Unique Ways To Explore The UK…

The United Kingdom is full of wonderful places and things to see and do, but with 19.1 million Brits travelling abroad in 2021, how many of us have actually explored our own beautiful country? Of course, there’s only so much of the country we can see via car or public transport, so we compiled a list filled with some of the most fun, unique and exciting ways to explore the UK…

1. Pedal power 

The Fietscafe, as it was then known, was a concept in the late 90s by dutch brothers Henk and Zwier Van Laar who developed the idea after over-hearing how a pub owner was tasked with promoting his pub during an upcoming parade. Predominantly used in the Capital and surrounding cities, the party bike is a unique way to sightsee; take in the sights and tourism hotspots while also enjoying a cold beer or two.

Quick Stats:

Location:  London, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Blackpool 

Average duration: 60-80 minutes 

Average Price: Around £10 a day to hire, or from £150 to buy.

Ideal for: Hen and stag parties, birthdays, corporate events

2. Walking with wings

After the first World War, many countries found themselves with an abundance of aircraft they no longer had use for. There were hundreds of trained pilots eager to take to the skies – air shows were common means of entertainment, but Ormer Locklear found a more exciting way to draw in the crowds. During a show, he climbed out from the plane he was flying and onto its wing, or sometimes onto an adjacent plane. Today, wing walking is offered at various airfields across the country, from Kent to Lincoln. Although quite expensive, this experience certainly offers unrivalled views and scenery as well as a major adrenaline rush. 

Quick stats: 

Location: Wiltshire, Lincoln, Kent, Essex, Gloucester

Average duration: Between 8 and 10 minutes 

Average price: £380 – £500 per flight/person

Top speeds: 140mph

Highest altitude: 700-800ft 

Ideal for: Adrenaline junkies, thrill-seekers

3. Ready, set, scoot! 

The debut of Back to the Future in 1985 brought many ideas about how the modern-day world would look, one of the most memorable aspects being Marty McFly’s hoverboard. The idea stems back to the 1950s and was originally coined “the flying platform”. Disappointingly, the futuristic version showcased in the Back To The Future series remains a concept, but self-balancing scooters are the next best thing. These are an ideal option for those wanting a more leisurely way to go sightseeing. However, as the name suggests, users must have good balance, so it may not be one to use after taking a ride on the pedal bar!



Quick stats: 

Location: Hoverboards have been widely available to buy for a while, but there are select locations in Essex, London and Oxford that have them available to hire. 

Average price: Available to rent from £6 a day (dependant on location) or available to buy from £129.

Ideal for: Children, families

4. Punt along the river

Punt boats were largely favourable in the early 1900s for transporting large cargo loads due to their unique flatbed design. They were propelled by 15-16ft poles pushed against the river bed. Before traditional methods of travel – such as cars, rail and buses became widely accessible, a punt was one of the go-to methods to explore UK cities and they have certainly made a comeback. Punting provides a fun and quirky way to explore a city’s must-see landmarks and tourist attractions, allowing you to take in views at a steady pace, and providing time to take plenty of photos and selfies with stunning backdrops. While most tours do offer the opportunity to have a go yourself, companies like Traditional Punting Company have guided tours chauffeured by locals or students who can provide you with interesting facts and anecdotes as you take a leisurely and relaxing trip along the river.

Quick stats: 

Location: Cambridge, Oxford, London 

Average Duration: 50 minutes

Average price: Shared tours start from as little as £10 per person, and private tours for two start from £79.

Ideal for: Couples, families

5. It takes two or more to tandem! 

Initially designed for couples, the tandem was first known as the courting bike. It provided a great way to adventure with others, rather than independently. Riding in tandem also provides quicker pedal speed than the conventional single-user bike. Most commonly, a tandem offers two seats, but some companies offer a larger capacity. The longest tandem to date could seat 35 people and was over 20m in length! The front rider is responsible for the gears, pedalling, steering and general balance of the bike, whilst the rear rider helps to pedal and balance. The tandem is a popular choice for longer distances due to its increased pedal power and ability to handle tougher terrain. 

Quick stats: 

Location: Tandems are available to buy, but are also available for hire across the UK.

