• Charlotte

Three tips for exploring your local area in lockdown

Updated: May 6, 2020

With our wings clipped by lockdown, we've all had to look closer to home for adventure. It may not be the same as summiting a Lakeland wainwright, or exploring the beaches of Cornwall, but step off your usual routes and lift your eyes. You'll be surprised what you find.

Go 'off-piste' in your local park

How often do you deviate off the main pathways in your local park? At peak times, dodging the oncoming traffic to maintain a 2m distance can take the fun out of a walk or run. Most people stick to the paths. But look a little closer and there'll be pockets of the park you've probably never stepped foot in.

Step off the tarmac in Hove Park and you can be transported to quieter, more peaceful space with an air of the countryside about it. There are tracks behind the trees on the west side, that feel far removed from the crazed kids on scooters just a few meters away. On the east of the park you can wind your way through trees and daffodils in early spring, bluebells a little later.

Hove park trees
Hove Park

Look for secret alleys

There are alleyways everywhere across the city. Unless they're on your usual route you might never venture down them. On our after work walks, wanting to avoid tedium and the heaving seafront, we started looking out for these cut throughs hidden in plain sight.

My favourite so far is the bridleway that connects Hove Park to Hove Recreation Ground. It's only about 100m from end to end, but it's hedges and trees transport you momentarily from the surrounding suburbia.

Visit the green patches

Get onto google maps and study your local area. Are there patches of green you've not been to before? Go and have a look, no matter how small they might be.

On this mission, we discovered Davis Park. It's a small space behind the Sports Direct Gym on Portland Road. The tall green gates give you a hint that you're entering somewhere a little different. Instead of being your average park, it's an unexpected garden with pathways weaving around the beds, benches and a bug house tucked in the corner.

So, get off your well trodden paths and keep your lockdown outings interesting. There's plenty to find, you just have to look.

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