Things to do | Leisure & entertainment | Unusual outdoor activities

Top 10 unusual outdoor activities

Calling all adrenaline junkies

If throwing yourself off a cliff into the sea or tearing along the beach holding onto a kite, or even climbing inside a giant inflatable ball and hurtling down a hill, sound like your idea of fun, then you've come to the right web-page.

River bugging

‘River what?!’ you may well ask. River bugging was invented in New Zealand and basically involves strapping yourself into an inflatable armchair and throwing yourself down white-water rapids. The single-person craft makes the rider, or ‘bugger’ (we kid you not), look like a bug or insect, hence river ‘bugging’. There are only around 20 places in Europe where you can go river bugging, and 12 of them are in Scotland! See Visit Scotland for more info.

Bushcraft and survival skills

There’s a little bit of Britain’s favourite “born survivor”, Bear Grylls, in all of us. Try a bushcraft and survival skills course to bring him out of you. Bushcraft is the art of learning to live in the wilderness and feel at home within the natural world just like our ancestors. Firecraft, tracking, hunting and shelter building are just a few skills you’ll learn; practices familiar to our ancestors and many aboriginal and native people around the world today. Search online for a course near you.

Gorge walking

Ready for an extreme river adventure great for families and kids too? Gorge walking gives a whole new meaning to a nice nature walk. Here, you’ll walk along steep sided gorges following the course of the river by any means necessary. This can involve climbing beside waterfalls, sliding down rapids, floating down fast flowing chutes and clinging onto rock faces. Wales has some of the best natural formations for gorge walking in the world. See Visit Wales or search online for centres.

Canyoning & coasteering

Canyoning is the crazy big brother of gorge walking. Like gorge walking, you’ll navigate you way along a river’s course, but this is far more extreme involving heart-stopping jumps off steep gorges and high waterfalls. Coasteering is the saltwater cousin of canyoning. Instead of waterfalls, you’ll work your way around the coastline by rock climbing, cliff jumping and swimming. Neither are for the faint hearted!


Zorbing is one of those things that makes you think, “who the hell came up with that idea?”, but in the same moment scream, “I wanna have a go!”. It basically involves climbing inside a giant inflatable ball and being bounced, rolled and tumbled head-over-heels down a hill at speeds of up to 30mph. For zorbing in the South West see Zorb South, but there are places to Zorb all over Britain, so check online for other locations.


Quad bikes were originally used by farmers in difficult terrain, but it wasn’t long before the speed freaks caught on. What’s not to like about tearing through fields and woods, up and down steep ditches, through streams and across muddy bogs on a four-wheeled buggy capable of stomach-turning twists and jumps?! Forget a gentle bike ride through the countryside, spin, twist, skid and leap your way through the great outdoors.

Caving and potholing

Caving takes you on a journey deep into Britain’s underbelly, where you and your team guide each other through vast underground caves full of striking stalagmites and stalactites. Potholing takes this a step further and is a claustrophobe’s nightmare. Here, you’ll slide and wriggle through narrow tunnels, cross underground lakes and see sites that went undiscovered for thousands of years. 


Also called land yachting, blokarting is like yachting, but in a kart on land instead of a boat on water. A blokart is essentially a long, thin, three-wheeled buggy with enough room for you to sit inside and a sail to accelerate and manoeuvre. The best place to blokart in Britain has got to be the beach and there are clubs based all around the coast. Search online for land yachting or blokarting UK for info on getting started.


Sandboarding is to sand what snowboarding is to snow. Now Britain might not have the best snowboarding conditions, but with over 10,000 miles of coastline lined with staggering sand dunes, we certainly have excellent year-round sandbording conditions. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s best to search online for a course, but many experienced snowboarders just use an old snowboard and get going. You could even dig your old sledge out of the garage and try a bit of sand-sledging!

Power kiting

Also known as traction kiting, power kiting is nothing like flying a kite in the park. The power harnessed by specially designed power kites is enough to drag you along the ground and lift you into the air like you’re jumping on the moon. You can use a power kite on its own, known as ‘power jumping’, or pair it up with a vehicle or board for a more extreme ride. Search online for a club near you.




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