Lighthouse: Clothing For Outdoors Exploring

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There is nothing more refreshing than getting outdoors for an afternoon’s exploring at this time of year. Whether it’s a nearby forest, a well-known footpath or a bracing winter walk along the beach; getting outside for fresh air and a few hours of precious daylight never fails to make me feel better. Making time to enjoy nature and it’s simple pleasures makes me feel so much more connected the seasons. It is very easy to feel disconnected from nature during the autumn and winter; if it’s chilly and damp outside, the temptation to cosy up inside all day can be overwhelming. Entire days indoors always seem to lead to me and my little ones getting serious cabin-fever, and so I try my best to find a balance. After all, is there anything more soul lifting than arriving home to a cosy house after an afternoon outdoors…especially if I have been organised enough to prepare something delicious smelling for dinner in the slow cooker!

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Finding outdoors clothing that is practical, warm and waterproof, whilst also looking stylish can be quite difficult. Thin layers of thermal clothing works well when it is really cold outdoors, especially when paired with a chunky woollen jumper. The right coat is absolutely key though; something light enough to move around in (and climb trees should you want to!) that will also be waterproof and insulated enough to protect you from the worst of the weather. Our little island is notorious for it’s changeable and unpredictable climate, and surprise hail storms are all part of the fun!

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I have recently been trying out the Outrider raincoat from Lighthouse Clothing and have to say I’m impressed! In what is like a holy grail quest for the perfect outdoors jacket, I think Lighthouse may have created the solution to my problem. The Outrider raincoat is a lovely 3/4 length, that even on me (I’m 5″9 ish) is plenty long enough to keep me properly dry and reaches down to just above knee length. Oh, and did I mention it has a cape…such a cute detail which makes the jacket much more stylish and feminine. The cape also turned out to be incredibly practical when it started to rain in the woods one afternoon…the rain drops literally just ran off my shoulders, like an umbrella, so no more soggy sleeves!

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I love the inside of the coat too; the checked cotton lining in pretty autumnal colours contrasts so nicely with the fern green of the outside. A good balance between the traditional style countryside outdoor jacket and modern styling. The coat is actually available in a range of lovely shades; plum, nightshade and deep sea.

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It is always good to know the background to a company, and one of the things I really like about Lighthouse Clothing is that they are a small uk company, based in the countryside just outside Belfast. I have a feeling that the wild, natural greenness and beauty of Northen Ireland is reflected in the clothing they design. Take a peek at the full details about their interesting heritage. I adore their philosophy ~ to encourage the wanderer, the sea lover and the great adventurer in us all through quality, inspiring clothing~.

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My own little bobble-hat-wearing wanderer and helpful camera assistant. She is always up for adventure, exploring and mud!

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My experiences so far of wearing the Outrider coat have been so positive. Even my other half A, who is super outdoorsy (as in, his idea of fun is wild camping half way up a mountain) was super impressed with how waterproof the coat is and full of compliments for it. Definitely a coat to encourage outdoor wandering and adventures this winter!

I have noticed that Lighthouse actually have a Black Friday sale running at the moment, with up to 35% off!

You can also find them on Instagram and Twitter as @lighthousestyle

 

Many thanks to Lighthouse Clothing for sending an Outrider Raincoat for review. As always, all thoughts and words are my own.

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An Autumnal Walk In The Oxfordshire Countryside

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How was your weekend? Lovely I hope! I am enjoying the return to relative peace and quiet as half-term has ended and Mia is back at school. We spent the last few days of the holidays staying with family in Cambridgeshire, which was perfect. Sometimes it’s just good to get away for a short break from day-to-day life, and even more so at the moment whilst we are dealing with all the stresses that come with house hunting and trying to sell our own place!

Half-term passed in a bit of blur of trips out for cinema, lunch, coffee, etc, but last weekend we made the most of the perfect autumn weather and took a walk through the local countryside. I have said it before but we are so spoiled with a wonderful choice of places to walk nearby. We opted for one of our favourites, the Wittenham Clumps, a beautiful area not too far from Abingdon. It has it all really, forest paths, fields to run around, a river and a massive hill, often being grazed by cows!

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On a clear day the views are amazing; you can see for miles it is so high up. It’s also pretty stunning on misty mornings or in the winter fog, as the trees on the surrounding hilltops become the only things visible for miles!

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They may be sloe berries, judging by the spikes, but I am no expert. I do love the faded bluberry-like colour though.

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Joe always finds a stick wherever we walk (even on the way to and from school most mornings) and spends a long time chosing a favoutie one to come home. As a result our garden is so full of them; occasionally I do get rid of a few, or add them to our garden bug hotel, but he knows each one and will sometimes ask where a particular stick has gone. I am very much hoping that he will grow into a Monty Don-ish adult who will help with my garden, rather than a tree surgeon (far too scary/dangerous!).

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There is always someone flying a kite at the top of the hill. I must get a proper one for Mia and Joe, as the one we have is useless and refuses to fly, even in high winds!

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I love the late afternoon light during October and November, so soft and hazy it is magical. The hills become blue and the trees just glow in contrast.

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The cows are also gorgeous, but we treat them with caution. When we are walking, A always laughs at my wariness about cows, but having been chased by a herd several times as a child, I feel my reaction is justified. Much better to admire these beautiful creatures from a safe distance (thanks, camera zoom!).

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We are looking forward to getting outside so much more over the next few weeks, as autumn slowly changes into winter. The welly boots and cosy woollies are at the ready! I would love to visit an arboretum before the leaves have all fallen, there is a great one just outside Oxford, Nuneham Arboretum, which we know well. I am planning a trip to Westonbirt too, which looks stunning. Where is your favourite place for an autumn or winter walk?

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