5 great reasons to go hiking this summer!

With the sun finally making an appearance, and the school holidays creeping ever closer you might soon be facing the annual challenge of keeping your little ones occupied this summer...

To help you out, our friends from Cottages in Northumberland have suggested going hiking – and have given us 5 reasons to head into the great outdoors with your children this summer.

1. It will expand their education.

Education is crucial to your child’s development, and there’s no reason why it has to stop just because school’s out. Spending time in the outdoors will open up a new world of educational opportunities for your children, allowing them (and you) to get back in touch with nature and the UK’s wonderful wildlife…

From pointing out the different types of plants and trees to teaching them the names of various bird species, you’ll be helping your children understand the planet and, in turn, teaching them to respect it. To carry on the fun, consider creating short quizzes or painting competitions to test the younger members of the family on what they’ve learned each day.

2. It will immerse them in culture.

Whether you’re self-confessed culture vultures, or you simply enjoy taking in the sights, the UK is awash with places that will delight the entire family. From the caves of Cornwall to the mountains of Scotland, the UK is packed with possibilities - and if you find yourself up north, home-from-home cottages in Bamburgh, Alnwick and other areas of Northumberland will provide the perfect base camp for your adventures. 

From day-long hikes to week-long camping trips, make sure your summer holidays are sprinkled with the best of Britain’s culture by researching some of the must-see galleries, exhibitions and landmarks in advance. You could even make a list as a family and have fun checking off each place you visit!

3. It will encourage you to exercise together.

With unpredictable weather even (or especially!) in the summer months, it can be tempting for your young ones to stay indoors watching films and playing video games. While this can be fun for a short time, it means physical exercise will be at an all-time low.

Staying active doesn’t have to be about strenuous activities, though. Instead, get the whole family together and plan an outdoor hike that everyone can enjoy. With varying levels of difficulty, there are a number of interesting routes to uncover in the UK - so from dad and dog to mum and baby, everyone will be able to take part.

4. It will help them meet new people.

So much of our lives are spent in front of a screen these days. Because of this, many of our relationships are maintained entirely online, via messages and phone calls. If you’re keen to encourage your children to interact with others and develop their social skills, there’s no better way than to introduce them to the world of hiking.

Whether you’re tackling some of Britain’s biggest climbs or simply strolling through local woodland, you’re guaranteed to meet other walkers on your travels. If you’re keen to use your walking adventures to make new friends as a family, why not consider joining an outdoor walking club, where you’ll be able to regularly meet up with like-minded families?

5. It will encourage them to explore.

Children are innately curious and, as parents and guardians, you have the opportunity to nurture and encourage that curiosity. With the air in their lungs and miles of unspoilt countryside and seaside to explore, ‘bored’ is a word you’re unlikely to hear this summer.

 With challenging hill walks and picturesque coastal routes, you can get up close and personal with the best of Britain’s natural beauty – and show your young ones that there really is more to life than sitting in front of a screen.