Best Winter Outdoor Activities

As the long, wintery nights and cold weather blows in, it can be tricky to find ways to spend time outside. However, there are loads of fun and exciting outdoor winter activities for you and your family to take part in across the UK.

As the long, wintery nights and cold weather blows in, it can be tricky to find ways to spend time outside. However, there are loads of fun and exciting outdoor winter activities for you and your family to take part in across the UK.

In this article, we’ll explore some of our favourite winter activities to chase away those cold weather blues, and get you spending some quality time outdoors.

Ice skating

Ice skating is a classic indoor or outdoor winter activity that’s fun for the whole family. Whether you’re a seasoned skater, or still need to cling to the sides, ice skating is a wonderful way to get in the festive mood – and sneak in some exercise too.

There are plenty of permanent ice rinks across the UK for you to choose from. Or, why not enjoy a local pop-up rink near a Christmas market? This is a great way for friends and family to spend time on a chilly winter’s day – and with easy access to hot chocolate, it’s definitely a firm favourite.

Top tip – make sure to wrap up with hoodies and fleeces whenever you visit the rink to stay warm and cosy.


Sledding is a timeless winter outdoor activity for adults and children alike. Whenever there’s snow, it’s a great excuse to pile on the layers, hop on the sled and spend the afternoon running up and down the hill.

It’s also the perfect way for you to get to know your local area during your search for the best hills and inclines. 

Top tip – if there’s no snow, try looking for local sand hills or dunes to sled down.


Winter hikes are a wonderful way to experience the great outdoors. Whether it’s trekking over snowy hillscapes, or wandering through the woods, a winter hike can be an incredibly sensory experience.

The feel of crisp, cool air, combined with beautiful landscapes makes this a simple way to take some time away from the chaos of daily life. You could even practise some mindfulness exercises, or short meditations to help reduce stress and improve your mental health.


Kayaking may not be your first thought for a winter activity, but plenty of people enjoy getting out on the water in winter. Although, we do recommend you pick up some thermals to wear beneath your dry suit to keep you warm.

On clear days, the water is still and calm, which is perfect for beginners or casual paddlers looking to explore the outdoors. You could spend a weekend in the Lake District, or travel through your county on a river paddle.

Wild swimming

Take the plunge this winter by going wild swimming in a local lake, or even take a dip in the ocean and reap the benefits of this outdoor activity.

Wild swimming can have a massive positive impact on your physical and mental health. The mixture of fresh air, exercise, and cold water can help to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, boost your mood, improve your circulation, and more.

Top tip – winter wild swimming can be a shock to the body, so make sure you start slowly and build up to spending longer in the water. Remember to pack plenty of warm, dry clothing for afterwards too.

Nature walking

Nature walking is the perfect family outdoor winter activity, especially if you have young children. This is less strenuous, which is ideal for a more casual Sunday afternoon.

You can pick a local trail and make a game of exploring the area to see what you can find – like winter berries and plants or frozen spiderwebs. You could also take the time to learn more about animals that hibernate, or explore the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees.

Campfire cooking

Winter is arguably the best time to have a campfire, because you can feel the full benefit of the warmth and light from the fire. Why not take advantage of this, and host your own campfire cookout from the comfort of your own garden?

You can invite friends and family around and make a whole host of delicious recipes, like campfire toasties, hotdogs, s’mores, and even campfire banana splits! Then, as the fire dies down, you can tell stories and make meaningful memories with your loved ones.

Winter picnics

If you’re looking for a more relaxed winter outdoor activity, why not go for a picnic in your local park or beach? You can take along a book, or play games while you take in the fresh air and wintery atmosphere. 

Although, we recommend packing your rucksack with plenty of goodies, like flasks of soup and hot drinks to keep you warm and cosy whilst you’re outside. Don’t forget to take some sweet treats either, for that extra sugar boost.

Top tip – make sure you have a picnic blanket with waterproof bottom lining to keep you dry, and fleece top layer to maximise your comfort.


There’s something magical about cosying up in blankets all night beneath the stars and seeing what you can spot in the sky. Stargazing is the perfect winter activity because the nights are darker for longer, so it’s easier to pick out the different constellations. 

Why not challenge yourself to see which constellations you can see, and learn about the myths attached to them? In the northern hemisphere, look out for the Winter Triangle, which includes Sirius (Canis Major), Procyon (Canis Minor), and Betelgeuse (Orion).

Winter camping

Winter camping is a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine, and take some time for yourself. You could even combine some of the outdoor winter activities on this list into your trip for the total cold weather experience.

This is one of the best winter activities for the whole family, as you can bundle together in your tent and spend the weekend surrounded by nature. Camping in winter is often a quieter time of year, so pitches can be cheaper – which is perfect if you’re on a budget.

Play in the snow

Regardless of age, playing in the snow is the iconic winter outdoor activity. From snowball fights, to snowmen building competitions, to flopping back into the ground to see who can make the perfect snow angel – there’s something for every age to enjoy!

Of course, one of the best parts of playing in the snow is coming inside and enjoying a tasty hot chocolate afterwards while you dry off and admire your snowman from the comfort of your living room.

Fossil hunting

If you get a run of clear days, fossil hunting is a fun and engaging winter outdoor activity that everyone can get excited about. This is a budget-friendly way to spend the winter outdoors, where all you need is yourselves – and plenty of enthusiasm.

Why not take a trip to the Jurassic coast in Devon and Dorset, or along the Isle of Wight, and spend the weekend looking for ammonites and shark teeth in the rocks?

Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is one of the most enjoyable outdoor winter activities in the British calendar and is a great way to celebrate the best that the season has to offer (outside of Christmas).

You can enjoy a night of exciting fireworks displays, tasty treats like toffee apples and cinder toffee, and even light up the night with a sparkler. There are plenty of community bonfires for you to attend, or you can host your own with friends and family.

Top tip – make sure you have plenty of gloves around when handling sparklers, along with a bucket of water to contain them while they cool down.

Explore the world with Winfields Outdoors

Check out our Winfields Outdoors Blog to learn more about the latest outdoor trends, side by side with plenty of useful equipment advice and clothing-buying guides.

And, if you’re going to be enjoying these outdoor winter activities, you’ll need the correct gear! Shop Men’s Outdoor Clothing and Women’s Outdoor Clothing today. 

More articles we think you’ll love… The Best UK Winter Walks | The Essential Weekend Camping Checklist | How Spending Time Outdoors Improves Mental Health

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