle in east Sussex – the spot where King Harold took an arrow in 1066. The Archers of Battle offer training facilities and equipment for all ages from children to senior citizens. Located in nearby Crowhurst Park, the Archers specialise in field archery and have positioned 3-D targets – think life-sized model turkeys and velociraptors – around the woods. They also have target ranges up to the Olympic distance of 70 metres.
White Water rafting
North Wales is the home of white water rafting in the UK – ideal for those looking for an exhilarating experience and a dousing all in one! A good place to start is the National White Water Centre based on the River Tryweryn in the heart of Snowdonia, which does taster sessions for people aged 12 and upwards. A number of companies also offer white water tubing in this region – it is similar to rafting but individuals go down by themselves in inflatable tubes or dinghies. Brilliant fun.
Those with a head for heights might want to try a spot of rock climbing whilst on holiday. A good first port of call is the Lake District where the National Trust offers a range of half-day courses for kids from bouldering in Langdale to abseiling in Keswick. Training is also available at a number of places in Wales, such as the National Mountaineering Centre in Snowdonia or at indoor facilities in the Brecon Beacons. The fascinating rock formations at Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire are also a good starting place for budding climbers.