3 tips for choosing a hotel: location, location, location

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When it comes to buying property, everybody knows what the most important thing is: location, location, location – there’s even a TV programme named after it! So when you’re thinking of a hotel, the most important thing to consider is… the location! Here are our top three tips in choosing a fabulous location for a hotel stay to remember.

City or country

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Nowadays, you can find fantastic hotels in the most rural areas, offering sublime relaxation and wonderful scenery. They are perfect for intimate getaways, family get-togethers or romantic breaks. But they’re also good for spa facilities, lively dinners and some offer excellent in-house entertainment.

Town or city hotels are known for perhaps having a boutique atmosphere, the latest trend in food and wine, and plus more modern facilities and amenities. They’re great for a weekend trip with the girls, a work or business get-away or a city break with a loved one. But, on the other hand, lots of city hotels are breaking the mould and offering a more leisurely ambience, the décor and ambience of a country cottage feel and relaxing pastimes.

So with the mix of amenities and facilities on offer at both city and country hotels these days, it’s a hard choice to make. Look at how far you and your travelling party would like to go and the amount of time you would be prepared to spend travelling – and all agree on one activity or facility you wish your hotel to provide – as this will narrow down your choices. And the best answer to this problem – book a break in both a luxury city and country hotel – so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds!

Central or further out?

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When booking a hotel in a town or city it’s best to check its exact location. Look at the hotel’s position on a map and see how easy it is to travel to the sites you want to see. Also decide if you want to be able to walk to restaurants, attractions and shops – or if you’re happier to take the train, tram, bus, taxi or even cycle!  In some cities or large towns it could take you up to an hour to get to an attraction by public transport so think about how long you and your fellow travellers want to spend moving around the city. For some people, the journeys are all part of the experience, and others want to wake up, breakfast in their hotel and then take a five-minute leisurely stroll to the top sights of the city.

Research your destination online to find out what’s on offer where you’re going – and ask friends who have been previously been to that town or city for their advice too. If you’re only staying a short time then it might not be possible to see all the attractions you’d like to, so choose a hotel which is convenient to the things you will be visiting.

UK or abroad?

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Whether you fancy a trip out of the UK or you’re happy to stay here probably could boil down to the weather. If you’re desperate for some sun, then sadly that cannot be guaranteed in the UK so you’re probably best off looking further afield.

However, the British Isles have much to recommend themselves – historic interests, great food, family-friendly attractions, an amazing variety of landscapes and, of course, friendly and diverse people.

If it’s hard to decide where to go, perhaps look at your budget and see what’s on offer to suit your pocket. If money is no object, then why not venture further afield in the UK to a more remote area to see that a holiday in the UK can be as different as a holiday abroad.

Of course, going away to a hotel can be potluck, whether you’re going away in the UK or abroad, looking at a city hotel or a far-flung remote castle hotel. Do your homework, check that hotels have been independently reviewed with reviews which can be verified and by reviewers who go to many hotels.

And then, Bob’s your uncle, you’re ready to choose a fantastic hotel in the perfect location for a great stay. Bon voyage!

After travelling the world, Kathryn Hearn became desk-bound and now writes about travelling the world. She is associate editor of the Good Hotel Guide, the leading independent guide to hotels in Great Britain and Ireland. It is written for the reader seeking impartial advice on finding a good place to stay – hotels cannot buy their entry as they do in most rival guides.

World’s Famous Cliffs

The view from a cliff top can be one of the most inspiring experiences. The long, and often steep trek is immediately forgotten the instant you gaze out upon the world from the peak where you can rest and drink in the beautiful scenery. Let your imagination fly as free as a bird with this breath-taking selection of the world’s most famous cliffs.

The White Cliffs of Dover, Britain

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A major symbol of British independence and the inspiration for a famous, classic wartime song, The White Cliffs of Dover are magnificent chalk cliffs that overlook The English Channel, giving panoramic views of the French coast. Best seen by strolling the length of the coastal path that leads towards the South Foreland Lighthouse. The grassland is home to many rare plants like the pyramidal orchid and strikingly beautiful insects like the blue butterfly.

