If your children have a head for heights, love climbing, swimming – and regularly drive you to distraction with their daredevil nature – get them coasteering, sharpish.
What is it? Perhaps not one for parents of a nervous disposition, coasteering is an adrenalin sport that’s all about scrabbling up rocks, jumping off cliffs and adventure swimming. It all takes part under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, and safety is paramount. That said, it’s definitely one for older children – many coasteering centres have a minimum age of 8 or even 10.
Why we love it? Because it’s FUN. Leaping from cliff faces, climbing wet rocks – admit it – if you were 8 years old again, isn’t that exactly the sort of thing you’d love to do? Any sporty young kid with a taste for adventure is bound to be excited by the idea. And if you’re all game, it’s something you can do together as a family. Imagine how impressed the kids will be at your derring do? Both adults and children are welcome to take part, and many centres run tailored family days out. It isn’t prohibitively expensive, either, with prices starting at around £30 per person.
Where to go: Naturally, you won’t find much of this going on in the Midlands. But the UK is hardly short on spectacular coastline – think Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, North Devon and Dorset. You’ll find coasteering centres in all these places, although Wales appears to be a real hotbed for it.
When to go: Summer is the best time to go, when (hopefully) the weather is playing ball. If you’re holidaying in the UK this year, then coasteering could be something new for the whole family to try.
In the kit bag: You’ll need a wetsuit, along with safety gear like a helmet, buoyancy aid and protective shorts. The coasteering centre should provide these for you. If you’re a selfie kind of family, consider a go-pro. And bring snacks.
Find out more: Celtic Quest Coasteering is a dedicated coasteering centre in Pembrokeshire, Wales running dedicated children’s courses and was recently voted the best visitor experience at the National Tourism Awards. If you’re headed Cornwall way, meanwhile, check out Hot Rock Coasteer. Extreme Coasteering also operates from several locations in the south west, including Exmoor and Newquay.