Now that the Government has eased some of the lockdown rules in England, allowing people to take unlimited exercise with fewer restrictions on travel, many of us will have more flexibility around how we fill our days. Of course, we all need to be sensible and not head out in our cars for a hundred miles, but there are plenty of open spaces up we can take advantage of. But check before you visit to ensure car parks are open.
Remember, Wales and Scotland haven’t changed their rules yet, and are discouraging people from travelling.
Whilst some houses and gardens remain closed, the National Trust are starting to open more outdoor spaces in England and Northern Ireland, and have already opened up their smaller sites. If you want to visit one of their venues, you will need to check if it’s open and book in advance. You may also need to book parking.
Forests in England
If you have a forest nearby, then it may well be your favourite place to take a walk right now. But as restrictions have eased, you can expect more people venturing out. Forestry England has confirmed that they will be reopening some car parks from Wednesday 13 May, but will need to carry out a number of jobs in order to reopen all sites and ensure that social distancing measures are put in place where appropriate. You can check if your local forest car park is open by visiting Forestry England
Please be aware that there are no lifeguards on beaches in the UK at present, so if you’re planning on visiting a local beach, be sure to check the weather and tide times and follow safety advice. The RNLI are currently considering how it starts to rollout normal seasonal lifeguards, but they expect to provide a service to around 30% of the beaches it normally covers.
Many parks, particularly in London are starting to reopen allowing people the much needed space. Under the new rules, you can now meet one person not from your household, outside, whilst still maintaining social distancing. But note, children’s parks and play areas remain shut. With an estimated 27,000 parks in the UK, there’ll be plenty that are relatively local to where you live and you can check for your nearest on Google Maps
If you’re a keen golfer or angler, or perhaps you enjoy water sports such as canoeing and kayaking, you can get back to the hobbies you love if you live in England. You’ll also have more freedom to play sports with members of your household (if they’re willing of course). Here are some links to ensure you follow guidance and safety advice