Gathering up a gaggle of mates can feel like herding cats, but it’s definitely all worth the effort when everyone finally makes it to the countryside together. These are five of my favourite ways to get outdoors and get adventuring with a group.
1. Rent a big cottage
Piling everyone into a big house: guaranteed fun. There are lots of big houses to rent in beautiful pockets of the British countryside sleeping big groups, and once you split the cost of party houses they often work out as cheap as a youth hostel per night. Take lots of food and maps of the local area and you’ve got the perfect base for exploring Britain’s wild places.
2. Go group camping
There’s nothing cosier than camping with your mates. Escape the city of a weekend and set up your own little tent village, spend a marshmallow-fuelled evening cooking on the fire and then wake up in the morning ready to explore the outdoors. Look for campsites that allow groups and have plenty of space (try Cool Camping’s recommendations for large, group-friendly sites), and check noise regulations and whether fires are allowed before you go. Then jazz up your site with fairy lights, lanterns, blankets and pillows.
3. Plan a treasure hunt
Find you inner excited kid with a bit of organised fun. Treasure hunts can be as complicated as your imagination allows and are amazing when done in the woods or in a big garden. You can either nominate a hunt master to make up a series of clues leading to a treasure and then solve them as a group, or split into two teams – each one plans a treasure hunt for the other team using a certain amount of clues, and then both teams race to finish first.
4. Plan a dawn hike
Okay, so your mates might need a bit of convincing for this one, but a dawn hike is a seriously magical way to start the day, and once you’ve watched the sun come up you’ll be back down in the valley with plenty of time for other adventures. Pick an easy hill to climb with a well-marked path – my last dawn hike was up Hay Bluff in Wales, and we chose a moonlit night so that we could see our path to the top. Take head torches, plenty of layers and flasks full of hot chocolate (lace with something stronger if you’re really feeling groggy) and aim to get to the top of the hill just in time for sunrise.
5. Escape for a weekend adventure
Got a time-poor groups of mates with hardly any holiday left? You can still go adventuring, and further than you think. Much Better Adventures and Explorers Connect specialise in quick but adrenaline-fulled trips – climbing Mount Toubkal, a husky safari in Finland or hiking in Slovenia, anyone? Or organise your own short-haul trip – a quick hop over to the Alps means you can get a long weekend of skiing in, four days in the Norwegian fjords is plenty of time for a canoe trip and France’s laid-back Les Pins Sec is the perfect base for three days of surfing.
This post is sponsored by Party Houses.