Making the most of the great outdoors

Posted: June 7, 2021

Baby girl in a swimming costume and wearing sun glasses sitting on the beach

As lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted and the weather has shown big signs of improvement in June, it’s time to make the most of our newfound freedom. Hurrah!

From play dates to days out with family and friends, the world is (almost) our oyster again.

It is still going to be a while before ‘normal’ life, as we used to know it, resumes. Saying that, beggars can’t be choosers as they say, and we are excited to get out and about.

Outdoor days with the kids

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed a lot of lives. Whilst most changes have been against our wishes, there have been some positives too.  

For the past year, families have been enjoying more time outside. The daily walk has become a ritual and often right under our noses, we’ve discovered places that we didn’t know existed. 

The good news is that this has not only had mental and physical health benefits, but has also forced us to appreciate our surroundings. 

With the easing of the restrictions however, we’ve now got more options for getting outside with the kids. There might still be an element of nervousness about mixing in big numbers,and most p[laces require pre-booked appointments, which is why the great outdoors is the perfect place to enjoy family time, whilst feeling safe.

Here are our suggestions of making the most of better weather with the kids.

Country parks and nature reserves

Most counties have these within reach. Country parks tend to be large open grounds with an abundance of nature. Many have walking or cycling routes, welcome dogs, have plenty of picnic spots, and tend to offer facilities such as toilets and refreshments. 

Nature reserves tend to be more ‘untouched’ apart from pathways and perhaps conservation projects to support the natural habitats. They still offer a chance to get up close and personal with wildlife though.

Look for country parks that you haven’t been to for a while, or pick a new area to visit. Forestry England, local council websites and Wildlife Trusts are a great starting point for finding somewhere new to explore.

Camping

If you’re a true fan of the great outdoors, then camping might be your thing. Perfect for the whole family but especially for kids, camping can be great fun. 

Switch off for a few days, enjoy a simpler way of life, and let the kids run wild!

You can go completely self-sufficient with your own tent, equipment, toilet and even solar shower. Just remember to plan, plan and plan some more. You will need to make sure that you have the right equipment, but most importantly, a little resilience to be able to cope with whatever nature throws at you.

If you want to ease in gently on the other hand, you could opt for camping 2.0, booking a bell tent, yurt or glamping pod. 

Beach days

Sadly, we’re not all blessed with coastal views from the doorstep, but that doesn’t mean that beaches are out of reach. In the UK, as a rule (traffic allowing of course!), you are never more than a couple of hours drive from the beach.  However, given most of us will be opting for staycations this year, the roads will be busier, so it’s best to plan ahead and think about leaving earlier or going later in the day and staying longer.

Use an online app to map out a journey to your nearest beach. If it’s still too far, man made lagoons, open water lakes, lidos, and splash parks might be closer as an alternative.  

Stately homes and estates

Organisations such as National Trust or English Heritage own and maintain a whole host of land and properties.

From vast parklands to stately homes, there’s plenty to explore for all ages to enjoy. You may have to book as part of social distancing regulations, but this is usually a simple online process.

What to take with you?

Planning ahead will be the key to an enjoyable day!  With little ones it’s always best to take a change of clothes, towels, packed lunch/snacks in an insulated lunch bag, and plenty of drinks and snacks with you.

Picnicking is the natural choice, especially for families, so pack a blanket or rug. It’s also a good idea to take a wipe clean mat for little ones to sit on and eat or play on, so mess can be easily cleaned away.  Try our wipe clean splash mat  for stress free, mess free trips! 

Wherever you go and whatever you are doing, our neoprene machine and hand washable lunch bags are really handy, and designed in a range of fun colours and characters.  Check them out here.

Where will you go first?