Average price: Around £70 to hire for a full day, or from £470 to purchase. 

Ideal for: Families, couples.

6. Tour the Thames in a (hot) tub

What’s more relaxing than a hot tub or River Thames tour? A combination of both! Yes, you can now tour the Thames in your own private hot tub. This amazing idea came from the company Skuna, who brought their hot tub river tours to London in 2017 after successfully conquering other European cities. Each hot tub holds seven guests, so a group of your closest friends can enjoy sailing the waters any time of year in a hot tub heated up to 38 degrees. To make this experience even more fun, guests are allowed alcohol on board. If hot tubs aren’t your thing, Skuna also offers BBQ Boats, so you can have a delicious feast whilst seeing the city from a completely different view. 

Image credit: https://www.skunaboats.com/hot-tub-boat 

Quick Stats:

Location: London, Essex.

Average duration: 75 minutes.

Average price: From £175 for a 75-minute private hire.

Ideal for: Couples, friends, families, hens and stags.

7. Ride the Hogwarts Express

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll be delighted to know that you can actually travel via steam train across the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct that appeared in the film! The Jacobite steam train is a great experience for all, but especially for Potterheads. This journey is described as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world and is made up of an 84-mile round trip showcasing amazing views, landmarks such as Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, and stops at the beautiful villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. Get your chocolate frogs and wands ready for boarding!


Image credit: https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/glenfinnan-p236571 

Quick stats: 

Location: Fort William, Scotland.

Average tour duration: Approximately 6 hours for the day trip.

Average price: £52 based on a standard Adult Day Return ticket. 

Ideal for: Harry Potter fans, families, friends, couples.

8. Explore the countryside with Alpacas

If countryside walks weren’t already appealing enough, you can now trek through the luscious green scenery with Alpacas! Animal lovers, in particular, will love this experience which involves a peaceful walk through the countryside with a friendly Alpaca by your side. Alpacas are calm and gentle creatures, making them the perfect companion for a tranquil walk (plus, they’re cute.) Whilst this experience might not be as thrilling as others, having quiet time does soothe the soul. Some of the Alpaca walking experiences even let you feed them, adding an extra serotonin boost to this already therapeutic activity. 

Quick Stats:

Location: Multiple places across the UK! The Peak District is a great area for this experience. 

Average duration: 45 minutes – 3 hours (depending on location.)

Average price: Around £25 (depending on location.) 

Ideal for: Families, couples.

9. A view from the clouds

Seeing the UK via a vehicle or walking is great and something we all have experienced, but how amazing would it be to say you’ve seen the country from a completely different perspective, a birds-eye view? Taking a hot air balloon ride over the UK is a thrilling yet idyllic experience and something worth ticking off your bucket list. Hot air balloon rides are very different from other sky-based experiences as they move slowly, allowing you to take in the panoramic views, feel the breeze in your hair, and watch the birds fly by – it is a truly unique and magical experience. This experience is heightened further when flying over picturesque areas like the Lake and Peak District.

Quick stats: 

Location: Multiple areas within the UK!

Average duration: Approximately an hour (depending on weather conditions.)

Average price: Around £124.

Ideal for: Families, couples, friends.

10. Zip through the skies in Wales

Can you think of a better way to take in one of Wales’s most beautiful areas than zooming through the air at 100mph? Neither can we. Velocity 2 by Zip World is officially the fastest zip line in the world as of 2013 – this exhilarating experience takes you flying down a 1.5-kilometre zip line over the beautiful Penrhyn Quarry lake, where you will enjoy picturesque views of the bright blue lake and Snowdonia, all whilst experiencing an incredible adrenaline rush! 

Image from: https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/velocity

Quick stats: 

Location: Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry, Wales.

Average duration: 2 hours.

Average price: From £89.

Average speed: Up to and over 100mph.

Ideal for: Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies

 

Whether you’re planning a staycation or are simply just looking for something unique and fun to do, the UK has a wide range of experiences, there is truly something for everybody, whether you’re looking for a true adrenaline rush, or just want to relax and see some idyllic scenes. 


Posted on October 5th, 2022, by the TPC-Content-Creator