The best summer mountain adventures!

Make the summer a season to remember with Trail magazine’s guide to the most thrilling adventures you’ll find in the mountains!

The best summer mountain adventures!The best summer mountain adventures!

by Trail magazine |

Summer is the ideal time to try something a little more adventurous in the UK mountains. The weather is warmer, the days lighter, and the mood brighter – all of which can combine to make you feel a little braver, a little more curious, and a little more open to new experiences. That's not to say there's anything wrong with simply strolling in the mountains and enjoying the views - far from it. But if you're up for trying something different that dials up the adrenaline levels but still lets you enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery we're blessed with in this country, then read on. You might be about to discover a whole new set of hobbies...

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Ghyll scrambling

Ghyll scrambling

Pack some spare clothes – you’re about to get wet!

Where to do it:

The Lake District is stunning, with some simple routes you can tackle yourself and other, more epic, journeys requiring ropes. Sunny, south-facing Stickle Ghyll (pictured) is a classic with a pub at the bottom. www.pathtoadventure.co.uk

The Peak District offers some dramatic routes in the many cloughs that lead up on to the high moorland, while the ancient limestone gorges of Nidderdale in the Yorkshire Dales offer great adventure. www.lostearthadventures.co.uk

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Abseiling

Abseiling

Physically and technically much easier than climbing up a cliff, lowering yourself off one is seriously good fun.

Where to do it:

The Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye’s daunting Cuillin ridge is one of the best places in Britain to abseil. Partly because that’s the only way down and partly because it protrudes above one of the most magnificent rocky settings in the country. www.skyeguides.co.uk

Or... explore Coniston quarry then abseil the 45m back down. www.pathtoadventure.co.uk

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Canoes & kayaks

Canoes & kayaks

What’s better than walking for miles to a remote mountain before climbing it? Try making that same journey by boat and we think you’ve found your answer.

Where to do it:

The best way to explore the beautiful bodies of water in the LAKE DISTRICT is by boat, and Path To Adventure offer guided full and half-day trips in Canadian Canoes. Plus canoe coaching if you want to skill yourself up. Book your trip at www.pathtoadventure.co.uk

The Spey Descent, from the Cairngorms to the Moray coast is a classic route, pouring through mountains, forests and Grade II rapids. www.wildernessscotland.com

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Caving

Caving

Perhaps an unnatural feeling for people who like standing on top of mountains, but there’s a whole hidden world to discover once you delve beneath them.

Where to do it:

With miles of tunnels threading their way beneath limestone hills, the Yorkshire Dales is the place to go for caving. One of the best is the journey 80m down and through the Window Waterfalls to Alum Pot.

www.lostearthadventures.co.uk

www.yorkshiredalesguides.co.uk

www.pureoutdoor.co.uk

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Coasteering

Coasteering

Jumping off cliffs isn’t usually something we’d recommend, but when there’s a sparkling blue sea beneath it then that changes everything!

Where to do it:

Northumberland, Pembrokeshire and the South-West of England are the premier places to try this, with craggy cliffs and clear turquoise waters galore. TYF, tucked in the northern curve of Cardigan Bay, was the first to offer coasteering in the UK.

www.tyf.com

www.verticaldescents.com

www.adventurenorthumberland.co.uk

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Climbing

Climbing

Climbing is the natural progression for anyone who’s reached the upper limit of their hillwalking and scrambling ambitions. But how do you get started?

Where to do it:

Snowdonia’s Llanberis Pass is famous for holding some of the most alluring crags in Britain. There are climbing and bouldering routes galore and when you get tired, you’re at the perfect vantage point to watch more advanced climbers creep up the massive elevated slab of Dinas y Cromlech. www.pyb.co.uk

Or get your hands on some of that famously sticky Peak District gritstone. www.adventure-expertise.co.uk

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Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata

Having originated in the saw-toothed peaks and sheer walls of the Italian Dolomites, via ferrata is now becoming a popular activity for adrenaline junkies in the UK.

Where to do it:

You can have a go at several locations including Kinlochleven near Glencoe and the How Stean Gorge in the Yorkshire Dales. But the first and most famous is that at Honister slate mine in the Lake District. With routes of varying difficulty and exposure, it’ll show you a new side to Fleetwith Pike – and perhaps Lakeland as a whole. www.honister.com

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Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding

One of the world’s fastest-growing watersports doesn’t need to be restricted to local rivers and lakes – you can also do it in the mountains!

