Outdoor Activities for Winter

outside outdoor winter activities ideas

When searching online for inspiration for how to spend time outside on a wintry weekend, I came across plenty of articles advising everything from making snow angels to cross country skiing. However, here in the UK we're not normally blessed with more than a couple of centimeters of snow at a time in the winter (and even that tiny amount sends public services into meltdown) so sledging and ice fishing are unfortunately off limits. (Yes, ice fishing was a genuine suggestion in one article). Sensing a gap in the market when it comes to snowless winter fun ideas, I've decided to put together my own post of UK-suitable outdoor activites to inspire you to wrap up warm and get outside!

wintry outside fun activity inspiration

But first, why the hell do I recommend getting outside in the winter? I'm a country girl at heart. I grew up on a farm in rural Suffolk with no neighbours, no road noise (aside from the occasional tractor), and birdsong aplenty. These are things that I miss so much now that I live in a big city. Don't get me wrong, I love Leicester and the lovely flat I live in here, but sometimes, I crave that peace and quiet, without a car in earshot. Walking through a blissful green field with only your own thoughts for company is an introvert's dream. It's an important opportunity to recharge and ground yourself, something I try to do regularly, whatever the season. But enough of my ramblings, let's get into the guide of how you can embrace the outdoor life just like me!

cold weather ideas activity

Go on a photography adventure

This post is actually brought to you by a photography adventure that I went on last weekend! I was lucky enough to receive a new camera lens for Christmas so I was dying to try it out on some new subjects. I found so much inspiration for new angles and ways of using my lens (even having a play around on manual mode, eek) in the outdoor environments of the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, which brings me on to my second outdoor activity idea... 

Visit your city's Botanical Gardens

Cambridge isn't the only city with gorgeous Botanical Gardens, you can find them in Sheffield (beautifully shown off by Jessica and James in their day out post), as well as Oxford, Newcastle, Birmingham and many more! Botanical Gardens are a lovely mix of wide open spaces as well as greenhouses and indoor areas to explore if you're feeling a little chilly - ideal for a winter's day!

Walk a journey you'd usually drive

The perks of this are endless: first off, it's free AND an environmentally friendly choice! Even if you won't be venturing out of the city on this walk, you'll still be getting those all-important exercise benefits, and you may even discover some new things to love about your hometown that you'd never noticed before, such as a house with a beautiful garden, an adorable puppy going on his walk, or a new cafe you'd really like to pop in to!

things to do winter outside

Make your own scavenger hunt

This is a really fun activity to do with children, or even just a group of enthusiastic friends! Make it a competition amongst your outdoorsy group to find a selection of objects - they can be anything you choose. For example, an acorn, a stone, a feather, a clover leaf. You can even add a few silly things like a stick the exact length of your middle finger or the prettiest leaf you come across!

Take a winter picnic

Picnics are by no means a summer exclusive! Pack yourself a thermos full of soup, some good old fashioned sarnies, and a blanket to wrap yourself up in as well as one to sit on. It'd be rude not to treat yourself to a few sweet treats as well, you need the sugar to keep you warm, right?!

Visit a National Trust Property

History, scenery and the promise of some amazing scones in the ever-present cafe, what more could you ask for? I love visiting National Trust places (including those in Salisbury and York) because there's always something new to discover. I've been to art exhibitions, amazing garden installations, and even miniature train rides at National Trust venues and I'm not ashamed to admit how much I enjoy them!

things to do winter cold ideas

Go birdwatching 

This might seem like something your grandparents might do on a weekend, but you'll be surprised how enthralling bird watching can get when you start to get into it! I mentioned above my love of birdsong, and I find that there's nothing like seeing a little robin flitting around to bring a smile to your face. If you've brought your camera along, you can challenge yourself to take a few snaps of the birds you spot as well! 

Make bark rubbings from trees

We're going from activities suitable for the over eighty-fives to those appropriate for under fives in one swoop, but who cares?! Taking bark rubbings from trees using a piece of paper and a crayon was something I loved doing as a child. You can get creative with your rubbings once you're home too - they'd make a great scrapbook background to memorialise your day out, or you could turn them into cards, envelopes, anything you like!

Plan a pub / cafe walk

Before you slip your welly boots on and prepare to jump in all the muddy puddles you can find, plan yourself a walking route that passes by a couple of pubs or cafes. These will break up your journey, give you the chance to sit down and warm up over a steaming mug of coffee or something a little stronger, and make your afternoon stroll all the more enjoyable!

winter cold ideas things to do activities

And there we have it, my top nine ideas for outdoor activities perfectly suited to the colder months! If you have anything to add to my list, don't hesitate to comment below!

Are you an indoor or an outdoor person?

Until next time,

A x

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