The second step in the government’s roadmap to ease England out of lockdown is now well underway. Things may not be back to normal just yet, but for the first time in over three months, we’re able to get back out and enjoy some of the things we love.
As you’ll probably have seen from the pictures of people enjoying midnight pints and ‘cheersing’ with friends, at the top of many people’s lists for the first day out of lockdown was the reopening of pub gardens. And with the weather set to warm up over the next week or so, it’s likely many more people will have plans to spend an afternoon at the pub.
However, just because many people were overjoyed to see the pubs reopening, doesn’t mean everyone has to feel the same way. There are plenty of reasons why you might not feel comfortable taking a trip to the pub just yet, and every single one of those is valid. At the end of the day, it’s OK to take things at your own pace.
It’s also worth noting that there are plenty of other ways to celebrate lockdown lifting that don’t involve a visit to the pub – and that’s where this article comes in.
From browsing your local bookshop to sitting outside at a café and going on a weekend away, here’s our alternative guide to celebrating lockdown easing and making the most of your newfound freedom, no matter what stage you’re at.
Visit a charity shop
There’s something incredibly satisfying about happening upon a hidden treasure in a local charity shop, and thanks to the re-opening of non-essential retail, you can now spend your days hunting for your latest discovery.
Treat yourself to a fancy coffee
Who said outdoor drinking had to be done at a pub? If you fancy getting out and about, why not find a café with outdoor seating and treat yourself to a fancy coffee? You could even invite a friend and make it a date.
Book a weekend away
You can now stay in self-catered holiday accommodation such as that offered by Airbnb and rental cottages, so feel free to staycation to your heart’s content. Not sure where to go? Check out our guide to the best self-catered spots the Stylist team has ever stayed in to get started.
Take a trip to the zoo
If you’re feeling anxious about being around people again but still fancy a day out, then a trip to the zoo could be just what you’re looking for. With lots of outdoor space and limited visitor numbers, it’s a fun but relatively stress-free way to get back to doing things outside the home.
Go for a swim
Whether you love swimming or want to try something new, make the most of the reopening of indoor pools, leisure centres, gyms and spas by taking a dip.
Peruse an independent bookshop
With so many independent bookshops left in the lurch by the closing of non-essential retail during lockdown 3.0, what better way to celebrate restrictions lifting than perusing the shelves of your local store?
Indulge in a takeaway pint
If you’re anxious about spending time around people again, but would still love to partake in some of the pub-related fun, then this could be the option for you. It’s also a great way to support your local pub or restaurant if they haven’t got an outdoor seating area, too.
Attend a drive-in cinema
It may be a while until we can get back to the cushiony red velvet seats of the cinema, but for the time being, you can still enjoy a film at one of the drive-in cinema events taking place up and down the country. It may require a little more preparation than some of the other ideas on this list, but trust us – it’ll be worth it.
Get a pedicure
If you’re nervous about getting close contact treatments like your hair, fingernails or eyebrows done, why not start slow and opt for a pedicure? You may not be able to show it off until the weather warms up a bit more, but it’s a nice way to treat yourself to a bit of ‘me’ time.