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10 Fun Outdoor Activities To Try This Summer

Published 26th July 2021
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The sun’s out, the sky’s blissfully blue, and you’re… stuck inside and incredibly bored? Slide off the sofa and get active this season with our top ten activities that you simply need to try while the weather’s on your side! 

From peacefully paddleboarding around your local lake to giving yourself a full-body workout while rock climbing, we take a look at how you can get involved in these exciting outdoor and on-the-water activities, while also helping you to source all the equipment you’ll need for each activity. We even check out how you can make these top ten summer activities family-friendly, so you’ll have a fun variety of staycation and summer holiday activities for everyone to get stuck into.

For the keen sightseers | Cycling

family clycling

Undisputedly, one of the best parts of cycling in summer is the views! Ideal for anyone who wants to cover a generous distance with ease or take in some incredible views, investing in a bike might be the best decision you make this season. Plus, bikes come in all kinds of designs, shapes, and sizes to ensure they can handle a range of different terrains such as mountains, roads, and BMX tracks, while also being able to accommodate riders of practically all ages.

However, if you want a bike that can handle both mountainous terrain and smooth roads with ease, then we recommend opting for a hybrid bike. The Barracuda Hydrus Men’s 700c 21-Speed Hybrid Bike, for example, is available in two different frame sizes and gives you the option of 21 speeds to best suit your environment. Finished with an integrated headset and Promax mechanical disc brakes, you’ll have complete control of your cycling activities - no matter where you choose to ride this adventure-ready model.

For particularly little passengers or pups, we suggest delving into our extensive online category of bike accessories which is positively packed with practical, family-friendly products including child seats and trailers. Bike trailers are especially useful for safely carrying tuckered out kids and pets home when they’ve had their fill of exciting exploring for the day.

Want to improve your fitness before heading off on an outdoor adventure? Browse our extensive selection of home exercise machines, featuring treadmills, rowing machines and, of course, stationary exercise bikes, to find everything you need to get your stamina up to speed! With a variety of affordable, foldable and miniature options available, no matter your space or budget, you’re sure to find the perfect exercise machine for you.

For the dedicated gym-goers | Climbing

rock climber

If you’re searching for a summer activity that will also give you a workout to remember, then why not try outdoor climbing? Designed to improve your coordination, muscle strength, and flexibility, rock climbing is also wonderfully low impact. Unlike running and contact sports such as football and rugby, this low-impact activity puts less stress on your joints and muscles thereby reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury - ideal if you’ve recently recovered from an injury and are looking for a gentle introduction back into your active lifestyle.

Not to mention, by partaking in outdoor rock climbing, you’ll be able to visit numerous stunning locations in an attempt to find the best (and most picturesque!) rock climbing spots. If you’re new to the activity, then it’s a good idea to check out this fantastic blog detailing nine incredible rock climbing spots across the UK. Boasting a variety of locations and climbing trails that are suitable for beginners, intermediate climbers, and experts alike, outdoor climbing is suitable for kids and adults - with the right supervision.

When it comes to climbing equipment, there’s a wide range of climbing accessories and necessities that need to be purchased before you can safely scale ledges. This includes that all-important climbing rope, carabiners, chalk, harnesses, and of course, essential protective devices and gear. Alternatively, beginners (and those with children) could also benefit from enlisting the expert help of an outdoor rock climbing company. This will give you an opportunity to try out their equipment, while also benefiting from their instruction, guidance, and coaching to help you decide if this outdoor activity is the one for you.

For those who want to reconnect with nature | Camping

tent in front of sunset

Do you feel stuck in the urban jungle of apartments and coffee shops? Escape from the mundane home comforts of modern society and embrace your wild side by choosing camping above boutique B&Bs. This outdoor activity requires very little know-how and can be as off-grid as you like. Regardless of whether you want to go au naturel and stay at a camping site with minimal (or no!) facilities or pitch up your tent at a beloved tourist destination, camping provides you with ultimate freedom.

Camping at this warm and pleasant time of the year also makes it one of the most popular summer holiday activities as it encourages kids to learn new skills, experience the thrills of nature, and build their confidence. To make your camping trip even more unforgettable, we suggest investing in some quality camping furniture - just like this practical and convenient Lightweight Adjustable Aluminium Folding Outdoor Table

The perfect place to eat family meals and play entertaining board games by the light of the campfire, this portable camping table takes up minimal storage space and is sure to become an important hub that everyone can use to socialise, eat, and rest. If you’d prefer an adult-only camping trip outdoors, then you might be interested in our impressive ranges of knives, tools, and survival gear that’s a fantastic fit for any outdoorsman that desires the simplicity of a natural camping staycation this summer.

