Today I am handing the Blog over to Philippa from It’s Nice Out to give you a few ideas of things to do this Easter Holiday. Now I am the first to admit I spend WAY to much time in my office in front of the computer screen, so Philippa is here to give us some ideas of how to get out into the fresh air and do something fun and healthy with our spare time. With Easter holidays here and Easter weekend nearly upon on, what better time to get out into the great outdoors, get some excercise and get moving! Philippa is an outdoors expert as she keeps us up to date with her adventures via her website.
I’ll pass you over to Philippa……….
There are so many benefits to our bodies and minds from getting outside in the fresh air. In addition to the obvious health advantages of exercise and vitamin D from daylight, our emotional and mental wellbeing is enriched by unplugging and being out of the house, enjoying the great outdoors. A simple change of scenery is proven to stimulate our mental processes and help us to function more eectively.
While I regularly enjoy mountain biking, hiking, camping and watersports to get my outdoor fix, you don’t necessarily have to go to such full-on extremes to benefit from being outside. The majority of our escapades comprise everyday adventures, which are neither expensive, time-consuming or exhausting. It always surprises me how few people spend their free time enjoying the outdoors, I suspect much of that is partially due to habit, but also because people often don’t realise there are cheap, accessible and enjoyable places to go, right on their doorstep. For some, the idea of pulling on a pair of walking boots and heading off on a waymarked path can feel a bit daunting, so I have 5 great ideas to help you plan an everyday outdoor adventure, wherever you live.
1) Visit a Forestry Commission Centre
Woodland sites managed by the Forestry Commission and Natural Resources in Wales can be found all over the UK. These wooded areas are safe, natural places to walk, cycle and immerse yourself in all the benets of forests. The Japanese widely practice Shinrin-Yoku or ‘forest bathing’ which harnesses the proven benets of being among the trees. Forestry Commission sites with parking and other facilities, cafes, play areas and mapped trails make it easy to explore our woodlands. Most sites have a calendar of organised activities for kids and look out for one-o events including open-air concerts and lm screenings. Here’s my account of a recent visit to Cannock Chase.
2) Walk a Costal Path
Now I know not everyone lives near the seaside; I live 15 miles from the furthest place from the coast in the entire UK, but as often as possible we like to make the effort to take in the sea air. Work is underway to connect coastal paths around England Wales boasts 870 miles of recently completed non-stop coastal path and the Scottish Coastal Way allows for uninterrupted mainland coastal walks. A good way to enjoy a circular walk is to park up, take a local bus ride down the coast (open top if possible) then wander back along the shore, stopping for sh and chips or an ice cream, obviously!
3) Find a Farmers Market
With around 700 regular farmers markets all over the UK, you’re never far from a vibrant, inspiring gastronomic experience. Showcasing the best of local produce, farmers markets allow you to get your shopping in a much more wholesome, engaging way than trudging around a retail centre or shopping online. It’s fascinating to speak to producers and learn about the provenance of the foods on offer, taste new flavours and pick up recipe tips. And best of all, it’s all in the great outdoors! My favourites are Glastonbury (4th Saturday every month) Loughborough (2nd Wednesday every month) and Leominster (2nd Saturday every month).
4) Explore a Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve
A quick glance at Google maps will give you an idea just how many nature reserves there are all over the country, and some surprisingly close to urban areas. Many have special events scheduled throughout the year, but these peaceful, unspoilt landscapes are compelling in their own right and as well as learning about wildlife and conservation, they make for great photo opportunities. I like to set myself a loose theme, perhaps a colour or concept such as ‘straight lines’ or ‘outdoor fun’ and compile a series of images exploring that theme. Observing your surroundings in this mindful way allows you to become much more absorbed in the landscape, so you notice things you might not have otherwise. And you don’t need any fancy equipment – just a camera phone will do! Find your nearest nature reserve on the Wildlife Trust website.
5) Take a picnic to a local reservoir
While for many of us a trip to the seaside can be a bit of an undertaking; the majority of people in the UK live near one of hundreds of inland reservoirs. There’s something soothing about being near large expanses of water, and often these sites have good facilities to help you make the most of a visit. While many reservoirs offer various watersports and sailing opportunities, my favourite thing to do at our local reservoir, Rutland Water is to take a picnic and a few books and find a quiet spot to while away the afternoon.
We live in a beautiful country and it’s so easy to enjoy an inexpensive day out with very little planning or effort. For many, the default option for downtime relaxing is to hit the shops or relax in front of the TV or internet, but an everyday outdoor adventure at least once a month nurture body and mind.
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