7 top tips for rainy days outside

Although the nights are drawing in, and the days are getting wet and chillier, there's still so much fun to be had outside! Here's 7 of our GetOutside Champion's top ideas for enjoying the outdoors during autumn and winter.

1: Wander by a waterfall

Waterfall

We all love waterfalls, young and old! And rainy days are the best for waterfalls! A river or stream that might normally be a trickle, can be a torrent of water in wet weather.

I always end up getting soaked by the spray but that’s part of the fun – so don’t forget a waterproof jacket! Just hold on to the little ones close to the water. There are famous waterfalls across the UK, including High Force, Co Durham; Steall Falls, Glen Nevis; Glenoe Waterfall, County Antrim; Becky Falls, Dartmoor. But why not find one local to you? Check out your OS Map or app as waterfalls are clearly marked. Plus, finding your own private waterfall is extra special!

  • Best for: Everyone
  • Where can I do it: Anywhere there's a waterfall, stream or river
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproof jacket, boots/wellies and a map
Phillipa behind a waterfall
Pond in woodland
Wet woodland walking

2. Wet woodland walks

Wet woodlands are now some of our least common wooded habitats. Most have been lost by draining and clearing and much of the wet woodlands remaining are now protected reserves. These woods occur on soil that is often or seasonally wet, so you’ll find trees such as willow alder and birch and sedges, mosses and ferns below. They are home to many rare species of animals and bugs. Visiting on a rainy day means you’ll see these woods in their element. Many of the charities and reserves have installed walkways in these woods to allow access to all.

  • Best for: Everyone
  • Where can I do it: Wet woodlands across the UK
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproof jacket, sturdy shoes/boots

Both ideas from wet welly walker and OS GetOutside Champion Phillipa Cherryson. Follow Phillipa on Instagram.

3. Create a garden water park

Pre-school and primary school age children will absolutely love this afternoon of creativity outdoors. Playing in the rain can be so much fun and even better if you can redirect the water using pipes and tubes. So find some off-cuts of old drainpipe and link them together with old bits of hosepipe and buckets to see how far you can get the rain water to travel across your garden. Why not dig out the summer paddling pool as well and see how much water you can collect.

  • Best for: Families
  • Where can I do it: A garden
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproofs, odd cuts of drainpipe, tubing, hosepipe, funnels, plus any containers of all shapes and sizes.

From wet weather wheeler and OS GetOutside Champion Debs North. Follow Debs on Twitter.

Canal on bright autumn day

4. Canal walks

There are thousands of miles of canals throughout the UK.

During the wet autumn and winter months you can guarantee that they will be a little easier underfoot than a lot of other trails that may cross the countryside. They are suitable for all the family, and there's usually a nice pub where you can stop for lunch and warm up.

It's good to see how nature changes over the seasons, the colours of the trees and birds. Why not buy a nature or wildlife book to see what you can spot along the way? Plus it's always nice to see barges floating past and take in the relaxed vibe.

It's important to get outside all year, and although this is something that might take little planning, it ticks all the adventure boxes.

  • Best for: Everyone
  • Where can I do it: Canals across the UK
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproofs, boots/wellies, a map, packed lunch

From adventure seeker and OS GetOutside Champion Jessica Mather. Follow Jessica on Instagram.

5. Welly walks

Pull your wellies on and simply find mud, sand or snow to plod through and puddles to splash in. Make and leave footprints and tracks for others to find and follow. Take photos of your different sized family footprints next to each other and look for prints/tracks made by animals. Or, just put wellies and waterproofs on for a rainy day scavenger hunt. A flask of hot chocolate and biscuits are necessities to pack for a treat alogn the way.

  • Best for: Families and young children
  • Where can I do it: Somewhere muddy, sandy or snowy
  • Things you should take with you: Wellies and waterproofs, plus a treat for the way home

From Adventure Queen and OS GetOutside Champion Sue Barrett. Follow Sue on Instagram.

Kids in muddy puddles
Scavenger hut
Scavenger hut cards with map

6. Scavenger hunt

Everyone loves a scavenger hunt and the ways to create one are endless! A favourite of ours involves coming up with a word of about 8-12 letters in length. Send your family members out to hunt for objects using the first letter of your chosen word. Then the second, third and so on. Make the word seasonal or topical, like 'CHRISTMAS' and the objects could include Chalk, Hair, Root etc. For a younger family, why not do it in themed fancy dress such as Pirates or a favourite film.

  • Best for: Families
  • Where can I do it: Garden, local park, beach or pretty much anywhere!
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproofs and maybe some prizes for the best objects found

From bandana-wearing hill walker and OS GetOutside Champion Glyn Dodwell. Follow Glyn on Twitter.

7. Look for 'lost ways'

Old maps and rights of way
rainy day in countryside
welly walking in stream

As the days draw in we might need a little more motivation to get outside. Discovering lost ways gives us that purpose to get out whatever the weather.

All you need is your outdoor apparel (so you can get out in rain or shine), a map and access to a computer when you get home. To find lost ways you need to head out along your local routes and see if they are on your OS Map, checking if they are recorded correctly on the OS Map key. If it isn't, or is missing completely, when you return home you should head over to The Ramblers or British Horse Society websites to find out more on how to save your lost way.

  • Best for: Everyone
  • Where can I do it: Local routes from home
  • Things you should take with you: Waterproofs, boots/wellies, a map, computer

From Public Rights of Way Explorer and OS GetOutside Champion Charlotte Ditchburn. Follow Charlotte on Instagram.

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Published 11/11/2020

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