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Four winter rural activities for families to enjoy

By Helen Pentith  //  Wed 22nd January 2014
Family Days Out Yorkshire

Christmas has passed, but the long nights and cold days of winter remain. The weather outside is still frightful – frost, ice and the occasional snow shower – and we’re all tempted to stay indoors by the fireplace. If you have kids, it’s unlikely they’ll want to remain cooped up indoors every weekend, despite the cold. Here are four, fun, outdoor winter rural activities for families to enjoy that we promise you can try despite the weather – in fact, a little snow only makes them more fun!

Morning walks

The sun rises late in the winter, so it should be a little easier to get your kids out of bed in time for dawn. Wrap up warm, put some sturdy boots on and head out into the countryside for a brisk walk. Once you’ve got going you’ll soon warm up, and you’ll see the rural landscape in a completely different light.

Find a good spot to watch the sun rise, or marvel at the mist that so often clings to the landscape in the mornings at this time of year. Given the weather, you’ll quite often be completely alone during these walks – aside from the occasional brave dog walker – allowing you to really focus on having fun as a family.

If you own one of our beautiful Hollicarrs holiday homes here at Escrick Park, try following one of our nature trails or head out to Skipwith Common nature reserve instead.

Scavenger hunts

Woodlands provide a great environment for your kids to explore, particularly in winter. You can devise scavenger hunts for your family: set them a list of items to find, including things like pinecones, evergreen leaves or pine needles, animal tracks and other natural wonders. Make it a competition if you’d like, with the adults helping out the younger children. The excitement of a scavenger hunt will help to keep you all warm, and it’s likely to bring out your family’s competitive spirit!


A different kind of scavenger hunt, geocaching has grown rapidly in popularity over the last ten years thanks to the emergence of inexpensive GPS devices and, more recently, geocaching smartphone apps. There are seven caches within two miles of Escrick Park (at the time of writing), and there are likely to be many nearby to wherever you are in the countryside. This modern day form of treasure hunting will provide hours of fun for adults and children alike.

Winter picnics

If it’s not raining or snowing, you could always host a winter picnic for your family. As well as the picnic staples such as sandwiches and quiche, you could take thermos flasks full of steaming hot soup, homemade cookies or cake in addition to all the hot chocolate you can carry. Kids will love finding good picnic spots, and will never turn down the opportunity to help bake some of the picnic snacks.  As always, wear appropriately warm clothes and winter woollies!

Even in winter, the countryside can provide many opportunities for family fun. These activities are just a few ideas that will be sure to brighten up even the coldest winter days for you and your family. We always welcome families in our Hollicarrs – our timber holiday lodges, available for viewing throughout the year. Why not make an enquiry today?

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