When you're on the lookout for your next adventure, forget heading off to some far-flung destination to get your kicks – there are plenty of places around the UK that are perfect for active breaks and wilderness escapes.

Whether you're looking for a bit of an endurance challenge, or just want an excuse to leave your emails behind for a weekend, this selection of breaks around the UK and Ireland are perfect for families, outdoor lovers and intrepid explorers alike. Let the adventures begin...

Reeks District Big Five

Kerry, Ireland

Here at escapism, we love a good challenge. So naturally, we're pretty keen on the all-new Big Five in Kerry's Reeks District. All you have to do is head to the south west of Ireland, grab an adventure passport for free, then climb a 1,039m mountain, cycle 90km of mountain passes, paddle a 6km lake, catch a wave on a Blue Flag beach and go night SUPing in a Dark Sky Reserve. Easy, right? Big Five passport is free. reeksdistrict.com

Love Trails Festival

Gower, Wales

From dawn runs to beer-fuelled relays, Love Trails festival takes everything you love about running and turns it into a weekend-long runner's high. While camping out on the Gower peninsula in South Wales, you can learn to run barefoot with Vivobarefoot, join guided jogs to long-table banquets and pick up fitness tips from pros like Ross Edgley, Anna-Marie Watson and Charlie Dark. 4-7 July; weekend tickets from £149. lovetrailsfestival.co.uk

Learn to fire cook

Sussex

Based in a treehouse in the gorgeous South Downs near Lewes, Hunter Gather Cook is a school specialising in seasonal cooking, from sustainably hunted meat to wild foraging and cocktail making. On a day course, you'll learn how to butcher, forage and cook over an open fire, with a different, delicious menu for each season. From £160. huntergathercook.com

Tour the Hebrides

Scotland

Haggis Adventures

What would you want from a quickfire trip to Scotland? Time to explore the uncrowded beaches of Harris and Lewis? A day soaking up the stunning scenery of Skye? A stop at the majestic sights of Glen Coe and Loch Ness on your way back? Hop on tour with Haggis Adventures, then, and you can do it all and more in five days. Job done. Five-day tours from £249pp. haggisadventures.com

Go on a kayak pub tour

Norfolk

Just because you're in Alan Partridge country doesn't mean you're confined to owl sanctuaries and spice museums for your daytime entertainment. Head into Norfolk's church-filled county town (which is home to cracking pubs and a great market) for a morning coffee, then rent a canoe and paddle your way out into the country on an afternoon's 'booze cruise', wetting your whistle at four lovely waterside pubs along the way. Bring beer goggles and sea legs. Afternoon tours from £20pp. pubandpaddle.com

Rewild Yourself at the 7th Rise

Cornwall

7th Rise
7th Rise

Sometimes you need to run away from phone signal, from your emails and your boring city life. Sometimes you need to canoe, wild swim and fish your weekend away. Sometimes – just sometimes – you need to book yourself a stay at the 7th Rise, an adventure camp on Cornwall's rugged Roseland peninsula where you can escape the modern world and slow the pace with fire-cooking, wood whittling and much, much more. Two-night trips from £295pp. 7thrise.co.uk

Go on an epic day out

Surrey Hills

Newsflash: you don't actually have to go far from London for an intrepid day out. But if you don't believe us, head out to the Surrey Hills with Vespucci Adventures. This brand-new project gives people all the tools they need to hit the road on self-guided adventures around the UK, from kit lists to waypoint-marked Google maps. We promise you won't get lost... Surrey Hills adventure, £15. vespucciadventures.com