Bite-Sized UK Adventures for the Jubilee Bank Holiday

From campervanning in England’s last wild corner to setting sail in search of secluded swim spots and sandy stretches, we’ve hunted down the UK’s best bite-sized adventures in time for the long weekend.

Have you brought your two-man tent down from the attic yet? With the bank holiday just around the corner, we're planning where we're going for the long weekend. Maps out, knapsacks packed, sat nav set for… somewhere new. There's nothing like four stretching summer days to entice us out into Britain's diverse landscapes in search of a little adventure - even if that means braving a night under canvas.

This year, while some might be planning to scale Ben Nevis or follow in the footsteps of the great explorers of the past, our idea of an expedition is shaping up to be a little more achievable. A sense of discovery doesn't require sky-scraping peaks or treacherous pathways; the breathless excitement of the unknown can still shimmer when you're setting off on a journey in your own backyard. These seven bite-sized adventure ideas across the UK give you the chance to succumb to a little Swallows and Amazons nostalgia without needing to raid the Snow Peak store for survival supplies. Bucket hats on and boots laced, we're all going on a bank holiday adventure.

Easy exploits: seven small-scale UK adventures for cub explorers

A beach bbq in Dorset's Studland Bay with Fore Adventure

Foraging and feasting on the Dorset coast

The creeks, coves and hidden beaches of the Dorset coastline make up England's most unlikely natural larder. No, really, we're serious. Paddle your way into the hard-to-reach chalk clefts, rock stacks and sandy corners of the beautiful Studland Bay area and you can find enough pre-seasoned fresh produce to plate up a small seafood platter. Just ask the adventurous duo behind Fore Adventure - or join them on a coastal jolly by kayak. You'll be fishing for mackerel and jumping ashore in untouched bays to scour below Dorset's dramatic cliff lines and shingle beaches for sea purslane, sea aster and rock samphire. After catching crabs and digging out cockles, it's back to camp for a cook-up over flames, using all the produce you've harvested to whip up a veritable banquet of a beach feast.

What it costs: From £140pp

A campervanning adventure into Northumberland

Tootle across Northumberland by road

Ditch the crowded campsites and jammed-up beach roads of the south coast and head north-east instead. Rugged Northumberland, with its windswept sandy shores, craggy headlands and rambunctious wilderness, is a prime location for pitching up in your campervan and kicking back. Hire a sleek set of wheels from Northumberland250 (the tent is up top), then plot your course along the county's dramatic coastal curves. Wild With Consent pairs seclusion-seeking campers with off-grid locations, allowing you to legally park up and bed down in some of the region's wildest corners. They promise you'll be the only campers in sight, meaning you'll have the county's ancient forests and rugged hilltops all to yourself.

What it costs: A three-day rental of a Land Rover Defender costs from £499. Wild With Consent pitch sites start at £25 a night.

A red-sailed Norfolk Lugger sets out across the waves

Sailing away in Norfolk

Set sail across the glossy waters of Holkham Bay under the red sail of a traditional Norfolk lugger for a day-long Swallows and Amazons-style adventure on England's eastern reaches. There's no need to concern yourself with mainsheets and mast rigging - helming help from rugged sea captains is all part and parcel of the experience provided by Coastal Expeditions, ensuring you keep your port and starboard the right way round. Harness the county's blustery winds to explore Scolt Head, a sand dune-fringed slice of land overlooking the Norfolk coastline. You can expect stops for wild swimming and a chance to forage for tasty additions to your picnic hamper of Norfolk produce. After that, it's time to indulge in a beach lunch of sourdough sandwiches, local cheese and homemade pies. Make a weekend of it by warming up post-sail at The Brisley Bell, a cosy, six-key pub with rooms located a 30-minute drive from the coast.

What it costs: From £125pp, including breakfast and lunch

Take a spiritual stroll to Canterbury cathedral, in Kent

A spiritual stroll through Kent

The humble act of pilgrimage has been enjoying something of a renaissance in the last few years - and devotion to a deity is no longer a prerequisite for tracing the ancient pathways that criss-cross the UK. Lace up your hiking boots to get started on a scenic trail through the "Garden of England" on the North Downs Pilgrims' Way. The 246km journey has taken ecclesiastial enthusiasts from Winchester to Canterbury since time immemorial, but we don't think the powers that be will mind if you cut down on the distances and start your travels from Chilham, instead. Following the Great Stour River, you'll pass through the butterfly-filled Church Woods in Blean and the county's winelands, en route to Canterbury Cathedral. There are sharp-suited stays aplenty dotted along the route (our pick is The Duke William in Ickham), plus enough pubs to turn this into an act of worship in the name of the county's hop harvest.

What it costs: Nothing. Simply pick your route using britishpilgrimage.org and set off…

The Two Pines treehouse in Northampton

Hide out in a treehouse

Treehouses are havens of nostalgia; a canopy-top escape to our childhoods. So what better way to spend our bank holiday break than clambering up a ladder into an arboreal abode beneath hazy summer skies? Shrouded by the pale branches and verdant leaves of birches in a 36-hectare former Second World War airfield-turned-nature reserve in Northamptonshire, Two Pines is our preferred option for a treetop stay. Turn your phone to airplane mode (this is an airfield, after all) and settle into your leafy surroundings. Merging sympathetically into the woodland around it, this sleekly designed, metal-clad cabin pairs cool countryside interiors with easy outdoor living: think distressed wood furnishings, a copper bathtub on the terrace, a wood-fired pizza oven for al fresco dining and a forest's-worth of adventure on offer beneath the wooden staircase. Immerse yourself in the natural world with a guided ecology walk around the site, then curl up beside the wood-burning stove, ears pricked for owl hoots.

What it costs: From £195 a night

A bell tent at Home Farm in Herefordshire

A farmstay in Hertfordshire

Adventure doesn't have to be uncomfortable (or that's what we're telling ourselves). Just a 5km drive from the northern end of the Jubilee tube line is the pastoral paradise of Hertfordshire's Home Farm - a working agricultural idyll plucked straight from the bucolic backdrop of a children's book. On arrival at this 60-hectare utopia in Elstree, you'll be led to your weekend stay, trundling through the sea of lazily waving grassland that conceals the farm's cluster of sweetly furnished yurts and bell tents. Home Farm had been in the ownership of the Gibbs family for over 400 years when Jess Allen-Back returned home and opened up the arable lands to visitors. Now it's a grown-up rendition of a summer camp, with woodlands to explore, croquet to play, art workshops to attend, morning yoga classes under canvas to take part in and a wellness retreat ready to whisk you to paradise via a range of pampering packages. Make use of the tent barbecues to rustle up an al fresco dinner (there are communal fridges to hand), then snuggle down by your personal fire pit for sundowners and marshmallow toasting under celestial skies.

What it costs: From £125 a night in a bell tent

Bouldering adventures at Stone Farm Rocks in West Sussex

Bouldering, a stone’s throw from Brighton

Bored of panic peddling at spin class to close your rings? Us, too, which is why we've been raving about outdoor bouldering since day dot. Forget chalky fingers and long queues at your local wall: we're packing our climbing shoes and heading out to Stone Farm Rocks in West Sussex to scale the sandstone crags just south of East Grinstead. Under the care of the British Mountaineering Council, these tumbling geological formations - of up to 8m in height - provide assorted easy-climbing routes for a weekend workout. It's just a 40-minute drive from Brighton, too, so, post-boulder, you can bed down in a room above buzzy The Ginger Pig pub. Come morning, treat tired triceps with a cool dip in the sea - all 11 rooms at the Hove hotel provide guests with beach bags filled with towels and mats.

What it costs: Petrol prices, and nothing else

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