It’s time to blow away the cobwebs and plan new year activities and new beginnings which will keep you healthy and safe and inspire you throughout a brighter 2021.
Think fresh outdoor air and fresh active adventures. You don’t have to look too far in England to find inspiration. Muddy your boots with a spot of forest foraging, get your heart beating faster with cliff camping, learn and stroll with literary and historical walks, and acquire new skills with bead and medicinal herb workshops, molecular science classes, even gate hurdle making. Check out some of the creative experiences on offer throughout England to keep you focussed, calm and in good shape.
You many get your boots muddy but nature will lead the way. Self-guided itineraries and guided experiences are an ideal way to kick start a resolution. Discovery walks uncover the stories and characteristics that define the Yorkshire Dales. Walks and themes range from history and mystery to hills and train tracks while reconnecting with nature. www.muddybootswalkingholidays.com
Welcome to Yorkshire will be launching #Walkshire designed to promoting Yorkshire as the walking capital of the world and highlighting a Yorkshire walk for every day of the year from short strolls, urban cultural tours and for those that are looking to scale the heights with the 3 Peak Challenge. www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/outdoors/on-foot
Hampshire Literary Walks
Follow in the footsteps of literary giants to discover rich cultural history in Hampshire. A series of 6 literary walks in Hampshire will introduce you to English novelist, Jane Austen, the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White and the wartime poet Edward Thomas Longer hikes follow part of the South Downs Way, The Writers Way, the Shipwrights Way and the Hangers Way. www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo
Combat the comfort zone – cliff camping, Lake District
If 2020 has left you longing for a dose of adrenalin, spending a night suspended more than 150 metres above an expansive slate mine in the Lake District might be the high you are seeking with only a luxury sleeping bag and the starry-sky above. This spring sees the opening of a unique Honister cliff-side camping experience, accessible only via an infinity bridge and a little abseiling, with the final destination rewarding campers with spectacular sunsets and sunrises. www.honister.com/cliffcamping
The Art of Wellbeing Exhibition
Art can impact you through the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – to connect, be active, give, to keep learning and to take notice. Explore “In the moment: the art of wellbeing” will be displayed in the Great Hall and Saloon Galleries with 14 engaging artworks, in an exclusively curated exhibition with the Arts Council Collection in Beningbrough, North Yorkshire. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/art-at-beningbrough
Peter Rabbit Winter Adventures
National Trust is as playful as ever with Peter Rabbit’s friends amongst its gardens and parklands.. Young nature adventurers can lend a hand to some of Beatrix Potter’s well-loved characters such as Squirrel Nutkin, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck, and solve the clues to earn their special trail badge and certificate. There will be nature-themed active challenges to try along the way, as well as a Peter Rabbit selfie station at the end of the trail where everyone can take a picture with their favourite storybook rabbit. Peter Rabbit adventures pop up on various National Trust properties across England. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/peter-rabbit-trails
Adventure Ropes at Carden Park, Chester
Imagine ladders, bridges and high walkways and a final long drop down a climbing wall. This obstacle of adventure ropes is set to open at Carden Park in Chester. The new high ropes course adds to other attractions on the 1,000-acre estate, including a new state-of-the-art spa, two 18-hole golf courses, swimming pool, tennis courts, off-road motoring and cycling experiences and more. www.cardenpark.co.uk
The 1066 Country Walk, Hastings
Walking the steps of history along the 31-mile 1066 Country Walk which starts where Normandy landed in1066 and ends in the medieval town of Rye, via historic Battle where the Battle of Hastings was fought. Adding interest along the way, East Sussex sculptor, Keith Pettit, has added ten bespoke wooden pieces of art created at key sites along the route. The walk has seating, numerous eateries and vineyards as well as key attractions such as the Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre, Battle Abbey and battlefield and Great Dixter House and Gardens. The walk launches later in Spring. A downloadable guide is available from www.visit1066country.com.
And if your resolution is to learn a new skill, take your pick, from spoon carving, beading and surfing to kitchen gardening, bushcraft and gate hurdle making, just as a start:
Shaun the Sheep model making? Yuup is one of the newest additions to the Bristol scene with a range of experiences with engaging hosts including soap making, vision board making, a story walk in Leigh Woods, baking with Briony May Williams (from Great British Bake Off), Jess Siggers, Michelin star recipes and molecular science classes – the list goes on! www.yuup.co
If surfing has always been on your bucket list then let 2021 be the year you master the skills of riding the (simulated) ocean waves. Launching early this year, the Surf Experience Bundles will offer packages of Six Surfs for a Beginner ‘Learn to Surf’ Experience, Reef Experience or Big Wave Experience. www.thewave.com/book-surf-session/
Wood Craving, Hereford
Join Brooke House Woods for a day of craving wood into functional items, learn how to use an axe, knife and chisel to create bespoke pieces such as spatula, spoon or bowl craving, or for those who would like a couple experience there’s the couple stool making class. http://www.brookhousewoods.com/woodwork.html
Virtual Beading from Chawton House
Chawton House has joined up with beadmaker Chloe Menage for a virtual class in bead embroidery, ideal for book lovers and Jane Austen fans in a 3 hour session. https://chawtonhouse.org/whats-on/online-beading-3/
Sustainability Courses, Hampshire
The Sustainability Centre is set in the heart of the South Downs National Park which aims to educate, enable and inspire people from all walks of life to make positive changes to the way they live and work. Spread across 55 acres of woodland and natural chalk downland, the courses include: Natural Wellbeing, Spoon Carving, Medicinal Herb Workshop, Fabric and Willow Basket making, Hedgelaying, and Gate Hurdle Making. www.sustainability-centre.org/natural-wellbeing-course.html
Or stay and learn:
Masterclasses at The Grange, Isle of Wight
Set within the scenic and inspiring Isle of Wight countryside, The Grange by the Sea is a Georgian country house on the south coast. Nestled by greenery, the B&B is secluded and acts as the perfect backdrop for immersive masterclasses. These range from first novel writing, mosaic making, comedy writing, meditation, yoga with awareness and the path of happiness coaching. www.the grange by the sea.com/courses/
And while on the Island, learn and experience the benefits of Forest Bathing for the body, mind and spirit. It’s not a walk in the woods!. An experienced guide leads small groups to safely embrace the forest and find their own path by skillfully blending Guided Meditation, Sound Healing, Creativity and Silence. Locations include public and private forest and woodlands, with many designated areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Isle of Wight has been recognised for its lush landscape having been awarded UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status
For more information: www.visitengland.com for the latest guidance to Know Before you Go.
And for more inspiration go to visitengland.com/escape