5 Ways to Brighten your Winter Walk

You’ve circled the block a million times, Googled ‘nice walks near me’ at least once a week and have memorised the step count around every park in the vicinity.
We know that trying to get out of the house in lockdown is becoming harder by the day, but with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of stroke, it’s well worth finding the motivation to get up and out as often as possible.
Although London is full of beautiful parks and commons, (with Wandsworth Common even inspiring our Commonside Pale Ale), taking the same set of routes day in, day out can become a tad tedious. With London looking like it will be in lockdown a little while longer, we’ve put together this handy list of 5 ways to brighten your winter walk!
Whether you’re a lone ranger or have a little one in tow, there’s something for everyone to take your mind off the monotony of current life. Keep reading for 5 ways to brighten your winter walk!

#1 Eyes to the Ground
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Image of SLoe Berries in winter with raindrops dripping from them
Believe it or not, you’ll find plenty of foraging opportunities around London’s parks! Whilst pickings might be a little slimmer in the Winter months there’s still plenty of wild herbs, and winter fruits to be found, such as Jack By The Hedge, sloe berries, gorse, rosehips and Wood Avens.
As with anything, make sure you do your homework before eating anything you’ve found in the wild, with plenty of lookalike plants around, if you’re not entirely positive then don’t eat it. The Woodland Trust has a handy month-by-month guide for any would-be foragers. If you’re still a little intimidated by the idea, you’ll find plenty of creative recipe inspiration and foraging tips on Foraged by Fern’s Instagram page. She even offers affordable online classes over zoom for anyone looking to learn foraging as a new skill over lockdown.
It’s important to remember to leave some for London’s wildlife so please forage responsibly and only take what you need. You’ll find great foraging spots in Battersea Park, Burgess Park and even Tooting Common if you look hard enough!
Before you start, make sure you read the Woodland Trusts responsible foraging guidelines to make sure you forage safely and within the law!

#2 Walk Along the Great Wall of China
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Photograph of Tanzanian Mountains
We may be stuck in the UK, but we can still dream we’re elsewhere. The charity supported app; World Walking helps you stay motivated by letting you compare your walking milestones with famous treks from around the world. With routes such as ‘Tooting to Tanzania’ and ‘Land’s End to John o’ Groats’, you may not be able to experience the beauty of the trails in real life you can still rest easy, knowing you’ve accomplished something pretty spectacular!
World Walking allows you to challenge yourself alone or collaborate with friends via the app to really get that step count up!

#3 Go on a Treasure Hunt
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Image of a family of four looking at a map in a wooded area
Trying to cajole the kids out and about can be a tricky one, but with the temptation of treasure on the horizon, they might even want to join for once!
Treasure Trails sell downloadable walking routes with stories, landmarks and clues to follow along the way. With multiple trails around South London, you can learn more about the local area whilst helping the kids to use up some of that never-ending energy at the same time.

#4 Craft a Visual Diary
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Photograph of a collarge of a small bird with green, blue and pale yellow colours
Great for adults and kids alike, brighten your winter walk by creating a daily visual diary. Your visual diary could be anything from a photo a day, to one-second video montages, to collecting nature with the kids to draw back at home. Give yourself a set number of images you want to make each day and stick to it.
Get yourself a mini notebook that you can keep in your pocket at all times and let your creativity take over! You’ll be amazed at the things that you notice when you’re actually looking!
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can find plenty of inspiration on Verbal Visual's blog.

#5 Set a Beer Based Reward
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Image of a freshly poured Belleville Brewery pint of beer
Heading out on a walk is always better when you know there’s the reward of a pint waiting for you at the end. With Belleville Brewery being based just off Wandsworth Common, you can finish your walk and pick up some fridge beers to take home with you. We even offer growlers of fresh draft beer so you can enjoy a draft pint in the comfort of your own home.
The Brewery Off Licence is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturdays and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.
5 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Walk. Photograph of The Belleville Brewery Taproom in Summer with people and tables outside
If you’re not lucky enough to be based in walking distance of the brewery, fear not! Our new webshop is open all hours and delivers throughout the UK.
You can find The Belleville Brewery located at 44 Jaggard Way, SW12 8SG; a ten-minute walk from Balham and just opposite the Wandsworth Common train station entrance.