The snow has gone and those trim thighs have had their season’s beating. Well, whip ‘em back out and go find the melted stuff. A little strapped for cash after some mountain bashing? Fear not, the UK’s set for lakes, coastlines, indoor surf domes and even your back garden, providing there’s enough tarpauling and Fairy liquid!
5. Indoor Surf Dome, Bedford
Not quite as cheap as grabbing a board and heading for the nearest wave, but when you consider parking charges around Cornwall, you might as well fork out £35 (peak) for a Flowboard session at Bedford’s indoor surf dome.
Where: Milton Earnest, Bedfordshire
Why: British weather is always hit and miss, so leave the rain and blistering gales outside. There’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn to chase the perfect wave, fight seagulls for the perfect spot, or travel to the ends of the country to be a true adventurer. So hang up those neoprene booties, ‘cause you won’t need them indoors. Not adventurous enough you say? Try finding FlowHouse by Satnav.
4. Coasteering in Wales
Just a casual, yet scary, blend of rock-climbing beneath steep imposing cliffs, exploring ‘secret’ caves, a little bit of cliff-jumping and a sprinkling of adrenaline. Whip those arms into shape and discover nature in a way no walker can.
Where: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Why: What better way to test your inner strength, all the while checking out nature unseen by the local dog-walker? Visitwales.com coolly advertises this adrenaline rush as ‘extreme rockpooling’. Oh, well then, best get on it.
3. Wakeboarding on Lake Windermere
Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre is home to an extensive range of sports where water is a necessary requirement. You reckon being hauled along by a powerboat strapped to a fiberglass board sounds like absolute lunacy? Then it’s for you.
Where: Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre, Cumbria
Why: Of course, there’s always the option of finding your own powerboat, board and calm waters in the Mediterranean… but who wants that?! So take in the absolutely stunning views around the 14.73 km2 lake, whilst nonchalantly bumping across the water at 10mph.
2. Skimboarding on the sultry sands of Margate
A brilliant bruise-inducing alternative to body boarding. Wax is a must, as you throw down, jump on, and hope for the best as you skim along ankle-deep water. Skimboarding, maintaining the same principles as surfing, gets you from one end of the beach to the other, unless you start crouching, twisting, and turning those straight lines into 180s, 360s and ollies.
Where: Margate Sands, Kent
Why: A somewhat tamer experience to surfing. When the tide goes out you’re left with the perfect opportunity to skim along a tidal flat like a serene swan… or a bumbling Bambi…
1. The perfect surf
Fancy yourself as a Kelly Slater or a novice? Steer-clear of the bustling Fistral beach, which has a name for itself as an attraction for holidaymakers and pesky stag and hen dos. Instead, travel on down to South East Kent and catch a wave at Joss Bay. It’s far less flashy and holds something more unique and organic than its competitors across the country.
Where: Joss Bay, Kent
Why: Joss Bay Surf School Director and Head Coach, Dave Melmouth, boasts that Joss Bay’s geographical location is the key to its success: “Our swell is born from winds deep in the North Sea which propagates around the headland and slams straight into the bay making the waves powerful and well-formed for surfing.”