It’s time to come out of winter hibernation and get into the great outdoors. From souped-up bike rides to white water rafting for beginners, there’s an adventure here for everyone
From volcano trekking in Indonesia to kayaking around south Wales
Marathon cycles meet epic swims and uplifting hikes in our guide to the best breaks that, from the Lake District to the Sahara, will get you off the sofa and into the great outdoors
In Hertfordshire’s Lee valley park a new campsite – with basic pitches and access to canoeing and bushcraft lessons – offers a taste of the wild a short train ride from the capital
From the Park of Letters the road to Amberd is not in great condition and it’s just as well there’s not much traffic around as drivers have to avoid large potholes and large cracks in the tarmac every few hundred yards. Amberd Fortress is one of those old places where visitors can climb all over the ruins without their being any warnings, in any language. The walls are mainly, but not all, in good condition and I enjoyed scrambling along one wall to a corner tower where I enjoyed tremendous views towards the mountains along a river gorge. If you suffer from vertigo though, don’t attempt this route as there’s a long drop on all sides.
The present Amberd fortress dates from the 12th Century although there had been a stronghold at this site 500 years prior to this date. The fortress withstood the Mongols invaders in 1236, but was eventually abandoned in 1408. The church beneath the fortress, referred to as either the Vahramashen Church or Amberd Church, dates from 1026 and is worth a visit to see the umbrella-shaped cupola and the views the church enjoys.
Longleat, with its safari and adventure park, has a roar appeal for families, allowing kids to get up close to smaller animals. But with so much to do make sure you plan your visit to cram it all in
A multi-activity break in France’s Ecrins national park