So, you’ve committed to ‘Disconnect To Reconnect’. Your phone is switched off and you are looking forward to getting out there, but where to go? What to do?
So here, in no particular order, are our top ten ‘Disconnect To Reconnect’ adventure picks. They’re all family friendly and it doesn’t matter if you do one or all.
Coasteering Dorset is the very, very best.
What is it? It’s climbing along the coastline, jumping into the sea, playing in waves, exploring caves created by the power of the sea and sharing experiences with friends, old and new.
So let’s talk about that coast. In Dorset we’re really lucky and have access to The Jurassic Coast. It’s a heritage site that starts at Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck and heads west for 95 miles into East Devon. It has everything. Variety, beauty, history and most importantly, adventure.
Great Coasteering isn’t limited to Dorset though. There are awesome opportunities available all around the country, with Pembrokeshire in Wales being a favourite.
Simply exploring the countryside
Nobody said an epic adventure has to be fast paced. You can explore it all at your own pace. We’ve all got access to flatlands, woodland, dramatic coastlines and beaches. Dorset is a great place to explore as its home to the second largest natural harbour in the world, complete with its own island, has two of the most famous rock formations (Old Harry Rocks and Durdle Door) in the country and to top of off, it’s even got a castle. Yep, a castle!
When you find yourself out and about in the countryside, why not have a little go at foraging? Many people have been collecting and eating wild flowers, berries and fungi all their life, for others, it’s more of a recent discovery. A word of warning though, in among edible berries that can be transformed into jam, you’ll find your fair share of poisonous offerings
The Woodland Trust has some cracking advice on their website about what’s good and what’s not.
What can you find in your local area?
There is something wonderfully simple about Sea Kayaking. The recipe is easy; Take a kayak, a paddle and the sea. For a bit of spice, add friends.
We’ve known this for years and have been taking Kayaks out onto the sea in Swanage Bay and at Sandbanks Beach since we started.
If there is one thing the Jurassic Coast is famous for, it’s that phenomenally rugged, accessible coastline. In Dorset we’re blessed with a multitude of local climbing spots, each of which offer unique challenges, allowing people to take their time and learn the ropes (sorry). Local business Freeborn Climbing is a great place to start and will be able to get you on real rock in no time.
There are plenty of indoor climbing facilities across the country, which will offer challenge and variety. Our local centre, The Project, is fantastic and offers youth and adult coaching as well as offering full height bouldering walls.
It’s all well within reach (sorry, again).
What’s not to love about a little bit of Paddle Boarding? It’s fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular watersports. Do a Google search and you may be surprised to see just how close your nearest paddle boarding provider is; you don’t have to just be on the coast to SUP.
We’re a bit biased as even though one of our old colleagues Rose has gone back to the bright lights of the big city, she’s joined a great little company called Moo Canoes that, among other activities, run paddle boarding sessions in East London. They make great use of the historic canals around Limehouse and Poplar allowing you to explore cities like never before.
Go for a run
Running is one of the most accessible adventures you can have. Its beauty is that it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. If you’ve never run before, there are so many different ways to help you put that phone down, lace up those running shoes and get out there. Two of the most popular and successful campaigns are the NHS’ couch to 5K, a 9 week plan that will see you go from a total noob to a distance runner, and Parkrun.
Parkrun is by far the largest and most successful running club in the country, with events dotted all over the place. They are open to everyone, free and are safe and easy to take part in. Most of us at Land & Wave love a bit of Parkrun. Have a look at their website, find your closest run and get out there. Remember, nobody comes last at Parkrun.
Okay we’re back to the water again. It’s not just us that thinks there’s something truly special about it, but research has shown that there are many mental and physical health benefits to be gained from taking the plunge.
If the prospect of just swimming in the sea doesn’t take your fancy, why not take the opportunity to learn a new skill. What about surfing? We’re big fans of surfing here at Land & Wave and when we go, we normally head off to Croyde Bay on the north coast of Devon.
So why surfing? Just imagine….you could be just like Bodhi, minus the bank heists…. and the Reagan mask.
It will be awesome and you’re level of cool will be boosted 100%. Imagine the scene… you’re at a dinner party and you’re chatting to somebody for the first time. ‘So, what do you do?’ ‘Me? I surf.’ You’re automatically the coolest person in the room.
Whether or not you pick up a board though, is up to you, but we can’t recommend just taking a dip high enough.
Following the epic 2012 Summer Olympic Games, cycling in the UK has seen a huge boom and for a good reason too. Amongst the Land & Wave crew there’s a few peloton pioneers and no-one more committed than David, one of the founders of Land & Wave, cycling from Poole to Swanage every day, come rain or shine. Now that’s dedication!
It’s not all about the commute though, cycling is a great way to explore the countryside, be that trails, paths or local villages. There are loads of places you can rent a bike, so it’s really affordable. To top it off, it’s good for you, good for the environment and parking is free. Bonus!
The longest zipline in the UK can be found at the Eden Project down in Cornwall, with their ‘Skywire’ running for half a mile with riders hitting speeds of 60mph. Face first!
If speed is your thing though, the fastest zipline in the world can be found in Wales up at Zip World in Penrhyn Quarry, Snowdonia.
If you want to feel like a superhero and hit speeds of over 100mph this is the adventure for you.
Find a park. Bring a ball.
The local park has been the site of some of the most epic adventures ever seen by mankind. Invaders from another planet have been vanquished; The Highest Mountain has been climbed; The World Cup winning goal has been scored; spaceships have been flown and the fastest race cars in the world have been, well, raced.
The local park is a magical place and play is the order of the day. They have everything you need. A playground? Check. Wide open spaces? Check? Trees, wildlife, endless possibilities. Check, check and check.
Head down to the park, any park, with the family and see what happens. Take a ball with you too. No park visit has been made worse with the additional of a ball. Fact!
Land & Wave Adventure Vouchers start at only £22 and you can order them here.
To see what life is like in Dorset, you can watch the Dorset Video Project
Further details to achieve your Disconnect to Reconnect goal
08 December 2018 by Matt Brown