Can you smell it in the air, that first taste of freedom after the longest lockdown imaginable?

After a difficult winter period, we’re all itching to get outside more, engage with more people than the immediate few we happen to live with and see every day. We thought now would be as good a time as ever to give you a few choice ideas of outdoor activities that you can do (or will be permitted to do) to match government regulations. So by the end of this summer, you will be so proud that you made the effort to really travel and enjoy the outdoors!

What’s the roadmap for lifting lockdown conditions?

Let’s first establish what you can or cannot do, starting next week. Starting today, the UK goverment will move into its next phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions. Which means pub gardens, non essential retail including close service contact such as hairdressers and beauty salons will be permitted to open, as will gyms, spas, zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres. Notably, members of the same household will be able to take a holiday in England in self-contained accomodations and restaurants and pubs can serve customers in outdoor settings.

There is advice however, that journeys should be kept to the minimum, and to keep practicing social distancing from people not in your own household.

Given that we have 5 weeks until the next phase of restrictions are relaxed, we thought we’d help you fill those weeks with as much fun and outdoor activity as you can muster. So here are some suggestions for you to spend some of that time!

Hop on a Cycling Adventure

Scratch Off UK Cycle Climbs image detail

If you haven’t already been pedalling as exercise in lockdown, now is as good a time as any to get on your bike and explore the local countryside. You’d be surprised just how many incredible paths you can find even in your local area, that you can explore. Our Scratch Off UK Cycle Climbs prints are an incredible resource for amateurs and professional bikers too. With 75 colour-coded climbs to choose from, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible time.

And of course, cycling is one of those activities that can be enjoyed in a solitary way or with some close friends, keeping social distance. It’s really the best way to get your fitness back on track, if you’ve felt too much like a couch potato these last few weeks!

Bag a Munro Hill or one of the Wainwrights in the Lake District

Scratch Off Wainwrights Hill Bagging image detail

For the ramblers and long distance hill walkers, a Munro or Wainwright hill can be an incredible challenge that combines both physical exercise and the opportunity for some truly breath-taking photography and appreciating nature. Get your family into your car, and drive up to either the Lake District or to one of the Munros in Scotland, and make a day of it! Or if you’re a more seasoned rambler, you may want to pick one of the more challenging ones marked on either of our maps!

Scale a crag in the Peak District

Scratch Off Peak District Rock Climbs

Of course if you’re looking for more than a leasurely walk, and crave a bit more adrenaline and excitement, scaling a rock face in the Peak District might by right up your street, both metaphorically and physically! This incredible Scratch Off Peak District Rock Climbs print is a perfect gift for rock climbers to discover their next big challenge or to experience a different part of the Peak District. You may be scaling your first crag or your 50th, or you know someone who does so on a regular basis. This map isa perfect way to welcome a bit of independence in the outdoors, and is a great way to display climbing achievements.

Hop onto a Scottish Island for some solace

Scratch Off Scottish Island Bagging Map image

From the more popular Scottish islands like Skye, Lewis or Bute, to the corners of the Shetlands, there really is such a singular unique experience that awaits you when you visit them! We’ve published an incredible Scottish Island Bagging map that includes all the important landmarks you’ll want on this journey, such as ferry crossings, bridges and road links to help you plan an incredible trip. A fine choice for walkers or anyone who likes nature, exploring new areas and cultures, or seeking a getaway from city life.

Take in the Great British Outdoors

Collect and Scratch Great British Outdoors print

If you’re a bit lost on specific ideas on a way to spend some time outdoors over the next 4-5 weeks, pick up one of our Scratch Off British Outdoors prints and quite literally choose from a national park near you or areas of outstanding natural beauty to enjoy. Either by yourself or with some socially distanced companions in tow. The map displays 15 National Parks, 54 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and 40 of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas. We’ve even included information on where to find the UK’s National Nature Reserves, just look out for the small ducks all over the map!

Yes, we’ve had a bit of a rough time, no doubt. But today marks (hopefully!) a change in our mindset towards travel, preferably a permanent change. As we encourage everyone to get outdoors more, we’d be remiss to not mention that you really should still take care of yourselves and be responsible. Onwards and upwards then, to the next key date of lifting restrictions, in a few weeks. If all goes well, we’ll definitely be back for specific advice on how to enjoy those sets of freedoms in a Part 2 blog, so stay tuned!

Explore the outdoors with delightful Scratch Prints from Maps International