If I have to read another best first dates article again which includes ‘go for dinner’ I might cry. I think if the last year has taught us anything, it’s to live – and live well.
National Parks Experience collection launched this Spring and it’s packed full of incredible places to escape into the beautiful British landscape. From foraging to canoeing, goat herding to wildlife photography every experience on offer is designed to connect you to the natural world and hopefully – to your date.
If you want to create memories and try something new, you can look forward to spending time in the glorious outdoors and you’ll be supporting local businesses too. With nearly 70 half or full-day experiences to choose from, here’s our pick of nine dating adventures to inspire you.
Perfect for first-time sailors or seasoned adventurers. Step aboard, learn the ropes, hoist the mainsail and let the wind fill the sails as you explore the River Bure in a classic 100-year-old Norfolk Half Decker yacht under the safe supervision of your instructor. Enjoy the sound of water lapping on the hull as you take in the beautiful scenery, the wildlife, reeds and marshes. Take the helm, the mainsheet and enjoy the thrill of steering as you speed through the water before navigating back to Upton.
Nourish your soul and awaken your senses. Set off from the historic town of Chagford on the north edge of Dartmoor National Park to a beautiful native woodland. The stunning walk meanders through pretty lanes and up holloways, passing farms and isolated hamlets. Let the daily stresses melt away and feel the connection with nature as you learn about the wild and beautiful landscape where people have lived and worked for thousands of years. Enjoy quiet contemplation in the native woodland and stunning views across Dartmoor National Park.
Marvel at the skills of ‘horse whisperer’ Dawn Westcott as she calls in more than thirty Exmoor ponies from a range of moorland herds. This visit to a working farm next to beautiful Dunkery Commons introduces you to one of Britain’s oldest native pony breeds; Exmoor’s free-roaming ponies. The special safety pen panels mean you get closer to experience the captivating energy of the herd and discover more about the unique characteristics that make these ponies such a highlight of Exmoor National Park.
Guaranteed to tantalise the taste buds, this guided experience takes in stunning views of the Lake District and culinary highlights. You’ll learn the secrets of the legendary Grasmere Gingerbread – a spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and a cake. You’ll visit a country pub and taste locally brewed ale, enjoy a rum tasting and private tour of the famous Muncaster Castle, and finish the day with a glorious traditional pub supper of Cumberland sausage.
In the rolling hills, one of Britain’s most ancient wild herds lives – the Cheviot goats. On this guided safari in stunning College Valley, you’ll step back in time. Discover the fascinating animals and the folklore around these magnificent shaggy beasts. Returning from the hills you’ll take in breath-taking views and enjoy an alfresco two-course gourmet lunch prepared by local chef Chris, from Fells Kitchen.
The highest points in the Peak District National Park are the only places in England where you’ll come face to face with the rare Mountain Hare. Most people will never see them when out walking but our guide has a 100% success rate. Starting from the Snake Pass road, between Glossop and Sheffield, you’ll leave the Pennine Way path navigating complex moorland terrain. No zoom lens or binoculars? Don’t worry, the guide will send you a set of digital photos taken on the day to remember this unique day out.
Head into the natural classroom near Guisborough and discover the four priorities of bushcraft. From finding and building a shelter from the prevailing elements to creating flames to warm and cook with, to sourcing clean drinking water and exploring seasonal food to forage. You’ll experience cooking campfire-style using traditional methods and classic bushcraft recipes. And learn how to use sharp tools to make simple items out of the resources in the woodland. The best part? Whatever you make you get to take home as a memento.
Catch and cook your lunch in the South Downs National Park Start the day with a two-hour fly-fishing taster experience at Chalk Springs Trout Fishery nestled on the edge of the historic market town of Arundel in the South Downs National Park. Then, with fish in hand (don’t worry if you don’t catch one yourself as one trout per person is provided) it’s over to Fins & Forks HQ for a hands-on session at the smokehouse kitchen. You’ll prepare and cure your catch for the smoker choosing one of the signature cure flavourings. Then head home and await delivery of your cold smoked trout which is posted to you after the session. Perfect for a follow-up brunch with friends and sharing your story about the one that didn’t get away!
These are revealed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Set out from the picturesque village of Clapham and explore the dramatic limestone scenery at Ingleborough, one of the famous three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Imagine the now-extinct woolly rhinoceros roaming the landscape as you explore limestone pavements and glacial boulder formations. Go underground into Ingleborough Cave and experience the awe-inspiring kilometre of underground passages with legendary formations including Gaping Gill – the largest pothole in the UK.