Finding UK adventures and having a go at different challenges when you have young children is not just achievable, it’s great fun and a good bonding experience too.
Why I’m not currently adventuring with my kids
Even though I’m the founder and editor of The Smaller Explorer, I’m currently finding it tough to find both the time and energy to plan and do something adventurous with my children. I’ve got a 4 year old and a nearly 2 year old. I reckon if I had *just* got one or the other, it would be a little easier to have some fun exploring and finding an adventure. I’d like to take a cheap flight somewhere in Europe with my oldest and explore the countryside on foot. With my toddler, I could manage some cycle routes and camping somewhere in the UK.
With both, I’ll need the help of my husband. He works long hours, so we’re limited to the weekend and overnight opportunities for UK adventures. Probably the same for most other families out there. There’s also no chance (just yet) of taking a long period of time off to do some serious adventure travelling either overseas.
The other challenge is tiredness. My toddler is not sleeping so well at the moment, so the idea of a big adventure doesn’t really appeal to me (sshh) just now. I’d rather have some down time and sleep in rare moments off.
With all that in mind, I’ve come up with these two mini adventures in the UK:-
4 adventures in 4 months with a 4 year old
I want to promote adventure with purpose, particularly with children, as they are the future after all. Encouraging interest in our outside world and teaching them about the challenges of looking after our planet is just another win as well as spending quality time with your family, and exploring somewhere new.
So after Earth Day on 22 April, which is focusing on plastic pollution, we will be having a go at a new challenge somewhere in the UK, and collecting plastic along the way too.
Month 1 May:- Climbing
Month 2 June:- Kayaking
Either in the Wye Valley, Derwent Water or Studland Bay in Dorset
Month 3 July:-Bothy stay or wild camp
Most bothies are in Scotland, but we’ve found a few in the Lakes and Pennines to check out. If we can’t make it up North, we’ll go for a wild camp somewhere closer to home. (update: we never managed this, so it’s on the list for next year!)
Month 4 August:-Wild swim
Either in the Essex creeks, or Outney, Suffolk (update: we went sailing in Dorset)
2 adventures in 2 months with a 2 year old
The second challenge involves my younger son, who’s a little young to try any of the above, but there is no reason why he can’t have some fun on a cycling and hiking adventure!
Month 1 September:- Cycling
Either in the New Forest or in Sussex
Month 2 October:- Hiking
Either in Ashdown Forest, Sussex or Northumberland
Each month I’ll be blogging and posting what we get up to so watch this space.