For the avid explorers | Hiking

person hiking

To take your camping experience that one step further, you can’t go wrong with hiking. A great way to explore stunnings areas and peaceful locations off the beaten path, hiking could be your ticket to a more adventurous and active summer this year. Regardless of whether you decide to take the kids with you or not, hiking trails are dotted all around the UK and come in a variety of different difficulty levels. As a result, there’s sure to be a hike that’s suitable for every outdoor enthusiast - no matter their age or physical fitness level.

From manageable three-mile hikes to more demanding expeditions that are made up of hundreds of miles and can take over a week to accomplish, these outdoor hikes are a brilliant way to soak up magnificent views, take in some fresh air, and switch off from the hustle and bustle of modern life for a while. Hikes can be as adventurous and challenging or relaxing and peaceful as you want, making them suitable for bonding stag dos as well as solo outdoor expeditions.

When it comes to hiking, it really does pay to be prepared, which is why we’ve amassed an incredible online collection of hiking gear that includes a generous range of practical bags and packs. Indeed, you can find everything from hydration packs that are perfect for keeping you cool on summer days, to handy waistpacks, and traditional hiking backpacks right here. Lightweight, versatile, and incredibly comfortable, your next hiking adventure will be a cinch with one of these hiking essentials by your side.

For the whimsical water-lovers | Kayaking

kayaking on river

Just like rock climbing, kayaking is another low-impact outdoor activity that gets your muscles working without putting too much unnecessary strain on your joints. Depending on the location, you can also choose to tackle exciting rapids in your kayak or simply enjoy being outdoors by paddling across peaceful lakes with your water-loving pooch.

If you’re a beginner looking to purchase their very own kayak, then we recommend taking a more detailed look at this attractive Intex Inflatable Kayak K2 Challenger. Fit for a couple of pals or lovers, this inflatable kayak can handle both lakes and mild rivers, allowing you to visit new places and take in breathtaking views and sunsets while on the water. Complete with a pair of paddles, an air pump, a handy repair patch, and a practical travel bag, you’ll love spending the day in this brightly-coloured kayak.

Not to mention, being on or even near the water can even help to reduce stress and anxiety, boost overall well-being and happiness, and even lower heart and breathing rates to more calming levels. So, if you need a way to relax but still want to be active and on the water, then kayaking is one of the best fun outdoor activities you could choose. Plus, you could always bring your faithful canine companion with you for extra stress-relief!

For family-friendly outings on the water | Boating

people on rowing boat

Is there anything more relaxing than a day on the water? We don’t think so - and what better way to spend the summer holidays than by treating the kids to a boating adventure? From traditional rowing boats and canoes to convenient inflatable boats and oars, we have a huge range of boating options and accessories that’ll allow your family to spend many a delightful day floating around outdoors. Plus, as mentioned above, any on-the-water activity will also lower your stress levels, so taking your excitable kids with you won’t feel quite so daunting!

With all kinds of public waterways including lakes and rivers to explore, a boat is the perfect vessel for adventure and is sure to get the little ones excited and raring to go! Regardless of whether you want to pretend you’re going on an exciting pirate cruise or a trip to a whole new world, a boat is the perfect way to get your kid’s imagination going and tempt them to leave the house during those long summer holidays.

Indeed, boating doesn’t have to mean expensive yachts and confusing sailboats, it can be as simple as inflating your vessel and lowering it into the nearest lake. However, it’s important to be aware of UK boating rules before you set sail and to ensure any passengers (and kids in particular) are equipped with life jackets for their safety while on the water. For more information about where you can boat and what you need to do it all safely and above board, check out the Canal & River Trust website!

For the solo adventurers | Paddleboarding

riding wave on paddle board

Another outdoor water-based activity, paddleboarding is a more peaceful variation of adrenaline-pumping surfing. However, instead of tackling ferocious ocean waves, you can use a paddleboard on placid lakes and other calm bodies of water to explore your surroundings and help yourself to relax. There are also lots of paddleboarding kits that are fit for beginners, so getting started is no hard task either!

Indeed, one of our most popular paddleboarding picks is this DJ Sports SUP Paddle Board that features an inflatable paddleboard constructed from high-quality marine-grade materials and comes complete with a durable oar, handy carrying case, and hand pump and repair kit for any punctures. Available in red, blue, and black, this sleek paddleboard set is the perfect gift for solo explorers that want to get out on the water.

