A breath of fresh air: Outdoor adventure in the East Midlands
Looking to up the adrenaline factor or encourage them to get active? Check out these East Midlands days out packed with awesome outdoor pursuits.
If you’re keen to try a new outdoor activity for the first time, Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre offer a wide range of exciting activities for families throughout the year on their 15 acre site. Take a step away from reality and your comfort zone and test your mettle against the Leap of Faith. Enjoy a peaceful ride along the pretty River Soar in a canoe or participate in Olympic events such as archery and fencing.
2. Conkers, Derbyshire
Visit Conkers for indoor and outdoor pursuits - rain won’t stop play and there is loads to explore, it’s especially perfect for introducing younger children to more adventurous outdoor pursuits. For a magical family bonding experience book a Family Fun Day and choose 3 outdoor pursuits from the following list: kayaking, laser clay pigeon shooting, mountain biking, archery, pedal go karting, katacanoeing, bell bottom boats, activity trail challenge, bush craft survival skills or orienteering in the forest. We loved learning bushcraft skills as a family; toasting marshmallows together having built our very own campfire will never be forgotten.
For those who fancy wild swimming without the fear of what lies beneath, or the cold, this could be a gorgeous compromise. With views of surrounding hills, Stanage Edge and Hathersage Church, Hathersage pool is wild but warm, the large open air pool is heated to 28 degrees during the summer. It’s open in Winter too, but unheated.
I’ll never forget snow tubing and tobogganing here for a friend’s hen do, we all agreed our kids would love this too - absolutely brilliant fun. The centre offers open sessions for experienced ski and snowboarders too, or sign up for lessons.
Fancy learning how to sail or kayak? Or perhaps it is time to let them try a white water rafting or water tubing experience, or the challenge of wakeboarding or stand up paddleboarding? The National Watersports Centre offers both one off experiences and courses. There is also a family recreation area with mini golf, sky ropes and segway.
The Adrenalin Jungle is set in the heart of Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire, covering over 150 acres of woodlands and clearings; it is the largest multi event outdoor activity centre in the East Midlands. Junior Jungle activities for children 8 plus offer the same activities grown ups can do, just tailored for juniors, including Archery, Paintball, Laser Tag, Assault course and Jungle Challenge.
205 acres of clean spring water fed lakes; which are ideal if you want to water ski, wakeboard, jet ski, dinghy sail, windsurf, or canoe. You can even walk on the water in water zorb.
If you are looking for a different challenge test out the dry ski slope or a 15 metre climbing tower.
Rutland Water, Europe’s largest man made lake, is the playground of the East Midlands with water sports, nature reserves, The Rok Blok outdoor adventure centre has high ropes, climbing on traverse walls, cycling. You can also visit the nature reserve and enjoy family walks.
Walk alongside your very own Llama as you trek through across the stunning Northamptonshire countryside, through arable, pasture and woodland. The half day trek covers 3.5 to 4 miles taking around 2 hours, or choose a shorter trek around the farm. Llamas make fascinating companions for a hike and you will learn lots about them during your trek experience.
10. Go Karting at Whilton Mill, Northamptonshire
Home to Silverstone race track, Northamptonshire has more than its fair share of go karting tracks. Whilton Mill allows you to arrive and drive, or to sign up for an academy. Fully qualified instructors will guide your children through everything they need to know and children are always grouped with similar age kids. They provide race suits, helmets, gloves and a full safety briefing before letting them out in state of the art karts. Sign up for an academy day to train and race.
Do you have any recommendations for outdoor activities in the East Midlands? Which have you tried?