What to expect
Coasteering is an adventurous way to explore beautiful coastlines. It typically involves a combination of sea swimming, scrambling, climbing and cliff jumping, but no two trips are ever quite the same, because this activity is shaped by the location, tide and ever-changing coastal landscape. Although people have been exploring British coastlines in this way for many moons, coasteering as we know it today (a commercial, guided adventure) emerged in the mid-80s in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and has since spread all across the rocky coasts of the UK.
What you’ll learn
Coasteering is a fantastic form of exploration, in all senses of the word. Firstly, it’s a chance to explore the beautiful wildlife, scenery and thrills that await you along magnificent coastlines. Secondly, it’s a chance to step out of your comfort zone and explore your personal boundaries and expectations.
You’ll be experiencing areas of coastline most people never see! The type of routes taken on coasteering trips aren’t the sort you stumble across. Guides will be able to show you cliff faces, rocky stacks, caves and rock shelves that many don’t even know exist, as they’re not visible or easily accessible from popular beaches. This also gives you a chance to encounter wildlife that thrives away from human activity.
- If you haven’t had a dip for a while, go out for a swim first. Most providers suggest that participants should be able to swim 50m unassisted and feel comfortable in deep water. So, if you haven’t been swimming in a while, you should check your fitness before you go.
- It can be a bit chilly, bring warm clothes for later. For the activity itself, the people running it will typically provide a nice, thick wetsuit to keep you warm in the water, but make sure you’re prepared with a towel and warm clothes for afterwards.
- You don’t have to do the jumps. If you’re uncomfortable being up high, then that’s not a problem. You might want to let your provider know at the start. Jumps will generally start from low heights, so you can step up to the challenge if you wish, but no one will want or expect you to do anything that you’re not happy to do.
- Coasteering is governed by the tide. This means that the time of the sessions advertised might vary greatly. If you’re after a slot at a certain time of day, be sure to speak to your provider well in advance about dates and times that could fit with your schedule.
When speaking to a coasteering professional, you’ll quickly find out that there’s a great deal of options available to you and this activity presents a fantastic opportunity to shape your own adventure. How could you adapt your coasteering adventure to make sure that the group don’t harm or disrupt natural rock formations, local wildlife or the shape of the landscape while taking part?
Before the trip, everyone should chat together about how they can best support one another to overcome any worries people might have and each set yourselves personal challenges.