As far as I’m concerned, sporty holidays come in two forms. There is the kind in which you put in a day of extreme physical discomfort to build up a calorie deficit so you can enjoy, guilt-free, the later orgy of food and drink consumption. Or there is the kind during which you sit around watching other people expend energy while toying with… well, whatever or whomever you like to toy with on holiday. There are hundreds to choose from but these are some of my favourites for the coming year.
Watch the Prix Morny, a prestigious race for two-year-olds, but unless you’re feeling especially quids-in, do avoid buying a horse (the sales are on). There are gorgeous things to see and do (and eat and drink) around the town. Deauville is on the English Channel but slightly further south than Le Touquet, so you may avoid the Folkestone weather that can sometimes cast a cloud (literally) over holidays in this part of France. Visit Horse Racing Abroad: Deauville festival weekend.
The C2C is a rite of passage where bike holidays are concerned. I’ve done the Coast to Coast (the route is usually from Whitehaven to Sunderland or Tynemouth) many times and can anecdote for England about it: the fantastic scenery, the ghastly hills, the quixotic weather over the Pennines, bacon butties and homemade cake at the lovely café at the route’s highest point. Unless you’re Bradley Wiggins, doing it over five days rather than three is the (slightly) less challenging option. Visit C2C.
Why not play at being a pro? The Links Golf Cup, held in North Bernwick, Scotland, offers amateurs the chance to compete in a five-day tournament (next one is 24 to 28 March 2014) alongside fellow enthusiasts. This event isn’t just about the sport, and with four-star accommodation and a packed calendar of social events, guests are promised a memorable stay not far from the Borders’ beaches. Visit Links Golf Cup.
For all those who like clambering up bits of scenery rather than gazing at it with suitable expressions of wonder, tor bagging is the latest craze for outdoorsy types who like making lists of the geological structures they have conquered. And at 600 feet per tor you can bag one in half the time of a Munro. Visit LDWA: tor bagging.
This promises the best of both worlds: doing very little alternating with doing rather a lot. A yoga sandwich with a filling of mountain biking and hiking around one of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of Europe. Visit Alpine Yogi.