Summer solstice: How to make the most of the longest evening of the year

It may fall on a Tuesday, but you can still mark midsummer in style

Summer solstice sunrise over one of the poppy fields at Blackstone nature reserve near Bewdley
Summer solstice sunrise over one of the poppy fields at Blackstone nature reserve near Bewdley

Also known as midsummer, the summer solstice (21 June) has arrived, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and the northern hemisphere is bathed in sunlight during the longest day of the year.

Well, we should be bathed in sunlight but – depending on where you live – not everywhere is looking so bright and sunny today.

Still, there are lots of lovely ways to celebrate the summer solstice, indoors as well as out…

Dine al fresco

Grandad and grandson talk by the grill at a family barbecue

Fire up the barbie, pack up a delicious picnic and head to the park or book a table outdoors at your favourite restaurant. An al fresco meal will definitely cheer up your Tuesday night.

Go for an evening stroll

Even if there’s a spot of drizzle or a chill in the air, it will still be lighter for longer. Head out for a solo stroll or invite a friend for a catch up while you walk. Take a flask of hot chocolate or your favourite summer tipple and some sweet treats to share along the way.

Treat yourself to a takeaway

Is dinner from your local takeaway usually a Friday treat? Break the rules with a cheeky Tuesday night curry, fish and chips or pizza feast.

Exercise outdoors

Get moving with an evening run or take your usual workout outside – grab a yoga mat and a buddy and do some sun salutations in the park, or prop up your phone and follow an online HIIT class.

Potter with your plants

Gardening in the dark isn’t much fun, but with extra daylight hours you can potter with your plants for longer. Why not take the opportunity to do that pruning, deadheading or repotting you’ve been putting off?

Relax in the bath

What better way to escape a dreary evening than with a long, hot soak in the tub? We’re talking the whole nine yards – bubble bath, candles, relaxing music and a strict “do not disturb” policy.

Go to the cinema

Another cosy idea if your outdoor options are limited, check out the latest blockbuster or indie movie release, and don’t forget your “dinnerma” – dinner consisting entirely of your favourite cinema snacks.

Have an early night

Not in the mood to celebrate summer solstice? That’s OK too. Draw the curtains (you may need to pop on an eye mask as well) and see if you can get your longest night of sleep of the year.

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