It’s that time of year again! Though Official British Summer Time hasn’t ended, actual British Summer Time ended some time around mid-August. Many mourn the end of summer and the various perks that go with it, such as lounging around in parks with picnics, pretty summer dresses getting a dust off from last year and half-naked men. Dates and boyfriends are easily entertained in the summer months and outings are easy to come by. Trips along the river, warm strolls hand-in-hand, sharing ice cream and daytrips to the seaside. Summer is great as you don’t actually have to do anything at all. There’s no thinking involved; you can just go outside and the sunshine does all the work. Winter, however, is a time where you need to engage your brain and get creative. Stressful, I know.
It’s not so difficult if you’ve just got a date or two. Just do the usual kind of thing – a couple of drinks at a cosy bar, dinner, cinema, you know the drill. But what if you’ve got past date number three? Or what if, God forbid, you’re in an actual relationship with someone and you’ve done the whole ‘cinema, dinner, bar’ routine aaaaages ago? Feel the dread begin to seep into your bloodstream!
Now, if you’re one of those people who’s happy to stay under your duvet all winter with a constant stream of crappy TV, you should probably stop wasting your time reading this (unless you’ve got bored with the latest ‘Take Me Out’ and need to get some kind of cerebral workout by reading something). But if you get bored at home and want to do something outside of the bedroom with the boyfriend then it’s time to get your brain switched on!
There are so many things to do around this time of year. It’s Halloween soon, then Guy Fawkes’ Night, followed by the countdown to Christmas (which I find more exciting than Christmas Day itself), all topped off with New Year’s Eve. Party season is upon us, so most evenings for the next three months are sorted, and therefore, a few days will be taken up with costume/dress shopping. Though I wouldn’t necessarily suggest bringing along the bf on a shopping trip. He’d just get bored and end up playing games on the various ‘man sofas’ of the shops you visit and would be no use at all. But weekends and days off not spent shopping and prepping for parties are free and just call to be filled with fun activities. So to make this winter a little less stressful, and to save you valuable time, I have come up with a few ideas for winter dates.
- Fairs and Markets – as old-people-ish as it sounds, fairs and markets are actually quite fun and get you into the yule-tide spirit. This is one thing that is common right across the UK, from London to the countryside. Some have rides, grottos (who said you were too old to sit on Santa’s knee?) and activities to get involved in. Mulled wine, fake snow and German sausages all in one place? Where can you go wrong?!
- Country Pubs – the two most famous things in the UK; the countryside and pubs. Put them together and you get an explosion of all things British. Sneak away to a cute little country pub somewhere (preferably in the middle of nowhere – isolation is so much more romantic), cosy up by the open fire and drink beers from nearby micro-breweries. Or maybe some whiskey, mulled wine or hot cider. Not all together though – you do need to get home at some point.
- Ice Skating – ice skating is the obvious choice in winter, but maybe try it somewhere picturesque and not just go to the ice rink they’ve laid out in the local car park. Many castles and historic sites have ice rinks such as Hampton Court and Winchester Cathedral. You could combine a daytrip to somewhere new with some skating. Imagine you and your beau skating with one of those as a backdrop as the snow begins to slowly fall and the sun is beginning to set. Ah, just like the movies.
- Summer Days Out in Winter – one thing I realised is actually quite a nice idea is to go on days out usually had in summer in the winter! Wild, I know. Last winter, I went to the zoo with my boyfriend. It was freezing, and there were barely any people there at all. We were wrapped up in our scarves and gloves, but we warmed up in the Insect House (*wink wink*) and cuddled by the meerkats. It’s a lot more romantic than it sounds. And we saw Ben Fogle (google him, you’ll know who I mean).
- Get Creative – I know I’ve said you have to get creative, but this time I mean it literally. This is probably the cheesiest of my winter date ideas, but I have to cater for everyone. Get creative! I got the idea from this pottery painting studio I saw in York where you can go and decorate your own piece of pottery. Paint stuff together! Recreate the scene from Ghost! (You know the one, with the pottery wheel. Preferably with a boyfriend who is alive though). Maybe bake something together! Make an ice sculpture together! (The last one’s not a joke, I actually done that last winter with the bf and it was a lot of fun, and a lot more badass than pottery).
So this article’s getting a little long (and I’m kinda running out of ideas a bit) so I’m going to end it here. But I hope you all have a lovely winter and put my ideas to use! It’ll be the best winter you’ve ever had! Maybe.
Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk