Top Winter Activities To Try From Your Holiday Home19 December 2023
When winter starts to set in the short, cold days can make spring seem like it’s a very long way away. Curling up under a blanket with a great TV box set to binge is fun at first it can get old pretty quickly. And keeping active over winter - both mentally and physically - is much better for you than Netflix-based hibernation.
Staying active keeps you fit and can also help you sleep better and reduce anxiety. And keeping your mind active can help your memory and keep you feeling clear and lucid for longer.
Plus nobody likes being bored, right?
So it’s worth making sure you keep busy over the colder months. If your holiday home or lodge is on a year-round park then that’s the perfect opportunity to get away for a change of scene and try some new activities. But even if you’re stuck at home there’s still plenty you can do to stay active. Here are a few things you could try this winter.
It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s probably dark and blowing a gale. Sounds like you should stay inside, right?
Well, that’s where we disagree. Snuggling up by the fire with a book and a cuppa feels much better if you’ve braved the elements and enjoyed some winter activities. You need to make sure you’re well prepared and have the right equipment, but getting outdoors in the winter can be brilliantly satisfying done right.
If you can get to your holiday home then you’re in luck here. Lots of holiday parks are far from the light pollution of towns, and clear winter nights are perfect for stargazing. You can buy expensive equipment if you want, but just looking up at the starry sky can be a humbling experience. Check if your phone has an astrophotography mode too - you might get some amazing photos.
Take a moonlit walk
Going for a walk in the moonlight is a magical experience wherever you do it. If you can get out on the hills, or in the woods, or on the beach that’s super. But just having a stroll around your local village or city centre in the dark can be a great way to experience a familiar space differently. Probably best to take a torch though, just to be on the safe side.
Try a round of golf
If you’re a regular golfer then winter is no reason to stop. And if you’re not then it can be the perfect time to give it a try. Green fees are often cheaper and courses are usually quieter, just make sure you wrap up nice and warm. Golf is a great, low-impact way to get some exercise and fresh air - you can find out more in our dedicated golfing article.
Go for a bike ride
Remember when you used to go for bike rides as a kid and you’d always aim for the biggest puddles to make the biggest splash? Well, winter bike rides are a great way to recapture that feeling. They’re also a terrific way to explore the area around your home or holiday park (and maybe find some new pubs). We’d recommend avoiding icy days and maybe investing in some waterproofs.
Outside is great. But sometimes you just don’t feel like going out and that’s fine. Maybe it’s too cold. Maybe it’s blowing a hoolie. Maybe you just want to enjoy the warmth of your Willerby. Whatever the reason there are plenty of winter activities to do without leaving your caravan or home. It’s just a case of making the most of your time, whether that’s trying something new or picking up one of those things you tried once and never quite managed to get back to.
Join a book club
If you’re an avid reader looking for new things to read, or you need a bit of incentive to get into the reading habit a book club is for you. There are plenty to choose from, both online and in-person (your local library is a great place to look) with different types of books. Having a good old chinwag about what you’ve read can add a new dimension to your reading.
Catch up on movies
Sometimes just curling up in front of the telly in winter is a great idea. But why not make an event out of it? If you’re lucky enough to have a Willerby with a media wall like the Buxton holiday home or the Mapleton lodge you’re already halfway there. Pick up some popcorn and drinks and you’re set for a great movie afternoon. Why not work your way through last year’s Oscar nominees - or the whole Fast and Furious saga?
Have a go at needlecraft
It’s amazing what you can create with a needle and thread if you put your mind to it. You could try sewing, or crochet, or knitting - whatever takes your fancy. There are plenty of books and websites to teach you the basics, or you could see if there are any courses in your area. It’s perfect to pop in your bag and take with you whether you’re at home or in your caravan. And having a scarf or hat you’ve made yourself could make winter just that bit snugglier.
Bake some bread
It seemed like there was a time mid-pandemic when everyone was baking bread - but we seem to have stopped now. That’s a real shame, because as well as being really satisfying (and tasty), baking bread is good for you too. It doesn’t have all the preservatives that bought bread does, and you can play with the ingredients to cut down on salt and sugar. You will have to eat it quicker than bought bread, but we don’t think that will be a problem. Yum!
