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With 2016 set to be the hottest summer on record, most of us are planning on some time outdoors. For adults, this usually involves pub gardens, Pimms, and burnt BBQ’d sausages. Necessary though these things are to the British summertime, there is much more that the great outdoors can offer...

Playing Poohsticks 
Poohsticks, the game conceived by A. A. Milne in The House at Pooh Corner, is a childhood summertime staple: drop a stick into a stream from a bridge, and wait to see whose stick appears first. But things have got serious in the world of Poohsticks since we last played. The World Poohsticks Championships is held annually at Cogges Manor Farm, in Oxfordshire. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to practice before next year’s Championships.

Climbing trees
As we get older, and more afraid of falling, clambering through branches becomes less appealing. But the recent release of Jack Cooke’s The Treeclimber’s Guide, has sparked an adult tree-climbing trend. The book provides you with everything you need to get climbing. Even city-dwellers have no excuse, as some of Cooke’s favourite trees grow in Hyde Park; for those prepared to venture farther afield, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is home to England's largest oak forest.

Playing hide and seek
We’ve been playing hide and seek since we could count to ten and mass games of Manhunt are regularly played by adult urbanites across London. But still, there’s much to be said for the classic version of the game, conducted in a somewhat greener setting. Woods and forests contain the best hiding places and are an opportunity to regain some childhood excitement. You’re also less likely to come across cars.

Going for picnics
Everyone loves a picnic. But all too often, we end up wedged in next to other picnickers and wishing we’d stayed at home. It’s time to ditch the crowded park and give our picnics the respect they deserve. Dare to head a little further than the local common and you’ll find any number of beaches, hills, moors and woodlands that are perfect for dining al fresco. 

Building your own slip-n-slide 
The slip-n-slide is one of the world's simplest summertime inventions and it’s a perfect way for kids to stay cool in the summer. But there’s no reason that adults should have to miss out on the fun. A quick internet search pulls up hundreds of How To guides for building a slip-n-slide for grownups; and now your parents can’t tell you off for ruining the grass.

Going on a scavenger hunt
As an adult, walking is an activity to be enjoyed for its own sake. Scavenger hunts are a perfect way to, not only see your surroundings, but explore them. Simply compile a list of objects, or pictures to snap, and head out to hunt.

Toasting marshmallows around a campfire
In the US, toasted marshmallows, or smores, are an American campfire staple. Smores consist of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a soon-to-be melted square of chocolate, sandwiched between two graham crackers (or Digestives here). National Smores Day is celebrated annually on August 10, so there’s time yet to perfect your chocolate-to-marshmallow ratio.

Flying a kite 
Ever since Marry Poppins and co sung about flying kites, kids have been kite-crazy, but kite-flying is fun for adults, too. In terms of getting out into the great wide open, flying a kite is hard to beat. Make your own or splash out on a professional design; no matter what kite you choose, you’re guaranteed a good view as the best kite-flying locations are either coastal or high up. Kite-flying is also known to reduce stress, so it’s perfect for escaping the frenzy of modern life.

Swinging on ropes from trees
A rope swing is a hugely versatile thing. Tie a rope to a solid tree branch and you have a swing; tie the rope to a branch that hangs over a river, and you have a natural plunge pool and trapeze combo. A far cry from the childhood days of queuing crossly for the swing set, rope swings are sure to put the thrill into being outdoors.

Camping out under the stars 
Camping under the stars is the quintessential outdoor activity but sadly, most adults only unpack their tents at festivals. During the summer, camping under the stars is one of life’s great luxuries and now we’re all grown up, we don’t have to stay in the back garden.

Words: Little Forest Folk 


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