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From rapid riding to spa days – try our top ten staycations on water

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IF there’s water around, on a break or a day out, you are guaranteed to have lots of fun.

It can be exciting, enticing, soothing and nearly always sparkling.

Here Trisha Harbord selects ten top trips where you will have a splashing time on or near water.

HOLD on tight and scream your way through the rapids as you hurtle along the amazing white water rafting course at Tees Barrage.

There are two international-standard courses, 300 metres of water and, on the extreme run, the steepest drop in the UK.

You’ll navigate sharp twists and turns as if on a rollercoaster during the two-hour session at the centre in Stockton-on-Tees.

All the equipment is provided, just pop on swimwear and shoes that can get wet.

After working up an appetite, take a break in the café overlooking the river.
Paddling and kayaking are also available.

Rafts are limited to five people, aged 14 and over, and can be hired for £250 on Saturdays until October 24 and Sunday November 1. See tbiwwc.com and enjoyteesvalley.com.

THERE’S water, water everywhere in Champneys’ new £10m luxury spa at Mottram Hall, Cheshire.

Relax for a day in a private cabana beside the 20-metre swimming pool, in the hydro pool, thermal suite with steam room and sauna before cuddling up in a robe in the lounge.

You can choose to be pampered by booking a range of treatments, enjoy a nutritious lunch, work out in the gym or get a haircut in the UK’s first Champneys barber shop.

The new spa is part of the revamp of the 18th-century Georgian country house hotel near Macclesfield, which has 120 rooms and a championship golf course.

Spa day from 9am-6pm including lunch from £79 per person. See mottramhall.com.

YOU will hear the gushing water before seeing the 65ft Aira Force Waterfall cascading down Cumbria’s countryside.

Wander along a trail from the National Trust park’s entrance between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding, passing through woodland and hammering in a coin at the Wish Tree.

After walking through this beautiful part of the Lake District, William Wordsworth wrote his famous poem, Daffodils.

After leaving the gorge, keep strolling for smaller falls and fantastic views over Ullswater – the second largest lake at 7.5miles long.

For breathtaking scenery, cruise on one of five heritage vessels, Ullswater Steamers, which have a number of piers linking walking routes.

Or go paddleboarding, windsurfing or wakesurfing.

Car park from £5. See nationaltrust.org.uk.

WE have taken to the canals after lockdown with boat hire bookings more than doubling.

Hire company Drifters, which has 17 boat yards across England and Wales, says: “We’ve got vessels to accommodate the rule of six people or more for those in a support bubble.”

You’ll be taught how to steer, work the locks and moor up at a country pub along the way.

Take a day cruise through the Cheshire countryside to Nantwich from Bunbury Wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal, across the impressive Nantwich Aqueduct.

Or, through Staffordshire to Wolseley from Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey Canal, mooring at the Wolseley Arms pub and the Wolseley Wildlife Centre.

Day hire from £99, £140 on weekends and bank holidays. See drifters.co.uk.

MAKE up your own family bubble of up to six and go canoeing on the river Teifi in south west Wales.

Activity centre Adventure Beyond offers half and full-day trips starting from Llechryd and passing through the Teifi Gorge conservation area, a derelict slate quarry surrounded by oak and beech trees.

You may spot otters, red kites, salmon, kingfishers and even red deer.

Take a break at a café near the Teifi Marshes nature reserve before paddling on to Cardigan. You’ll be transported back to ­Llechryd.

The more adventurous can try white water rafting or tubing.

Half-day canoeing for six is from £180. See adventurebeyond.co.uk.

B&B at the Teifi Netpool Inn at St Dogmaels, from £85 per night for two sharing. See teifinetpoolinn.com and visitpembrokeshire.com.

GET your adrenaline rushing at the thrilling FlowRider and Aquapark at a north Cornwall hotel.

Family bubbles of six can learn to ride the waves or show off their skill on the year-round surf simulator during one-hour sessions costing £120.

Aquapark, an inflatable experience with stepping stones, obstacles, balance beams and a trampoline, can also be booked for six from £80.

The five-star Retallack Resort & Spa in Padstow is perfect for fans of water sports with many, including wakeboarding and paddleboarding available.

The resort is a perfect base for exploring the beautiful coastline and tasting seafood in Newquay and Padstow.

A two-bed Classic Lodge sleeping four people for four nights from October 5, costs £414. See ariaresorts.co.uk.

IF your pipe dream is owning your own yacht, the next best thing is to hire one. Take your family sailing for a day, weekend or splash out on a week.

Fairview Sailing has 50 vessels available from its base in Hamble, Hampshire, with a skipper at the ready.

You can sit back and relax on Oceanis 37, with three cabins and all mod-cons including a CD, DVD player and TV.

And there’s heating in case it gets a bit nippy while sailing the Solent and over to the Isle of Wight.

You can cook your own food on board or ask the skipper to go into a port to find a local restaurant.

Day charter is £770, two-night weekend £1,200, and seven nights £2,000. Skipper costs an extra £250 a day. See fairviewsailing.co.uk.

A NEW walking holiday in north Norfolk showcases the beauty of water from the county’s coastline to nature reserves.

Aptly called Seascapes, in five days you will follow treks along the shore, seeing hundreds of waders at Snettisham and Blakeney Nature Reserve, which is teeming with wildlife.

The area is also home to the UK’s largest seal colony and there are local boat trips to see them. Marshes and lagoons at Cley nature reserve provide bird-watching opportunities.

Meander on a boardwalk through high reed beds to the Roman fort at Branodunum and the heritage steam Wells and Walsingham railway.

Six nights’ B&B, three dinners, luggage transfers and route notes and maps, costs from £795 per person, between October 1 and 31 and from April 1 to October 31 next year. See inntravel.co.uk.

DIVE into the amazing underwater world off the coast of Orkney.

Kraken Diving School operates at one of the best wreck-diving sites in the world with sunken vessels from the First and Second World Wars.

Adults and children over ten who have never dived before can learn the basic skills before exploring the marine life in the sheltered waters of Scapa Flow.

The more experienced can go as deep as 40 metres but if you’d rather keep your head above water, the PADI-certified school – which donates to marine conservation Project Aware – offers a snorkel safari.

Back on land, look out for seal pups, migrating birds, mountain hares and otters. Packages from £90 per person. See krakendiving.co.uk.

For B&B, self-catering and hotel accommodation, see Orkney.com.

BED down for the night on board a traditional wooden sailing boat moored in Charlestown Harbour on Cornwall’s south coast.

The 18th-century port is a popular movie and TV location, featuring in more than 100 productions including Poldark, Alice In Wonderland and Doctor Who.

Four-berth Mascotte was built in 1904 and is one of the largest surviving Bristol Channel pilot cutters.

She has splendid hardwood panelling, a galley kitchen, shower room and a cockpit where you can enjoy a sundowner.

All profits from Mascotte support the mental health charitable trust Rich’s Boat.

Visit the nearby Shipwreck & Heritage Centre and the Eden Project. Lost Gardens of Heligan are also a short drive away.

The price for six people from October 23 is from £230 a night, minimum three-night stay. See airbnb.co.uk and charlestownharbour.co.uk.

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