11 Outdoor Adventures You Need To Try in 2024 (UK Hidden Gems Revealed!)
11 Outdoor Adventures You Need To Try in 2024 (UK Hidden Gems Revealed!)

11 Outdoor Adventures You Need To Try in 2024 (UK Hidden Gems Revealed!)

Weather withstanding, the UK really is one of the perfect places for outdoorsy types who crave adventure.

Teeming with natural wonder, there’s always someplace new or something fresh to explore!

Best UK Adventures, Hidden Gems

An avid hiker at heart, over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to uncover a whole host of spectacular adventurous destinations dotted around Britain – including a bunch of hidden gems well worth your attention.

Bearing this in mind, I’ve thought long and hard to whittle down a list of what I consider 11 of the very best ‘lesser-known’ UK adventures in the UK.

Often not garnering the attention they quite deserve, I’m sure there’s at least a handful of destinations on this list you’ve never heard of before!

Head out on any of these escapades and trust me, you’re in for a real treat.

Interested? Let’s get to it 👇

Best outdoor adventures in the UK

Explore the Bleaklow Bomber Plane crash site

Location: Glossop, Peak District

Bleaklow Bomber, Glossop, Peak District

Just outside of Greater Manchester’s borders, hiding on the hills above Glossop, lies the eerie remains of an old aircraft crash site known as the ‘Bleaklow Bomber’.

While the Peak District is famed for its wide array of outdoor marvels, many locals & visitors are completely unaware it’s also home to this chilling historical site.

The US Air Force craft (nicknamed ‘Over Exposed’) sadly crashed here in 1948, with much of the plane wreckage still remaining scattered on the Bleaklow moors which is visit-able via the Snake Pass walk.

Image caption – The Snake Pass can be found in the Peak District, along the A57 main road that runs from Ladybower Reservoir to Glossop.

Following the Snake Pass, the hike up to the plane wreckage is around 2 miles (3.2km). Simply stay on the trail up the hillside, following signposts for the crash site.

For more information regarding the ins and outs of this hike, be sure to head on over to our Bleaklow Plane Crash Walk Guide.

Track down Snowdonia’s Secret Infinity Pool

Location: Near Llanberis, Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia Secret Infinity Pool, Llanberis Path, Nant Peris

Hidden up in the hills of Snowdonia National Park lies a secret spot which has recently taken the internet by storm.

Built by local farmer Wyn Mostyn Jones in 2016 as a green energy project, this £400,000 infinity pool quickly caught the attention of both locals & tourists alike and has rose in popularity to become an unofficial attraction of the National Park.

A quick look at images of the pool and it’s not hard to see why it’s so sought after. Offering some of the most breath-taking views of Snowdonia (Eryri in Welsh) National Park – you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot to take a cheeky dip!

Secret Infinity Pool, Snowdonia, Taking A Dip
By no means a spot for wild swimming due to the small shallow waters, but a great spot to chill and perhaps picnic at.

However, despite growing in popularity over the years, people still remain rather tight lipped when it comes to tracking down this secret spot…

It’s not viewable from the main road – being well camouflaged in the hills – so it’s important to have some idea as to where you’re going.

With a little effort however, the Snowdonia Infinity Pool isn’t THAT hard to find. It just takes a bit of researching beforehand!

Now we aren’t going to simply give the location away (where would the fun be in that?), but we will share some key clues that helped us in tracking down the spot.

For the full lowdown, be sure to check out our ‘How To Find Snowdonia’s Secret Infinity Pool’ post.

Stand where Harry Potter Hagrid’s Hut was filmed

Location: Glencoe, Western Scotland

Hagrid's Hut Glencoe, Harry Potter

Now which Harry Potter fan wouldn’t want to check out the exact spot where Hagrid’s Hut was filmed?

Hiding on the hills above Torren Lochan in Clachaig Gully, this stunning Scottish landscape was used as a shooting location for the Prisoner of Azkaban, Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince.

While unfortunately the hut is no longer there today, the location is very easily accessible and absolutely worth hiking to for any die-hard Potter fanatic.

Located just a 30-minute stroll from the stunning village of Glencoe, for adventurers wanting accommodation near this spot I’d certainly recommend staying at Red Squirrel Campsite, which is located literally right beside this hidden spot.

For a detailed guide on tracking down the exact filming location, feel free to check out our Hagrid’s Hut guide here.

While you’re in the area, I’d also say Glencoe Lochan is well worth a mooch, and for the particularly daring, why not try your hand at conquering Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, located just a short drive away?

Scramble Pavey Ark via the leg-quaking Jack’s Rake 

Location: Pavey Ark, Cumbria, Lake District

Jack's Rake Scramble, Lake District

When it comes to scrambling in the Lakes, Helvellyn via Striding Edge has long held the title as most popular.

An exhilarating climb up a steep & extremely exposed knife-edge ridge – I won’t deny that it is a proper adrenaline inducing experience!

Nevertheless, for any hikers looking to try something little more challenging in the National Park, Jack’s Rake firmly stands at the top of my list.