More than just entertaining and a great way to spend a sunny Saturday, paddleboarding can also do wonders for your physical health by improving your strength, balance, and even your endurance. So, if you’re a fitness enthusiast who wants to combine improving their physical fitness with fun, then paddleboarding is the perfect outdoor activity for you to try out this summer.

For the wildlife fanatics | Fishing

man fly fishing in river

Do you have a passion for wildlife? This next outdoor activity is a beloved pastime by many outdoorsmen that want to explore aquatic creatures in their natural habitat. That’s right, fishing! This popular hobby is not only relaxing, but also delves into the depths of the UK’s waterways to discover the many species of fascinating fish below.

Luckily, we feature a wide and varied range of fishing accessories including the rods, reels, fishing tackles, lines, and lures that you’ll need to ensure your weekend of fishing goes swimmingly! However, fishing is certainly not one of the most physically active outdoor activities on our top ten list, so if you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping hobby this summer, this peaceful pastime probably isn’t for you.

Many people find fishing to have therapeutic benefits such as lowering anxiety, reducing stress, and even treating a variety of mental health conditions including post traumatic stress disorder. Not to mention, fishing also gives the individual an opportunity to develop new skills which in turn can help to build confidence, leaving the participant feeling more capable, confident, and in control.

For the adrenaline seekers | Skateboarding

person crouched down skateboarding on road

For an outdoor activity that’s a little more active than fishing, why not turn to skateboarding? No longer an activity that’s reserved solely for teenagers, skateboarding is another way to improve your balancing skills and give yourself an effective workout - all while having fun! With a wide variety of tricks and skateboarding skills to master, you could spend many summers fine-tuning your kickflip! 

If you’re searching for a cool and classic beginners board that’ll keep you cruising along smoothly, then you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous Land Surfer Cruiser Skateboard 22" Ice Blue Board. Featuring a thick PU non-slip deck, ABEC-7 bearings, and responsive control, this skateboard is easy to control, quietly glides along the floor, and gives the rider a stable deck to practice a range of tricks on.

Now that you've got the essential board, you may also want to check out our range of protective gear (especially if you have a little one that wants to learn, too!) as it’s chock-full with durable helmets as well as wrist, elbow, and knee pads to prevent injuries as you learn. Once you become more competent on your skateboard, we recommend taking a look at our collection of skateboarding ramps, rails, and jumps that’ll introduce more excitement to your skating schedule.

For the strong swimmers | Swimming

person swimming in sea

If you’re yearning for more freedom than swimming in the indoor leisure centre can offer you, then why not do it outdoors? While the icy chill of the natural water may be initially shocking, this process of acclimatising to the cold water can actually reduce the risk of heart attacks! Plus, open water swimming has many more health benefits including promoting weight loss and even alleviating bad moods.

Luckily, we’ve got all kinds of open water swimming necessities to make taking the plunge a pleasure! From brightly-coloured swimming caps that ensure you’re always easy to pick out in a crowd, to protective goggles and nose clips, we have all your open water swimming requirements covered. To help keep any little ones afloat, we also have armbands, floats, and kickboards to suit a wide age range.

If you do decide to bring your curious kids with you, then it’s worth finding an outdoor swimming spot with minimal to no currents, a shallow end, and a location that’s also close to the car park - in case they suddenly want to head home! To find your nearest open water swimming venue and discover even more information about this fun outdoor activity, we suggest checking out swimming.org!

How to prepare for any outdoor activity

items on pebble beach

While the correct attire will vary depending on the type of outdoor activity you’re trying out, there are a few essentials that we recommend taking with you regardless of which summer activity has caught your interest. First and foremost, stock up on sunscreen! As with any outdoor activity, protective sunscreen can help to fend off the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays to prevent your day from being spoiled by painful and unsightly sunburn.

If it's particularly warm or you’re worried about catching the sun on your scalp or forehead, then it’s a good idea to invest in a sun hat. The most effective sun hats boast a generous brim and are made from UV-resistant fabrics for extra protection during those sweltering summer months. To prevent heat exhaustion, it’s also advisable to snap up a durable water bottle that you can either hold easily, clip onto your backpack, or fit snugly in your bag.

So, regardless of whether you want to dip your toes in water sports or freshen up your fitness routine for summer, our list of the top ten outdoor activities is sure to offer an exciting selection that you won’t be able to resist trying out. Best of all, if your first choice of outdoor activity doesn’t work out, there’s still nine other fantastic options to explore!

The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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