During the first wave of strict Covid-19 lockdowns in late March, the only outings most of us could look forward to with some degree of certainty were trips to the supermarket.
Aside from that, it has been an arduous few months of uncertainty with vacations being cancelled, interactions happening largely via Zoom and even time limits being imposed on outdoor exercise sessions.
People around the world have had to rethink their summer and autumn holiday plans, with seemingly no end in sight for a return to ‘normal life’.
Travelers have had to actively scope out socially distant options and mandatory quarantining has been imposed for those returning from Europe.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst we can’t jump on a plane and head off into the great unknown, there are limitless opportunities for local exploration.
And what better way to see something new and escape the monotony of more time indoors than to get out walking.
Outdoors activities are the perfect solution in this new world where we’re encouraged to constantly remain two metres apart.
Nature allows us to social distance without having to think about it, taking the mental strain out of moving around. Another bonus is that in wide open spaces, there’s not need to wear masks – giving us a much needed break.
Taking to the trails will allow you to get your fix of fresh air in a safe environment, without prescribed time limits or Covid-related rules. On top of that, from what health experts know about the coronavirus, outdoor spaces present an absolutely minute risk of transmission when compared to indoors activities.
For those of us (perhaps all of us?) that are tired of the confines of home and its familiarity, many are gravitating toward nature.
Just 20 minutes in nature a day is enough to boost serotonin and improve our mental health and wellbeing.
Feeling a bit anxious about getting out there? Ease back into it with a localised ‘urban hike’ around the quiet side streets and forgotten parklets of your town or city. From there, jump in the car and take to the hills and beyond.
National parks and most campgrounds have re-opened, allowing people to camp or opt for cabins and luxury tents far away from society.
We crave the experience of travel and a roadtrip out of our immediate area is often enough to satiate that desire.
Wherever you’re based, there are literally hundreds of single and multi-day hikes around the country. 10 of the UK’s best trails are still open to the public and are stunning at this time of year.
And with the influx of tourists being significantly stifled, routes around the country are far emptier than usual. Summer and autumn are the usually the busiest times of year, with trail accommodation being like gold dust.
Hotels and hostels are adhering to strict rules that make the experience both safer and more enjoyable for guests.
On top of that, many dormitories have a fraction of the number of guests – allowing you an experience that is closer to a private room.
Perhaps most importantly, nature has been allowed to flourish, trampled paths are recovering and more animals are coming out to play.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, now is the perfect time to get out into the backcountry once more.
You might even find that you discover a newfound love for the great outdoors, in which case you can use some isolation time to start planning your next big trip to any number of routes around the world.
So what’s stopping you? Lace up your boots and get out there.