Six of the best outdoor activities

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It’s sometimes difficult to think of exciting things to do on a weekend or when you have free time. Neil Hudson has some suggestions which will not only see you out of doors but also (happily) out of your comfort zone.

SEGWAY RALLY, RIPLEY, NEAR HARROGATE

It takes travelling on two wheels to a completely new level, using your weight to navigate the twists and turns of your chosen Segway rally course. The centre near Harrogate is for 10 to 12 people with full safety instruction given. The gardens of Ripley Castle offer a stunning backdrop, with a chance to explore a nearby deer park, complete with thousand-year-old oaks and an enchanting waterfall. Guided tours are also available of the 16th Century castle. Events take place on weekdays and weekends, with prices starting at £34.99 per person. Call 0844 745 5005, website: www.segwayevents.co.uk

ZORBING, ELLAND ROAD, LEEDS

Zorbs are giant transparent plastic balls used for recreation. Zorbing became big in the mid 1990s despite the concept having been around since at least the 1930s, it being mentioned in a novel by Russian Alexander Belyayev. Today, they are used in various fun events, sometimes on water, sometimes rolling down a gentle slope or even being worn on the upper body for a game of zorb-football, an activity which comes with inevitably hilarious consequences. Go Ballistic Zorbing are based at Elland Road, Beeston, call 0844 745 5005.

POLE POSITION INDOOR KARTING, LEEDS

Based on South Accommodation Road, Leeds and open seven days a week, this centre caters for karters of all ages.

Their most popular format, known as the Iron Man, sees all drivers taking part in a 10 minute qualifying session to get used to the circuit and clock up their fastest lap. Drivers are then lined up and set off for a 20, 30, 40 or 50 minute race. There are even medals (and optional champagne) for the winner. Children’s karts can travel up to 20mph and adult karts up to 45mph.

Telephone 08712 88 33 88 or email info@ppik.net

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES, YORK

There’s nothing like seeing the world from above and this has to be the most fun you can have without keeping your feet on the ground.

Your journey is likely to depend on which way the wind is blowing on the day but one thing is guaranteed, that you’ll see the world like you’ve never seen it before. York and the surrounding countryside has some stunning views and they’re often even more remarkable from above. Flights generally take off from York Race Course.

Contact 01757 288888, website: www.balloonridesltd.co.uk

CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING, OTLEY

If you fancy trying something a little less energetic but nonetheless just as exhilarating, then clay pigeon shooting could be right up your alley.

Established for over 40 years, this Otley-based shooting ground offers the dual benefits of superior clay pigeon shooting and spectacular views of the Yorkshire countryside, with fully qualified coaches on hand plus parking

for 30 cars and disabled access. There’s also hot food in the form of game casseroles and medals to be won. Call 0844 745 5005, website: thebigshoot.co.uk

PARKWOOD OFF-ROAD CENTRE, TONG

Whether you already own a 4x4 or just want to experience the thrill of off-roading for an afternoon, Parkwood has the lot. The centre, run by father and daughter team David and Rebbecca Hoare, was set up by the the pair to provide events and training. Customers can book sessions to use the centre’s vehicles or bring their own. The centre has a range of exciting routes and challenges catering for absolute beginners, experts and everyone in between for most things on two or four wheels. Call 0113 2854356. The office is open Monday-Friday 10am-2pm, website: www.parkwood4x4.co.uk

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