Chamonix – Mont Blanc, France

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It may not be known as a quiet Alpine retreat, but Chamonix’s setting beneath the rolling cliffs and tumbling glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif is breathtakingly stupendous. Renowned for its skiing more than its spectacular cliff views, the region offers unlimited delights for both walkers and skiers. For a truly carefree adventure, do not forget that all-important ski insurance.

Boasting one of the most popular walking circuits, with some of the most awe-inspiring scenery imaginable some of the most spectacular views in Europe reward encircling the highest peaks, this challenging test of stamina and determination. An enticing array of towering cliffs, crystal waterfalls overflowing from glaciers, forested tracks, open meadows and pure, clear lakes, the Mont Blanc Massif is an experience not to be missed.

Kalaupapa Sea Cliff, Hawaii

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The Kalaupapa Sea Cliff Lookout is the most dramatic scenic lookout on Molokai Island’s north coast. The cliff overlooks the famed leper colony that was established for people with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy), who were exiled to the Kalaupapa Peninsula. The Lookout is situated at the top of the highest ocean sea cliffs in the world, rising to 2,000 feet. Originally formed by lava that flowed from the Kauhako Crater, the former leper colony is now the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Mesa Verde – Colorado, USA

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These fabulous cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde are home to the Anasazi people. The Anasazi people began building these homes in the 12th century, in the overhaning rock and shallow caves that line the canyon walls. Some of these magnificent houses contain 150 rooms.

Bag by Bag: Packing Tips for a Luxury Ski Resort

Pack up your things, you’re going on a ski trip. What should you bring? That depends. There are a lot of optional items you could bring, but a few essentials that, if you forget, your trip will be a total disaster. Before you close the trunk, make sure you absolutely did not forget:

Your Ski Clothing

Without ski equipment, you’re not skiing – it’s as simple as that. And, while you can rent some equipment, you can’t rent everything. Stuff like wool undershirts and base layers aren’t going to be rentable. Skis might be, but they’re going to be “loaner quality,” which can be questionable, depending on the resort you’re going to.

A good-quality hat, gloves, and goggles are also a must. A breathable shell, that’s also waterproof, is something you also will want to have. Not only does it get cold on top of the mountain, it’s wet. You need a boot bag – everyone who is going needs a boot bag. This cannot be overstated. Finally, don’t forget lip balm and sun protection (lotion). It’s weird, but yes you might need both.

Your Reservations

Don’t forget your reservations. Some places nowadays let you check in over the Internet, but many places still require you to bring in some form or ID and a printing of your booking. If you only bring it as a backup (just in case you lose Internet access while at the resort or it goes down), it’s worth having.

If you’re staying at a luxury hotel Jackson Hole, then make sure you also bring some cash for tips.

A Separate Luggage Bag

Bring a separate bag for your ski clothing and keep it apart from your normal clothing. If you plan on going hiking or fishing, you won’t want these mixed up. More than that, your ski clothing will get wet, and you don’t want even mild dampness “infecting” your nice, dry clothing – not when it’s cold outside.

The Directions

Directions are a must, of course. If you’re driving, load up the GPS, but also bring a printout, just in case you lose cell signal on the way there. Some of these resorts are out in the middle of nowhere and, while they may have wi-fi, the cell service may be non-existent. Don’t get caught by surprise, especially on the way there.

It’s common to have to travel away from populated areas to find these resorts, and for that, you may be traveling through dense forest or in the country. Sparsely populated areas just don’t get the cell coverage that you need because, well, there’s not a large customer base to serve. So, service providers don’t spend the money.

Anyway, bringing printed directions also saves on your battery and data usage, and you might need both while you’re there.

If you want to be extra cautious, bring a backup battery for your mobile device. This should all but guarantee you have enough juice for an emergency.

Debbie Huntsberry loves to ski as much as she can. When she’s not swooshing along the slopes, she is writing about it. Look for her entertaining and informative posts on many of today’s top tourism and travel blog sites.

