Trying something new this Spring
It may still feel like winter’s here, but the odd warm and sunny day means just one thing - Spring is on the way!
Fresh sunny days, longer daylight hours to play in, and more activities around these days than you can shake a GoPro camera at. Take a look at some of the activities our staff will be getting up to in the UK this spring and if you want to try anything for yourself, then we recommend checking out our friends at 8th Day Adventure.
Still very new to the UK, but there are a few places realising the potential for this, and Honister Slate Mine in the Lake District is one of the biggest and best. Via Ferrata allows those with no climbing experience to scale rock faces otherwise unavailable to them, using cliff-edge ladders and involving vertical climbs using iron rungs and supports. It gives a fantastic sense of exposure all within the safety of being harnessed in permanently to the fixed cable system. And new for this year to the Honister route is a 1000t high ‘skywalk’, with nothing between you and the floor below but a single cable...
You will most likely have seen this by now on countless films (famously in a recent Bond film) or Youtube videos, but there are now various parkour (or 'street-running') schools literally springing up, allowing you to learn some of the tricks of the trade. So you too can soon dispense with irrelevant things like steps and pavements, and instead use rooftops, window frames, fence posts and various other props as a means to negotiate your way round the city... and get really fit in the process.
A great cross between kayaking and surfing, this is essentially standing up on a large (and stable) surf board, and paddling your way along rivers, lakes or coasts to explore the area from a unique perspective. It’s incredibly relaxing whilst being great for fitness, and a very sociable way to travel too. There are plenty of places available to hire these or get a lesson, and the Thames around Twickenham/Richmond is a great place to do this on a peaceful summers evening.
Great singletrack routes and centres continue to spring up around the UK, providing more and more opportunities for both hardcore and novice riders to make the most of their time away from the office! Many of the bigger centres now have bike hire alongside the marked trails, often with more facilities and activities alongside, making them an easy option for both groups of friends and also families. The UK is blessed with some great mountain biking areas its just a case of finding one near you check out: 7 Stanes - Scottish Borders, Coed-y Brenin – Snowdonia, Cwmcan – South Wales, Kielder - Northumberland National Park
Previously only available in Scotland, visitors to South Wales can now also don a wetsuit, jump into what is essentially a rubber ring, and head off merrily down a river, encountering many a rapid on the way! It’s a brilliant way of getting up close and personal with some of the most fun rapids and beautiful gorges in the country. Wet, wild, and requiring no prior experience. It’s about the most fun you can have in a wetsuit.
You can do all these - and a lot more besides - with 8th Day Adventure this spring, but check out www.8thdayadventure.co.uk for more info. They are a members club, and as a special introductory offer they’re offering Ellis Brigham subscribers a less then half price annual membership, at just £60 instead of the usual £140. To claim it simply register on the site, and click to upgrade your account, entering 'ANNUALLY-EB' in the discount box when you go to join. They have hundreds of events throughout the year, with something on almost every day of the year.