Come rain or shine, we’re all looking forward to spending more time outdoors with family and friends as the summer months approach. Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 was wonderful at placing emphasis on the fact that even just the occasional contact with green spaces and nature can reduce feelings of isolation and help to prevent poor mental health.
As part of our Wellness Wednesdays campaign, we’ve put together a list of nine things you can enjoy outdoors by yourself, or with loved ones, to support your mental wellbeing.
1. Beautiful botanical gardens
Fancy wandering around otherworldly green spaces? Encounter plants and wildlife you’ve never seen before at botanical gardens around the country. From Grade II-listed glass pavilions at Sheffield Botanical Gardens, to the giant Amazon water lilies at Bristol University, there are some extraordinary places to explore.
The Joy Club recommends: The English Garden has created a list of some of the best botanical gardens nationwide. Choose one near you and start exploring!
Alternatively, stay closer to home and create a wildlife sanctuary in your own garden or window box. With an impressive member discount from our Partners at Seedball, you can choose which colours and types of wildflowers you want and watch your seeds spring to life – the bees will thank you for it!
2. Family fun at Go Ape
If you’re trying to think of something a bit different to do with your loved ones outdoors – something that’s fun, activity-based and will boost your mood – then we have the perfect activity for you: take to the trees with Go Ape!
The Joy Club recommends: book passes for you and your family between Sunday-Friday and make a great saving as a The Joy Club member.
Try cruising through the forest on a segway or coasting down a zipline at Go Ape to make some unforgettable memories and bring on the joy!
3. Afternoon tea with a view
If you don’t consider yourself the adrenaline-seeking type, celebrate lockdown lifting in style with a traditional afternoon tea overlooking some stunning British scenery.
The Joy Club recommends: bring a friend and enjoy a glass of prosecco to say cheers to meeting together again! Plus, our members can access a fabulous saving on any booking for up to six guests.
4. Pub gardens
There’s nothing quite like going for a drink or a tasty fish and chips at your local pub. With outdoor dining becoming a permanent fixture at many eateries, you’ll find that pubs have been hard at work making their garden spaces as beautiful as possible to make us feel comfortable and cosy outside.
The Joy Club recommends: making a booking at off-peak times and trying out the Boozr app.
Simply call up your local and avoid busy times to be in with the best chance of booking a table! Alternatively, if you like using apps, then we recommend Boozr – a free pub searching application that allows you to find all the venues near you with outdoor seating availability.
5. Scenic walks
What better way to take some time out for yourself than going for a scenic walk, especially now we are being treated to some sunnier weather.
There’s no doubt that lockdown has encouraged us all to make more of the wonderful walks in our local areas. With hospitality venues now open and better access to facilities, we’re now able to go walking further afield and enjoy longer days out.
The Joy Club recommends: the National Trust top spring nature walks. They have put together some wonderful spring walks that you can find in your area. They also recommend routes suited for a range of walkers; from gentle, scenic paths to magnificent, hilly hikes.
6. Drive-in films
For those of you who prefer to keep cosy indoors but still want to make the most of going out and doing something a bit different, we have the ultimate compromise: an old-school drive-in cinema night.
The Joy Club recommends: The Luna Drive-In Cinemas. With some awe-inspiring venues, Luna Drive-in Cinemas allow you to soak up the great British outdoors from the warmth and comfort of your own car, all while enjoying some classic movies on the big screen.
With full snack selection boxes and a discount off bookings for our members, what more could we want?!
7. Host a garden dinner party for friends and family
The past year or so has been particularly isolating for some of us – so why not consider hosting a drinks event or a meal outdoors in your own garden?
The Joy Club recommends: Apres Food delivers fantastic home-cooked and nourishing starters, mains and desserts to your door. We also recommend finding the wine to pair with your meal at Laylo (their Sauvignon Blanc is like sunshine-in-a-glass!).
Plus our members can enjoy an impressive saving off their first Apres Food orders, as well as on Laylo’s Sauvignon Blanc boxed wine. It couldn’t be easier to select a delicious menu and wine for your dinner and take the stress out of hosting.
8. Wild Swimming
If you love the sense of freedom that being out in nature gives you, why not honour this warmer season and give wild swimming a try?
Dipping into cold waters brings a rush of endorphins, making wild swimming like medicine for the soul.
The Joy Club recommends: learning more about wild water swimming from the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS). Members – find The Joy Club invite to join the OSS community here.
9. Discover historical houses
If, like us, you love diving into the stories of the past, now is your chance to explore the rich history Britain has to offer.
The Joy Club recommends: Historic Houses annual membership. With inside access to over 300 of the country’s oldest and grandest homes, Historic Houses invite you into extraordinary sites, ranging from imposing castles and impressive palaces to elegant stately homes and hidden, sleepy manor houses.
We are also offering our members an exclusive discount on annual memberships – what’s not love?!
Not yet a member but would like to access these fantastic offers? Join The Joy Club today!