Awe-inspiring Places to Scuba Dive in Australia

Scuba diving is a skill that can take you all over the world. In fact, it would be a shame to learn how to scuba dive and not use it to travel to far-flung destinations. You’ll find a huge variety of marine life all over the globe, and everywhere you dive you’ll find something new. Australia is ideal for the enthusiastic diver. With an extremely long and diverse coastline, the country is full of coves, reefs and pools just waiting to be explored. And of course, there’s the amazing Great Barrier Reef, which no self-respecting scuba diver should miss on a visit to Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the mother of all diving sites in Australia. In fact, it’s more like a group of diving sites because you certainly couldn’t explore the whole thing in one day. If you want to try and do as much diving as possible, hire a boat you can live aboard so you can get to more spots. Boats will enable you to do more dives in a day, including at night, and take you to more remote parts of the reef. Don’t forget to invest in scuba diving insurance before your trip to make sure you’re protected. It’s difficult to know where to start with where to go and what you’ll see, but the Norman Reef and Moore Reef are popular, on the Outer Barrier Reef. Visit Lizard Island in the northern part of the Reef and dive at Cod Hole, which is suitable for beginners.

Yongala Shipwreck

While you’re in Queensland, visit the Yongala shipwreck, 90km southeast of Townsville. The ship sank in 1911, leaving 122 people dead. But now the ship is teeming with a different kind of life. Spot different species of coral, fish, shark, turtles and more. In the winter months, you may even catch a sighting of humpback whales and manta rays. Visibility is better at this time of year, although the water isn’t as warm.

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Ilsa Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef, in Western Australia, is where to go to find the largest fish in the world – whale sharks. You can find them from March to June, when they come closer to the reef to look for food. You can also see humpback whales, manta rays and Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles. The reef stretches for 260km along the Northwest Cape and has over 250 species of coral and more than 500 types of wildlife.

Christmas Island

Christmas Island is less well known for its diving spots than for other things that make it famous, so it’s perfect if you want somewhere more secluded. There are many cliffs and caves to explore and the water around the island is deep. You can find tuna and white tip reef sharks, and in October and November you can see millions of red crabs migrate towards the sea to release their eggs.

When you go scuba diving in Australia, don’t forget to check out the quieter spots, as well as the popular ones. Talk to local divers about the best places to go to learn all the secret hideaways.

Top 3 Annual Australian Events

There are so many fantastic events in Australia each year that it can be tricky to know which you should attend. We’ve created a long list of the most-popular ones and made it into a nice infographic for you. However, you should take a quick look at our shortlist below first just to give you a feel of the kind of thing you can expect. No matter what your personal interests might be, there are thousands of events each year in this country that you are going to love.

Take a look at these few and see what you think…

Tasting Australia (April)

This event celebrates the best of Australian and Indonesian cuisine. There are hundreds of food stalls alongside cooking competitions and more. Anyone who likes good grub will love this.

Adelaide International Guitar Festival (July)

This event happens every single year and welcomes top musicians and performers from all over the world. Regardless of which genre of music might be your favourite, there is guaranteed to be something here you’ll love. Also, it’s a great place to pick up new musical instruments.

Tour Down Under

If you’re a keen cyclist, you can’t go wrong with the tour down under. It is a huge event attended by thousands of people all over the world, and it lasts for no less than seven days!!!

Now you know about some of the best events this country has to offer, we hope you’ll visit sometime in the future. We promise you will not regret booking.


Infographic From AccomodationSpecialists.com.au

Five Must-see Cities in Australia

If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip to Australia, there are some must-see cities that should feature on your itinerary. Here are five of the country’s top urban spots.

1) Sydney

The nation’s most populous city and the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is home to nearly five million people. In this bustling metropolis, you’ll find culture, surfing, beautiful gardens, shopping, fine dining and great bars.

Highlights include the iconic Opera House on Circular Quay. This is one of the city’s busiest music, arts and performance venues and it’s possible to get a behind the scenes look at it by booking a backstage tour. Another major attraction is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Nicknamed the ‘The Coathanger’ thanks to its arched design, this immense structure spans the harbour and you can climb it to enjoy spectacular views. For some relaxation away from the busy streets, head to the Royal Botanic Gardens. This 30-acre site boasts an array of beautiful plants.

