At this time of year we are officially further from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere than those in the Southern Hemisphere! Daylight hours are getting shorter, and our hours of darkness are getting longer.
There is lots to do in the dark here at The Cottage Beyond!
Step outside for some star gazing.
We are located just a short drive from Exmoor - Europe's first Dark Sky Reserve. Download their handy guide - Exmoor Dark Skies Guide - for fantastic advice and guidance on how to make the most of your stargazing experience - or download a night sky app on your phone which can then be used to guide you through the constellations!
Listen to the sounds of the night.
Stand in a TCB's garden on a calm winter’s evening, and you’ll hear lots of different animal sounds, from the hoot of an owl to the bark of a fox. Would you be able to recognise what species of owl you’re hearing? Or work out if the barking is by a fox or by the farm dogs Pepsi and Elbie? Identifying animal sounds adds to the fascination of being in the countryside, so wrap up warm and spend a little time outside to catch the different sounds.
Enjoy the magical feeling of swimming in the spa hall with its atmospheric lights.
Swimming at night here at The Cottage Beyond is just fabulous. There is something quite exciting about heading down to the pool in the dark, getting some music going and having a good splash around. With under-water lighting in the pool and hot-tub, and a projected light display onto the wall there is plenty to see too!
Cosy up by the open fire
Sometimes if the weather is miserable, or you've had plenty of fresh air already, then there is nothing better than curling up on a sofa in front of an open fire - so pamper yourself! With books to borrow, and board games a plenty you could easily while away an evening or two without leaving the sitting room - enjoy!
With our super-king beds and sumptuous bedding its worth taking an early night. There is plenty of evidence that removing light sources (even pin prick LEDs) from your sleeping area can lead to a multitude of benefits. A dark room can help regulate your melatonin production (the natural sleep hormone), improving your sleep quality, and helping to maintain a balanced mental and emotional well-being.