7 great summer adventure activities near Bristol

by Anna Lane

Are you eager to get outside this summer and challenge yourself to a new adventure? The southwest coast is a popular summer destination as it is home to an array of beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes. It’s also full of a wide range of different activities to get stuck into.

To kick start you on your next summer adventure, we have listed some of the most awesome activities in the southwest- all within a 2 hour drive of Bristol.

book canoeing at UK active outdoors

1. Surfing

Surfing is one of the most popular sports on the planet for good reason. The sheer adrenaline pumping in your body whilst you are gliding across a wave is indescribable. It not only looks incredible, it feels incredible too! As a beginner there's an amazing sense of satisfaction once you conquer standing on the board and riding the wave across the coastline. The surfing community is known for its cool, relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is a great place to make new friends.

Where to go: As well as Cornwall/Devon, Wales is well known for incredible surf spots, without as many crowds. Porthcawl in South Wales is famous for its breathtaking beaches such as Rest Bay, a long stretch of golden sandy beach with mellow waves and a consistent break, ideal for the beginner surfer. If you are looking for a place that specialises in well structured beginners lessons and kids courses, check out Porthcawl Surf School. A bit further down the bay you'll find Cressey's surf school, a friendly family run surf school, started by Ingemar Cressey, the Welsh national surf champ! Alternatively, if you are looking for more of the therapeutic benefits of surfing and sense of mindfulness and relaxation, Waves of Connection is the perfect place to unwind. 

Distance from Bristol: Porthcawl in South Wales is only 1 hr 20 minutes drive away from Bristol

Book a surf lesson now at Cresseys

2. Assault course

Nothing beats the challenge and thrill of an assault course. This high intensity, action-packed activity tests your ability to run, jump, crawl, climb and problem solve. It's a great bonding activity - to do with friends, family or colleagues. Once you all conquer the obstacles together, you will have a strong sense of accomplishment and unity while having bags of fun. If you are looking for the ultimate team building activity this is the one for you.

Where to go: Does this sound like a summer adventure activity you want to get stuck into? Adventure Wales in Bridgend is a great place to try this out. Their impressive assault course features over 20 different obstacles- perfect for a summer's day out.

Distance from Bristol: Located close to Cardiff centre and just 1hr 16 minutes drive away from Bristol

Book an assault course now at Adventure Wales

3. Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is an incredibly liberating sport. The fact that you have the possibility to literally fly across the water seems out of this world. Once you have mastered the skills, the opportunities are endless. You can either cruise on flat water lagoons, jump and do tricks or go kitesurfing on the waves with a waveboard. It's so diverse and so much fun! If you are looking for a new challenge this summer, kitesurfing is for you.

Where to go: If you are looking for a kitesurfing spot in the southwest, look no further than Edge Watersports. It is a family-owned centre run by Eric and Steph Bridge who have over 50 years combined experience coaching watersports in Exmouth.

Distance from Bristol: Edge Watersports is located in Exmouth, Devon - only 1hr 40 mins by car. Famous for being one of the go-to water sports destinations in the UK

Book now kitesurfing at Edgewatersports

4. Sailing

If you are a lover of the sea you are sure to love sailing. This sport is an amazing way to connect with nature while flying across the water entirely powered by the wind. Once you have an understanding of the skills and theory there are so many different opportunities available. Whether you want to take it easy and bask in the sun whilst cruising along in a yacht or whether you want to zoom along in Fireball (high speed dinghy), sailing gives you the freedom to explore. You can even get to see secluded places that are inaccessible by land. Set sail and discover endless bays, islands and harbours. 

Where to go: If you are looking to set sail near Bristol, SWAC (Southampton Water Activities Centre) is a great place to sail. It’s based at the River Itchen and Southampton waters, meaning there are perfect conditions for all skill levels of water activities.

Distance from Bristol: Just 1hr 50 mins drive away from Bristol

Book now sailing at SWAC

5. White Water Rafting

White water rafting is one of the most adrenaline-pumping activities there is. Plunge down a waterfall and battle against the rapids, whilst paddling hard to ensure your raft is on the right path down the river. You will feel alive as you're crashing through the waves. If you are looking for a way to spend some quality time with your friends, this activity is perfect. Spend the whole day outdoors, stopping for breaks and lunch on the way.

Where to go: If this sounds like a challenge you are ready to accept, we recommend going to Adventure Wales in Bridgend. They offer a full day rafting, unlike the usual 2hr sessions. You will receive a full safety briefing and all the training you need, as well as the equipment, wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets and splash jackets. Feel in safe hands with experienced and qualified rafting guides.

Distance from Bristol: Located just a stone's throw away from Cardiff City Centre and 1hr 16 minutes drive from Bristol

Book now white water rafting at Adventure Wales

6. SUP

SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) is one of the world's fastest growing watersports, being an amazing adventure experience that's so widely accessible. It's a great sport for all ages, whether you are looking for a fun filled day out with friends or a lovely family outing. SUP is also very versatile, you can relax on the board and soak up the sun or you can challenge yourself to a more high intensity exercise. You can paddle on lakes, rivers, harbours or surf large waves. Being a low impact activity, It's ideal for people wanting to improve their fitness safely in beautiful surroundings.

Where to go: UK Active Outdoors is based along the River Avon in the stunning Avon Valley and offer tons of sessions, varying from SUP yoga, beginner lessons, family sessions or you can hire your own SUP board.

Distance from Bristol: The Avon Valley is located only 20 minute drive from Bristol City Centre

Book SUP now at UK Active Outdoors

7. Canoeing

Canoeing is not only a great full body workout, but also very social. Enjoy the experience together and paddle with friends and family. It's the perfect opportunity to sightsee, often venturing into untouched secluded places that most big boats cannot access. You will have the opportunity to gaze out at the wildlife, and marine life whilst still in the comfort of your own canoe. If you love to explore and discover hidden gems, this is the perfect activity for you.

Where to go: If canoeing sounds like the ideal adventure, Channel Kayaks in the beautiful Avon Valley is an ideal place to learn to canoe. They hold 5 hour round trips along the River Avon, on canoes holding up to 6 people! Paddle through the tranquil waters and discover the local wildlife such as swans, kingfishers, herons, cormorants, woodpeckers, dragonflies, damselflies, falcons and even some otters.

Distance from Bristol: The Avon Valley is located only 20 minute drive from Bristol City Centre

Book canoeing now at Channel Kayaks

Enjoy what the British outdoors has to offer this summer and check out our large range of experiences on the eola marketplace.

Looking for more ideas on how to get active? We've listed 5 reasons you should give watersports a go or check out 10 awesome activities for you to look forward to.

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