2) Perth

In Western Australia, you’ll find Perth. This large city is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle and you might feel so at home there that you decide to stay. Luckily, it’s now easy to find a luxury home builder Perth if you do decide to put roots down.

Using the metropolis’ free buses in the central business district, you can see an array of visitor spots. These include the Swan Bells Tower, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Perth Mint. Meanwhile, Murray Street, King Street and Hay Street malls contain plenty of galleries, boutiques and eateries to keep you entertained. Perth also benefits from more than 80 kilometres of picturesque beaches that are superb for swimming and surfing.

3) Brisbane

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is the third most populous city in the country and it enjoys a tropical climate. It is punctuated by a series of scenic gardens, including the Brisbane Forest Park and South Bank Parklands. Popular activities in Brisbane include the adventure climb at Story Bridge and rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs.

The Queen Street Mall is also well worth a visit. Containing nearly a kilometre of shops and arcades, it’ll keep you occupied for hours on end. For some designer stores, the bohemian shopping precinct named The Valley is excellent.

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4) Melbourne

Located in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is one of Australia’s main financial centres and it has a chic, sophisticated look and feel. With wide streets set out in a grid, it is renowned for the quality of its shopping, galleries, bars and restaurants. By hopping on a tram, you can venture to St Kilda. There, you’ll find parks, gardens and the Yarra River.

5) Adelaide

The capital of South Australia,Adelaide  is a compact, flat city and it is surrounded by stunning gardens. Meanwhile, the Adelaide Central Market offers the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning and by tram you can get to the beachside precinct of Glenelg. For river cruises and museums, Port Adelaide is the place to go. You can also visit the famous dolphin sanctuary there.

Of course, these are just five of Australia’s most interesting and exciting cities. There are many more fantastic areas to explore too.

Once In A Lifetime: The Exotic Destinations You Need To See

There are a lot of exotic destinations around the world that a lifetime is not enough to visit and see all of them. Here are a few exotic destinations to start that epic adventure:

Secret Cloud Forest in UK

Britain may be all plains, mountains, hills, and valleys. However, there is a hidden gem within the country. There is a secret cloud forest hiding within South Wales’ Cambrian Mountains. Load up some gas on your car and embark on this exotic destination right on your backyard. Cloud forests are mountain woodlands that are continually shrouded with a thin mist, hence the name. These kinds of forests are normally found in Central America or South America. However, the UK traveller need not travel long to experience this uniquely exotic roadtrip destination.

Mount Roraima

Remember wishing that the film Avatar universe is the real thing? Well, you’re in for a surprise. The Avatar world is largely based on an actual location in Earth called Mount Roraima. This mountain is found in South America. It is mountain whose top is surrounded by a vast sea of clouds. The top of the mountain is a flat plateau surrounded by steep cliffs with the cloudy abyss kissing its edges. The mountain is rife with legends proliferated by the indigenous communities. Legends say that the mountain is the stump of a once great tree that holds all the life forms in earth including vegetables and plants.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple nestled in South East Asia, in the archeological site called Angkor in Cambodia. The site provides a peek into the Khmer Empire from 9th to 15th century. Angkor is composed of various architectural wonders and exotic culture. Make it your jump off point to visit the rest of Cambodia, and the surrounding countries in South East Asia.

Phowintaung

If spelunking is your thing, then the Phowintaung cave complex should be your top one must-visit destination. It is a Buddhist cave complex composed of over 900 caves. Each cave is richly decorated  with Buddhism –related items. Some caves have the light streaking in from various openings in the cave wall. This provides a dramatic light effect on the decorations within.

Aman Pulo

This island paradise in the north of Palawan in the Philippines beckons to its visitors with long expanses of powdery white beaches, lush rainforest, and turquoise waters. Travel to Aman Pulo is via private plane only. This ensures the privacy and seclusion of this island paradise. Guests stay in their own cabanas or villas. There are treetop villas, as well as beachfront cabanas.  Guests are assigned their own private buggy to explore the island. This island paradise offers all sorts of water activities such as water sports and scuba diving. It is the perfect hideaway for honeymooners and couples wanting to hide from the hustle and bustle of city life. The destination is child-friendly so feel free to bring your children.

