The joys of an evening stroll
Now the long summer days and lighter evenings are here, take advantage of the extra light by heading out on a walk until sundown. At this quieter time of day you can see your favourite places transformed by the changing light of the evening sun, see different wildlife emerging at dusk and find the perfect viewpoint to watch the sun sinking beneath the horizon.
We spoke to some of our rangers about their favourite places to visit on a summer evening:
Taking in the sunset at Leith Hill, Surrey
Sophie Parker, Area Ranger for Leith Hill, Surrey
‘Long summer evenings are the perfect time to explore the great outdoors’, says Sophie. ‘Not only does it mean you can escape the heat of the summer sun but the colours at sunset can be magical. There's something really special about watching the sun lower in the sky; the different pinks, oranges and yellows that fill the air, tinting the landscape and showing everything in a new light.'
'It's also a wonderful time to explore wildlife; look up and you might catch a glimpse of a bat flitting between the trees. If you are really lucky, like we are here on Leith Hill, you might catch a nightjar ‘churring’; it is a sound like no other, it gave me goose bumps the first time I heard it.’
A chance to unwind on the south Devon coast
Emma Reece, Area Ranger for south Devon
'I love walking my dog Charlie in the early evening in summer.' says Emma. 'The sites have quietened down from the daytime so you can walk down to the sandy Soar Mill Cove, near Salcombe, for a quiet swim. The views across the cliffs as you walk up towards Bolberry car park are beautiful and remind me how lucky I am to work on this area of coastline.'
'There are lots of whitethroat, cirl bunting and skylarks singing along the coast path and I often see the small herd of roe deer at this time of day. As the sun gets lower in the sky the area feels really tranquil and unspoilt, it’s a very relaxing end to a hectic day.'
Find a high viewpoint in the Lake District
Penny Webb, Lead Ranger for the North Lakes
If you are looking to add a little more adventure to your evening walk, our rangers in the Lakes suggest trying somewhere with a great sunset vista like from the Claife Viewing Station at Windermere west shore.
Lead Ranger for the North Lakes, Penny Webb, says one of the best things about getting outside in the evening is having the time 'for our senses to retune with the calming evenings.'
She enjoys watching the 'wheeling and soaring swallows and house martins as they frenziedly feed on the early evening insects' whilst she goes walking.
" I’m lucky enough to help look after this special place, the evenings are my favourite time to soak up the views. Once the summer crowds have gone home, you feel like you’re the only person in the Lake District."
A coastal sunset
Hannah Burton, Visitor Experience Assistant, North Devon countryside
Further down south you might be lucky enough to live near the coast. Visitor Experience Assistant, Hannah Burton, who works in the North Devon countryside, loves being close to the sea.
‘Personally, I love evening walks out to Baggy Point, near Croyde. There are often amazing sunsets with far-reaching views out to Lundy Island. Very quiet and peaceful too, often at odds to what the busy summer days are like on the beach! The contrasting vista of the sky on a textured beach or wooded area can be glorious in the early evening light.'
Why not stay out later to enjoy the full sunset, but remember to bring a torch if you are planning to wait for the stars to come out.