Rearrange your space
If you’ve been wondering if you’d prefer having your telly in the other corner - or just thinking that your plants need rearranging - then winter is the perfect time to experiment. Give things a shuffle around and see if you like it - you can always put them back. If you’re feeling super organised you could always alphabetise your books too.
Have you ever thought that you’d like to start a new hobby but haven’t had the time? Well, maybe this winter could be your opportunity to try something different - or pick up an old hobby that you never quite managed to get on with. Once you get yourself into the habit of doing an activity it’ll be much easier to keep going.
Photography is a great hobby all year round - and it will easily travel with you too. But winter is a great time to get started. Why? Well, the light is often spectacular because the sun is lower in the sky, and you’re more likely to get interesting weather like mist or fog. It’s also a great excuse to spend some time in the warm with the laptop learning to edit your photos.
Have a go at writing
Have you ever thought that you’d like to write your own stories but never been quite sure how? You could spend some time this winter having a go. There are plenty of books to read, and courses both online and in-person, not to mention writing groups - or you could just have a go yourself. Why not set yourself a challenge, like writing a micro-story every day for a month?
Learn how to draw or paint
Drawing and painting is a great way to relax and unleash your inner creativity. There’s nothing to stop you from just picking up a paintbrush or pencil and having a go but if you want something more formal there are plenty of classes both in person and online, not to mention books and YouTube tutorials. If you have a great view from your caravan why not start by painting that?
Build a model kit or Lego
Building model kits is a brilliant way to pass some time while improving skills like dexterity and concentration. They don’t have to take up much space and they can be pretty cheap too - you could easily have one kit to build in your caravan and one to build at home, if you wanted. Or you could go for Lego - then when you’ve finished you can take it apart and start over again!
Winter is the perfect time to explore nearby towns and cities. They’re often quieter than they would be in summer, and you might even get treated to Christmas lights (and markets, with their tasty food and drink). Cities can also look their most spectacular in winter, with the dramatic low winter sun and reflective wet pavements and puddles. Great if you’re trying your hand at photography too.
Go on a guided walk
If you’re new to a city - or even if you’re not - a guided walking tour can be a great way to see some of the popular sights - and some less well-known ones too. Most cities have them either for free or reasonably cheap, especially in winter, and as a bonus they’ll often visit local pubs too.
Explore the museums and galleries
Every city has museums and galleries which are wonderful places to explore when it’s cold and wet outside. Take your time to soak in each one, making sure you visit every room and exhibit. Check out all the smaller, independent places too - they’re often hidden gems.
Book a table at a new restaurant
Sometimes, you just need a treat. And what better than a nice meal out? Find a restaurant you've not been to before and book yourself a table - bonus points if it’s a cuisine you haven’t tried before. Then make a real event out of it - get dressed up to the nines and have a proper night out. Even if it’s just the new chippie on the high street.
Follow a marked trail
Lots of cities have waymarked trails you can follow to see some of the sights. Our local one in Hull is the fish trail and it’s brilliant fun - it takes you to some lesser-known spots in the city and passes by some of our favourite pubs too. Most places will have a leaflet or app you can download, or you can always pop into the local tourist info shop to find out more.
If you have kids (or grandkids) then you’ll know it’s hard enough keeping them entertained in the height of summer when they can spend all their time in the garden, or the playground at your holiday park. Having them stuck indoors in winter can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to limit their screen time and not lose them to Minecraft or Fortnite. But it doesn’t have to be - there are plenty of fun activities you can do with them while you’re cooped up inside.
Make a gingerbread house
Making a gingerbread house - or if you’re feeling adventurous maybe a caravan - is a great way to spend a day. There’s the time baking, but then you can have fun planning the layout, selecting and applying decorations and - of course - enjoying eating it. You could be helping to create the next Bake Off champion and future structural engineer all at the same time.
Make a scrapbook
Order some photos of the adventures you’ve been on together in the last year - or draw and paint some pictures - and arrange them into a scrapbook. You could include things like train tickets, postcards, things you’ve found - whatever takes your fancy. Do this every winter and you’ll have a wonderful reminder of the time you’ve spent together to pass on to the next generation.
Read your favourite books together
Think back to your favourite books when you were young. If the kids are old enough you could take turns to read chapters aloud or take different characters each. Or if they’re a bit younger you could read it out to them complete with silly voices. Roald Dahl books are great for this but just about anything can work. You could have a trip to the library to find a book too, and even create your own illustrations.
