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Rain or shine, the great outdoors beckons with walks, themed trails, bike rides and scenic golf courses. Horse riding takes you through the countryside across moorland and wide-open spaces, while diving, sailing, surfing and watersports are rewarding coastal activities. All kinds of extreme sports and experiences are also available.

1. Washpool Equestrian Centre, Worcestershire

With fifty horses and ponies, Jill Carenza’s Equestrian can cater for any level of riding skill. Riders love a climb up high on the Cotswold Hills from the beautiful villages of Stanton and Stanway to follow miles of trails off the beaten track on accompanied rides.

2. Cheddar Gorge X-treme

Go rock climbing and caving in Britain’s biggest, most famous gorge. The caving involves crawling into caves, climbing down a long steel ladder using a lifeline, traversing and more to delight adventurers. Climbing is up a buttress with ropes with seven routes to choose from.

3. Where to play golf

The English love their golf and their courses are often very scenic. Some are: Trevose Golf and Country Club, Cornwall; St Enodoc, Rock, Wadebridge, Cornwall; the Bristol Golf Club, Somerset; Cotswold Edge Golf Course, Gloucestershire; and Bath Golf Club.

4. Dive Action, Cornwall

Based on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, Dive Action has dives all year to areas including the Manacles for reefs, walls and pinnacles and the Lizard with wrecks and plenty of marine life for experienced divers. Other sites include Penzance and Mounts Bay, Hayle and St Ives Bay.

5. Walking with Rosie in the Slad

Wonderful 4 mile (6.4km) stroll through author Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie country, across fields, along tracks and over 13 stiles. Begin at Bull’s Cross and follow the AA map directions, Visit the Woolpack Inn, Laurie Lee’s local, on Slad Road, Stroud, overlooking the Slad Valley.

6. Falmouth Premier Marina, Cornwall

If sailing is your passion then the South West coastlines deliver. Family-run Freewinds Yacht Charter is one Cornish company specialising in 34ft-46-ft sailing yachts for day sailing, bareboat and skippered charters – maybe to the idyllic Scilly Isles for some of the best sailing in the British Isles.

7. Extreme West, Devon

The sky is the limit with sky-diving, zip-wires, off-road driving, rally driving, sports car experiences, coasteering (climbing, jumping, caving scrambling over cliffs), sea-kayaking safaris, kite-bugging, kite landboarding, guided bike rides. Extreme West is a provider of experience and adventure days, not all as challenging. 

8. Bristol & Bath Railway Path

Constructed along the former Midland Railway line, this 13-mile (20.9km) mostly flat path is for cyclists and walkers, with access for disabled users. There are still some stations to look at and entry and exit points for tearooms and pubs. 

9. The South West Coast Path

No matter which beach you visit in the South West there is access to the coastal path, the longest National Trail in the UK. Go for a short stroll or longer hike between bays to appreciate the fabulous scenery and invigorating sea air.