Night Adventures to Try this Winter
Winter nights are coming and we all know what that means right? Yes Mel (I hear you say) – fuzzy slippers, steaming puddings and the odd hot toddy.
Well, don’t press the hibernate button just yet…. because we’ve got a fab list of night-time adventures to keep things exciting ‘till spring!
No 80’s party excuse needed – you get to wear as much brightly-coloured clothing and reflective strips as your heart desires.
If you’re just starting out, practice on tracks you’re familiar with first. Invest in a good head torch – we’re so dependent on sight it can be nerve-wracking when you need to use your other senses for direction.
The best way to get used to night running is to ease into it with twilight runs – you’ll soon get used to your other senses with the added bonus of seeing some awesome sunrises and sunsets!
Check out the Wild Night Run Series 2018 for the biggest night trail running series in the South West.
Also, the National Trust do night trail running events and their entry fees go towards protecting our natural environment and historic places.
If night running isn’t your thing – how about a night hike?
Pick your favourite trail and give it a go under the moonlight – you’ll find it’s a totally different experience!
It’s a good idea to do your homework first; some places are closed after dark so it’s important to check opening times.
There’s loads of wildlife activity so stay alert and watch your step. Trekking poles are really useful to help with stability and it’s also a good idea to drag a friend or two along so you don’t get spooked every time you walk into a branch.
Much the same as day hikes, hydration and snacks are extremely important and be sure to pack extra layers for the cooler night temperatures. In addition, allow yourself plenty of time – your pace is going to be much slower (and more careful!) at night.
And then… just enjoy the darkness. Don’t worry if it’s all a bit awkward at first – it can take a good half hour to get adjusted to the dark.
If you’re looking to do the full hike in total darkness be sure to pack a good headlamp ANYWAY (including a spare) – find one with a red light setting. And when other hikers are approaching, point the torch at your feet (or better yet, turn it off!) so you don’t impair their night vision.
How about the budding astronomers out there? Check out the Dark Sky Discovery Network online map for all the best stargazing spots.
Away from busy cities and street lights, there’s plenty of fantastic countryside with special status for the quality of their dark skies.
So grab those binoculars and spend quality time with those big open skies and thousands of sparkling stars!
We all know one. That friend or family member who rejects the local swimming pool and chooses instead to swim in natural waters. IN WINTER. Mad we say. Followed by a vigorous shaking of the head.
But they’re right of course! Lakes, or rivers or the sea – swimming in natural waters has long been advocated for its health benefits.
From the happy release of endorphins and the reduction of stress hormones to a better immune system, metabolism, and mental health – it’s no wonder that outdoor swimming is on the rise across the UK.
And swimming at night is a totally different experience! Many swimming clubs now have night swimming events for those more confident in the open water.
With the hot chocolate, campfires, glow-sticks and (if you’re really lucky) a wee dram on supply it’s not as scary as you might think.
So take that plunge and go for an evening dip this winter!
Seize your camera (no, not your phone) and improve your landscape and wildlife photography skills with a photography expert!
You’ll get to learn about composition techniques and fill up your Instagram with those amazing moody shots of water, land, and sky.
Photography courses make for amazing gifts (Christmas is just around the corner!) so freeze, blur, and macro your way to a stunning venue and get booked onto an evening course.
Everybody loves a good picture of a sparkly starry night.
Next on our bucket list – the night KAYAK. Yes, this is an actual thing. And it looks amazing. How much fun can we have in a kayak as we set off into the darkness? Watch this space.
And in the mean-time check out our friends at Nomad Sea Kayaking.
Here’s hoping to clear starry nights and a full moon!