Study reveals top 10 most active destinations

Cornwall is revealed as the UK's most active place (Image credit: Getty)

A new study has revealed a huge increase in people enjoying outdoor activities this summer – and where they are visiting.

The research, supported by outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Winfields Outdoors, assessed Google Mobility data to discover the areas in the UK that saw the biggest increase in trips to beaches, national parks, castles, public gardens, campgrounds, dog parks and marinas. These figures were then compared to data for the summer pre-Covid.

The 10 areas of the UK that saw the biggest increase in trips to outdoor locations this summer were:

Cornwall with a +285.01% increase

Scottish Highlands +222.53%

Dorset +198.69%

East Riding of Yorkshire +198.21%

Lincolnshire +190.69%

Devon +182.27%

Northumberland +173.53%

Pembrokeshire +159.68%

Cumbria +159.64%

Gwynedd +155.85%


A study looked at Google Mobility data to assess the most active areas (Image credit: Getty)

Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands is second on the list of most active places (Image credit: Getty)


Dorset is in third place (Image credit: Getty)

Researchers were also able to see the 10 areas of the UK that saw decreases and the lowest increases in trips to outdoors locations. They included:

City of London -62.96%

Borough of Halton -0.38%

Bedford +8.25%

Liverpool +8.88%

Northamptonshire +12.33%

Armagh +17.43%

Cardiff +17.63%

West Midlands +22.22%

Port Talbot +22.01%

Derry and Strabane +22.51%

The percentage increases show how more or less active each region was throughout the summer months of May, June, July and August compared to the pre-Covid era when Google first began publicly sharing mobility data.

East Riding

The fourth places goes to East Riding of Yorkshire (Image credit: Getty)

A nation of outdoors fans

Joe Winfield, managing director of Winfields Outdoors, believes it’s great to see more people enjoying time outdoors. 

He said: “With the UK being urged to get more active it’s great to see a huge rise in the number of trips to national parks, beaches and other outdoor beauty areas throughout the summer. 

“It’s a really encouraging development as regular trips to outdoor beauty spots are proven to have huge mental and physical benefits.

“The significant rise in trips in places such as Cornwall, the Highlands, Dorset and Devon are also indicative of a summer in which many more Brits than normal decided to staycation and enjoy the wilderness and beauty spots that the UK has to offer.

“Let’s hope that this trend continues into autumn and winter and that Brits continue to stay active, stay fit and stay safe as we all enjoy the outdoors.”

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.