How to enjoy an outdoor adventure – in the Lake District and beyond

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With festivals, clubs and courses galore it’s a great time to try your hand at an open-air activity or sport – from rock climbing to canoeing or birdwatching

It happened at an indoor wall for the sport of “bouldering”. I was standing watching some athletic young men conquer a tricky route that was beyond my abilities, half-listening to their banter, when I suddenly understood what they were discussing. A proposal to climb outdoors. They had never done it. They dreamed of it, but were uncertain how to go about it.

It’s not only rock-climbing that has this issue. Throughout the UK, there is fresh, unused kit sitting under beds, in lofts and in garden sheds, a testament to thwarted dreams. I am guilty myself. The fishing kayak that has never been wet hangs from the shed roof where I winched it on ratchet straps. I was apprehensive about using that impulsive lockdown purchase.

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