• Paul Flint

5 Reasons to love the month of January and embrace winter.

We love winter here at The Lone Barn. Cosy fires, windswept walks, muddy bike rides, frosty mornings, and time to pour over the garden catalogues and dream up the cutting flower patches for summer.

It’s difficult not to wish the winter away with dreams of long hot summer days, but instead what about embracing our winters and all they have to offer. Here are our 5 top tips for getting through January.

1. Brisk walks - there is nothing like getting out in the cold chilly air, wrapped up with hats, scarves and coats that look like duvets! Feeling the wind on our cheeks, spotting the wildlife going through their daily search for food, finding shelter from the cold and appreciating they don’t get to come in and warm up by the fire. We love getting out with our Sprocker spaniel, Rudder as soon as the sun rises, on to the footpaths that we are so lucky to have surrounding us here. Taking a walk to the Bat and Ball, torches in hand in the evenings too are a treat, welcomed by their roaring fire and tempting menus, and different appetising drinks.

2. Muddy bike rides - feeling energetic? Want to use up some of that Christmas pent up energy, then it’s time to get back on the bike, whether on the muddy tracks or country lanes, we find it’s a great source of seeing our beautiful county and what it has to offer and stopping off at buzzing cafes for a hot coffee to warm up and making a round trip with sustenance!

3. Planning weekends away - now is the perfect time to get down to planning some rest and recuperation throughout the year. Light the fire, get the rugs out, lap top in hand and a good bottle of wine, and you can spend a whole day just dreaming, but instead make it happen. Why not book a weekend or two here at The Lone Barn, for starters.

4. Visit London - we find the winter a great time to go to London, only an hour from nearby Petersfield station into London Waterloo. Its magical with its lights in December, and in January an opportunity to hit some of the many shows in the West End, we are off to see Les Miserables later this month a fabulous birthday present, so excited, and really fancy seeing ‘Glengarry GlenRoss’ showing at the Playhouse theatre too. An afternoon walking along the south bank before supper watching the world go by and then a show, is a great day out and so easily accessible from Hampshire.

5. Have a 'chill out' day - with it still getting dark at 4 it makes for super long evenings in front of the fire, we LOVE them, and use them as great ways to have a box set binge or watch a favourite film, or read that book Santa brought you. Simply pour through magazines, particularly looking forward to another present of mine, and hearing the ‘English Home mag’ drop on the door mat each month, so can see how I will spend one or two of my January evenings! Or why not have a good old sort out of all those photos you’ve been itching to create albums from. The Stables cottage, the Stores bed and breakfast both have wood burners to snuggle up by.

So there is no excuse its time to hit The Lone Barn for your winter retreat, whether it be an active one or not.

So lets do it, get out and about or stay in, chose the right days and you can have it all! Good luck.

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