These are the best UK cities for outdoor adventure, just in time for summer!

With the school holidays now in full bloom, it’s time to get out with the kids and enjoy the sunshine. 

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie family who loves an outdoor adventure or a family just looking for a day out somewhere different – the best cities for outdoor activities in the UK have been revealed in time for summer. 

New research by outdoor experts Blacks has revealed the most active cities in the UK after analysing data on the UK’s number of green spaces, outdoor trails, sports complexes and watersport adventures. 

The top ten cities with the most attractions for outdoor fanatics

RankCityPopulationParksWalking TrailsBiking TrailsSki & Snowboard AreasWater SportsSports ComplexesTotal Attractions and ActivitiesAttractions and Activities per 100,000 People
6Newcastle upon Tyne192,382121300073216.63

Southampton tops the list with a total of 49 adventurous activities and attractions, equating to 19.90 per 100,000 people. The port city sits on the country’s south coast, offering plenty of opportunities for people to get stuck into water sports and other exciting activities.

Placing second on the list is Norwich. Home to the Broads National Park, which offers a range of activities, from boating to arts and crafts, Norwich boasts sixteen walking trails and 18 parks which contribute to the total of 40 adventurous activities and attractions in the city, equating to 18.76 per 100,000 people.

Rounding out the top three most active cities in the UK is Gloucester. With 28 varying activities, including the Ski and Snowboard Centre, which has a 255-metre main slope, Gloucester offers 18.66 attractions per 100,000 people and is one of the highest on our list.

With the UK currently soaring in temperatures, perhaps a day out on the water is one to add to your summer bucket list. 

The best UK cities for adventure sports

RankCityPopulationSki & Snowboard AreasWater SportsTotal Adventure SportsAdventure Sports per 100,000 People

Brighton is known for its pier and beach, with plenty of fun activities and attractions that keep tourists coming back every year. With six water sports attractions on offer, the city is the best in the UK for adventure sports. 

Image by Christophe Schindler from Pixabay

Boasting both ski & snowboard areas and water sports attractions in Southampton, the city has plenty of variety, offering 1.62 adventure sports attractions per 100,000 people.

Alternatively, you can’t beat a day spent having a picnic in the park in summer, particularly if you’re looking to save a bit of money during the holidays.

The UK cities with the highest number of parks

RankCityPopulationParksParks per 100,000 peopleSquare Miles
8Newcastle upon Tyne192,382126.2444.4

Having featured in the overall top three, York is a great city to explore the outdoors and find a little adventure, but it is also one of the best places for accessibility to parks, boasting a total of 15.

While Norwich has more parks than York in total, when considering the city’s population, the 18 Norwich parks equate to 8.44 for every 100,000 people in the city.

Natalie Byrne, Content Marketing Manager at Blacks says: “The summer holidays can be a stressful time for many parents trying to amuse their children for a whole six weeks without spending lots of money every single day. 

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

“However, spending time enjoying our country’s local parks: trails, sports complexes, and watersports activities will keep the whole family entertained and active. Getting outdoors is the best way to spend the holidays, allowing your children to let off some much-needed steam.

“Being outdoors is also incredibly beneficial to children’s health and wellbeing, allowing them to soak up vitamin D, have an expanded learning space, improve sleep at night and encourage movement – while also providing them with an appreciation for nature.

“Sometimes just changing the routine by visiting a different park or city can make all of the difference for a positive day out. We’re home to a vast selection of outdoor spaces and beauty spots in the UK; therefore, the summer holidays are a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy nature together as a family.”

These are the best UK cities for outdoor adventure, just in time for summer! 1

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