October half-session: UK outdoor trips, from surfing to winter sports

Have fun in the great outdoors (Photo: Metro.co.uk)

Mid-term is the perfect time to take children away from their screens and immerse them in the great outdoors.

Except when it comes to outdoor attractions as exciting as these, there won’t be any drag.

Turn this semester into a thrilling adventure with walks in the woods, mountain top surf lessons and breathtaking biking trails.

Plus, we select some of the UK’s most exhilarating adventure playgrounds, and some of them even have special Halloween events.

There is even a magical walk in the Forbidden Forest for Harry Potter fans…

Chatsworth Explorer Walks

Chatsworth Explorer Walks
There is exploration to do

Make the most of the fresh air and the views of the woods on a series of fall hikes alongside the rangers of the Chatsworth Estate. Explore new trails through Stand Wood on a two-mile walk, suitable for ages five and up.

Or head to the barnyard to meet the animals and participate in spooky crafts throughout the mid-term, and dare to ride the Halloween trailer in Warlock Wood. Also look for seed collecting walks, with a seed collecting and potting session.

Various dates, Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire, chatsworth.org

Go Ape Sunset Sessions

Go Ape!
Perfect for little monkeys (Photo: Rachel Keenan)

The forest comes alive at dusk for the Sundown Sessions of the treetop attraction. This month, evening sessions begin in centers across the country.

Tackle the high platforms at sunset or tackle ziplines under a blanket of stars in the huge adventure playgrounds.

Daily, nationwide, goape.fr

The lost castle adventure playground

Lowther Castle The lost castle.  Official opening.  Jonathan Becker info@beckerphoto.co.uk 07900 625964 *** Local Caption *** Lowther Castle The Lost Castle
Play all day (Photo: Jonathan Becker)

In the grounds of the actual ruins of Lowther Castle, one of the country’s largest adventure playgrounds is perfect for letting off steam in the woods.

Built by the company Curious Adventure Play, the Lost Castle is an architectural echo of the main building itself, constructed from 18,000 meters of sustainable timber.

There are ramps and steps and a maze of turrets, zip lines, walkways and slides. Also discover the castle and the exhibition telling its story.

Daily, Penrith, Cumbria, lowthercastle.org


Adventures in the woods (Photo: Andrew Kahumbu (Andrew Kahumbu)

After dark, there is a Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade at the sites of Cheshire and Norfolk in October, where you can make your own Boggle Bindle lantern to help light up the woods.

Or, during the day, the magical treehouses and huge wobbly wooden play towers are a great place for a woodland adventure.

BeWILDerwood is based on the magical book series from creator and author Tom Blofeld, featuring giant slippery slides, ziplines and huge, confusing mazes to lose yourself in. There are also storytelling shows, crafts, den building and forestry activities.

Daily, Cheshire and Norfolk, bewilderwood.co.uk

Snowdonia Adventure Park

Snowdonia Adventure Park
Surfer in the mountains

Face the waves in October and learn to surf in the mountains. Constant, perfect waves of collected Welsh rainwater roll every 90 seconds over this specially designed site, designed to be the perfect environment for all ages and abilities to learn to surf safely.

Join the friendly surf academy – with sessions for Little Rippers (ages five to seven) and Groms (ages eight to 12). There is the rental of wetsuits and boards, and warm changing rooms to warm up afterwards.

Daily, Dolgarrog, North Wales, adventureparcsnowdonia.com

Snow school

Snow school
Scottish Skiing (Photo: Steven McKenna)

Nearly 3,000 feet above sea level, in the beautiful Cairngorms to the east, the Lecht Activity Center is a natural playground. They offer a ski school from beginner to expert level, as well as snowboard and riglet snowboard lessons, suitable for the youngest.

There are also areas for beginners, intermediates and a black slope for advanced skiers, as well as mountain bike trails with dirt jumps and riding elements built from rock.

Daily, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, lecht.fr

Harry Potter: An Adventure in the Forbidden Forest

Harry Potter An Adventure in the Forbidden Forest
A magical outing

Join the wizarding world on this new after dark forest trail populated by mythical creatures and spooky incantations from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.

Enjoy the spectacular sounds, lights and special effects that bring the magic of the forest to life. Look for centaurs, a hippogriff, and a patronus on this adventure, suitable for all ages.

From Tuesday, Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire, hpforbiddenforestexperience.com

Altura Trail

Altura Trail
On your bike (Photo: Matty Simpson)

The longest specially designed mountain bike trail in the Lake District offers views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Helvellyn and Skiddaw and reaches an elevation of 500m above Keswick.

Designed for experienced riders with good off-road skills, the 12 mile trail is divided into north and south loops, traversing the Whinlatter Mountain Forest. Bike rental is available on site.

Daily, Whinlatter Mountain Forest, Keswick, forestry.uk

Kelburn Castle

Kelburn Castle
Add color (Photo: Alamy Stock Photo)

Few castles look as striking as Kelburn, the home of the Earl of Glasgow, and it’s a brilliant day.

Covered in gorgeous Brazilian graffiti, the grounds are also a plethora of gameplay opportunities, including this weekend’s Freaky Forest alien hunt in the Secret Forest. There are also Halloween themed games to participate in. Disguises are encouraged.

Daily, Ayrshire, Scotland, kelburnestate.com

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MORE: October Half-Session: Great Family Outings, From Peppa Pig To Science Adventures

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