The locations of Habitat Escapes’ two private estates, Lower Mill and Silverlake, lend themselves beautifully to active Cotswolds holidays and escapes in Dorset. Set on vast lakes surrounded by hundreds of miles of green space and nature reserve, each one dishes up adventure galore. From thrilling, high-octane activities to peaceful sunset experiences, on a Habitat Escapes holiday you can enjoy plenty of active experiences right on your doorstep. Here are some of our favourites:
For the beginner
Familiar with a katakanu? Don’t worry, most aren’t! These clever vessels are a little like two canoes attached together and they’re known for being completely stable and uncapsizable, making them the perfect option for beginners who might be approaching their adventures with a little trepidation. At Lower Mill, you can set sail in a katakanu as the sun begins to set over the Somerford Lagoon, soaking in the sights and sounds of wildlife around the water at the most tranquil time of day. The sunset experience incorporates time on the water with a guided walk of the nature reserve, plus time to toast marshmallows on an open fire before you head home.
On dry land, swap two legs for four and saddle up for a horse ride through the charming chocolate box villages of Bourton-on-the-Water and Upper and Lower Slaughter. Bourton Vale Equestrian caters to total beginners with scenic rides that show you the glorious Cotswolds countryside from a new perspective.
If angling is your thing, heaven awaits at Silverlake, Dorset. Fishing breaks here give you access to our very own exclusive lake brimming with carp, tench, bream and roach. Remember your rod and licence, then cast off to your heart’s content.
For the family
Whether you’re navigating those tricky teenage years or trying to coax little ones out of their shell, Silverlake’s Active Squad paddleboarding experience promises to get the whole family involved in an hour and a half of soaking wet fun. Especially appealing in the hot summer months, the session will see you take to the lake on all manner of watercraft, with plenty of jumping in for good measure!
Lower Mill’s bike rental rolls out the whole of the Cotswolds for exploring, here are some of our route suggestions for cycling in the Cotswolds. Whether you embark on a long-distance pedal to make your Strava proud or a meandering route through the countryside, taking to two wheels always gets the endorphins going. The ‘Tickle the Thames’ route is an 8-10 mile guided ride along byways, cycle paths and country lanes, your Habitat Escapes instructor pointing out all the hidden gems along the way. If you’re planning an active Cotswolds holiday with the family, it serves as a fantastic way to get a feel for the place and scout out places you might like to visit again later in your stay.
For the adrenaline junkie
For the real thrill-seekers, we introduce to you fliteboarding. Effectively a surfboard with an electric motor - or an electric powered hydrofoil, to give it the correct term - the clever bit of kit was dreamt up when former kite-surfing world record holder, David Trewern, got tired of waiting for the wind to get up. It has since soared in popularity, becoming one of the world’s most popular watersports. Silverlake’s activity hub has partnered with the UK’s first registered flight school to bring fliteboarding to guests staying at the Estate. You’ll head for the nearby seaside village of Portland for the exhilarating experience.
The Cotswold Water Park might not sound like somewhere you’d expect many activities on dry land, but it is actually the home of Cotswolds Driving Experiences. Offering off-roading and rally driving sessions for all ages, the centre invites kids from ten years old to try their hand at burning rubber (perfect for aspiring Lewis Hamiltons!) and can also cater to disabled drivers. It’s where petrol heads and adrenaline junkies come together on active Cotswolds holidays.
Of course, active holidays don’t have to mean activities, per se. Keeping moving might mean swimming lengths in Silverlake’s pool before breakfast or lacing up your running shoes for a long run along the trails that criss-cross Lower Mill Estate. Year-round bike hire and miles of safe trails around each estate make for energetic adventures, while private Pilates or yoga lessons are a more serene escape. Active families can take to the water in rowing boats, canoes and kayaks too. The opportunities are endless on a Habitat Escapes stay.
Please note: activity dates change throughout the year so be sure to check and book in advance.