10 spectacular experiences to add to your bucket list

By HarperLees

November sees the release of a film that the Guardian describes as “beautifully acted” and poignant, and has earned a much loved British actor, Bill Nighy, some of the best reviews of his career. This is no small achievement, when you consider the story follows a buttoned-up, lonely civil servant who decides to live life to the full after being told he’s dying of stomach cancer.

The film Living sees Nighy’s character go from being an overworked bureaucrat in 1953 London, to a man on a mission to get things done and make the most of life. It’s a timely reminder that many of us have dreams in life we would like to fulfil in our lifetime, which could include traveling, seeing the natural world or having a go at something different.

Read on to discover 10 great ideas that you might want to include on your bucket list.

1. Go on a Safari

Going on a safari can be a truly awe-inspiring experience, with destinations including Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. With the vast scenic expanses of African savannah, you could enjoy the thrill of spotting lions, rhinoceroses, elephants and other amazing wildlife in some of the planet’s most natural and untouched environments.

If you want to keep your creature comforts you won’t have to go without, as many safaris provide first-class accommodation and excellent cuisine.

2. Drive a dream car

If you have dreamt of getting behind the wheel of an exotic sports car such as a Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren, you might be interested in a track day that allows you to do just that. Even better, as you’re on a track with an expert instructor to guide you, you can put your dream car through its paces without the risk of losing your licence.

3. Travel on the Orient Express

There is nothing quite as luxurious as travelling on the Orient Express, which is famous the world over for exquisite travel.  The train, which one Royal London survey revealed is a popular choice for bucket lists, fuses luxury with stunning views as it winds its way from Paris to Istanbul passing through Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest along the way.

4. Visit one of the seven wonders of the world

Whether it’s the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt or the Great Wall in China, seeing one or more of the seven wonders of the world could be a breath-taking experience. With this in mind, it’s likely to be on many peoples bucket list, and one you might want to consider adding to yours.

5. See the Northern Lights

According to research carried out by Royal London in 2021, seeing the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights as they’re better known, is the most popular entry on people’s bucket lists. The spectacular natural phenomena provides dynamic patterns as brilliant lights appear as curtains, rays and spirals covering the entire sky.

The lights are most commonly found within Iceland, northern parts of Sweden, southern Greenland, Finland, Norway, Canada and Alaska. Alternatively you could stay closer to home and see the amazing display in Scotland.

6. Go paragliding

If you want to see the world from a bird’s eye view, you might want to add a tandem paragliding experience to your bucket list. Alternatively, you may want to take a course and obtain a pilot’s licence so that you can fly solo.

As there is no engine, pilots launch by running and obtaining lift, and the curve in the wing enables a skilled pilot to glide over long distances and to climb to high altitudes. This provides plenty of opportunity to enjoy some truly spectacular views in complete tranquillity.

7. Explore the Great Barrier Reef

It’s hardly surprising that Australia’s “Blue Outback” is at the top of many people’s bucket list. It has some of the most varied and impressive marine life in the world, meaning you can marvel at large green sea turtles, rays, dolphins, or huge clams as you go on a snorkelling or diving adventure.

If you want a trip of a lifetime you’ll never forget, it’s likely that the Great Barrier Reef will provide it.

8. Drive Route 66

If you want to see America and have an adventure, you probably won’t go far wrong by adding Route 66 to your bucket list. The road runs for nearly 2,500 miles and covers eight states, offering vintage motels, roadside attractions, iconic restaurants and natural wonders along the way.

The route, which stretches from Chicago in Illinois to Santa Monica, California, has been removed from the United States Highway System. Despite this, it is still popular with those looking for a classic American road trip.

9. Ride in a hot air balloon

A popular bucket list entry is to enjoy a ride in a hot air balloon. Hardly surprising perhaps, when you consider the peace and stunning views a balloon ride can offer, making it an airborne adventure you’ll never forget.

With nothing more than the wind to guide you, you can escape it all as you drift gently along. As balloon rides are available across the UK and abroad, you can enjoy this bucket list entry for less than many of the others, or include it as part of a holiday of a lifetime.

10. Sleep in an Ice Hotel

If you saw BBC One’s Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof, in which celebrities embarked on challenges in freezing temperatures with the Dutch extreme athlete, you may have been inspired to stay in an ice hotel.

While temperatures inside are far from tropical, it will certainly score highly on the novelty factor, and it’s claimed that you’ll be a lot cosier than you might think – although the right clothing is essential.

Get in touch

We hope you found this article useful if you’re looking for ideas for your bucket list. If, on the other hand, you would like to discuss your wealth, intergenerational wealth planning or reducing your estate’s exposure to Inheritance Tax, please contact us on info@harperlees.co.uk or by calling 01277 350560.