Get the Kids Enjoying the Great Outdoors This Summer with Our Top Active Holiday Picks
An active holiday represents a great opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors this summer. From attending a holiday park, through to exploring waterways and canals on boats and barges, and including stays in caravans, families can engage in a healthy and exciting trip that will make for a memorable holiday for children. More adventurous families can try out exploration holidays, while others can take on more sedate walking and cycling tours. Taken together, though, an active holiday can be a rewarding way to get fit and healthy, and still enjoy all the benefits of a high-quality resort, transport and scenery. Some options to consider include:
1 – Holiday and Caravan Parks
Holiday parks offer multiple opportunities for kids to enjoy the outdoors. Most parks are set around country estates and areas of wild natural beauty, such as Hangar Manor County Park in North Cornwall. Accommodation options vary, and include lodges and caravans. One of the advantages of these parks is that they tend to be near to coastal beaches and paths for walking and swimming, and often have on site activities like bike riding, archery, sports and other programmes. Similar activities can also be found for families at resorts in France, Brittany, Holland and Germany. In terms of rural and more unusual camping and caravan trips, the Lake District, the Isle of Wight, the South of France and Spain allow for walking holidays and activities by the sea. Remember to try and plan your perfect caravan trip. Also, read our tips to happy caravanning infographic.
2 – Out on the Water
A water based holiday can involve renting a houseboat for a long sail down Britain’s canals and rivers. These boats contain full washing, sleeping and cooking facilities, and can be tied up in order to stop off at villages and towns along a route. Some of the best water canal holidays can be found in Norfolk and Benson on Thames, as well as on the West Coast of Wales. The slow speed of boats, which typically move at about 4-6mph, means that kids can swim alongside, and try surfing and kitesailing while the boat is moored, as well as fishing from the side of a boat.
3 – Adventure Holidays
Kids can take part in guided adventure holidays. While many holiday parks in the UK and Europe offer activity courses and explorations of local areas, specialist adventure holidays can represent a package that allows families to take part in more ambitious trips. These trips might include walking through the Alps, and engaging in some safe climbing.
Similar trips can also be made to the Pyrenees on the border of Spain and France. Bay sailing and island hopping in Italy and Greece is similarly recommended. Closer to home, walking trips in Cornwall, horse riding in Wales, rock climbing in Snowdonia, and bush skills in the New Forest, as well as surfing in Cornwall and North Devon can make for a great short break.
4 – Family Walking and Cycling
More sedate, but still active and healthy options for holidays with kids include going on a walking or cycling tours. Starting out from a base, a trip can cover long walks with stop offs at village pubs and towns for camping. The Lake District is particularly recommended for this kind of holiday, while bike rental and exploration of cliffs and coves is possible in Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, West Wales and the Scottish Highlands.
Rob James is a father, who enjoys family holidays with his wife and four girls. He can be found blogging about many destinations around the world.