Are you looking for some fresh ideas for a family day out? Whether you are starting to find the local park a bit too familiar, or are planning a day out with someone you haven’t seen for a while and want to do something memorable, read on to discover some suggestions for a socially-distanced day out.
For nature lovers, there is nothing better than escaping into the wilderness and getting amongst the flora and fauna, and thankfully due to the amazing landscapes in the UK, there are myriad hiking options that are suitable for all. Whether you are looking for an accessible and paved hike (perfect for those with mobility issues who rely on aids like a wheelchair or home stairlifts) or want to tackle something a little more adventurous there is plenty on offer.
Emma from Bee Money Savvy told us why hiking is such a brilliant activity: “Hiking is a free and fun activity that provides amazing views, fresh air and gets everyone moving. I recently went to the Lake District, where there are plenty of short to long walks and hiking options suitable for all the family.”
Luisa, the Online Personal Stylist also had a recommendation for somewhere to hike in the UK: “Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. It's a great day out for all the family where you can enjoy a walk, observe the scenery and wildlife, learn about the royal heritage and stop off for a family picnic among the greenery.”
Marvellous Mrs P blogger Rachel explained her method for keeping little ones interested whilst hiking: “by creating a guided nature walk. Simply write a list of things for children to find and then take them off to a local park, on a hill walk, down by a canal or into the woods to find them and tick them off the list. If you bring a picnic, then it becomes a real treat!”
Now, one thing the UK is blessed with is ample National Trust and Heritage sites. With a long and turbulent history, the UK benefits from some amazing historical venues which are both beautiful and educational.
Caroline, the founder of Breaks.com told us that she has seen a trend for more people enjoying this kind of attraction in recent months: “We are seeing that a lot of our following have been enjoying National Trust site as part of family days out! The sites usually have a large garden or park where it is easy to socially distance, but still have a great day out together. Wherever you are in the UK, there is a National Trust site nearby, including coastal locations to get some fresh sea-air or enjoy a woodland area in the countryside.”
Tamsyn the Travel Mum agrees: “I would say the best social distancing places I’ve been are the National Trust sites - they are limiting the number of people in, and making you book a time slot to allow for social distancing. These sites are amazing to get out in nature and see some incredible places of history!”
Kelly from Small House Big Trips told us her preferred site: “Dudmaston Estate in Bridgnorth. It has so many areas where you could be socially distant and still enjoy the whole day out. We managed a picnic around the lake, rolling down the hills and an ice cream in the orchard. Lovely.”
A short ferry ride down south takes us to Yvette from Uplifting and Inspiring Content‘s recommendation: “Osborne at East Cowes in the Isle of Wight. It is a fantastic location to visit with your family on the island and they’re really good with ensuring all visitors maintain a well-demarcated, socially-distanced queue.”
“Lowther Castle in Penrith, Cumbria is the best place we’ve been to all summer” explained Raimy from Read A Raptor. “With huge grounds, gorgeous manicured lawns and adventure beams to walk along throughout the woodland, plus a fantastic play area we had a great time. You can easily stay away from others and they have done a great job of making sure there are sanitising stations throughout the grounds.” Although not a National Trust or English Heritage property, Lowther Castle does offer an entry discount to English Heritage members.
Outside of National Trust properties and English Heritage Sites, there are plenty of amazing historical venues to visit. Jo from A Rose Tinted World told us about her recent experience at one: “Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales is a perfect day out. We felt incredibly safe. You have to book a parking space online, meaning that numbers are definitely limited. There are acres of grounds to explore and discover. I would definitely recommend it whatever the weather!”
If you are more of a city person, why not try and organise a city tour? There are plenty of them available and you and your family can learn more about the place you live or are visiting. Michelle from Fifty and Fab told us: “My sister is a fabulous Oxford City Tour Guide and her tours are now all set up for social distancing and make a super family day out. My own children have loved doing the Harry Potter tour and exploring the colleges and film locations!”
