why you should explore your town at night

Considering I've only lived in the student town of Aberystwyth for a couple of months, I'd say I've fallen in love with the place pretty quickly. Filled with history and stories and nationalism (and Vodka Tuesdays), Aber tends to draw you in completely. In some ways, it's relatively similar to my hometown of Swansea with its beaches and hills and castles, but something about this sleepy seaside makes it completely foreign. So far, I've basically only been out during daylight to go to lectures or to walk back home after a long night out, but I wouldn't have it any other way as I've had some of the best adventures at midnight. From stargazing to skinny dipping, towns like this are so much better when darkness falls.

Everything is quiet
At a small university town, during the evening you'll find that most people are either in bed doing some last minute reading, or celebrating having done some last minute reading with a few pints, rendering the streets relatively bare. I caught the flu a couple weeks back, and a friend brought warm soup for us to sip as I cwtched up warm in my big fleece jacket, and we sat on the edge of the pier. Swinging my legs off the side and gazing out towards the ocean, with only distant sounds being audible against the vast ocean silence, is both eery and calming. It's equally as surreal looking down over the town from a mini mountain as the sun falls down behind streetlights and background-lit windows, and with no one around, there's hardly any accompanying sound. It's weird, but awesome.

Everything seems more personal
One night last month someone took me out to the jetty to watch the stars, gazing up at the milkyway and pointing out which constellations were which. The only sound between our voices was that of the Irish Sea lapping against the shore, and the only things we could make out in the darkness were the stars, distant town lights, and each other. It was one of the most charming nights I've had in my life, and it would have been completely ruined had it been filtered with sunlight and tourists.

Anything is possible
Somehow, I imagine that had I clambered up the side of a castle to eat cookies with someone at 11am instead of 11pm, I would have had a different experience to the chill, undisturbed one I did have. Or, if I'd ran naked into the ocean with a society during daylight I'm pretty sure that the locals and holidaymakers would have had a thing or two to say to us. What I'm basically saying is, the second the sun drops down the horizon, the world is your oyster to explore and do things that daylight would otherwise unlikely permit.

Everyone's more comfortable
I've met some of the most chill people at night, as by the time the clock strikes 3am everyone's too sleep deprived to care about anything. You can have some deep discussions as you wander down to the beach as fireworks go off overheard on Bonfire Night, and people are always hazy with guileless glee in the arcade when all the windows overlook a pitch black town. Time moves slower, people are happier, and it's a pretty decent atmosphere to experience.

A sense of danger
So one day at Aberystwyth, we were all emailed warnings to not leave our flats to go to evening lectures because Storm Ophelia had hit and there were loose roof tiles and the like flying about everywhere. So naturally, one of my friends suggested that we go down to the ocean and watch the storm erupt chaos into the town. You could barely move in one direction due to the sheer force of the wind, and the waves coming up and hitting the streets were mental. As it got darker, everything felt less restricted and more ominous, and whilst I felt safe, there was a prominent question mark hovering over what would happen. It's exciting and I love it.

From eating candyfloss at a funfair to sipping soup on the edge of a pier, to even going dry slope skiing, some of my best experiences at this uni town so far have been during dark. They'e exciting and personal and honestly, it makes you fall in love with everything twice as quick and I can't recommend then enough.


  1. Hey Amy! Hope you're doing well!

    It is always refreshing and inspiring to read your stories and experiences around the globe! I totally agree with you, cities and towns are one thing with daylight and one thing without it. The sense of danger, some quiet alleys when you go away of the party zones (at least in Barcelona where I live and where you can go from shady to cool to elegant to creepy in a few minutes in the same area). Promise I will take a walk by night in my next trip, I usually do it in Spanish cities but people stay awake in the streets until 12 o'clock so it is not a big difference tho!

    Thanks for the inspiration and thanks also for your comment in my Paris post, I don't use nothing too expensive, just and old Canon EOS 1300D with a 18-55 mm lens (the one that comes with the camera) and sometimes my iPhone and a little bit of Photoshop :) Hope it helps. By the way you're really good at taking photos by night, is one of the hardest things for me at least so congrats :D

    Hey Fungi Blog

  2. These photos are beautiful! You've really captured the whole "magical nighttime" thing, and I love it. My own town is nothing like this, but you've still inspired me to take a night walk. I don't think I've done that in years!


  3. Great post. I love all of the photos. My fav part of exploring at night is def little to no traffic & little to no people! It can't get creepy though!

    Kara Aragon

  4. Nice!! I really loved the photos!
    Mónica Sors

  5. Wow the pictures are so amazing,
    I totally understand and see why it's worth to explore a place at night too.
    I never explored my town by night, but I definetly have to.

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  6. These are wonderful photos! To be honest the only time I wander around in the dark is when I've got back late from work or if I need to nip out to the shops haha, maybe I should make more time for it!
    Amy xx

  7. Such gorgeous pictures! I agree there is so much to actually see at night, especially right now! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. I like this post! Your pictures are great!

  9. It looks like a rather interesting European town. I don't think many American towns would be quite so nice at night. They just don't have the same kind of personality.

  10. You have some great night shots here!! I love discovering a new place at night as well!!

    Hope you are having a great weekend!


    Seize your Style

  11. This is so true! The atmosphere and energy of a town/city completely changes at night. I'm especially loving it right now because Boulder puts up so many gorgeous lights during these months. It's so beautiful! And of course, there's always a little room for some shenanigans. Going out at night is also one of our favorite ways to explore a new city. Love it!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

  12. thanks for sharing this! lately I've been too busy and tired to do anything after work. I just go home and sleep!


