Tuesday, March 17, 2009

UK: Cycle Coast to Coast or Swim between Scilly Isle [I'd LOVE to do this!]

Swim between the Scilly Isles

The Scilly Islands are a unique corner of the UK, a scattering of islands off the Cornish coast with beaches that wouldn't look out of place in the Maldives and an agreeably somnolent pace of life. Spend a holiday swimming between the islands (the longest distance is just over two miles) through the clear shallow waters which team with marine life. The islands are relatively undeveloped, thanks to firm management by the Duchy of Cornwall, and a microclimate created by the passing Gulf Stream means they are home to palm trees and tropical plants that form a striking contrast to the windswept, sea-lashed hills. Because the distances between the islands are relatively short, several swims can be taken each day, and by the end of the week the route will have circumnavigated all the islands.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk
Sea Kayaking, Summer Isles, Scotland

Cycle coast to coast

Ride from one side of the UK to the other on this 140-mile trip from Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to Tynemouth on the North Sea. The route takes in the Lake District and the North Pennines, on traffic-free cycle paths that include stiff climbs such as the Whinlatter Pass and the road to Hartside, home to the highest cafe in the UK (580m). There are also some adrenalin-pumping descents: down into Keswick in the Lake District and on towards Derwentwater, and a long freewheel into Alston in Cumbria. The route passes by stone circles, mountain villages (including England's highest, Allenheads, at 609m) and swathes of moorland - some of England's most atmospheric and dramatic landscapes.

• For information on cycling the route independently, visit c2c-guide.co.uk. Skedaddle (0191 265 1110; skedaddle.co.uk) arranges four-night itineraries from £375, including B&B accommodation and lunches but not bike hire

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