An epic clamber up the craggy fell of Pavey Ark, Jack’s Rake is more technically challenging than Helvellyn, and involves some tricky segments which require a decent level of agility and bodyweight strength.

I won’t deny that Jack’s Rake took me well & truly by surprise; I really wasn’t expecting it to be as dicey & demanding as it was! However, you do soon settle into the rhythm of the climb and the sense of achievement (and relief!) you feel after reaching the summit is such a buzz.

Note: There have been a number of fatal accidents on the Rake over the years. For anyone attempting this scramble, please prepare accordingly and follow all the necessary safety advice.

For a full breakdown of this scramble, click through to our Jack’s Rake guide!

Enjoy the scenic isle of Anglesey

Location: Anglesey, North West Wales

Rhosneigr Boat On The Beach, Anglesey

For those craving a more laid-back adventure, exploring the small isle of Anglesey might just be your kinda’ thing.

Situated just off the north-west coast of Wales, me and my partner never tire of exploring the various beaches and charming villages scattered all around the island.

One of my favourite spots here has to be Rhosneigr; a quaint seaside village well-known within surf circles as one of the best spots to catch waves in the UK.

It’d also be amiss in this blog post if I didn’t bring up one of Anglesey’s secret spots to explore during your visit – The Porth Wen Brickworks.

A now long disused 19th Century brick making factory, this derelict Victorian wonder is only a short distance from Cemaess Bay and can be found along the Anglesey Coastal Path, located on the northernmost tip of the island.

Aerial view of Porth Wen Brickworks, Anglesey
If you’re interested in exploring this spooky location for yourself, be sure to head on over to our ‘Ultimate Porth Wen Brickworks Guide’!  

Likewise, for fans of camping, I couldn’t speak highly enough of Mulberry’s Farm. Without doubt one of the best pitches we’ve ever stayed at in recent years, find out about our full experience camping on the island here.

Top tip – For

Clamber up on the Trinnacle

Location: Dovestone Reservoir, Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester

The Trinnacle Trail, How To Get To The Trinnacle

Located high on the hills of Saddleworth Moor stands a peculiar rock formation which has well and truly gripped the attention of ramblers far and wide.

Best known as ‘The Trinnacle’, this fork-shaped gritstone pillar dramatically juts out from the moorlands above Dovestone Reservoir and has rose in popularity as of late.

Broken away from the main cliffs which loom over the reservoirs after years of weathering, the Trinnacle stands alone – like a trio of high-rise buildings – and is best found along a circular walk known as the ‘The Trinnacle Trail’.

Comprising of dazzling reservoirs, epic waterfalls, steep inclines, exhilarating scrambles and gorgeous scenery throughout; this route really has it all!

Greenfield Brook Bridge, Tourists
As a rough estimate, The Trinnacle stands at about 10 metres (33 feet) tall. Bearing in mind it’s already situated way up on the hills of Saddleworth Moor at an elevation gain close to 300 metres – so safe to say you’re pretty darn high up!

The exposure is quite severe and the initial path to get on to the Trinnacle is quite narrow, but the climb doesn’t really require any difficult maneuvers, meaning its suitable for most capable ramblers. Just take your time and try not to look down!

Interested in clambering on top of this iconic rock face for yourself? Then be sure to check out our Ultimate Trinnacle Guide post.

Hike up to the highest beach in England

Location: Todmorden, West Yorkshire

Gaddings Dam, Todmorden Beach, Walsden

Did you know that Yorkshire is unofficially home to the ‘highest beach in England’?

Nestled way up on the moors – somewhere between the quaint towns of Todmorden and Walsden – for many years Gaddings Dam has served as a hidden paradise for locals and visitors in the know.

Providing gorgeous views, cracking walking trails, a soft and sandy stretch of beach plus one of the best wild swimming spots in the county – it’s no wonder why Gaddings Dam continues to grow in popularity.

Gaddings Dam, Tod Beach, Todmorden
Also dubbed ‘Todmorden Beach’, Gaddings Dam stands 80 feet above sea level and 60 miles inland – making it the highest and perhaps most peculiar spot for a beach in the whole of England!

Once you arrive up at the dam, the vistas are absolutely magnificent – in the distance you can even spot the striking Stoodley Pike monument looming over the spectacular Yorkshire valley.

With several ways to reach the beach, there’s one in particular which I’d recommend. For a comprehensive guide, click through to our ‘How To Find Todmorden Beach’ blog.

Camp & stargaze in Kielder Forest

Location: Kielder Forest, Northumberland

Kielder Forest Camping, Kielder Walk, Kielder Water

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the night sky so beautifully clear as during my time camping in Kielder Forest.

Tucked far away from modern luxuries and bustling city life, it was awe-inspiring to see first-hand just what the stars truly look like when they’ve been unshrouded by the usual veneer of light pollution we’re so accustomed to.

The skies can be so dark that observers have even been known to see the Milky Way and even the Northern Lights on occasion!

Officially the fourth largest location in the world with ‘Dark Sky Status’, stargazing is just one of countless terrific activities to got stuck into during your time at Kielder Campsite.

Also home to Northern Europe’s largest man-made lake and England’s biggest walking forest – it’s the ultimate outdoors escape for walking aficionados like ourselves!

A rustic, back-to-basics campsite with no phone signal in sight, perhaps my favourite thing of all when camping in Kielder is how it really gives you the chance to recharge those batteries and get back in touch with your wild side.

The Lakeside Way is one of the most renowned trails in the area – a 27-mile loop around Kielder Water which guides you through some of the most picturesque segments of the forest.

Giant Forest Head, Kielder Forest, Walk, Hiking
Keep your eyes peeled for the 20+ public art sculptures dotted around the Lakeside Way – perhaps the most well-known being the spooky ‘Giant Forest Head’.

Be sure to read through our write-up around the camping experience we had in Kielder Forest here!

Spend the night in a Cornish Hobbit Hole

Location: St Blazey, Par, Cornwall

Cornwall truly is like nowhere else in Britain. When you get the right weather conditions, it could easily be mistaken as some far flung paradise.

The sparkling blue seas, colourful coastal towns, tasty local food and plethora of outdoor activities – its no wonder we find ourselves coming back here time and time again!

A magical land which undoubtedly requires multiple days to fully appreciate, what better place to spend your nights here than in a rustic hobbit hole at Acorn Glamping & Camping?

Hobbit Hole, Acorn Camping & Glamping, Cornwall
A quiet & secluded spot hidden in the woodlands of Luxulyan Valley, staying here really feels like you’ve been flung into the thick of Middle Earth.

Perfect for those wanting a quiet location with plenty of nearby activities to get stuck into to, we’d absolutely recommended spending a few days visiting all the quaint little towns on offer – the cream of the crop being CharlestownSt Austell’s Bay & Fowey. Also only a 30 minute drive from Newquay, Cornwall’s most popular town and a worldwide surfing hotspot, during your stay why not try your hand at surfing on Fistral Beach?

While I’m sure we don’t need to go into detail regarding all the spectacular things to do during your time in Cornwall however, the grounds of Acorn Camping & Glamping also have several woodland trails dotted around the site – meaning you don’t have to stray far at all to find adventure!

For other campsites to check out, be sure to trawl our recent post on the BEST campsites in the UK.

Discover the spooky ‘Skull Cave’ at Hodge Close Quarry

Location: Hodge Close, Coniston LA21 8DJ

Hodge Close Quarry, Cave, Skull, Rail Track

Burrowed a few miles north of Coniston in the Lake District you’ll find Hodge Close Quarry; one of several historic and remote slate workings in the Tilberthwaite Valley.

Hailed as ‘Britain’s scariest cave’, this quarry particularly stands out for its spooky skull-shaped cavern which can be seen through the reflection of Hodge Close’s glistening water.

Popular among abseilers, divers and adventurous ramblers alike, Hodge Close Quarry has also started to attract a new demographic of visitors after it was recently used as a filming location for Netlfix’s medieval fantasy hit ‘The Witcher’.

Hodge Close Quarry, Lake District, Bottom, Cavern
For ultimate Witcher Fans, there are also several other filming locations also in the near vicinity, including Rydal Caves & Blea Tarn.

Views from the top of Hodge Close Quarry’s 150 feet rock face are absolutely incredible – although standing on the cliff edge is guaranteed to get those legs quaking!

For those who want to explore further, there’s actually a hidden scramble path only around half a mile from the carpark in the surrounding forestry which can lead you all the way down into the caverns.

However, the hidden path can be a tad tricky to find if you don’t know where you’re going – that’s why I’d recommending following our detailed Hodge Close Quarry step-by-step picture guide here.

Find the hidden waterfall in the Forest of Bowland

Location: Gisburn Forest, Forest of Bowland

Gisburn Forest Waterfall, Forest of Bowland

What’s not to love about the Forest of Bowland?

Crammed full of trails to explore and natural treasures to discover, the celebrated ancient woodland has long remained a haven for ramblers and mountain bikers alike.

My favourite spot in the whole area is Gisburn Forest. An ancient, magical woodland full of points of interest, few ramblers here are completely unaware that its also home to a secret waterfall to uncover.

As the name suggests, this elusive gem is nestled deep within Gisburn Forest – well tucked away behind a body of thicket at the bottom of a steep valley on the tranquil waters of Bottoms Beck.

Nevertheless, if you’re feeling confident in your scrambling ability and fancy seeing this secret Forest of Bowland waterfall for yourself, the location isn’t that hard to find provided you know where to look for it.

To make sure you don’t miss out on this stunning attraction, we’ve compiled a detailed step-by-step guide on how to reach the Gisburn Forest Waterfall here.

More resources

Interested in discovering even more adventures? Well we’re certainly in shortage of them here at The Walking Northerners! Feel free to peruse the site, there’s all sorts of escapades to get your teeth sunk into.

Happy adventuring 🚶🚶