As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to the Mendip Hills, Jackie King picks out a selection of outdoor adventure activities in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Somerset, southwest England.
The geology of the Mendips - with its cavernous gorges and network of caves, its rugged landscape and meandering rivers - lends itself to a fantastic variety of outdoor activities. Not surprisingly, the area is very popular with caving, and enthusiasts come from miles around to experience the thrill of scrambling underground here.
The open, windswept plateau also make fantastic biking terrain, and the dense woodland and grasslands are perfect for bush foraging and nature walking.
If you want to take in the beauty of the landscape at a more leisurely pace, there is mile upon mile of relatively flat cycle routes, bridle paths and footpaths, making it easy to get around the AONB under your own steam.
Snack on bugs and nettles in the undergrowth, take up the fire-lighting challenge, go foraging in the hedgerows, learn how to shoot... Whether you’re planning a hen or stag party, a company away day, or have simply always fancied yourself as a bit of a Ray Mears, sign up to Go Wild you can enjoy these and many more equally entertaining, inspiring, low impact activities in a beautiful rural setting in the Mendips. They also provide accommodation, from cottage to glampsites. gowildweekends.co.uk
Mendip Outdoor Pursuits
Build a raft and sail it down the river, explore the labyrinth of underground caves or head off with a map and compass for an afternoon of orienteering. From bush crafts and assault courses to guided walks and mountain walking, Mendip Outdoor Pursuits has dozens of different trips and ideas for company away days, school outings, stag and hen parties. mendip.me
The Charterhouse Centre
This award winning outdoor and environmental centre is based in the heart of the Mendip Hills. The centre works with schools, universities, corporate customers and various other groups and organisations, offering a wide range of challenging outdoor activities, including caving, climbing, archery and orienteering. Whether you are looking for a venue to host a family get together or are a teacher looking to organise an outdoor residential trip for up to 65 children, Charterhouse is the place for you! charterhousecentre.org.uk
For more information on characterful places to stay, local food and drink, and nearby visitor attractions, see our Green Traveller's Guide to the Mendip Hills.