Not all of the UK goes to sleep after dark, and you don’t have to either. The Museum of London recently announced it will open overnight from 2023 but, until then, here’s a selection of adventures and experiences to try when the sun goes down:
1. Stargazing in Scotland
Head to Glenapp Castle to see clear night skies in their amazing glory. Thanks to minimal pollution, Galloway Forest Park in Ayrshire is home to some of Europe’s darkest skies. Join Glenapp’s Stargazing Experience for hot chocolate, night binoculars and an expert dark sky ranger who will explain everything on view: the myriad of stars, the Milky Way, maybe even the Northern Lights.
2. Dunwich Dynamo
On 13/14 July, join hundreds of cycle enthusiasts – on road bikes, tandems and recumbents – for the Dunwich Dynamo, an annual 200km overnight ride from Hackney, in East London, to the lost medieval city of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast.
3. Jersey Moonwalks
At low tide, as the English Channel recedes, Jersey doubles in size to 116 square miles. Discover underwater secrets on a fascinating night walk to Seymour Tower, a small fort on an islet a mile offshore. See bioluminescent creatures and marine life across the exposed rocky seabed by the light of a full moon. They are known as “moonwalks” after the terrain’s resemblance to a lunar landscape.
4. Night Running – Various Locations
Fancy a moonlit jog through ancient woodlands or Georgian landscaped gardens? Each autumn and winter, The National Trust hosts a programme of after-dark trail runs at a number of its properties across the UK.
5. Lumiere Festival
See local and global artists light up buildings and public spaces in London, Durham and other UK cities with light installations and illuminations and large-scale projections. The UK’s largest light festival, now in its 10th year, runs from 14-17 November 2019.
6. Wildlife spotting in Carmarthenshire
Spot nocturnal animals like otters, beavers and badgers in their natural habitat in a 300-acre farm in Carmarthenshire. You’ll also be helping a not-for-profit wildlife company reintroduce wild beavers in Wales.
7. Night walks along the walls of Lincoln Castle
Each month, between May and November, Lincoln Castle runs themed evening tours of William the Conqueror’s fine fortress. Visit the castle’s Victorian prison, see a medieval cooking demonstration, a falconry masterclass, or take a wall walk for twilight views of the city.
8. London’s night food markets
London’s street food scene has enjoyed nothing short of a revolution in recent years, with many derelict and disused spaces being transformed into night food markets. Try Shoreditch’s Dinerama, Canary Wharf’s Giant Robot and Lewisham’s Model Market for mouth-watering global cuisine.
9. Rope-Swinging in darkness
Perfect your Tarzan call and take a leap in the dark in North Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest. Go Ape’s Adventures After Hours programme features twilight zip-wires and the chance to get to grips with the high ropes after dark.
10. Night Kayaking in Norfolk
Experience some of the best night skies in the UK on a full moon kayak adventure in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. See the moon and the stars reflected in the tranquil waters aboard an easy-to-paddle two-seater kayak. The two-and-a-half hour adventure takes place on Hickling Broad and the surrounding narrow reed bed backwaters.