Getting closer to nature and also learning more about how plants, fruits and vegetables grow is all easily done by visiting a local garden, or even a pick your own farm. Whether you walk the garden paths learning about exciting fauna or want the chance to pick your own pumpkin for Halloween, there is plenty on offer and it may be closer to you than you think!
Rachel Bustin told us: “Our recommendation for a family day out where you can stay safe while socially distancing is to go to beautiful gardens, like The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. You can enjoy the stunning walks through the courtyard gardens and down to the farm area before making your way around to the forest and where the mud maid lives. There are also plenty of picnic benches and areas for you to eat lunch before you head on the nature trail to the forgotten jungle. Take in the exotic plants and the Burmese Rope Bridge 100 ft above the jungle floor!”
For a pick-your-own option, Eliza from The Warrior Method recommends: “Parkside Pick-Your-Own-Farm in Enfield. We had a fantastic day out at the Pick-Your-Own-Farm, which is perfect for little ones with lots of energy. It's a large, sprawling space with different areas for the fruits and vegetables (so spread out that I highly advise you try and nab a trailer to carry your haul and tired kids).”
If you and your family are thrill-seekers, then why not take to the water and take part in some water sports? From more advanced sports to a simple afternoon spent enjoying the local boating lake, water sports are great for people or all levels of accessibility and can make sure you are well-distanced.
Robbie from Paternal Damnation explained: “If you're lucky enough to live near a boating lake, these make for an excellent socially distanced day out. My family and I visited Cleethorpes boating lake recently and hired a rowboat to travel around.
“Younger kids love being in a boat, and older ones will want to try their hand at rowing. The best thing about hiring a boat though is that you're actively encouraged to stay away from other people. If you get within two metres of another rowboat, you're really doing it wrong!”
If you are looking for something a little more up-tempo, Nikki from Best Things to do in York recommends paddle boarding: “We recently tried paddle boarding for the first time. The kids had a great time, it’s in the open air, excellent exercise and plenty of room for everyone to be meters (and meters!) apart.”
Whether you want to hike, explore nature, enjoy a picnic in the outdoors or visit a park, visiting a local forest is the way to go. Oftentimes, forests have been well-kept by local councils and can contain myriad amazing features like factual guides to the local wildlife, play parks and designated clearings for picnics.
Em from Love Em Blog told us: “We've been to a few places as a family, but nowhere was as calming and quiet as Thetford Forest. Thetford Forest is a great place to visit and is so open that you don't come across people for ages. There are play areas, musical equipment and even fort building areas for you to enjoy. I'd highly recommend it to any outdoors-loving family. Make sure you pack a frisbee and a picnic too! It's dog friendly, so would make the perfect family outing.”
Another amazing forest is Sherwood, the home of Robin Hood. Petra from A Mum Reviews told us about her recent visit: “We got there early and were one of the first families there. We enjoyed exploring the woods that has wide paths that make it easy to socially distance when meeting other visitors. We had packed a picnic that we ate in the middle of the woods, completely on our own. It felt very safe and comfortable and Sherwood Forest is absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to see it in autumn too when the leaves change colour!”
Michelle from mothergoodofficial loves forest walks in her local nature reserve, Warley Place in Essex. She told us: “We have really enjoyed Forest Walks as always seemed to have good social distancing. This one is a forest walk with a difference. We were really surprised and found it quite enchanted. As you walk around the paths you find ruins, which were once the site of a house and famous Edwardian gardens.”
With so many to do around the UK, whether you are in a city or in the countryside, you’ll be able to enjoy a responsible and socially distanced day out with your family. As always, be sure to stick to current COVID-19 regulations and be aware of localised lockdowns if you plan to travel away from home.
If you have realised during lockdown that your space isn’t working for you, we have a range of mobility aids that can help you become more independent in your home, or help you to future proof it.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.