The Most Popular Outdoor Activity in the UK, Ranked

Choose the outdoor activity you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 17, 2024 07:07
Deciding on an outdoor activity can often be a challenge given the variety of options available. Many find themselves scrolling endlessly through suggestions or asking friends and family for recommendations. A clear, ranked list could simplify this decision-making process by highlighting the top picks based on collective preferences. This ranked list offers an interactive way for enthusiasts to cast votes on what they believe to be the best outdoor activities in the UK. By participating, users not only learn what activities are trending but also contribute to a live, community-driven ranking. This ensures that the list is always reflective of current tastes and interests.

What Is the Most Popular Outdoor Activity in the UK?

  1. 1


    Cycling is a favored activity across the UK, with numerous cycle paths and national routes for all levels of cyclists.
    • Popular Routes: Hadrian's Cycleway, The Taff Trail
    • Organizations: British Cycling, Sustrans
  2. 2


    Camping allows people to enjoy the UK's natural beauty up close, with a variety of campsites available nationwide.
    • Popular Locations: Lake District, Snowdonia, Scottish Highlands
    • Types: Wild camping, Caravan sites, Glamping
  3. 3


    Fishing is a popular pastime in the UK, with its numerous rivers, lakes, and coastal areas offering ample opportunities for freshwater and sea angling.
    • Popular Types: Carp, Trout, Sea Bass
    • Licenses Required: Yes for freshwater fishing
  4. 4


    Walking and hiking are the most popular outdoor activities in the UK, offering a range of trails from easy walks to challenging hikes across the countryside.
    • Popular Trails: Lake District, Peak District, South West Coast Path
    • Organizations: Ramblers, National Trust
  5. 5

    Horse Riding

    Horse riding offers a unique way to explore the UK's countryside, with a network of bridle paths and equestrian centers.
    • Popular Activities: Trail riding, Showjumping, Dressage
    • Organizations: British Horse Society
  6. 6


    Golf is a traditional and popular outdoor activity in the UK, home to some of the world's oldest and most famous golf courses.
    • Popular Courses: St Andrews, Royal Birkdale, Carnoustie
    • Organizations: R&A, England Golf
  7. 7

    Rock Climbing

    Rock climbing is gaining popularity in the UK, with its varied terrain offering both indoor and outdoor climbing opportunities.
    • Popular Locations: Peak District, Lake District, Wales
    • Organizations: British Mountaineering Council
  8. 8

    Canoeing and Kayaking

    Canoeing and kayaking are popular water-based activities in the UK, offering a peaceful way to explore its rivers, lakes, and coastlines.
    • Popular Locations: Lake District, Scottish Highlands, Norfolk Broads
    • Organizations: British Canoeing
  9. 9


    Running is a widely accessible and popular activity throughout the UK, with parks, trails, and events like Parkrun.
    • Popular Events: Parkrun, London Marathon
    • Benefits: Health and fitness
  10. 10

    Bird Watching

    Bird watching is a peaceful outdoor activity in the UK, with its rich biodiversity and numerous bird reserves.
    • Popular Locations: RSPB Reserves, Wetlands
    • Organizations: RSPB, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular outdoor activity in the UK. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or activity is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 77 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each activity once every 24 hours. The rank of each activity is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Outdoor Activity in the UK

Rank #1 for the most popular outdoor activity in the UK: Cycling (Source)
Many people in the UK enjoy spending time outside. The fresh air and open spaces draw people from all walks of life. Families, friends, and individuals all find joy in outdoor activities. This pastime has deep roots in British culture. It offers a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The landscape of the UK is diverse. It includes rolling hills, vast fields, dense forests, and rugged coastlines. This variety provides many opportunities for outdoor fun. People can explore different terrains and enjoy the natural beauty. The changing seasons also add to the charm. Each time of year brings its own unique appeal.

The UK has many designated areas for outdoor activities. National parks and protected areas are popular. These spaces are well-maintained and accessible. They offer a safe and enjoyable environment. Many people visit these places regularly. They appreciate the peace and tranquility.

Outdoor activities are good for health. They provide physical exercise and mental relaxation. Being active outside helps reduce stress and improve mood. It also promotes fitness and well-being. Many people find that they sleep better after spending time outdoors.

The social aspect is also important. People often engage in these activities with others. It strengthens bonds and creates lasting memories. Sharing experiences with loved ones adds to the enjoyment. It also encourages a sense of community.

The UK government supports outdoor activities. Many programs and initiatives promote them. These efforts aim to make outdoor spaces more accessible. They also encourage people to spend more time outside. The benefits are clear, and the support is strong.

Equipment and gear are widely available. Many stores specialize in outdoor supplies. They offer a range of products for different needs. This makes it easy for people to prepare and enjoy their activities. Proper gear enhances the experience and ensures safety.

Technology plays a role too. Many apps and websites provide information. They help people plan their outings and find new places to explore. These tools make outdoor activities more accessible and enjoyable. They also connect people with similar interests.

Education is another key factor. Schools and organizations teach the importance of outdoor activities. They highlight the benefits and encourage participation. This early exposure helps instill a love for the outdoors. It also promotes lifelong habits.

The popularity of outdoor activities continues to grow. More people are discovering the joys of spending time outside. They appreciate the simplicity and beauty of nature. This trend shows no signs of slowing down. The future looks bright for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK.

In conclusion, outdoor activities hold a special place in the hearts of many in the UK. The diverse landscape, health benefits, and social aspects all contribute to their appeal. With strong support and growing interest, these activities will remain a cherished part of British life.

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