  13. You got some great photos! Once we had a particularly foggy evening and although I was tired from spending the day with the toddlers I still popped out once they were in bed, just down the end of our street, to take photos. It was beautiful and quiet (as people were asked to stay home and off the roads) and it was nice to have that little moment to myself, so I know what you mean with some of these experiences :)

    Hope you had a great weekend! We did a lot of Christmassy things like putting our tree up which was good. They predicted wild weather but thankfully it stayed away all weekend.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  14. Really lovely photos, Amy. There really is something spectacularly special about exploring places by night. It can feel as though you've part of some exclusive club, no crowds, no hustle and bustle... just you under the cover of night! Totally get what you mean about it feeling more personal. Beautifully written post!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  15. ¡¡Hola Amy!! Me alegro saber de tí de nuevo y saber que te va bien en tu nuevo lugar de estudio. El lugar se ve precioso gracias a tus fotos, que para ser por la noche, han quedado fabulosas. Las imágenes de las olas rompiendo en muro de contención me han encantado. Besitos y hasta pronto.

  16. fabulous pictures my dear
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  17. Aberystwyth sounds pretty cool overall but it sounds like nighttime offers some unique charms. I totally agree about exploring about your town at night because the energy is usually totally different. I live in New York City and things are still fast paced but they're also more chill than during the daytime.

  18. I'm a night owl and I do love s night stroll especially when I'm in a new place... but of course, with some company LOL

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

  19. These photos are beautiful and these are some great reasons for exploring at night. I love the idea that anything is possible,
    Julia x

  20. I always feel like a city comes alive at night. I prefer to explore in the evening instead of the daytime.

  21. Omg you are so right! It's not often that I walk around at night, but the few times I do, there is a sense of danger/excitement. Also I like that less people are out too because it's more peaceful.


  22. Love these photos! And it's going to be easier to explore our town now that it seems like it is always dark!

  23. Sounds like such a wonderful place and beautiful pictures too! You've definitely inspired me to do some exploring!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  24. I love the idea of being a tourist in your own town, but what a great idea to do it at a time that maybe you normally wouldn't. You're right that people do tend to be more relaxed at night. I'm not a night owl at all so I'd just be tired... but this does inspire me to get out and explore more!

  25. Lovely pictures ! Thanks for sharing!


  26. In my opinion, to fully appreciate a city you must visit it at least once in the night! because it's less chaotic, noisy and more mysterious and engaging. Walking through the quite streets make you seem like the owner of that city!
    Amazing pics dear!

  27. I use to do this when I lived in Seattle, New York is a bit tough as it is so busy and loud even at night. Though Brooklyn is a bit better for this. LOVE this photos. So moody. I totally get the vibe and where you are coming from.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  28. This is so lovely! I agree at night each city immediately becomes more magical with all the lights.


  29. I can't remember the last time I ventured out at night for adventures that didn't revolve solely around food or booze. There's definitely a different buzz at night and people are more relaxed and sociable. It would be amazing to go out and have a spontaneous walkabout through the city or to the beach. I can't remember the last time I hit the beach to stargaze at night.


  30. you have really cool pictures in here!
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    Alessa Bernal

  31. If only I live in a place where night feels like a day, I definitely would go around and explore the place. It's quite dangerous to be roaming in my place at night because it's very quiet. Anyway, I love this idea. Maybe if I happen to visit a place for a vacation I'd definitely do this :)


  32. Your photographs in and around the town of Aberystwyth at night are beautiful and amazing, and I loved reading the details of your life that accompany them! The photo overlooking Aberystwyth at night, the photo of the church, of the seashore, of the building and its lights through the trees silhouetted in the haze, the photo of the spray as the wave hits the seawall, and of the funfair lights at night are all fabulous.


  33. Hello,

    Oh, amazing !

    Sarah, http://www.sarahmodeee.fr/

  34. I've never heard of Aberystwyth befroe. It looks like a beautiful city to explore at night. The photo with the waves clashing is so eerie. I love it.

    Corinne x

  35. I definitely agree with you. I find walking in the night so magical. You have captured some great shots here. Great lighting and scenery.


  36. Wow this place sounds so incredible. I love your reasoning :)
    Isabelle xx

  37. El sitio se ve precioso, gracias por compartirlo :)

  38. Thank you so much for your nice comment, I love Rome by night, especially the vatican. :-) At night everything gets this mysterious sparkle.

  39. I love too to see how much cities change at night!
    Especially in summer, when the nights are always pretty lively (well at least here in Rome)!^^
    Beautiful captures, dear!

  40. What a stunning city!! I know how hard it is to take good pictures at night! you did so well!
    Kira Is Wearing

  41. What a beautiful, atmospheric post! There really is something about being out at night, when everywhere is lit up. Just feels completely different to the same plae during the day. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  42. I definitely love the city at night! It's my favorite time of day!


  43. Great post! The images are lovely! Gemma x

  44. Beautiful photos!


  45. I have to agree and love the city at night, it looks so different and exploring ones own city can be adventurous. Greas photos. x/Madison

  46. Amazing post hun! I love driving at night time when the the roads and surroundings are quiet xx


  47. You have taken some amazing pictures. I love the city at night <3
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  48. Yep I definitely agree with you that we need to explore our cities at night. Some of the progressive cities here in The Philippines have two faces, the corporate daytime and the colorful nightlife. It's fun to see the transition and it also makes it enjoyable to experience each scene.

    Maxine Panlilio

  49. What a lovely post :) It is true indeed that exploring your own town at night is so different than it can be during the day. I love how quiet it can get, the atmosphere becomes so special and it feels like you're sharing a unique moment. Spotting the sunset can also be just as special, if you can find the best place to observe it. Sharing that with people means creating beautiful memories :)

    Julia x

  50. Eating cookies up the side of a castle sounds so cool - anytime in my opinion, anyway! :)