22 Bucket List Adventures in the UK for 2022
Want to make 2022 your year of adventure? Then Great Britain is the destination for you! We’ve put together the best bucket list adventures in the UK to help you make the most of this spectacular nation’s varied landscapes and epic natural playgrounds…
- Climb the UK’s Highest Peaks
- Tackle a Long Distance Trail Run
- Walk the South West Coast Path
- Give Coasteering a Go!
- Mountain Biking in the Scottish Highlands
- Take on the World’s Fastest Zip Line…
- …and the UK’s Highest Freefall Abseil
- Try a Via Ferrata in the Lake District
- Learn Orienteering
- Learn to Surf
- Walk the Offa’s Dyke Path
- Spend a Night Wild Camping
- Take the Whole Family on an Adventure
- Road Trip the Causeway Coast
- Enjoy the Simple Life with a Wild Wellness Weekend
- Learn Some Bushcraft Skills
- Scottish Islands Road Trip
- Try Your Hand at Canyoning
- Hike the Pennine Way
- Take on the 14 Peaks Challenge in Wales
- Yorkshire Three Peaks
- Travel from Lands’ End to John O’Groats
1. Climb the UK’s Highest Peaks
One of the top British bucket list adventures is to climb the highest peaks in every country of the UK. The tallest overall is Ben Nevis in Scotland, 1345m high. In Wales, the highest peak is Snowdon at 1085m – our personal favourite and one that features on many of our adventure tours!
Over in England, you have the Lake District’s Scafell Pike at 978m, while in Northern Ireland the tallest mountain is Sliabh Dónairt (Slieve Donard) at 850m.
2. Tackle a Long-Distance Trail Run
Trail running is becoming increasingly popular in the UK – it’s the perfect adventure for anyone who loves running outdoors amidst nature.
Looking for a bigger challenge this year? Come and take on the Trans Wales Trail Run with us! This is one of our brand-new tours for 2022: an epic guided trail running holiday across the heart of mid Wales. Starting from the English border at Knighton, this 55-mile journey takes you across the Cambrian mountains to Aberystwyth on the stunning west coast.
3. Walk the South West Coast Path
Britain’s long distance walking paths are perfect additions for your UK adventure bucket list. And one of the most popular (and most impressive) is the South West Coast Path in England.
This enormous trail stretches for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Tackle the rugged northern coasts of Cornwall and Devon, dotted with ancient castles and historic tin mines, explore picturesque fishing villages and gorgeous white-sand beaches on the south coast, and marvel at iconic geological sights of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.
4. Give Coasteering a Go!
If you haven’t tried it already, coasteering is a MUST for your UK bucket list! Turn the British coast into your very own playground as you climb cliffs, scramble over rocks and through hidden caves, and leap into the sea from heart-thumping heights.
There are great places to try coasteering all over Britain, from the Jurassic Coast in southern England to the north-western coast of Scotland. But our favourite spot is the Isle of Anglesey – one of the most popular activities on our epic Adventure North Wales tour.
5. Mountain Biking in the Scottish Highlands
If you’re into mountain biking, you can find incredible destinations all over the UK. But the Nevis Range in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is the home of the UCI Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup, so it’s a pretty bucket list destination for bikers.
6. Take on the World’s Fastest Zip Line…
Did you know that the world’s fastest zip line is right here in the UK? Penrhyn Slate Quarry in North Wales is home to Zip World Velocity 2, the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. Now a vast blue lagoon, this historic quarry is a spectacular setting for adventure. There’s nothing quite like shooting across it at speeds of over 160kph!
7. …and the UK’s Highest Freefall Abseil
Another bucket list thrill in the UK is the country’s highest freefall abseil. Surprisingly enough, you’ll find this adventure in London – it’s the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Abseil down the UK’s tallest sculpture, from a height of 262ft, for some incredible London views – and a pretty massive rush of adrenalin.
8. Try a Via Ferrata in the Lake District
No UK adventure bucket list would be complete without a visit to the Lake District. Known for its stunning landscapes and scenic hiking trails, the Lake District is England’s adventure capital. It’s also one of the only places in the UK where you can try a Via Ferrata.
A Via Ferrata or ‘Iron Road’ is a protected climbing route where you’re attached by a harness to a permanently fixed cable, so you don’t need any climbing experience to try it.
9. Learn Orienteering
Make 2022 the year you learn a few new skills! Orienteering is a fun outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body.
All you have to do is navigate between checkpoints or controls marked on a special orienteering map. If you want to learn more, contact your local club, or read this Newcomers Guide from British Orienteering. They also have route maps for courses all over the UK, so download a few and see how quickly you can complete the course.
10. Learn to surf
Another fun new adventure skill to learn this year is surfing. There are loads of great places in the UK for surfing, so if that’s on your bucket list for 2022 you should be able to find some classes.
