Why I Won't Be Rushing To Enjoy A Day Out

In England, lockdown measures have been relaxed slightly today and our Prime Minister has encouraged us to enjoy as much time as we like outdoors for exercise or recreation.

There is no time limit and we can now travel to beaches, beauty spots and parks by car / on foot / bike with no time restrictions. This is providing they are open of course, many councils have chosen to stagger the opening of their car parks / have not opened them at all / have asked the public to stay at home for now.

The messages are a little mixed - we are told by some officials to go out, some officials to stay at home and sometimes the same official will give both pieces of advice in the same speech.

I really feel that everyone has to do what is best for them. We all live in different circumstances and if our own Prime Minister is encouraging us to go out and about, we should be allowed to with zero judgement from others. I cannot imagine how tough it must be living in a flat with no outdoor space and I recognise that I am lucky that we do have our own private outdoor space. Some people need outdoor space for health and wellbeing more than others too and it is important they can do this.

Plus, nobody owns a beach. They are there for everyone to use, not just local residents who can afford to live nearby.

However for us personally, I just don't feel ready to enjoy a day out just yet.

Why I am Staying At Home For Now 

I worry about maintaining social distancing 

We are a family of 5 and honestly my kids have zero idea of personal space at times. Despite my best efforts, we are that family that takes up the whole width of a cycle track when we are out walking (we do move to single file and leave plenty space when passing others but as there is 5 of us, it can be awkward).

It feels weird walking in single file and kind of defeats the point of us going out together and enjoying time together.

I feel like these first few weeks are going to be busy as people get used to their new found freedom and we get used to the new norm. It will stress me out trying to keep 3 kids away from others when out and about and I would rather wait a few weeks before we try.

Public toilets 

I have three kids and Steve will often say I am obsessed with going to the loo when we are out and about. I would say I am not obsessed BUT if we are walking past a toilet, I will ask the kids if they need it and probably go myself. I think this is fairly normal for most mams.

I think most public loos are probably remaining closed at the moment and even if they are open, I don't think I could bring myself to use them at this time. This could leave us in a bit of a pickle.

Spreading the virus to rural communities 

Where I live in Northumberland, a lot of our beauty spots are quite rural with small, mainly elderly communities. I really don't think it's fair if we all start descending on The Running Fox in Felton to pick up cakes or drive to Rothbury to enjoy their riverside walks if we are not local.

We risk bringing the virus to their community and could prevent some of the residents from taking a walk from their front door if it gets too busy and they no longer feel comfortable leaving their home.

(But then on the flip side, we love The Running Fox and would love to spend our money there and support them during a tough time - it is difficult to know what to do for the best!).

Just because we can does not mean we should

Exactly what it says really.

We still don't have hand sanitiser

I would feel better heading out somewhere if I had hand sanitiser with me but we don't have any. Not having access to somewhere we can wash our hands when out and about freaks me out a bit. What if we had to open a gate? What if one of us fell over? We could not take a snack as we wouldn't be able to wash our hands.....

What we will be doing 

Waiting a few weeks

I just feel a lot better waiting for a couple of weeks and seeing how the easing of lockdown goes. I would feel stressed heading out straight away and feel like for me personally, waiting a little and seeing how it plays out is better for my mental health. I appreciate this is different for others.

Start super local

We are going to start with days out local to us - Blyth Beach which is 3 miles away will probably be the first place I visit (assuming they open the car parks by then).

If somewhere is busy, turn around and try somewhere else / come home

This is common sense to me. If we do head out and it is busy, there is no way I will be hanging around.

Avoid weekend travel

We only have access to our car when Steve is off work but luckily for us, Steve is off every Wednesday. I reckon Wednesdays will be quieter than a weekend so we will be making the most of them when the time is right.

Stay outdoors

I have read a fair few articles around Coronavirus and the general consensus is that you are so much safer outdoors than inside. Until the R rate and new daily cases have dropped significantly, I will be staying outside.

Continue to enjoy my own garden & local green spaces

At the moment, we are going to make the most of our garden & get some of the outdoor jobs done that we have been putting off / never had time for before. This gets us outside and keeps us occupied. We will also be taking bike rides / walks around our local cycle network.

Meet up with grandparents as soon as we can

Like many, one thing we cannot wait to do is meet up with our parents as a family with the kids. As soon as the Government announces that it is ok for one full household to meet with another (whilst maintaining social distancing), we will be making plans to meet up in a field somewhere for a picnic straight away. We miss them and cannot wait for this day. Until that day comes though, we are staying away.

Obviously,  I am far less qualified than the Government and their advisors but as a parent, you know what is best for your family and this cautious approach works best for us. I am 100% not against those who do head to the coast or beauty spot straight away as I know how hard it has been and think I am pretty lucky to have the circumstances we do.

I cannot imagine how stressful it might be if you are a single parent/have little outdoor space and I imagine these relaxed rules could be a Godsend for you. I kind of feel like because I personally do not need to rush out now, this also leaves a little more space for those who do and need to enjoy the great outdoors more than I do right now .

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. 


  1. Hi
    We won't be going anywhere any time soon either but I do think that what works in Northumberland won't in London and vice versa, therefore I think that the national Government shouldn't speak for everywhere and it should be a local decision with local knowledge applied.
    The kids haven't been cycling at all since lockdown tho I have been out a few times on my own and my husband is still cycling to work.
    I have just worked out the reason the kids don't want to come on my cycle route is we can't go into the park on the way like we used to, and McDonalds isn't open when we get there - tho in my case, like you, it was more to use the loo than delight in their food - the kids think otherwise!

  2. We won't be having any days out either apart from the bike rides we've been having where we hardly see anyone. I think for the time being it is just best to stay home. Our local parts were still closed as of this afternoon. I don't think where we live is in a rush to get back to the "normal life" and I totally get it x

  3. I went out today and the kids were screaming with excitement as they got into the car- I think a drive would have been enough for them! We went to a large woods and people who were there were really far away. It was so nice to be away from our built up town and walking the same route as we have done for eight weeks. We won’t be going out like that everyday, I just needed it today. It was like my mind just cleared after having a good week or two of feeling very blue.

  4. This may be the most reasoned article I've seen on the subject. The messages are definitely mixed and becoming more so as time goes on. I don't believe most people are deliberately choosing to not understand as I have read on some social media. So many people have been so judgemental about what others are doing but as you say you don't know other people's circumstances. Everyone must live with their own conscience at the end of the day and do what is right for them and their families. Personally I will be going for longer walks and slightly further afield but probably not driving anywhere to do it. I'll be waiting until my Mam is allowed out from shielding before I drive anywhere and take her somewhere, assuming she hasn't gone crazy before then. I've discovered dozens of walks on my doorstep that give the illusion of open space and countryside. Until the time is right I'll carry on as I am now waiting for the day when I can get back to the seaside without a 2 hour walk to get there.

  5. We've got a few stiles and gates at the country park near us and we've perfected our "climbing with no hands" skills in preparation! Loved this post, really well balanced and thoughtful - it's hard to know what to do for the best and in all honesty there is no right or wrong answer. We've decided to stay at home for the moment but that's only because we are privileged and have a south facing garden, no children to entertain and a beautiful housing estate with plenty of walking routes! We're thinking we may attempt a late night visit to Whitley Bay soon just to see the sea, and we have been debating an afternoon tea pick up at Running Fox or burgers at Fippo! We've not done any pick up takeaways yet because we've been too nervous so that seems like a good way to ease ourselves back into the "norm"

  6. I’ve been taking a bar of soap, bottle of water and a towel so we can wash our hands while out. We also have no hand sanitizer. It puts my mind at rest a bit. Even on a local walk 2 year old touches everything!

  7. We will be staying local too. However, we are lucky enough to have a garden and somewhere nice to walk from home and not everyone has that on their doorstep.

  8. I think there's a lack of imagination in the British public in terms of heading to "beauty spots" / the beach. There are so many walks to be had in the countryside, away from villages and everyone else... Just need to download the OS app and pay for the year subscription to discover paths and bridleways. We drove out yesterday with the kids, did a 4 mile walk through a blue bell filled wood, along a river and back. Total people encountered = 4!


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