Night owls rejoice. The days may be growing shorter with each tick of the clock, but as far as we’re concerned that just means more night-time treats. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do this winter. Here’s to things that go bump in the night!
Scare yourself silly with a ghost walk
Costumed guides and actors bring the dockyards of Portsmouth to life this time of year – although you may wish they hadn’t. Under cover of darkness, the spooky Portsmouth Dockyard Walk re-enacts life during the most important moments in the UK’s maritime history. You’ll hear fascinating and chilling insights into the harsh reality of the Georgian period, discover where many of our modern superstitions stem from and get a history lesson that may, rather ironically, leave you scared stupid.
We also love… tiptoeing through York, reputedly England’s most haunted city, on the York Ghost Walk Experience and through East London on the Jack the Ripper Walk, which takes in the murder sites, sifts through the gory evidence and gets to grips with the main suspects.
The Kielder Observatory in Northumberland should be filed under “Probably the best stargazing in England!” It hosts a range of mesmerising stargazing events throughout the winter month. These fascinating talks cover how the heavens have influenced folklore and myth for thousands of years, and give you hardcore scientific insight into enchanting cosmic events such as the Aurora Borealis. These nights are rightly popular so book early to avoid disappointment. Failing that, wrap up warm, look up and bathe in the ethereal glow of billions of stars twinkling down at you through the crisp winter air!
We also love… stargazing in Exmoor National Park, designated an International Dark Sky Reserve – the first place in Europe to achieve this prestigious award and only the second in the world. Head to Holdstone Hill, County Gate, Brendon Two Gates, Webbers Post, Anstey Gate and Haddon Hill for the best views.
Be dazzled by bright lights
The nights may be longer, but that just means more time to shine! Can you believe that Blackpool Illuminations have been running for a century? 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Illuminations, and once again more than a million bulbs, lasers and animatronics are flashing, sparkling and twinkling along six miles of Blackpool’s iconic Promenade, until 4 November.
We also love… night-time views of England’s cityscapes – head to the top floor at BALTIC art centre in NewcastleGateshead, St John’s Tower in Liverpool and Cloud 23 Bar on the 23rd floor of the Manchester Hilton for some of England’s best twilight views of city lights.