It’s not always possible to take to the road and go off on an adventure. We all have responsibilities that mean we might only have a day or two free at a time. What’s more, heading off on vacation to explore the world doesn’t always come cheap but what a lot of people don’t realise is that there are things right there in their own backyard just waiting to be discovered.
Your local area is packed with things to do but you probably don’t realise it. I have heard so many people complaining about their town or city saying there’s nothing to do and only focusing on the problems. But just try to open your eyes a little more and you’ll see some pretty exciting things to see and do.
If you’re not sure where to start then this guide will serve as your introduction to exploring what’s on your doorstep. I’ll give you some handy tips on finding out what’s on and what you can see and do.
Discover Local Architecture
I remember the first time I went to York, a place I’ve visited many times since and fallen in love with. But what struck me the most was the architecture. The buildings looked so different to anything near me and had this beauty about them that made me stop in the middle of the street just to take a photo.
How often do you do this in your local area? I can honestly say that, until I started actively trying to discover my local area, I had never paid a blind bit of attention to any of the buildings. They were just there. Something I had always walked past and seen but never really looked at properly.
Spend a day walking around your local area and checking out things like churches, houses, temples, towers, castles and anything else made from bricks and mortar. If you’re lucky enough to live near a stately home or country mansion that’s open to the public, then these are great for discovering breathtaking architecture. You’ll find that there are usually several buildings within the grounds from staff houses to chapels and even things like ice houses.
Walk, Walk, Walk!
Many of us are guilty of hopping in our cars and driving to our chosen destination, especially when it’s somewhere local. But by doing this, you often miss out on a lot of places that wouldn’t ordinarily catch your attention.
Why not try walking through a part of town that you don’t often frequent? You might find quaint little cafes, unique boutiques and other small local businesses that have something of interest to you. What’s more, these businesses are often run by knowledgeable locals who will be able to give you information on other lesser known places to check out.
Next time you have to go anywhere within a few miles of your home, leave your car keys where they are and lace up your walking boots. Go through pedestrian only walkways and cut through housing estates, fields and any other areas that you wouldn’t normally go. You’d be amazed at how much you can discover.
Check Out Social Media
Social media is often frowned upon since people are so keen on the idea of less screen time. That’s something I am completely on board with but it doesn’t mean that this resource doesn’t come in super handy from time to time.
If you’re looking for things to do in your local area then you’ll find plenty of information on social media, with Facebook being one of the leaders in this area. For example, pretty much every town, village and city in the UK has a dedicated Facebook page. These have a plethora of local information including upcoming events, things to see and do and the best places to eat and drink. What’s more, businesses will often advertise offers that might not be available anywhere else.
There is also the events tab on Facebook which lists details of upcoming events in any given area including times and dates. You can opt to ‘attend’ a specific event and you’ll then receive notifications related to it so you won’t miss out on a thing.
Speak To Locals
I have lived where I currently do for the best part of 18 years and there’s still so much for me to discover. But one of the best ways to find out things that you may not have known is to speak to people who have lived in the area for a long time.
Older folks often love socialising and will happily chat to you for hours about local places of interest as well as giving you some interesting history and local knowledge. If you can find people who have lived their entire lives in your locality, you’ll find that they have some amazing stories to tell.
They might have snippets of information about local secrets and places to check out that have a unique history. There might even be local groups you can join and some of these may even offer day trips to some nearby points of interest.
Not in the literal sense; what I mean is find that highest point in your local area and head up there. If you live somewhere naturally hilly like the Peak District then your choices are going to be much wider but even in seemingly flat places, there will be a high point somewhere.
Once you’re up there, you can take in the view and even plot a walking route. If you want to get out into nature, there’s nothing quite like exploring countryside that’s within a stone’s throw of your home.
I am fortunate enough to live right on the edge of miles of woodland and countryside. But up until the first covid lockdown, I barely explored any of it. In fact, I was convinced that what I had already seen was the extent of it. After weeks being cooped up in the house, I took my kids on a long hike and what we discovered was beyond anything I could have imagined. If only I had known before! There’s still so much for me to see and much of it isn’t accessible during parts of the year so I’m sure there are lots of adventures to come.
But if you have even just the smallest amount of local countryside, then get up to a good vantage point and you’ll see just what there is to discover.
Turn Yourself Into A Tourist
You might not see your local area as much of a tourist spot but I can guarantee that there are people visiting from near and far all the time. There will even be a local tourist office but most of us don’t even know where that is within our own town. Pop your location into Google and you’ll yield tons of results on things to do and places to see.
There will usually be plenty of reviews so you can know what to expect and you’ll likely find a plethora of activities that you never knew existed. So many of us are in the habit of ignoring what’s right in front of our eyes and then we miss out on some amazing things.
I know that when the school holidays roll around, I’m forever racking my brains for places to take the kids. But then when I go onto Google and search the tourist attractions, I’m astounded at how much is going one and I’d have been none the wiser if I’d have carried on thinking like a local.
You don’t even have to stick to your immediate vicinity. I’d bet my life that neighbouring towns and villages have plenty going on that’ll pique your interest so check out their tourist attractions as well.
View It From The Water
How often have you seen your local area from a different viewpoint? Whether it’s hiring a barge for the day, kayaking, renting a sailboat on the coast or any other type of water travel, you’ll see your local area in a whole new light.
What’s more, this is an exciting and thrilling adventure that involves so much more than just looking at your surroundings from the water. You may be able to take part in secondary activities like fishing, swimming, diving and many others.
If there is a local body of water, you can guarantee there will be businesses offering all sorts of activities so be sure to check these out.
Your local area is probably much more of a gem than you would have imagined. For most of us, our town or village is somewhere we’ve become so used to, we move blindly through it, missing out on what it truly has to offer.
If you’re keen to get out and have an adventure, you don’t need to travel far. These tips will help you make the most out of what’s right there in your own backyard.