Outdoor Activities in Yorkshire | Great british life
12:09 p.m. January 7, 2022
Hike, dive, snorkel, paddle – dive into our list of wellness activities to make the most of Yorkshire outdoors this year
Stand up paddle
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has a long history originating in Africa but was developed in Hawaii to become what we know today. As a low impact exercise that works your whole body, SUP has become incredibly popular as an effective cardio workout. Take Alfresco Adventures to scenic North Yorkshire locations and choose between an introductory session, SUP yoga or a river adventure.
If the idea of hiking alone is a little intimidating, then why not join a guided group instead? Hardy and Hirst Adventures use their vast experience to create tailor-made treks for groups all over the Yorkshire Dales, providing a personalized map, bag of goodies and pastries along the way.
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Swimming in the forest
Bathing in the forest means thriving in a wooded environment while being fully present and attentive to your environment. Think of it this way, have you ever walked through a forest and noticed how calm you feel? This is because trees naturally give off “essential wood oils” which, when inhaled, have a beneficial impact on our nervous system. You can try it out for yourself or take part in a guided forest swimming session, like the ones organized at the Swinton bivouac near Masham.
Open water swimming
There’s nothing like diving into ice-cold water to feel alive! Benefiting from a wide range of health benefits, open water swimming or “wild swimming,” as it is more commonly known, has grown in popularity over the past two years. It can play a major role in our well-being by improving the quality of sleep, increasing physical fitness and stimulating feelings of happiness. If this is your first time venturing out into open water, it is a good idea to do it with someone with experience. Take a look at The Outdoor Swimming Society for tips and a list of local groups in your area.
You don’t have to run a marathon to get these endorphins working. Whether you are aiming for a PB or just want to move forward, then a Parkrun is for you. Held at various locations across Yorkshire, these free weekly events feature a 5km route that you can walk at your own pace and at your own pace. Held every Saturday morning, these events are a great way to meet new people in a welcoming community setting. Whether you are walking, running, running or even spectating or volunteering, you will find the positive and uplifting atmosphere such a buzz that you will want to keep coming back for more. Some of our favorite places they take place include Fountains Abbey, Nostell Priory, Cusworth Hall, and Castle Howard.
An alpaca experience
Hear us out with this one. Studies show that the presence of animals can have a significant impact on our health and well-being. Petting an animal for a few minutes can dramatically lower a person’s blood pressure, and even just being around them can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. So we can’t imagine anything better than spending a Sunday morning at Yolk Farm in Boroughbridge with these comical creatures. Not only will you be able to be around them, but you’ll learn to greet them, smell their super soft fur, and even rub your nose with them. It is an exhilarating experience that will leave you with a guaranteed smile.
Calm and cocooning
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get a little too intense and you just need to hit the pause button. We are all for taking a little time to recharge our batteries and there is no better way than to be pampered. The Secret Spa at the Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa near Skipton is a secluded sanctuary of bell tents overlooking the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. Sip champagne while taking in the panoramic views outside your private bell tent or hide inside by the cozy log burner.
The Wave Project is a wonderful charity providing life-saving surf therapy to vulnerable young people across the UK. In the spring of 2022, a new site will open at the historic Top Aquarium in Scarborough, offering surfing sessions suitable for young people living with obstacles – whether they are impairments, handicaps or mental health issues. Young people attending surf therapy classes have been shown to come out more confident, which allows them to make new friends and think independently.
Art with heart
With the mission of reconnecting humanity to nature, The Oak Project launched its first artist commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds, hosted at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, by artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison. This open-air structure is made entirely of natural materials and acts as a calm space within nature. Here, the artists ask that the word not be allowed in order to create a space of serene contemplation. The goal is to invite visitors to stop and connect by listening to the natural world. With the mission to bring meaning, beauty and purpose to everyday life.
Have you ever looked up into the night sky, all those little twinkling stars, and realized how insignificant your daily worries are? Sometimes we just need to get out of our head and focus on our senses. With limited eyesight, activity helps focus your brain, making you feel calmer and less confused as you focus on sensing your surroundings. Going for a nighttime walk can be exhilarating, opening up a whole new life both in front of you and inside you. The feeling of wonder at the vast universe helps to give perspective and increases feelings of positivity. If you’re not up to braving the dark on your own, then Adventures for the Soul regularly hosts Starry Sky Experiences where you can join a guided group walk led by a professional instructor.