Write a letter by hand
Why not show the kids how we used to communicate a few years ago? There’s something very special about picking up pen and paper and writing something by hand. You could write a letter to family, to a favourite celebrity or even to Father Christmas if they still believe. Or why not help them write a letter to themselves in a year - then you can read it together next winter?
Play a board game
Light the fire or crank up the heating, and get everyone sat around the kitchen table (or coffee table, or on the floor - whatever works for you) and spend some time getting lost in a board game. It could be a classic (we love Scrabble), something more creative like Dungeons and Dragons, or something more modern - whatever fires up your imagination. It’s a great way to bring everyone together.
Keeping in shape is much easier when it’s warm and sunny outside. You’re much more likely to walk places, and it’s far easier to motivate yourself to go for a bike ride or a round of golf, not to mention spend more time at your holiday home. But there are plenty of activities to keep you healthy in winter - and putting in the effort means you’ll be fitter when summer rolls around too.
Have a go at yoga
Yoga is a terrific workout for both the body and mind. It’s also brilliant whatever your fitness level - you don’t need to be a super-flexible yoga expert to enjoy it. Joining a class is a great way to learn if you have one near you, but there are some really good videos on YouTube too as long as you can clear enough space in your house or caravan.
Go for a chilly run
If you’re not a runner you probably think of running as something to do on warm, sunny days. But actually, winter runs can be much better. Okay, you’ll need some decent kit, and you’ll want to avoid icy days. But going for a run will warm you right up, and there’s little more satisfying than relaxing in a lovely warm caravan after a chilly run. Check what trails there are near your holiday park if you’re there in winter - frosty forest winter runs are the best.
Learn to dance
We all love a bit of Strictly - so why not have a go yourself? Really you’re going to have to find a local class to give it a proper go - but once you’ve got the basics down there’s nothing to stop you from clearing space in the front room and cutting some rug with some stylish moves. It’ll keep you fit (have you seen how sweaty they get after a minute and a half?) and could be a great way to make some new friends too.
Get fit online
Sadly you can’t just download fitness, but there are plenty of apps and YouTube videos to help you keep active in the winter months. Remember when everyone was doing Joe Wicks workouts in lockdown? Well, he’s still around, and there are plenty of other options too. Just make sure to do a little research before you start to make sure it’s right for you, and check with your GP if you’re not sure.
You know what? Sometimes we all need a proper nice treat, and that’s ok. So after you’ve entertained the kids for a weekend and frozen your toes running in the woods, it’s time to give yourself something really nice. You deserve it. Maybe it’s something just for you, something you can do with your friends or with your partner - it’s your call. Just make sure it’s something you want to do.
Go for a posh spa day
Is there any better way to pamper yourself than by going to a lovely spa? You could have a relaxing massage, spend some time in the sauna, try a beauty treatment and maybe even go for a swim. For the ultimate treat, why not book yourself into a hotel spa for a few nights and enjoy the other things on offer like great food and a round of golf?
Try a distillery or brewery tour
If you enjoy a drink, a brewery or distillery tour can be a wonderful way to spend a day. From a casual look around your local microbrewery to multi-day tours of Scottish whisky distilleries there’s plenty to choose from. It’s a great way to get an appreciation of the effort that goes into your favourite tipple and an opportunity to sample some different flavours too.
Go on a shopping spree
Sometimes, nothing can beat a bit of retail therapy. Whether it’s a stroll through the artisan stalls at your local market, a visit to an outlet village, a trip to the big department stores on Oxford Street or even just a couple of hours browsing online, picking up some new goodies can be just what you need to banish the blues.
Have a winter break
Just because you have a beautiful holiday home doesn’t mean you can’t go anywhere else. So whether your park is closed for the winter or you just want a change of scenery, why not treat yourself to a winter break? You could jet off to somewhere sunny to recharge, make the most of the cold and head to the mountains for a ski trip or even just visit a new holiday park. The world is your oyster.
Make the most of winter
Winter doesn’t have to be a long, dreary wait for spring to roll around. Pick a few activities from our list that take your fancy - or think up some that suit you better - and make the most of the season.
It might mean investing in some new equipment so you can enjoy your favourite summer pastimes throughout the year, or it might be the perfect opportunity to dig out those old board games and books that you’ve kept for a rainy day.
Embrace the cold and the dark and make winter a time to look forward to, not a season to endure.