Stargazing and Sea Caves - Unmissable Places
To Take The Kids In The UK
The Kabode crew all have families of our own, and we’re all eagerly planning our summer adventures. We’ve been chatting about places we’ve been and places we’re yet to go, and we wanted to share some of our favourite spots with you!
As lockdown restrictions ease in the UK, we are all looking forward to a Summer with a bit more freedom. However with the pandemic still ongoing, many events cancelled and attractions operating under restrictions, we are focussing on beautiful spots outdoors with plenty of fresh air, nature and space to run around in. An afternoon spent exploring the great outdoors is so good for kids, offering them the opportunity to discover new places, learn about their environment and use their imaginations to come up with their own tiny worlds and games in a new space. Plus, who doesn’t love a picnic feast?!
This mysterious forest in Devon has remained untouched, growing and weaving itself into gnarly shapes for hundreds of years. The unique combination of the stunted oak trees forming a twisted canopy over moss-covered rocks creates a natural playground that looks like something from a fairytale. Kids will love clambering over the rocks and under the branches to discover the hidden secrets at the heart of the forest.
Wistman’s Wood was planted by the Druids, and sits on Dartmoor, officially an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The resident Dartmoor ponies and cattle aren’t able to get in amongst the low branches, so the wood continues to grow and evolve without being grazed upon. There are over 100 types of lichen growing on the rocks here.
Dartmoor legend says that the woods are haunted...but maybe don’t tell the kids that!
Visiting Fingals Cave is a true adventure. Located off the coast of Scotland, on the uninhabited island of Staffa, it is only accessible by boat - but local companies offer trips so you don’t have to sail there yourself!
Fingals Cave is a natural geological wonder, formed of towering hexagonal columns. The unusual geometric formation was caused by lava erupting and cooling. This is one of the few places in the world you can see this - so a great geography lesson for budding geologists! Regular boat trips can take your family to the entrance of the cave, from which you can enter on foot above sea level to explore inside.
With the travel restrictions currently in place, you probably won’t fulfill your dream of taking your family trekking through the Amazon rainforest this year. However, you can get a taste of lush green jungle and crashing waterfalls at High Force in Durham.
Dating back over 300million years, the towering rock face has been worn down by the constant rushing of the River Tees, which plunges 21 metres over the cliff.
Home to a variety of wildlife and plantlife the surrounding forest is a pretty place to walk and explore before reaching the stunning spectacle of the waterfall.
Right on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales is Lake Vyrnwy. Not really a lake at all, it’s actually a huge reservoir known for its stunning scenery and varied birdlife.
Whilst visiting you can take to the water and try kayaking, canoeing, sailing or windsurfing. There is also a downhill mountain bike park and plenty of opportunities for fishing, walking and star gazing.
There are various campsites in the area, so your family can really escape to this remote area to soak in the fresh air, nature and activities for a few days.
Cared for by the National Trust, Devil’s Dyke is a 100m deep dry valley in Sussex, near to Brighton. Now a popular site for paragliding, the site has many maintained footpaths to explore - and of course hills to roll down if you don’t mind getting grass on your clothes!
Do check the National Trust guidance before you visit as the car park has limited capacity.
Whether your kids are more into buckets and spades or bodyboards and SUPs, Kynance Cove has to be on your must-visit list. This glorious Cornish beach is off the Lizard Peninsula, with fine white sands and bright turquoise waters. On a sunny day you could easily feel you were on a Polynesian island rather than in the South West of England.
The rock formations standing guard over the cove lend it character and make for interesting places to explore. At low tide you can explore the caves and rock pools as well as look for fish in the shallow water. If you’re lucky you may even see a pod of dolphins playing in the water - a common sight around the shores of Cornwall.
Exmoor in Devon is home to the UK’s first Dark Sky Reserve. With plenty of open land and some of the darkest skies in the UK, bring blankets and flasks of hot chocolate and snuggle up for some unforgettable stargazing. On a clear night it’s possible to see the Milky Way, thousands of stars, familiar constellations and far off planets.
Telescopes are available to hire, and there are guides online to family-friendly places to stop and stargaze. If you’re not up to speed with your constellations there are various apps which you can simply point at the sky and see a map of what you’re looking at, so you can teach your children about The Big Dipper, The Great Bear and The Little Bear, as well as look for their star signs and perhaps spot a line of SpaceX satellites if they’re passing overhead.
After all that adventuring, exploring and discovering everyone in the family is sure to sleep well!