You don’t need to take an expensive holiday abroad to enjoy an adventure!
A mini-adventure is a short, easy, and cheap adventure that you can have close to home. With a little creativity and imagination, mini-adventures can be fun, challenging, and exhilarating! And you won’t be adding massively to your carbon footprint. What’s not to like?
So, here are 20 brilliant ideas for mini-adventures that you can enjoy solo, with a friend, or with your family.
1. Take a country walk
Leave the hustle and bustle of life behind for a while and take a stroll in the countryside or along the beach.
You can plan and follow a set route, or leave yourself open to exploring.
Take a trip to the coast and go rock-pooling.
Check the tide times before you go, and visit the beach at low tide. Take time to look closely at the micro-worlds that exist within a rockpool; you’ll be astounded at the creatures you’ll discover living there!
To get the best view, lay down on your tunny, and use a snorkel and diver’s mask so that you can see beneath the surface.
Stormy weather and high tides often throw up some fascinating objects onto the beach. Walk the tide line and look for unusual shells, stranded sea creatures, and beautifully sculpted driftwood; there’s plenty to see and discover.
Turn your adventure into an eco-quest by collecting plastic, discarded rubbish, and broken fishing gear that’s been washed up. Take the junk home with you and dispose of it safely to keep the sea safe for wildlife.
4. Picnic by the water
The sight and sound of gently lapping water are proven to be a stress-reliever.
A great way of relaxing is to seek out a peaceful riverside, lake, or beach location and enjoy a picnic there.
5. Go geocaching
If you want to enjoy a genuine, real-time treasure hunt, why not try geocaching?
Geocaches are small “treasures” hidden in secret places by participants for other players to find. Download the Geocache app, enter your postcode, and you’ll see a list of geocaches hidden close by. Check out the clues provided, and the game is afoot!
6. Wild camping
Wild camping can be a brilliant mini adventure, as long as you don’t mind roughing it.
Many rural areas have farmers who permit wild camping on their land, so choose a spot, double-check that it’s okay to camp there, and get back to nature for a day or two.
Alternatively, pitch your tent at dusk and be gone at dawn leaving no trace behind.
7. Go on a canoeing/kayaking camping adventure
If you enjoy camping, take things one step further by packing your kit into dry barrels and renting a canoe or kayak.
Wild camp where possible and explore the area on the water.
8. Camp in your back garden
You don’t have to travel miles to enjoy a night under the stars!
For an adventure that kids love, too, pitch your tent in your back garden, set up your camping stove or light your firepit, leave your phone indoors, and play “Swallows and Amazons” for a night.
9. Take a hike!
There are so many beautiful locations to explore here in the UK that you’ll never be short of ideas for hiking mini-adventures.
Simply Google “Best walks close to …,” and you’ll be amazed how many suggestions pop up right on your doorstep.
Cycle or drive to the location, put on your walking boots, and see what’s waiting to be discovered.
10. Try night hiking
So, the nights are drawing in, and it’s tempting to stay in and watch TV. Instead, invest in a good headlamp and go night hiking.
Exploring at night gives you a brand-new perspective on the countryside, and you’ll probably see some of the wildlife that usually remains hidden during the daytime, too.
11. White-water rafting
For an exciting, exhilarating adventure, why not check out one of the many white-water rafting centres in the UK?
All the gear that you need is provided, and a guide will help pilot your craft for you.
12. Build a den
As kids, most people built a den with their friends during the school holidays.
If you have kids, why not rediscover your lost youth and get together to build a den in your garden?
13. Wild swimming
There are lots of wild swimming locations across the UK, so if you don’t mind chilly water, you may fancy taking a dip somewhere wild.
The scenery at many wild swimming spots is as breath-taking as the water temperature!
Depending on the time of year, nature offers lots of opportunities for foraging.
Springtime brings wild garlic, nettles, and sorrel that you can use to make delicious soups and sauces. Toward summer’s end, you can pick fruits, such as cherries, blackberries, apples, damsons, and plums, that you’ll often find growing wild in hedgerows and long-abandoned orchards.
In the autumn, chestnuts, walnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, and cobnuts are abundant, all of which you can use for cooking and baking.
Sloes are good for spicing gin and vodka, and elderberries can be used to make wine. Field mushrooms are delicious in an omelette, but do be sure that you know what you’re picking, as many fungi are poisonous.
15. Go fishing
Take a guided fishing trip.
You can go sea fishing or river fishing, and even cook your catch over your campfire for tea, setting the scene perfectly for tales of the one that got away!
16. Visit a local farm
These days, many farms have diversified and now offer excellent mini-adventures, such as petting zoos, horse riding, and maize mazes.
You can also buy cream teas, local produce, and even enjoy some home-produced ice cream to round off your day.
17. Rock climbing
If you have a head for heights and you’re reasonably fit, rock climbing can make an exhilarating, challenging mini-adventure.
Check out rock climbing centers where full instruction and equipment hire is available.
18. Gorge walking
Gorge walking is a similar activity to rock climbing, although the activity involves negotiating rugged coastal or mountainous terrain, including plunging into water-filled gorges and pools.
Most outward-bound centers provide full guidance, instruction, and all the equipment that you need to take part in these unforgettable adventures.
19. Bike riding
Getting on your bike is the perfect way to explore your local area, and it’s free, as long as you have your own bike. Alternatively, you can hire mountain bikes or hybrids from most outdoorsy towns that enable you to explore trails and rides through some stunning scenery.
20. Search for local street art
If you live in the city, why not spend an hour or two searching for local street art?
Many cities have their own Banksy, and a stroll around your town can reveal some truly impressive artwork, as well as some stunning architecture that you probably never noticed before.
You don’t need to travel abroad or spend a fortune to enjoy a fun mini-adventure. As you can see from my guide, there’s a whole new world to discover and enjoy right on your own doorstep!
If you have any other mini-adventure ideas, share them with us in the comments below.