10 of the Best Active Holidays and Summer Camps for Teenagers in the UK | UK public holidays
Adventure Camp, West Sussex
The Cobnor Activity Center in the Port of Chichester organizes adventure camps for young people who want to learn new skills and make new friends. It includes full days of canoeing and sailing expeditions, as well as rock climbing, bushcraft, rafting and aeroball (a cross between basketball and volleyball – on a trampoline). Evenings are spent honing cooking skills at the outdoor pizza oven. Teenagers stay in log dormitories.
£345, 13 to 16 years old; August 8-12 and 15-19, cobnor.com
Sailing Camp, Isle of Wight
UKSA, a sailing academy in Cowes, runs summer water sports camps. Teenagers can try their hand at dinghy sailing, keelboating, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding and raft building/racing. Land activities include archery, pool games and crabbing. The evening program includes a movie night, disco and the ‘UKSA Olympics’. Accommodation is bunk style; buffet breakfasts, packed lunches, and hot dinners are offered.
£280 for five days, 8 years at 15; August 1-26uksa.org
Party of sports, Norfolk
This festival in the grounds of Holkham Hall offers children expert supervision in their favorite disciplines, in lesser-known sports. The core program includes football, tennis, netball, rugby, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, cricket and rowing. Each sports area is animated by a “legend”; the rugby area has Will Greenwood, Austin Healey, Mike Tindall and Rachael Burford. Families can bring their own tent or book a bell tent, teepee, yurt or Airstream.
Of £370 for an adult and a child aged 5-17; August 12-15, festivalofsportuk.com
Fishing summer camp for kids, Hampshire
Teenagers can spend three days at Nether Wallop Mill learning how to fly fish. The course covers tackle and gear, fishing knots, casting, catch and release and safety. Participants will spend a day fishing on the River Test and learn about chalk streams, trout and other river wildlife, go bug hunting and learn how to cook their catch. The camp ends with a casting contest and a team speed fishing contest.
£285 excluding accommodation, 12 to 15 years old; July 25-27, fishingholidays.co.uk
Riding Holidays, Denbighshire
Springhill Farm stables, near Llangollen and Oswestry on the Welsh/English border, have been running teenage riding holidays for 17 years. The six-day vacation includes hacks, jumping lessons, and a tack and turnout course. The highlight is a two-day trek through moorland and woodland, with an overnight wild camp. Runners grab packed lunches, fire up the barbecue at camp, and roast marshmallows over the fire at night. Back at the stables, everyone competes for rosettes in equitation and team gymkhana. Teenagers stay in dorms or cabins and use a hot tub.
£790 for six nights, ages 12-19 (must be able to gallop in open country); July 10-August 26, springhill.farm
Probation camp, North Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Derbyshire
The Summer Camps Trust organizes one or two week camps for children who have never attended an overnight camp before. Week-long camps take place at Longtown Outdoor Center in Hereford, Frank’s Place in Worcestershire and White Hall in Derbyshire; the two-week camp takes place at Aysgarth School in North Yorkshire. Outdoor activities mingle with games, exploring the countryside and stories around the campfire. Children sleep in small dormitories, all meals are included, and accompanied travel by public transport is available at no extra cost.
£295 for one week or £495 for two weeks8 to 16 years old; July 10-23 and August 21-28, summercampstrust.org
Expedition Summer Camp, Highlands
Running since 1969 and attracting participants from all over the world, this camp is based at an adventure school in Ardmore. Expeditions include a mountain adventure – three days and two nights of trekking and wild camping – and a sea kayaking excursion, with an overnight stay on a deserted beach. There are survival techniques, rock climbing and abseiling sessions; and a beach day with boogie boarding, swimming and games. A highlight is an adult-free night on the uninhabited “survival island”.
£1,475ages 14 to 18; August 8-19, ridgway-aventure.fr
Skills Course, Snowdonia
The Plas y Brenin outdoor center organizes five-day summer camps. The week offers a taste of everything: climbing, kayaking, coasteering, mountain walking and orienteering. There are also single sport weeks. Evening activities include competitions and quizzes. Price includes dormitory accommodation and pick up/drop off at Llandudno Junction station.
From £689ages 12 to 17; July 25-29 and August 1-5, pyb.co.uk
9 | Sea Kayaking Expedition, Highlands
Arisaig Sea Kayak Center organizes all-inclusive sea kayaking and wild camping expeditions for families with older teenagers who have experience in paddle sports. They range from three or five days exploring secluded beaches and lochs in Arisaig Sound, to more challenging weeks in Mull, the Summer Isles, Harris and Lewis or Orkney. Most trips include kayak and camping kit, breakfast, dinner and transport from Inverness or Fort William. There are also two- and four-day beginner kayak courses.
Of £390 for three days, 15 years and over; until September 17, arisaigseakayakcentre.co.uk
10 | Surf Club, North Yorkshire
Families vacationing in Scarborough can send the kids to the surf school – there’s one in Cayton Bay during the summer holidays. The Grommets Summer Surf Club at Scarborough Surf School is suitable for beginners and beginners who can swim 25 metres. It includes five mornings of surf lessons, from beach safety to stand-up surfing, paddleboarding and games. The week ends with a coasteering session and a barbecue on the beach.
£150 for five mornings (excluding accommodation), ages seven to 15 (parents must stay on site with children under 10); July 25 to August 26, scarboroughsurfschool.co.uk