The sun’s hat is firmly on and daylight has kicked darkness into touch for the majority of our waking hours. The British summer is a glorious period to enjoy as much of your day as you can handle, so why not get out there and grab it by the dandelions?
Here are ten ideas to make the most of your summer.
1. Lose yourself in a book
It’s something we all tell us ourselves we’ll do more, but rarely do we summon the fortitude to pick up that paperback and dive in. Change all that this summer and take a literary journey with one of 2018’s hottest reads. There are few simpler pleasures than lazing in the sunshine and losing yourself in the words. And you can keep things easy on your wallet by visiting your local library.
2. Give your garden some TLC
Banish the backyard blues by making more of the “outdoor room” you usually only use for hanging the washing. Your garden can be a solitary space or a social hub, depending on your preference. Give it a tidy-up, dig out the weeds and make more of your exterior. Summer flowers such as Dahlia, Marigolds, or black-eyed Susans (basically giant golden daisies) can be planted at this time of year. And all make for an instantly eye-catching but easily-maintained pop of colour. Or you could go all out and buy a water feature. They’re nice too.
3. Go exploring
It’s true what they say. You’re never a tourist in your own town. Fix that this summer – because we’re willing to bet (even if you aren’t) that there’s oodles to discover on your doorstep. Get out there and explore. See the sights. Bone up on the local history. Go for a wander and wonder no more.
Turn spare hours into altruism by offering up your services to a local cause. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to lend a hand, from tidying up beaches and parks to helping out at soup kitchens and museums. Selfless effort is a richly rewarding feeling and you’ll be benefitting your community too.
5. Get in to the countryside
Grab yourself a copy of the guide to local walks and rambling rights of way. Then strap on your hiking boots and go marching across the remarkable British countryside. You’re never too far from it. And it’s a chance to find some escapism and discover what’s so great about the great outdoors in the UK.
6. Make your own wine
Fruit is ripe for the picking at this time of year so gather up armfuls of berries at your local market (or even hedgerows if you’re lucky) and get distilling! The equipment for wine-making is inexpensive and easy to set up – you’ll be creating delicious homebrew vino before you know it. Release your inner oenophile.
7. Try taiko drumming
Discover how passionate percussion can be with this wildly expressive outlet that’s part music, part performance and all drama! Taking part requires no prior knowledge or musical skill, just the desire to get stuck in and give it some welly. Check your local groups or arrange a workshop.
8. Get on your bike
Slip into the lycra and get greasing those gears – cycling is a perfect exercise to get you out appreciating the long summer evenings. And the beauty of straddling the spokes is that it lets you set your own pace. Want to give it some hard cardio? Then pedal furiously for a heart-pumping workout. Cyclists seeking a more casual ride can simply coast along lazily taking in the views as the bike takes the strain.
9. Go hunting for treasure
We’re not talking about metal detecting (though if want to do that, be our guest!). No, we mean a large organised search for clues and a prize! Arrange a game, write the clues (hint: work backwards, it’s much easier), hide the treasure and get stuck in as the scavengers put on their best detective hats to suss out your cryptic hints.
10. Say goodbye to your comfort zone
Admit it – you like the cosy familiarity of routine. Nothing wrong with that. But for once perhaps take a peek over a new horizon and plunge into the unknown! Handle a spider, pick something unknown from a foreign menu, dive into a new hobby. The summer of 2018 will only happen once. Go and make memories!