Spots nearer the south of the country tend to be better for beginners, like Cornwall, Devon, and South Wales. For an immersive introduction to the sport, you can’t beat a surfing holiday like our 4-Day Surf and Yoga Retreat, brand new this year.
11. Walk the Offa’s Dyke Path
This year, Adventure Tours UK Founders Claire and Jim walked the Offa’s Dyke Path as research for a tour we were putting together. Having seen first-hand how amazing it is, we think this incredible trail deserves a spot on any UK bucket list!
The Path is a 177-mile (285km) walking trail which follows Britain’s longest ancient monument – an 8th century dyke constructed by King Offa of Mercia. The route passes through eight counties and two of Wales’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the Wye Valley and Clwydian Range), often taking you through parts of the country that are seldom seen by tourists.
12. Spend a Night Wild Camping
Fancy immersing yourself in nature? Add wild camping to your bucket list adventures!
Wild camping simply means setting up camp outside of a campsite or caravan park. That means you’ll be sleeping in the wilderness, without facilities like running water and toilets. It requires a bit more prep and planning than camping on a campsite, but offers a much greater sense of adventure.
Remember that wild camping isn’t legal everywhere in the UK, and you may need to get the landowner’s permission. Do your research carefully, and be sure to leave no trace behind when you move on.
13. Take the Whole Family on an Adventure
Multigenerational adventure travel is growing in popularity, with more and more families seeking out experiences and challenges together in place of the more traditional package holidays.
Our brand-new Family Adventure North Wales is an action-packed 8-day tour aimed at families with children over 14 years. Spend quality time together and bond over shared experiences like kayaking, mountain hiking, and coasteering. Perfect if you want a family holiday with a difference in 2022.
14. Road Trip the Causeway Coast
The iconic Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland makes its way onto almost every UK bucket list. If you’re searching for bucket list adventure in 2022, a road trip along the whole Causeway Coast is ideal!
From the dizzying heights of the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, to water sports along the striking coastline, the Causeway Coast is the perfect setting for adventure.
15. Enjoy the Simple Life with a Wild Wellness Weekend
Our Wild Wellness Retreats in the picturesque Dee Valley area of North Wales are the ultimate escape for anyone needing to reconnect with nature. Spend a few nights glamping on a tranquil site in the rolling hills, with campfires, storytelling, and wholesome local food. It’s a gentler kind of adventure, but an adventure nonetheless; with outdoor yoga classes, foraging, and paddleboarding.
16. Learn Some Bushcraft Skills
Another fun new skill to learn in 2022 could be the art of bushcraft.
Bushcraft is a term relating to outdoor skills that would help you survive in a natural environment. Things like finding and using wild food (foraging), making fires and building shelters. As well as being fairly useful skills if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, it’s also a fun way to connect with nature and spend some time outdoors – which is why we include bushcraft on our Discovery North Wales tours.
17. Scottish Islands Road Trip
Island hopping on Scotland’s West Coast is on many a UK bucket list. And just like the Causeway Coast we mentioned earlier, it’s the perfect setting for adventure – as Claire and Sarah discovered last summer on their “reccie” trip to scout locations for our brand new Self-Drive Highlands and Islands adventure.
18. Try Your Hand at Canyoning
Have you ever heard of canyoning? Similar to coasteering, canyoning uses a variety of techniques – like hiking, climbing, swimming, abseiling, and waterfall jumping – to traverse a canyon or gorge via a river. It’s one of our favourite activities, featured on our Adventure North Wales trip and many of our tailor-made adventure tours, it’s such a fun way to get out of your comfort zone!
19. Hike the Pennine Way
Walk the “backbone of England”, following The Pennine Way from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. This was Britain’s first National Trail and is one of the most famous long-distance walks in the UK. The trail runs for 268 miles from Edale in the Peak District, through the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park, to end at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.
20. Take on the 14 Peaks Challenge in Wales
One of our favourite challenges in Britain is the 14 Peaks Challenge, aka the Welsh 3000s. Often taken on in under 24 hours, the challenge is to reach the summit of the 14 highest peaks in Snowdonia National Park, including the tallest and most famous mountain in Wales – Snowdon itself.
Find out more in our guide to the Welsh 3000s, or take a look at our 14 Peaks Experience for a guided version of the challenge taken over three days instead of one!
21. Yorkshire Three Peaks
If you’re not quite ready to take on 14 mountains, head up north for the Yorkshire Three Peaks! This involves taking on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in that order, and usually in less than 12 hours.
22. Travel from Lands’ End to John O’Groats
Hike, bike, road trip, hitch-hike, rollerblade… however you do it, the journey across England and Scotland from Lands’ End to John O’Groats is a serious achievement. This vast overland journey deserves a place on any UK bucket list as it’ll take you right across the nation. There’s no official route, so you can plan a trip that suits you – calling at some of the most spectacular sights in the country as you go.
We’re looking forward to making 2022 really count and can’t wait to try a few more of these exciting challenges around the country! Will you be adding any of these to your UK bucket list?