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From seaside equestrian escapades in Dorset to wild dips in the Lake District’s glassy waters, get outside with the UK’s 15 outstanding open-air adventures

Have a white-sand beach all to yourself, OUTER HEBRIDES


Stretching in a chain for more than 130 miles, the Outer Hebrides form Scotland’s parallel Atlantic coast. Also known as the Western Isles, or Na h-Eileanan Siar in the Gaelic language that is spoken by most residents, this archipelago has a frontier feel and plenty of space for visitors to fan out. With lower mountains than on the Scottish mainland, it’s the seascapes that stand out here, particularly the fringes of fine-grained sand that tuck into coves and sweep along broad bays. A few beaches draw surfers, or hardy swimmers, but most people are content simply to take in the beauty of places that would be packed resorts with a few extra degrees of temperature: a picture of a beach on Berneray was once mistakenly used in a Thai tourism campaign. Lewis and Harris is the largest island. Harris (pictured) signifies the southern third, home to two of the best beaches: Luskentyre and Scarasta, brilliant golden-white borders between the emerald hills and the vivid ocean blue.

Camp in the woods, PEMBROKESHIRE


‘Cwtch’ topped a survey 10 years ago for Welsh people’s favourite word; it can mean a hug or cuddle, or a snug, cosy place (it rhymes with butch). Cwtch Woodland Cabins certainly suit their name: woodpanelled and wood-shingled huts just big enough for a double bed, or a double-width bunk-bed in the largest of the three. The young woodland around the cabins is also a cwtch in its way – enough to screen off the outside world, but still a dinky size. Each of the huts has an outside deck and chairs, and there are two more for kitchen and bathroom use. The Brunel Trail cycle route passes within a few hundred yards of the site, and a 10-mile circle takes in cliffs and sandy beaches around Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Make sure to get back by sunset for a barbecue outside your cabin before turning in and pulling up the duvet.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - July 2017
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