Drive the North Coast 500
Scotland’s answer to Route 66, this 500-mile road trip through the Highlands and the northern coast takes you past rugged mountains, secluded beaches and fairy-tale castles. Pictured above: Hadrian's Wall. northcoast500.com
Fantastic locations include Scapa Flow, Scotland – ‘the best wreck diving site in Europe’ – and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Scuba diving is low-impact exercise, though not suitable for those prone to chest pain, light-headedness or breathlessness during exertion. Pictured above: Scapa Flow padi.com
Conquer one of the 15 UK National Trails
These are classic long-distance walking, cycling and horse-riding routes that run through England and Wales, including The English Coast Path, The Pennine Way and Hadrian’s Wall Path. Pictured above: High Cup Nick. nationaltrail.co.uk
Thousands of geocaches – boxes filled with logbooks and little gifts left by previous visitors – are hidden in urban and rural locations around the UK. Find them using co-ordinates listed on websites or geocaching apps. gagb.org.uk
Cruise the waterways
There are more than 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in Britain. The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is 35 miles long and has few locks, so is perfect for beginners. Pictured above Govilion Wharf on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal © Billy Stock / Shutterstock.com. canalrivertrust.org.uk
You don’t need to be young, muscular and willing to brave the rapids to attempt this great way to exercise while out in nature. There are numerous organised kayaking trips around the country on relatively gentle stretches of river, such as parts of the Thames and the Wye, pictured above,and on lakes.
You can improve your health and your cooking by scouring Britain’s woodlands, fields, hills and hedgerows for anything from blackberries and elderflower to sorrel and other herbs. Use reference books and other guides so that you know exactly what you’re picking, and follow sensible guidelines to prevent damaging the environment, such as those at woodlandtrust.org.uk
With good detectors costing as little as around £150, it’s relatively easy and affordable to get out and about in your local area, keeping fit by walking and digging, and maybe uncovering some valuable coins or even some Viking gold. For information on codes of conduct and getting started, visit ncmd.co.uk. Pictured above: metal detecting on Bridlington Beach © Andrew E Gardner / Shutterstock.com.
For our great article on one retiree’s quest to walk around the cost of Britain, little by little, see the October issue of Saga Magazine.
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