 

 

 

Travel doctor: a good place to for skiers and non-skiers at Christmas

Before we get into the detail of the article, I really want to thank the team here for letting me post here with them.  It means a lot to be able to get something published for my Green Home Blogat great site like this.

Ski resorts for the non-skiier; second thoughts about going to Israel; taking teenagers on a tour of the battlefields

Q We are looking at travelling to Europe for Christmas (hopefully a white one) and to do some skiing. We are a family of four — offspring aged 20 and 18 — with one non-skier. We would like some suggestions about spending Christmas at a place where we can ski but which offers activities for our non-skier, including day trips.
Garry Bull, via email

A Igls in the Austrian Tyrol would make a fine base for a festive break. Many of the pistes are suitable for intermediate skiers, while any advanced skiers in your family can explore eight other ski areas, including the nearby Stubai glacier, all reachable by free buses. For the non-skier the resort offers tobogganing, swimming, curling and ice-skating, and it’s is a tram ride away from Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, with its trendy galleries, museums and cafés. A week’s half-board at the three-star Hotel Bon Alpina, where facilities include an ayurveda spa, gym and pools, starts at £779pp (based on two sharing), departing December 20 with Crystal (020-8939 0726,crystalski.co.uk). You could also consider Zell am See, with a Christmas market and easy train journey into Salzburg. Skiing is guaranteed all winter, thanks to the nearby Kitzsteinhorn glacier. A week’s half-board at the Hotel Fischerwirt starts at £902pp with Neilson (0333 0143351, neilson.co.uk).

Q Having not visited Israel for many years we planned a trip some months back to go at the beginning of September, but we are not comfortable to travel there at present. We have booked flights through easyJet. If we decide to cancel or postpone our trip are we entitled to any refunds due to the present political situation? Our hotel reservations allow cancellations.
Thomas Stephens, via email

Reference: careersbusiness.co.uk

You can’t get a cash refund but, as you booked before the conflict escalated easyJet says you can, within 14 days of your departure date, choose between flying to a different destination, leaving and arriving on the same days as originally scheduled, and cancelling your booking and receiving a travel voucher valid for six months. To make the changes you’ll need to contact easyJet’s customer services team.

Q We would like to take our three teenage children to Belgium to visit First World War battlefields. We do not want to join an organised trip in either the UK or Belgium, but would like to travel under our own steam and then perhaps employ a guide once we are on site. Is it easy to go it alone with a good guidebook and, if not, which companies would supply an English-speaking guide who would be able to pitch the experience at the level of teenagers with a healthy curiosity but not an all-consuming passion for the subject?
Sue Grey, via email

A It’s not easy to tour the battlefields with a guidebook — today they look virtually the same as any other part of rural France or Belgium — but if you are keen to explore this way, Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Ypres Salient Battlefield and Passchendaele(£16.99 including a free battle map from guide-books.co.uk) is worth considering. Alternatively, if you book a self-drive tour of the Ypres battlefields with Somme Battlefield Tours (01202 880211, battlefield-tours.com), including accommodation and Channel crossing, you’ll get an excellent guide pack with trench maps, photographs of the scenes then and now, along with detailed directions and expert commentaries. It can also arrange an English-speaking guide. You could also travel entirely independently and book a bespoke battlefield tour with a guide through Flanders Battlefield Tour (ypres-fbt.com) based in Ieper (the modern name for Ypres).

This post was contributed by the Stockholm Network Business Blog who is a regular poster both here on their own blog.  You can catch them on twitter, facebook or even their very popular youtube channel.

The 5 Best Things About Traveling To New Jersey

It’s quite interesting when you are in New Jersey wishing to spend a good time and you invest a handsome amount to get the glory of the biggest entertainment city in the world. New jersey is an incredible desination and one of the biggest entertainment centers consisting of museums, theme parks and casinos. when it comes to exciting casinos games online this nj gambling online site proves to be the most exciting one .Let us look upon some of the favorite tourist eye seeking attractions in New Jersey .

