After getting through the first lockdown most of us are NOT looking forward to another one. Things are going to be very different during lockdown 2 and there’s still plenty to do, both at home and out and about. The most important thing, if you’re planning on visiting anywhere, is making sure you stick to the social distancing rules. It’s also looking like most places will have take-away food and toilets available, which is a big improvement on last time.
Government guidance during lockdown is that you should only exercise with your household / social bubble or one a one-to-one basis with a member of another household, with social distancing. If you’re planning on venturing out then don’t forget sanitiser and a face mask. To the best of my knowledge, and at the time of writing, all of the places I’ve mentioned will be open. Things can change quickly so please double check with the location or on their social media before visiting. The government are currently suggesting that you can travel to exercise, but that you shouldn’t travel far and should stay in your local area.
Here’s my guide on things to do at home and where you can still visit during lockdown 2.
Things to do at home with the kids during lockdown
There are lots of free and cheap ways to keep the kids entertained during lockdown at home on the website. There’s easy science experiments and easy crafts for kids – now it’s autumn have a look at the 11 autumn crafts page for inspiration. There’s lots of ideas of things to do during self isolation (including some home education support ideas) if you click here.
Thankfully the kids are still going to school and nurseries are going to be open, but if you’re staying home with a toddler we’re back to trying to keep them entertained during a lockdown. Have a look at the under 5’s section of the website. There’s toddler craft ideas, reviews of online classes and reviews of subscription boxes you can do at home with younger kids.
Where can you still visit during lockdown in Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts?
Playgrounds in Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts are permitted to remain open during lockdown. It may be that some councils decide to close their playgrounds but the vast majority will be open. You can find all of my playground reviews here. There are some favourites like the helicopter park in Halton, Tetsworth & Towersey in Oxon have great playgrounds and in Herts Leavesden Country Park and Rickmansworth Aquadrome and worth a visit.
Some National Trust properties remain open during lockdown. The local sites are Cliveden, Stowe, Hughenden, Greys Court, Upton House, Basildon Park and The Vyne. Admission will be controlled by pre-booking so numbers will be limited. The houses will be closed again. Playgrounds, toilets and take-away cafes will be open. Admission charges will apply but you can visit for FREE if you’re a member. Click here to join today (affiliate link). Currently all English Heritage properties will be closed. However they’re making an announcement on the 6th November regarding what may be open.
The gardens, adventure playground and parkland at Blenheim Palace will be open. There will be limited take away facilities and the toilets will be open. Don’t forget there are also Treasure Maps Trails for Aylesbury, St. Albans, Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and Leighton Buzzard.
Free places to visit during lockdown in Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts
Free to visit National Trust locations such as Ashridge, Dunstable Downs, The Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, Ivinghoe Beacon, Badbury, White Horse Hill and Watlington Hill will all still be open. Recently Ashridge in particular has been heaving at weekends so it’s probably best to visit either early or late in the day. Alternatively you can find lots of quieter paths around all of the places above.
Most woodlands remain open. Wendover Woods have confirmed that they will remain open and so will their toilets and cafe. Rushmere Country Park have also confirmed the same. The meadow and woodland at Jordan’s Mill will be open, but the toilets will be closed. All Wildlife Trusts locations remain open, including College Lake and Aston Clinton Ragpits.
There are also lots of quiet walks in our area. Discover how you can find your own family walks here or have a look at the family walks review section here for some of our favourites. Smaller woodlands such as Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, Cowleaze Woods and Bernwood Forest look like they’re also going to be open. Tring Park should be open too. Because Tring NH Museum is closed it’s likely the car park will be closed as well. If you are arriving by car please make sure you park considerately.
Black Park Country Park, Denham Country Park and Langley Country Park are all open. The play areas and toilets remain open too.
Stay safe everyone
A second lockdown is going to be hard on everyone,. I know how much getting out an about has helped people over the past few months though. Please do remember to practice social distancing though and always double check with the venue website before.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook