Take a guided night walk under the stars - you’ll need your ears and eyes just as much as your feet!
Most of us go for a walk during daylight hours, especially on holiday, when the mouth-watering breakfast at your B&B or hotel or dinner at the pub await and are justifiably high on the list during a break from work.
The walks led and offered by Alison Goodwin, Adventures for the Soul) are a little different. Alison runs twilight and night-time walks along the coast (as well as inland) and lays great emphasis on the noises and sensations that become more apparent when we reach the bookends of the day.
‘What I do is different to a standard nature walk,’ she explains. ‘It’s about reconnecting to nature but we’re not just looking for deer or birds. It’s extremely calming for the mind.’
When you walk in the dark, your primary sense of sight diminishes and gets overtaken by the sense of hearing and touch. ‘You stop looking into the past or the future, or ahead, you are really in the present,’ Alison explains. ‘Hearing but not seeing a leaf fall is amazing.’
Head torches are provided but at points Alison – who is assisted by Fabian Seymour from AFS Mountaineering) - asks guests to switch these off and just stand, listen and look at the night sky. The absence of light pollution on the moor means this can be truly breath-taking (the North York Moors National Park is expecting any time now to be awarded the status of a Dark Sky Reserve]).
Along the coast Alison runs what she calls an ‘Awe Walk’, where she uses the original sense of awe, of wonder at the natural world. ‘People often just go “wow!” she laughs, ‘they come away spellbound, they just get blissed out. You hear the waves, the turning of the tide, the sand – you actually hear silence. The sound of the sea at night gives you goose-bumps.’