Although winter is slowly starting to fade, Europe is probably still going to face some cold weather for at least a few more weeks. But cold weather shouldn’t mean staying hidden away indoors: there are numerous health benefits to getting outside everyday, even when the weather is bad, and a bit of outdoor action in the cold can have a great effect on your emotional and mental state, too. So, I decided to round up some of my favourite ways to make the most of winter in the UK…
A countryside walk in the UK is always great fun, but when the weather is bad it can be hard to motivate yourself off the sofa. That’s where good old British pubs come in. The roaring fires and delicious Sunday roasts are enough to keep you motivated as you squelch through the mud in your wellies, so plan a walking circuit that starts and ends at a pub. Some of my favourites can be found down south, in my home county of Dorset, as well as in The New Forest in Hampshire – while up north I love the Lake District and of course the Scottish countryside!
Practice a Hobby
Getting outdoors doesn’t have to mean being active. Why not learn a new skill or practice a favourite hobby? Winter is the perfect time to get some really moody, dramatic landscape shots – so if you’re into photography get out there and practice with different kinds of lighting and skies! It’s one of the best winter activities out there in my opinion.
There are hundreds of gentler hobbies that make great outdoor winter activities – like fishing, golf, or even archery – and you may find them easier to practice during the off season. So buy a book or enrol in a course, get outside, and learn something new this winter!
Up the Adrenaline
If a bit of outdoor time does you good, that’s nothing compared with the thrill of overcoming a fear or trying your hand at something new and seriously active. Head to Dartmoor or the Jurassic Coast in Dorset to give rock climbing and abseiling a go – it’s so much fun! Follow one of Air Charter Service’s recommendations and hit the mountain biking trails in Machynlleth, Wales. If you want to get out of the UK, you could take my lead and give skiing a go – I recently discovered that it’s never too late to learn when I spent a week in Tignes freezing my bottom off and learning a fun new skill! Or hit the coasts around the UK to try your hand at watersports like sailing or windsurfing, which make awesome winter activities.
Wrap up warm, protect yourself from the elements, and get outside for as long as you can in winter, whatever the weather. I promise that cuppa on the sofa will feel a million times more comforting if you save it for after a long walk in the wind and rain!
What are your favourite winter activities in the UK or further afield? Share in the comments…