With the longer evenings finally upon us, now is the time to enjoy all your favourite outdoor pastimes. Whether you want to take advantage of the lighter evenings to further indulge in your favourite hobby or use the time to try out a new activity, there are plenty of entertaining things to try.

Outdoor pursuits

One of the nicest things about the longer evenings is that you can spend much more time outdoors. If the weather is fine then there are a number of sporting activities can be enjoyed outside. Badminton is fun, sociable and great exercise too. Alternatively, you could get some tennis practice in before Wimbledon season is upon us.

If you have the space, setting up a game of croquet on the lawn can be a lovely way to spend the evening with friends. Perhaps contact your local outdoor bowls club to enquire about membership.

These are often located in parks and a nice way to enjoy some fresh air in pleasant surroundings. Your local park may also present other opportunities for you to try. Fitness classes such as power walking or tai chi are popular, while many offer outdoor games such as chess or backgammon.

For something a little more unusual, what about trying your hand at metal detecting or kite flying? Both of these are fantastic fun, especially if you invite the family along too. Cycling, hiking, dog walking and even bird watching are other options that combine entertainment with beneficial exercise.

Arts and crafts

If you are passionate about the arts, these can also be enjoyed outside to make the most of the lighter evenings. Many music societies perform outdoor concerts in the summer in local parks or stately homes. These can be great fun, especially if you take along a picnic to enjoy.

Alternatively you could look for outdoor performances by local dramatic companies. And if you enjoy spectating, why not have a go at joining in? Research your local performing arts groups to see if there is one that would suit you.

Painting is year-round hobby but the lighter evenings offer the chance to get outside and look for unusual landscapes to capture on canvas. Book clubs have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

In addition to providing the opportunity to try books you might not normally read, they can be a fabulous way to meet new people and are usually extremely sociable. While many meet at local pubs or in members’ home during the winter, in the summer these can easily be moved to an outdoor setting.

If you’ve always fancied having a go at writing, look for a local group. Some specialise in short stories, others in poetry and most feature a mix of genre. Attended by a range of ages and abilities, they are an interesting and convivial way to spend the evening.

Gardening pleasures

One of the most enduringly popular outdoor pastimes is gardening and the light summer nights give you the opportunity to spend more time on this favourite hobby. In high summer it can be too hot to do much of the heavy work during the day but late afternoon and evening are ideal times to cut the grass or water the flower beds.

Whether you have a large garden or a small patio, you can still enjoy growing a variety of flowers and vegetables. A sunny balcony makes a great spot for troughs of herbs or a few tomato and strawberry plants. Large expanses of lawn look stunning when well-maintained but can be a lot of work so if you don’t have as much time to invest in your garden, opt for including decking or a rockery to break the space into smaller, more manageable chunks.

To really make the most of the lighter evenings, consider planting a night garden. Featuring lots of scented plants in shades of white, pale blue and light purple, the colours look great at dusk and the heady smell will be gorgeous when you are sitting outside on long balmy evenings.

Whether you’re keen on sporting activities, have a passion for gardening or enjoy trying new crafts, the lighter evenings are the perfect time to pursue your favourite activities.

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