Rainy day walks may not be your favourite pastime. However, we are here to help change that. As National Umbrella Day celebrates the wonders of this great invention (each February 10th in the UK), we thought we’d take this as inspiration, to explain how you can enjoy a walk in the rain with an umbrella in hand.
From the health benefits of walking in the rain, to the best places to walk through a shower, we hope to encourage you to think twice about how rainy day walks can benefit you in the long-term and bring a smile to your face in the short-term. Firstly, you’ll need to prepare for your walk by sourcing some suitable waterproofs…
What to wear while walking in the rain
A rainy day hiking outfit should include:
1: A lightweight base layer, which is easy to move around in. This will wick away sweat and shield your body heat. Yoga clothes are a great option.
2: A fleece, or any synthetic insulator. These items retain their warmth when exposed to the rain, remain lightweight, and dry more quickly than natural materials.
3: A waterproof jacket is an obvious choice. However, to be waterproof it must have a waterproof rating of 2,000 mm or more. Taped seams will also be an added bonus, as well as mesh lining and underarm ventilation zips.
How do I stay dry while walking in the rain?
- Take as many waterproof items as possible like a trekking umbrella.
- Waterproof hiking shoes or boots and gaiters are the best way to ensure your feet stay dry
- Wear a baseball cap to protect your eyes from the water so you’ll stay sharp and notice uneven ground and excess surface water.
- Follow the weather reports near your location to avoid extremely heavy showers.
- Walk around high rivers, extremely muddy paths, and puddles to avoid slipping.
- Use trekking poles, which will provide support along trails.
- Consider planning a route with an indoor stop somewhere so you have a break to dry off.
So is it healthy to walk in the rain?
Surprisingly, it is good for you to walk in the rain if you plan ahead and wear proper wet weather gear.
The benefits of walking in the rain:
- Petrichor is the good bacteria of the soil, the oil from the plants, and the ozone mix, which you can smell when it rains. This has a soothing effect and regulates mood.
- Walking in the rain helps you burn more calories than walking in dry conditions.
- The humidity during a shower makes your skin healthy, clean, and fresh because the water from the rain doesn’t contain minerals or harmful particles.
- When it rains the air is less contaminated and remains fresh when you breathe in.
What should be noted is that you shouldn’t walk in the rain for more than 20 minutes at a time to reap the full benefits.
So, walking in the rain is not as bad as you may have thought. However, to prevent any kind of sickness from walking in the rain, the best thing to do after a walk in a light shower is to do the following…
What should I do after walking in the rain?
- Draw a warm bath or take a shower.
- Wet hair can cause dizziness so dry your hair immediately.
- Take off all wet clothes and change into some new ones to avoid getting cold.
- Relax with a mug of hot lemon and honey. Your body will feel warmer and the vitamin C in your mug will give your body a boost.
- Try some light stretching to stimulate blood flow and warm up your body.
- To avoid cold symptoms, go to bed with warm dry feet.
- Hand warmers can also be used to dry your feet and socks after a rainy day walk.
Now you know what wet weather outfit to wear, why a walk in the rain isn’t bad, and what to do after some time in the elements, here are some of our favourite locations you can go for a rainy day walk. Jumping in puddles is optional!
Top Rainy Day Walks in the UK
Visit Snowdonia, North Wales
For a short walk in Snowdonia, take the Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd walk. Stroll along the banks of the river Gamlan, with sights of the Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls. It should take an hour and a half to walk the two miles, as you follow waymarkers, wooden bridges, and tarmac roads alongside the riverbank.
Rainy day walks in Yorkshire
There are many walks in Yorkshire. However, there are some that are said to be experienced better in the rain. Most include waterfalls. Aysgarth Falls near Leyburn is a simple, mile-long stretch of breathtaking waterfalls, on the River Ure.
To see a manmade waterfall, spot the Sprotbrough Falls (a weir), on the River Don outside Doncaster. It’s also a good place for fishing and bird watching. Another place for a waterfall walk is Lostwithiel…
Discover Lostwithiel, Cornwall
Lostwithiel is regarded as one of Cornwall’s hidden treasures, full of trails and walks. Explore the history of a 13th-century castle, during a 2.75-mile circular walk around Restormel Castle. Plod through trees and woodland on a paved path by taking the Lanhydrock Walk, which can include a train ride on your return. Or discover the Luxulyan Valley to find old tramways and the Treffry viaduct, which is part of the makeup of the UNESCO Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Read our heritage site blog to find more.
Rainy day walks in Surrey
Surry has a handful of paved walking trails to choose from for the wetter months. For both you, younger members of your party, and your dog! There’s the Natural Play Trail at Box Hill and the zigzag road for your dog. For shorter trails, find them at Farnham Heath – an RSPB nature reserve full of roe deer, woodcocks, and tree pipits.
Explore the island of Anglesey, Wales
For dolphin and seal spotting, stroll along Anglesey’s north-east coastline. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the three-mile Treath yr Ora walk is isolated, complete with a sandy beach between the villages of Benllech and Amlwch.
Park at Traeth Lligwy and find the small café, before looking out for porpoises and a variety of seabirds, such as cormorants – a nature photographers paradise!
Rainy Day Walks in The Lake District
It’s no secret that The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places to walk in the UK. However, whenever you visit, you’re likely to experience wet weather. Luckily there are plenty of rainy day walks to choose from. For a day out in the rain, visit Ambleside for lunch and walk out to a 70-foot waterfall called Sock Ghyll Force. You can also follow the ‘Town Trail – Ambleside Above Stock’ to view all the mills in the area.
Rainy Day Walks in The Peak District
The Peak District is full of character in the rain, made all the more characterful by its ancient woodlands! Padley Gorge and Wyming Brook are two woodlands to choose from and are accessible in the rain. Padley Gorge is a wooded ravine that lies on the Derbyshire and Yorkshire border. Managed by the National Trust, you can explore an unspoiled area of ancient human habitation. Wyming Brook is a nature reserve, home to a tumbling brook and wooden footbridges. It also has been recognised as one of the best green spaces in the UK.
We hope we have encouraged you to embrace the elements and go for some rainy day walks soon, while you receive the health benefits. Wherever you go don’t forget your umbrella and wrap up and warm up on your return.
For more inspiration about where to take rainy day walks, view our walking holidays blog!