Perhaps you’ve never really thought about going on a walk in the night rather than the day, or maybe the idea makes you nervous or you feel that wouldn’t really see anything anyway, so what’s the point right? Well think again. Taking a night walk can allow you to see familiar areas in a totally new light. City streets are quiet, country walks can feel like you’re totally alone, and on a clear night looking up to the sky can be reason enough for a night walk.
We’ve selected some fabulous night walks below that might wet your whistle and change your mind about walking in the dark of the night.
1.Exmoor National Park
This area was the first ever park in Europe to be designated an International Dark Sky Reserve which means its a brilliant place to watch the stars.
If you walk around the Dunkery Beacon in the Holnicote Estate you’ll reach the 1700 foot summit and will have uninterrupted views of the whole sky. It’s really quite a humbling experience to be able to see out so clearly.
A gorgeous night walk starts in lovely Keswick and takes you down to Friar’s Crag. This trail is fairly easy but do remember to take torches.
The end of the trail winds up at a viewpoint that overlooks the length of Derwentwater right into the Borrowdale Valley. This is a beautiful spot to sea the night sky and is about as peaceful as it gets.
Along the way you may be lucky enough to hear tawny owls if you are very quiet.
Stackpole is home to a designated Dark Sky Discovery site and provides access to the beautiful stretch of coastline in this area.
A night walk here would offer immense tranquility, beautiful views to watch the sun go down if you fancy walking into the night and a spectacular chance to star gaze.
You’ll definitely need to take a torch with you and do watch out when crossing the lake on the narrow bridges; these will be harder to negotiate in the dark with only a torch and the moon to guide your way.
4.Hampstead Heath, London
You might think London an odd choice for a night walk, perhaps you’d see it as too dangerous or just too light polluted for it to make any sense, but if you take yourself on a walk through Hampstead Heath at night you’ll see London in a whole new light.
Hampstead Heath is the highest point in London and the best spot to stargaze in the capital. But not only that, it provides wonderful views out across London at night.
If you fancy taking your star gazing to the next level yo/#’u could head to Lower Terrace to the Hampstead Observatory where you can use the telescopes for free some evenings during the winter months.
5.Hook Peninsula, Wexford
There are many places to enjoy a night walk in Ireland of course, and a vast amount of the country lies in complete darkness in the night which makes for absolutely amazing stargazing.
A great spot to start is the Hook Peninsula in Wexford.
This beautiful area of coast line juts out into the Irish sea with perfect beaches to show by day. At night though the sky comes alive here because it is such a remote location. The star gazing is second to none and is set against the relaxing sound of the waves rolling onto the beaches.
If you still have some reservations about taking a night walk we do get it. Night walking is kind of the opposite to what we are conditioned to do. We like to get cosy and batten down the hatches once the sun has gone down, but there is still a whole world out there and night brings many differences; nocturnal animals come out to play, the sky lights up with stars and generally you’ll have night walks completely to yourself whilst everyone else locks themselves indoors.
Play it safe and walk with someone else or even start a night walking group and always be prepared with torches and warm clothes. Plan your routes before setting out so you can avoid any notoriously unsafe areas, you really don’t want to put yourself at risk and spend the whole walk worrying about who’s around the next corner, but do get out there at night and see what it’s all about - we think you’ll love it.