Adventure Ideas 3:
Cheap skiing, biking & more!
This week’s Adventure News is all about getting the family into the outdoors. Here in Cumbria, we’ve been surprised by an Indian autumn, as Britain’s wierdest weather continues. But why wait for the weather to come to you? You could always take the lead by booking an active end of year or even new year break. Here’s a few interesting bits and pieces we’ve picked up this week to help you on your way…
Offset high lift pass prices with a cheap bed
Fancy skiing with the family without breaking the piggy bank? If you can secure some cheap flights from one of the the budget airlines, then HostelsClub.com can organise you cheap accommodation in a top resort. They operate around the world and are offering nights in European ski resorts from as little as £9 a night. They can also sort out beds further afield, in resorts including Park City Utah and The Rockies. Sounds like a good deal to me, although you might well need to sell off the children to afford a family lift pass these days, unless you enter that competition with the £30K prize we mentioned in last week’s news.
Alternatively if you are content to just dream for now, then get yourself down to a ski show- we’re off in a couple of weeks to the UK’s biggest ski show, in London’s Earl’s Court. It might be the closest we get to snow this ski season.
Get kids into the park with this game
It tickled me this week to get an email from a wood flooring manufacturer trying to persuade me to get my kids outside! But half term is approaching quickly (although some have had it already) so if you have plugged-in kids who you want to get outside, this downloadable little game might help. The people at the 1926 Wood Flooring company have produced a “Park Adventurers” print yourself scavenger hunt designed to encourage young kids (4-8) to leave the house, go to the park, look around, collect stuff and do some tree rubbing. With all the malarkey about nature deficit disorder any little thing that encourages kids away from the big screenand into the big world is a good thing. So why not reclaim your phone, hide the iPod, xbox and TV remote, give them a print out and see what happens!
If you’re planning a big holiday and would like to feel the wind in your wheels and the sun on your back, you might be interested to hear that G Adventures has launched a new cycling tour in Rajasthan. You can go searching for tigers in Ranthambore National Park, (that’s brave on a bike!) and pedal through remote villages as well as the less remote city of Delhi (also brave on a bike). The company has also launched new active tours in Cumbria and Scotland and the energetic amongst you might enjoy their summer tour of Iceland or autumn on the Appalachian trail.
What’s a bike worth?
At the start of the summer one of our bikes got stolen. And replaced by another bike. Of lesser quality. Was this a biking Robin Hood in action? Can you imagine a lycra clad band of merry men? Best not. Anyway our pedalling thieves might not have been so keen to take a new bike that’s about to hit the mass market. It’s completely made out of cardboard. The advantages? It will cost less than twenty dollars, is super green and no, it doesn’t melt in the rain. But I’m not sure how long it would last in our shed. One summer the mice managed to munch through the entire fabric covering of one of our beloved Burley Trailers.
Whilst on the subject of bikes and cash, would you be surprised if I told you that last year cycling brought 44 billion tourist Euros into Europe? Apparently we took 2.3 billion cycling trips across the continent (not we as in my family, we as in the rest of the world). The figures come from a study by the University of Central Lancashire that also found that cycle tourism disperses visitors to areas that traditionally don’t attract huge numbers of tourists. Well, I can certainly confirm that. I hope my thief in cycle tights is having a good time in Middlesborough or wherever he has managed to pedal to.
Looking back and coming up
On our blog this week you can continue to catch up with my series of posts on accessible tourism. Last week I looked at how the Landesmusuem Mainz is making art and history more accessible and took a behind the scenes look at the Staadtheater in Mainz. We also started an interesting conversation about accessibility in tourism on our weekly Talking Point. In the next week or so I’ll be writing about barrier free travel in Koblenz and The Eifel National Park so stay tuned.
Then late next week we’re heading to London on a post Olympics and Jubilee trip; to see what’s left behind and have a go at a few activities for active families. The last time I was there it was still a building site. Now the Olympic crowds may have departed but there are still plenty of family adventures on offer, like walking up the face of the 02, touring the Olympic Stadium and living like Princes and Princesses in Kensington.
Now sshh please for National Silence Week
Finally, having snaffled our way through Chocolate Week, the Brits are moving on to Pub Week. What next? I asked the family. Matthew was keen on a national ‘i-Pod Week’ – where it’s compulsory for everyone to wear headphones and download obscure You Tube clips. Hannah was interested in a joint ‘Playground and Puddings week’. Cam suggested a ‘Cartwheeling Week’ – to make for fitness and fun. Stuart said he’d be more than happy to paddle his way through ‘Canoeing Week’.
Of course next week is Halloween but having written all about thatI feel I’ve done that now. I’d settle for a week of silence, and I bet I wouldn’t be the only mother signing up for that.
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