During the summer, it's so easy for us to pick up our day-to-day activities and move outdoors. From evening strolls, to picnic lunches; weekend exploring or even just the local beer garden. However, as we all settle into the cozy comforts of autumn, with the daylight hours creeping ever-shorter, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of hunkering down indoors.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of hibernation, autumn is a magical time of year! With its glorious golden hues, the inevitable glut of apples, blackberries and pumpkins, and the promise of Bonfire Night looming large in the diary, it really is not something to be missed.
Recently, A National Trust report stated that the UK as a whole is suffering from a “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Meanwhile, according to Forest School Training, children and young people are stimulated by the outdoors with overwhelmingly positive effects. It is a well known fact that being out in the fresh, crisp air and incorporating some form of daily movement a stress-reducer—good for both the body and mind.
To give you some inspiration to keep venturing outdoors, here’s our very favourite ways to have your dose of adventure this autumn, featuring our fabulous Directory listers. Whether you’re seeking a family adventure or a solo outing, there’s something here for you!
Explore the trails
One of the joys of a long walk is the feeling of connection with those who have gone before: you're on the same route, going the same speed and using the same two feet as countless ancestors. Grab an OS map and find some new paths at your own pace, or join in a group ramble such as the Snowdonia Walking Festival. If you are interested in a more guided tour, research visitor centres in your area which can provide tips, local maps and point you in the right direction.
If it’s a peaceful family walk on one of Wales’ marked footpaths or an adrenaline fuelled blast around some of the best man made mountain bike trails in the UK, Oneplanet Adventure provide all the facilities you would expect from a leading forest visitor centre. For closer instruction and guidance with additional adventurous challenges, Breese Adventures are are based in Betws-y-Coed, the gateway to Snowdonia and will be happy to impart their love of the local area with any keen passer by, or for personally tailored skills courses and micro adventures for walkers,climbers and mountaineers Snowdonia Adventures will, quite literally, be able to show you the ropes.
Activities for your Mini Adventurers
For family friendly activities, it might not be practical to hit the mountains (however, we happen to know children love the train up Snowdon!), and so it may be pertinent to look for local Halloween and Bonfire activities. Often set in beautiful grounds or surroundings with cheap or free hand-on craft or nature activities - let the little ones get a bit dirty this half term whilst you enjoy some crisp air and something mulled.
Some events in our diary include the full week of spooky activities at Blenheim Palace. Find the lurking monsters inside the Pleasure Gardens Maze for a Halloween treat and see a wicked wizard stilt-walker in the Great Court. There will also be classic spooky storytelling in the cinema of the Stables Courtyard with ghostly tales; perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit. Likewise, Bodnant at Furnace Farm have an array of events in store including gruesome slime making.
For non-Halloween events, check out local Welly Week activities near you. From Monday October 27 to Sunday November 5 this RABI campaign aims to assist farming families so grab your gumboots and head out for a splash in some puddles and raise money for a good cause.
Closer to Home
Adventures don’t need to be farther afield than your back garden. For something closer to home, why not try some more of our top autumn activities the whole family can enjoy:
Attend a harvest festival at a local farm
Go on a nature walk for seasonal items to decorate the house
What do you have in the diary this autumn? Have any of these inspired you to get outdoors this October?
About the author: Janet Hill
I’m Janet, and I live at the foot of the beautiful Welsh Hills with my children Mary, 21, and Mark, 17. We share our four-acre plot with our six dogs, six cats (plus a cheeky regular overnight visitor!), four hens, an assortment of wild ducks and all the other wonderful wildlife that visits our garden.
Now I want to share the joys of my life in the country and invite you to read all about it here in The Hills. It isn’t a glamorous life but it is wonderful, healthy and hearty and full of the very best of people.