Where to do it:

All you need is a stretch of calm water and you’re good to go. Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms is a great mountain location where you can hire kit, and if you’re a newbie you can try it in spectacular locations across Yorkshire, Cumbria and the Peak District by booking a lesson or session with the qualified instructors from Lost Earth Adventures. www.lostearthadventures.co.uk

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Canyoning

Canyoning

If this picture doesn’t make you quiver with fear, then chucking yourself down a raging mountain stream could be right up your street.

Where to do it:

With a 90m multi-pitch abseil to finish, Grey Mares Canyon in Kinlochleven between Glen Coe and Ben Nevis is one of the top canyoning journeys in Britain but there are plenty more on offer at www.thecanyoningcompany.co.uk

Esk Gorge in the Lake District is another classic route with some big (optional) jumps. www.lakedistrictactivities.co.uk

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Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming

Some nutters do it all year round, others to cool off on hot summer hikes. Whenever you choose to swim wild, it’ll always be an experience you never forget.

Where to do it:

Low Water on the way down Coniston Old Man is great on a hot day. Llyn Idwal, nestled in the spectacular amphitheatre of Glyder Fawr and Y Garn, has a stony little beach at grid ref SH644598. And a visit to Scotland’s Grey Mare’s Tail makes a glorious stop on the long journey along the M74.

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Zip-Lining

Zip-Lining

Feel the need for speed and have a head for heights? If the answer to that question is yes, then zip-lining is a head rush like no other…

Where to do it:

The zip-lining mecca for mountain-loving thrill-seekers has to be north Wales’ Zip World. It has several locations (including the new Tower location in South Wales) but the headline attraction is Velocity 2 at Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, just outside the Snowdonia National Park. It’s supposed to be the fastest zip-line in the world, firing you through the air at over 100mph! www.zipworld.co.uk

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Mountain Pony Trekking

Mountain Pony Trekking

Probably something you’d normally associate with the American Wild West, trekking on horseback through mountains is becoming popular closer to home.

Where to do it:

Snowdonia Riding Stables offer half or full-day mountain rides (depending on experience) in the foothills of Snowdon from £60/pp. www.snowdoniaridingstables.co.uk

Grange Trekking in the Brecon Beacons can cater for half- or full-day rides in the Black Mountains from £35pp, with accommodation available. www.grangetrekking-wales.co.uk

Highlands Unbridled provide exciting multi-day mountain itineraries in the Cairngorms, The Great Glen, the Wild West Highlands, or even a coast-to-coast route. www.highlandsunbridled.com

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Mountain biking

Mountain biking

Whether you’re after an adrenaline-filled afternoon or a multi-day bikepacking adventure, taking a mountain bike into the hills will transform your trip.

Where to do it:

Any of the awesome 7Stanes in the Scottish Borders

Whinlatter Forest, Lake District www.forestryengland.uk/whinlatter-forest/cycling-and-mountain-biking-trails-whinlatter

Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia www.beicsbrenin.co.uk/trails

Gisburn, Forest of Bowland www.gisburnbiketrails.com

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Survival Skills

Survival Skills

Essential in life-threatening wilderness situations and useful to impress mates on camping trips, it never hurts to brush up on your survival and bushcraft techniques.

Where to do it:

Wild Human - Offering bushcraft courses of various lengths in the woodlands of the Lake District. www.wildhuman.com

Bear Grylls Survival ACADEMY - An intense two-day crash course in Bear’s extreme survival techniques while traversing the high mountains of north Wales. www.beargryllssurvivalacademy.com

Woodland Ways - Offering bushcraft and survival skills in various locations across the UK and abroad, including once-in-a-lifetime Canoe and Camp Craft Expeditions in Sweden and with Masai Warriors in Kenya! www.woodland-ways.co.uk

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Paragliding

Paragliding

All the views and most of the excitement of a standard parachute trip, with the added bonus that you don’t have to set foot in a plane. Never mind jump out of one!

Where to do it:

There are paragliding companies operating in or near most of the UK’s mountain areas. Air Ventures offers paragliding experiences over the rolling green fells of the Lake District, but if you want a real eagle’s-eye view of some of the UK’s most mountainous peaks, Beyond Extreme is based in the Highlands and can provide takes-offs from the Nevis range, giving you a whole new appreciation of Scotland’s greatest peak. www.beyondextreme.co.uk

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