We all like to enjoy the sun at this time of year. But baring all and lying about on the lounger can pose the risk of sunburn, dehydration, and even heatstroke. On the other hand, who would want to spend their summer days locked up indoors? Thankfully there are many activities which you can do this summer that don’t pose a risk to the skin which you’ve worked so hard to cover up all winter.
For many it’s been associated with Californian teenagers and palm trees, but over the last twenty years the UK surfing industry has boomed and developed a strong interest amongst many different age groups. Slipping into rubber may sound uneasy for some, but it’s the best protection not only from the sun but also from the cold temperatures of the UK’s water. There are plenty of surf schools in the South West, Wales, and Scotland that are more than willing to show you the basics and get you going as soon as possible. After you first get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked.
Visiting a stately home or castle
Unlike surfing this is something slightly slower, and arguably less exciting. But in a country steeped in centuries of war, power, and culture there is always a historical site for everyone to enjoy. Many of the manors from the 18-19th centuries contain large gardens and grounds that are stunning in the summer. If you need something more educational for children you can bring history to life by taking them to one of the many castles in Western England and Wales, and re-enact your favourite scenes from Lord of the Rings or Scooby-Doo.
You needn’t enter the Tour De France to prove that you can ride a bike, in fact taking a gentle ride can allow you to appreciate the beauty of the countryside this summer. If you don’t have a bike of your own there are many companies which specialise in cycle rental in from which you can hire for a day. Best be mindful of which route you take though, a nice downhill ride through a forest should suit most tastes, but if you’re fit enough you can take on a mountain to get the reward of the ride down.
Help the local economy of rural areas, and get some delicious fruit. That’s a win-win. This activity also teaches children about the natural world, and will get them eating some fresh fruit. By the pound your hand picked strawberries also turn out cheaper than the supermarkets, and once you’ve filled your car up you can start planning for all those barbecues and parties ahead of time, in the knowledge that you know exactly how nice your strawberries will taste.
Whilst the sound of Glastonbury or Reading festival may sound fine to some, there are many outdoor performance festivals which can be kinder on the ear (and the pocket). These are by no means boring, as they play host to many outdoor theatre companies who uphold local traditions such as dancing and medieval plays.
All of these activities can be fun, accessible and provide a healthy balance of sun and shade on a good day. But remember that sunburn or dehydration can occur in the most unexpected of circumstances. So to be on the safe side make sure that you’ve thought about:
by Tom Davis