During the holiday season, spending too much time inside can leave us feeling a bit tired and lethargic, or perhaps you start climbing the walls with boredom? We think that getting outside and spending time by the river is the perfect antidote to too much festive indulgence and/or cabin-fever! It can be hard to think up new and interesting ideas, especially when it’s cold outside. So, we have put together 10 great things that you can do at or near the river this festive period.
1. Severn valley railway
The railway follows the course of the River Severn for 16 miles between Kidderminster and Bridgenorth. The railway have a festive season service running after Christmas day and booking can be made through the link here. You’re never too old for a steam train ride, so it can be a great option for the whole family – from grandparents to grandchildren!
2. Winter walking challenge
You can always join in with the Ramblers Winter walking Challenge during the seasonal period, the challenge is for all abilities and is aimed at raising money to protect the places we all love to walk. You can sign up by following this link.
3. The Ironbridge Attractions (there are 10!)
Coalbrookdale in the Ironbridge Gorge is a World Heritage Site because of its connection to the start of the Industrial Revolution. There are 10 different attractions in Ironbridge including; Enginuity (an interactive design and technology centre) and Museum of the Gorge (a museum that portrays the history of the Ironbridge Gorge and the surrounding area) among others. Follow this link for more information.
4. Walking The Severn Way
If you want to connect with the river on a more personal level, you could always walk part of the Severn Way (or all of it if you are feeling ambitious!). The Severn Way is a long-distance walking route, the longest riverside walk in Britain, which follows the River Severn downstream from source to sea. The full walk is 220 miles, but the route is divided up into 39 sections, so you can select a section to suit your own requirements. You can find out more about the walking route and the areas it passes through here.
5. The National Waterways Museum
The National Waterways Museum is located at the historical Gloucester Docks in a Victorian warehouse. The museum charts the history of Britain’s canals using a variety of mediums and sports a collection of historical boats. The Museum is Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm and Closed Christmas Day to 2 January 2020. You can find more information here.
6. Big Christmas Swan Feed
At the South Quay in Worcester you can go and feed the swans for free! You can do this on the 28th, 30th December & 1st January at 2pm. For more information contact [email protected], search The Swan Food Project on Facebook, or phone 07742 295149 / 01905 354274.
7. Breakfast with Santa
At the Severn Valley Country Park in Shropshire there is the opportunity to have breakfast with Santa in the run up to Christmas! Santa will be there throughout the breakfast to say Ho! Ho! Ho! to everyone and each family will have their own time with Santa in front of the fire. You can book by visiting the website here.
8. Visit the Tree tributes in Gheluvelt Park, Worcester
A fantastic partnership project between Duckworth Worcestershire Trust and Worcester City Council in celebration of the Forestry Commission’s Centenary and their Tribute To Trees campaign. Around 250 children from various local groups made flowers from recycled banners and wrote tributes to trees on ribbons. You can visit the beautiful tributes at Gheluvelt Park in Worcester until January!
Have you ever tried doing geocaching? Geocaching is considered a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. It is a great way to get out and about with the added element of fun, and there are lots of geocaching near by the River Severn too! You can sign up for free here.
10. Winter Wildlife Spotting
Winter can be a hard time for wildlife, with short days and the difficulties of finding enough food to survive. However, with fewer leaves on the trees and sparser vegetation it does become easier to spot a variety of wildlife, either in the flesh or signs that they have been there. It is the perfect time to look out for wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans) who are more abundant at this time of year. And while mammals are often more difficult to spot, it is much easier to see tracks where soil is softer or there has been a smattering of snow. You can download a family nature guide here from Unlocking the Severn partner Canal & River Trust.
We hope that this gives you some great ideas of ways to get out into the fresh air and spend some quality time by the river this Holiday season!
Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on our social media accounts (@severnunlocked) for our #12DaysOfRivermas posts running daily starting on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts on the 21st December!