By Jamie Weber
Bristol and Cardiff are cities of similar size, only 44 miles apart on the other side of the River Severn. Both cities have undergone a major makeover in the last 20 years. Cardiff has been heavily invested in its marina, while Bristol’s seafront now boasts a fantastic outdoor scene with a multitude of riverside restaurants and pubs.
Both cities are great places to be outdoors. To help you make the most of what’s on offer, we’ve rounded up the best outdoor activities in Bristol and Cardiff.
Bristol’s lush Georgian neighborhoods and proximity to an 850-acre country park certainly seem to promote a very outdoor lifestyle. In fact, it was listed in the Top 10 Cities in the World to Live in by Forever Sports Magazine.
So you would think that a city with such impressive credentials, Bristol would be a hub for outdoor activities. And you would certainly be right.
- MTB, Ashton Court
Ashton Court Mountain Bike Trails are the closest official MTB park to any UK city center. Located just 3 miles from the city’s central port, it’s just a quick 10 minute ride to a fantastic array of trails that cater for all abilities, making it perfect for an explosive evening after work.
The Nova Cycle Trail is a four mile blue grade course that is moderately difficult. For those who want to test their nerves, the interconnected Super Nova Trail is a more technical variation of the red grade trail.
A great bike rental shop called Pedal Progression offers bikes for all skill levels.
- West Country Games
This unique day of activity is located just five miles from downtown on a working farm in the town of Flax Bourton. Perfectly adapted to any Bristol this weekend or bachelor party weekend, teams are invited to participate in nine themed games, each one more fun than the last. This is a Knockout with a West Country flair!
Using a variety of large inflatable catapults, bungees, and fat suits, you’ll laugh as you hit, wobble, pull, and jump in games like The Cider Run, Pitchfork Duel, West Country Wipeout, and Mangold Dangling.
Costumes are the order of the day here as they really add to the fun. There is a prize for the best dressed team and you will compete against members of your own team during the games and the winner will also receive a prize.
There’s a restaurant on-site for refueling afterward, making this the perfect day out in the field.
- Stand Up Paddle Surf
The SUP craze fits in perfectly with Bristol’s other leading activities located on the floating harbor, which are the city’s old docks. This is a great way to improve your fitness and take in some of Bristol’s beautiful waterside attractions such as the SS Great Britain and views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
There are beginner courses available from SUP Bristol’s expert and enthusiastic supervisors, or you can simply rent a SUP board for a couple of hours.
For the regulars, the team organizes various events, such as SUP Yoga and a Night Paddle. And for those who want to get more involved in the world of SUP, there are also instructor courses available.
- Rock climbing
Bristol has excellent opportunities for rock climbing enthusiasts due to the proximity of enviable natural scenery to the city center. The Avon Gorge, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its Clifton Suspension Bridge forms a wonderful historic backdrop and the West Country’s premier bluff.
There are almost 1000 climbs in the gorge, suitable for both beginners and experts, giving the climb a technical character unlike anywhere else.
Avon Gorge is said to be ‘the most important cliff in the world because it uniquely lies within the city limits. Test climbs up to 80 meters high are just 10 minutes by bike from the city center.
Other climbs in Bristol are hidden in the lush valleys of the River Trym and the River Frome, which offer difficult climbs between limestone outcrops.
A little quieter, but no less dramatic, Ballooning has a long tradition in Bristol. Cameron Balloons, a major balloon manufacturer since the sport began, is based in the city. Balloon rides are plentiful throughout the year, starting from the Ashton Court Estate. From here it’s a breathtaking flight across the River Avon, with stunning panoramic views towards the Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, along the river to downtown and east of the city.
The world’s largest balloon festival takes place annually at the Ashton Court Estate. The morning and evening climbs are the highlight of the Balloon Party, as dozens of balloons soar through the skies and offer a wonderful spectacle to those below.
- Boat trips on the river
The River Avon runs through the city of Bristol. Its course has been modified over the centuries to allow ever larger ships to enter the city docks. The floating port was formed in 19th Century and after a regeneration program that today offers a large playground for multiple boat trips around the city and beyond.
The ever popular Booze Cruises take place at night when groups of revelers take to the water, before entering a variety of waterfront pubs in the city.
Families are also catered for with city ferry crossings and out-of-town leisure trips along the pleasant river channels.
Possibly the highlight of a festival-mad city, the ever-popular Harbor Festival is a celebration of the city’s nautical past, with free live music on various stages across the city, as well as a host of food stalls and many interactive activities. for families.
Get on board and cruise along a beautiful part of Cardiff’s River Taff. Departing from Cardiff Bay, there are several different options available. For those who love adrenaline, speedboats will take you across the river and back. Or enjoy a Booze Cruise aboard HMS69 with a fully stocked bar and plenty of great views along the way.
An activity especially popular with bachelorette party cardiff it’s the Welsh Games. This unique, inflatable and fun themed event is specifically geared towards groups of adults. Compete in 9 crazy themed games that will make you hysterical. Expect lots of inflatables, some fat costumes, dragons, and even a sheep ride. A really cool way to get a group together before a great night out.
Cardiff’s specially built whitewater rapids provide plenty of thrills as you ride down the river, paddling in hand. The course is grade 2-4, including the legendary “Hell Hole”. There are several options available for all skill levels and your expert guides will lead the way.
The nearby seaside town of Porthcawl is less than 30 minutes from the center of Cardiff and is home to a wide range of water activities. The surf conditions are especially suited to beginners and there are several courses set up for you to try. Coasteering is a crazy activity that involves jumping off cliffs into the sea like lemmings! It’s a lot of fun and is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism