Diverse Destinations: Active Trips at Home and Abroad

Published on  

July 11, 2024

‍If you prefer being active on your travels, there are incredible destinations to explore and places to call home both in the UK and abroad. From cycling in the stunning Tuscan countryside, walking The Cotswold Way and swimming in magical spots along the French Riviera, it’s easy to combine your passion for the outdoors with picturesque scenery and unique accommodation.‍Contrasting lively city breaks with welcoming coastal locations, or rustic rural retreats with fascinating culture, here are some inspiring destinations in the UK, France and Italy. 

The Cotswolds and London

Stretching across some of England’s pretty counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, the Cotswolds are perfect for an idyllic countryside escape. This rural pocket is renowned for its rolling hills (hence the word, ‘wolds’), honey-stone cottages, quaint villages and charming pubs. The Cotswolds and its must-see surrounding areas make a great option for anyone who loves walking holidays, golfing, swimming and biking. 

If you are an avid hiker, pick one of many trails along the famous 102-mile stretch of the Cotswold Way for an unmissable treat. Instead, make a beeline on foot to the ‘prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe. For golfers keen to put practice into play,, the Manor House Golf Club borders Castle Combe and has a challenging 18-hole golf course waiting to be taken on. Meanwhile, there are other equally charming villages dotted throughout this area, including Chipping Campden, Bilbury or Bourton-on-the-Water. 

If outdoor swimming is on your list, this attractive part of the country won’t disappoint and there are plenty of rivers and lakes waiting to dip your toes into. There are dedicated cycling routes like the Beeches Way which wind past grandiose stately homes and gorgeous market towns. For your own home away from home at the end of an active day, enjoy any number of traditional country pubs before retiring to your own cosy rural retreat. 

If city breaks are your preferred active-away option, London is unbeatable for outdoor attractions, active pursuits and events to keep you busy. Whether you're exploring iconic landmarks, delving into the Royal Family or strolling through cobbled streets to a theatre, concert, museum or art gallery, London has it all. The capital has many diverse neighbourhoods waiting to be explored for a short trip or a month’s stay. 

If your bike goes with you wherever you travel to, ‘Transport for London’ actively encourages sustainable and eco-friendly ways to explore this bustling city with its fantastic list of scenic cycling and sightseeing routes. Biking in London lets you move at a leisurely pace to enjoy the sights, cover more ground and be healthy. Pedal along the Thames or through green spaces like Regent's Park or walk to the peak of Primrose Hill to enjoy views of London’s iconic skyline.

If you prefer sightseeing on foot, there are Royal Parks to enjoy and plenty of green areas like Kew Gardens and Hyde Park. In addition, by Regents Park or next to London Zoo, steps down to the canal paths are a great option for admiring some stunning properties close to the water near the upmarket enclaves of St John’s Wood and Primrose Hill. A walk to the pearl of Primrose Hill, in addition, offers a sweeping skyline view of London. 

For golf in an urban setting, the capital has lots of crazy golf indoor venues or, for the full experience, head to the London Golf Club or the Grove Golf Club just outside London to tee off with friends at the historic Royal Blackheath Golf Club in Greenwich or the lakeside facilities at Crystal Palace Park Golf Club.

Paris and the South of France

Paris and the South of France offer the perfect pairing for active French travel filled with culture, cuisine and natural beauty. For an active French getaway, combining your time in chic Paris, one of the coolest cities in the world. In 2024, Paris will play host to the summer Olympics and will be buzzing with athletic events to enjoy and inspire. The French capital, or ‘city of love’ captures hearts thanks to its amazing architecture, authentic personality and unique Paris ‘Signature’

During your stay in Paris get your step count up by walking between the iconic sights of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and the striking Notre Dame Cathedral. For cyclists, you can hire a bike easily to see more of the city, whizzing past beautiful buildings, thriving riverside parks, and wonderful French districts like Le Marais. If you’ve enjoyed too many croissants, head to the tow paths along the River Seine for a scenic morning jog.

From the buzz of the city, travelling to the fashionable South of France is a lovely option for sun-drenched beaches and to explore the breathtaking Cote d’Azur. If you enjoy watersports to stay healthy, sun-kissed and active, choose from kayaking and paddle boarding to water skiing and windsurfing. The impressive French Riviera boasts a stunning coastline whether you are relaxing and swimming on pristine beaches or wandering through historic streets and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Must-visit cities like Marseille and Aix-en-Provence in the South promise unforgettable adventures. 

The stunning French Riviera is an unrivalled destination if you want to stay somewhere beautiful where you can enjoy hiking or cycling through scenic villages. This part of France cements itself as a dream family destination for travel, culture and creating memories together. Bikers will love the traditional villages of Provence surrounded by lavender fields and vineyards. 

Once here, you will be spoilt for choice exploring the myriad of inland hiking trails and picturesque villages in addition to the delicious food, wine and culture throughout this popular region that has tempted British homeowners for years. With a wealth of charming and historic villages to explore by bike or on foot, travelling here at any time of year is an unbeatable experience. Moreover, the glamorous destination of Cannes offers luxurious travel and amenities next to inviting sandy beaches and a thriving nightlife.

Rome and Tuscany

Combine history, culture and world-famous cuisine during your stay in Rome. There is so much to take in when it comes to the Italian capital’s must-see attractions, such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City. If you prefer cycling or walking tours, the city's ancient streets are bustling with cultural sights and experiences for an unforgettable couple’s, friend’s or family trip.

You can trade the city for the countryside and head to Tuscany to discover the attractive charm of this prized region of Italy. If you love biking tours in Europe, you’ll easily find adventure exploring an exhilarating rural trail in this stunning part of Italy. 

Brimming with history and natural beauty, cycle past olive groves and build up an appetite for some of the healthiest and fresh traditional Tuscan cuisine. You might also like to drink in the scenic vineyards and taste their finest produce. Walkers will love the varied terrain of the Val d'Orcia and wider Tuscan region. For history lovers, the classic architecture of Villa Valeria and its beautiful surroundings are unbeatable due to this region’s breathtaking nature. 

If any of these destinations pull on your heart strings and you want to tailor a home to your active lifestyle, there is an exquisite Collection of properties to suit your needs in Europe or on your doorstep. Begin your journey to second homeownership by arranging an introductory call with one of our expert team. Discuss your lifestyle needs and requirements to discover the perfect Collection for you.

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