Five outdoor winter activities you need to try

30 October 2017 by
First published: 11 December 2017

Five outdoor winter activities you need to try

Looking for things to do this winter? Contrary to what you might think, the festive season provides the perfect playground to get outside and try new things. From ice skating to snowshoeing, winter fun is just around the corner. Here are the five outdoor winter activities you need to try!

Go ice skating

London does a lot of things well, and ice rinks in winter is one of them. From the iconic Somerset House rink in partnership with Fortnum & Masons to an atmospheric skate at the Tower of London, the festive season never truly starts until the rinks say so. The National History Museum is a particular favourite, with the museum’s towering backdrop and over 80,000 twinkling fairy lights adorning the trees.

Take part in a festive fun run

Festive fun runs are a great way to get outdoors and get active in a happy, easygoing environment. Races like the annual Santa Dash, The Kent Christmas Cracker and Nottingham’s Christmas marathon, half or 5k encourage you to don your favourite festive outfit, make friends and run for the fun of it. No time-pacing or FitBit-watching here (unless you want to!), these races are all about celebrating the season.

Have a picnic in the park

You might think picnics are just for summer, where the weather is warm and the ground isn’t, erm, wet. But prepare yourself correctly – a picnic rug with a waterproof underlayer, thick scarfs and cosy blankets – and a winter picnic can be anything but bleak. Communal parks – like London’s Victoria Park – transform in winter, with icy ponds and frosty trees, providing a pretty backdrop to an alternative date day. Fill thermoflasks with hot chocolate and soup and soak up winter with your loved one.

Go snowshoeing

Admittedly not a classic UK pastime, but find yourself enough snow and snowshoeing is a fantastic active way to utilise the white stuff. A great alternative to skiing, snowshoeing is a form of hiking, with the addition of wearing snowshoes over your boots. The snowshoe works by distributing your weight over a larger surface area so that your feet don’t sink into the snow. This allows you to hike off the beaten track, on paths that would otherwise be inaccessible. Cue beautiful mountain views, trails with not a single other person on them and irresistibly untouched snow.

Visit a winter festival

Winter festivals and markets are a great way to get out into the winter air and embrace the Yuletide season. Have all the winter fun at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, where ice skating, Christmas stalls and mulled wine can be found in abundance, or try slightly smaller festive affairs like Southbank Centre’s Wintertime Festival or Winterville on Clapham Common.

For more winter inspiration, check out London’s best outdoor ice rinks or the five winter jumpers we love!