You can't have missed that the days are getting longer. No more driving home from work in the dark or feeling that you are ready for bed and realising it's barely dinner time. As we emerge from our winter hibernation, how will you embrace your extended evenings?
With the clocks going forward on 26 March, daylight is sticking around. Evenings are suddenly lighter and brighter – even the sun is joining in the celebration of spring, warming things up and encouraging us to spend longer outside. It's a golden opportunity to head for the forest and get the family outside exploring. Here are some ideas to fill your Forest Holiday evenings.
Shaun the Sheep trail
This is the time of year where we picture lambs leaping joyfully through the flowers and gambolling across the fields. We've teamed up with Aardman Animations to bring the joy of the season to Forest Holidays, with our fun-filled Shaun the Sheep spring trail – perfect for young explorers.
Visit the Forest Retreat to join in. The trail is open throughout the day at all our locations, although we do love the tranquillity of an early evening walk through the woodland as a chance to relax after the day's adventures, and build up an appetite for dinner.
Follow the map to the 10 trail points, answering clues, and learning to draw your own Shaun the Sheep, to uncover the hidden phrase. There's a fun game at each point too! Once you have uncovered the answer, pop in to the Forest Retreat to collect your prize.
Another great way to explore the forest, geocaching offers more of a challenge for older children and adults. Each geocaching trail has been devised by the Forest Ranger at Blackwood Forest, Cropton, Strathyre, and Thorpe Forest.
Using their detailed knowledge of the area, they have created a trail that will lead you into the depths of the forest, where you can use our GPS equipment to discover hidden treasures. Complete the quiz as you go around, and you'll uncover the final cache. Then, as the last of the sun dips down into evening and the air becomes chillier, return to your cosy cabin for a well-earned soak in the hot tub.
Enjoy an evening of al fresco dining
Whether you are staying in one of our stylish and comfortable cabins or a sumptuous Golden Oak Treehouse; surrounded by trees. On the edge of a loch, or in a sunlit meadow, you'll have plenty of room on the decking to fire up the barbecue and enjoy an al fresco meal with your family or friends. Relax and chat together as the sun finally sets and the forest nightlife comes out to play.
You have everything on hand if you need it. Your cabin is fully equipped, while the Forest Retreat is stocked with local produce, meats, and freshly baked bread. You can even hire a gas barbecue, so there’s no worry about bringing your own.
With more time to explore in the evenings you can extend your daily forest adventure. If you are out and about on your bikes you can travel even further before you have to turn back. And a balmy spring evening is a lovely time to go trail running after a day of discovering local attractions.
Or, you can delve deeper into the mysteries of the natural world around you and join in one of our Forest Ranger adventures. Explore the forest, discover the wildlife, flora, and fauna, and find out about the local history, as your Forest Ranger leads you through the secret trails of the forest. Learn survival skills, make a fire or a shelter, and catch bugs. As the night draws in, don your night vision goggles and go in search of nocturnal wildlife.
Enjoy something a little less energetic and pop down to the Forest Retreat on Tuesday and Saturday nights between 6-8pm for Forest Fizz (except Scotland) to enjoy the changing views of the forest during twilight, with a bottle of Prosecco at a 20% discount.
Whatever you choose to do, the longer days give you more time to do it. Plan a forest adventure to take advantage of the lighter evenings and fit more into your time off. How will you make the most of the lighter evenings? Let us know in the comments below!