Six Flags Great Adventure

  • Six Flags Great Adventure

These attractions offers 3 parks in just one location. Tourists can drive more than 100 exciting attractions at the amusement park. You can, also, the refreshing water park Hurricane Harbor check out where you can swim in the pool of wave of 1 million liters. Those an adventure nature go on Wild Safari Park for Safari tours with more than 1,200 species of flora and fauna.

The statue of liberty and the Staten Iceland

  • The statue of liberty and the Staten Iceland

Share the statue of liberty and the Staten Iceland, New York and New Jersey. This colossal sculpture a gift to the people of France to the United States attracts millions of tourists every year.

Cape May County Zoo

  • Cape May County Zoo

This Zoo offers more than 200 species of animals from all over the world. His collections are rare or endangered species such as the mountain Bongo Antelope from Africa.

Grounds for sculpture

  • Grounds for sculpture

This museum and sculpture park of 35 acres has forty contemporary sculptures of amateurs and artists of the State more than two hundred. A real sculpture garden is a complex of large sculptures and plants outdoors.

Liberty Science Center

  • Liberty Science Center

That science to keep the complex features interactive exhibits for children and adults. The largest exhibition on skyscrapers in the world infectious diseases and an area specially for children 6 and under are exhibition pieces. The Center also features IMAX Dome screen in the greatest country perfect for scientific films spectacular show.

Hence when you come to New Jersey to give yourself rest from the all work tension then you should visit these places which gives you full enjoyment and satisfaction to your investments so don’t forget to visit these places and if you are a gambling player and want to check your destiny do visit  nj gambling online once . Good Luck !!

Top Weekend Activities for The Adventure Seeker

Weekends go way too quickly, and you end up back at work on Monday wishing you’d utilised those two precious days more carefully. For the adventurer, having an uneventful weekend pass by can be wasteful and frustrating if you couldn’t get to where you wanted in the two short days you had. Below are some of the top weekend activities for the adventure seeker so you’ll never be left underwhelmed by Monday morning again!

Water Sports

Most locations have some form of water source close by, whether it’s the ocean, a lake or a river. Get outdoors and make the most of it! As a Sea-Doo dealer, JSW Powersports will have some fantastic ideas for those up for some regular jet ski action on the weekends. Kayaking, surfing or paddle boarding are a few other ideal choices if you’re into water sports, as they are usually solo ventures meaning you don’t have to round up lots of people, you can just get up and go.

Trail It

Another adventure activity that can be accessed more than easily over the weekend is bike riding. Have a look at what trails or tracks are in the area for mountain biking, and which are the most accessible and won’t take all day to get to. This is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to pre-book an activity, or for those that consider themselves more ‘doers’ rather than ‘planners’.

Go Bush

Many people might not see camping as an adventure sport these days, with the abundance of pristine caravan parks, powered sights and the ‘glamping’ trend that’s now sweeping the country for tourists. So why not take it back a step and go completely bush for a couple of days; you’ll quickly learn that rough-it camping is not for the faint hearted. Setting up camp someone is also a great way to make the most of hiking tracks, fishing and quite simply, getting back to nature.

Climb Something

Every location has something to climb, from rock walls to bridges. Scope out what’s in your vicinity and what activity will suit you best. Rock climbing can be a fun day out with a group of friends, or can be a great personal challenge if it’s something you’d prefer to do on your own. Also, have a few options up your sleeve weather wise, for example, look at both indoor and outdoor rock climbing venues.

New Heights

Although it will require pre-booking, skydiving, abseiling, bungy jumping or paragliding are all adventure activities that can been done over the weekend. They are definitely what you’d call extreme sports, and should be on the bucket list of every adventure seeker. And as a bonus, the rush you get from the few hours spent participating will more than keep you going until your next thrill ride!

If you’re an adventure seeker it means you constantly have trouble sitting still and focusing on a task if you don’t get your adrenalin kick. Weekend activities that are easily accessible and don’t require enormous organisation are the best idea to keep your appetite in check until your next big adventure!

What are your favourite outdoor activities to do over the weekend? Leave your answers in the space below.