The private and government sector continue to work together to ensure that people in the UK have the chance and choice to pursue a hobby and enjoy leisure activities, both indoor and outdoor, during these unpredictable times.
As of August 5, about 90% (47 million people) of the UK population had received 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and almost 75% were already full-vaccinated. The vaccine rollout across the country extends to international students in the UK. Recently, benefitting from the fast vaccine rollout and uptake–not to mention that the globally accepted Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine came from the UK– the government lifted all remaining restrictions on social distancing and mandated mask-wearing in England on July 19.
Though COVID-19 cases in the UK cannot be disregarded, the remarkable vaccination statistics show promising signs for the recovery of the culture and leisure industry. Until we all gain full confidence in going out and enjoying after-work/school activities with friends and colleagues, here are some of the popular leisure activities to do in the UK during these extraordinary times:
Visit Museums, Galleries, and Theaters
In London, aside from seeing the world-famous attractions London Eye and the historic Tower of London, you can also visit and enjoy the latest art and museum exhibitions in reopened galleries. Know about Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty at the Barbican Art Gallery and The Art of Banksy at 50 Earlham Street, Seven Dials.
You can also visit Tate Modern, Britain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art, and The National Gallery, which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world.
London is also one of the world’s best theatre scenes. Watch the musical shows the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre and Mama Mia! At the Novello Theatre, among others.
Explore parks and public green spaces
Parks and green spaces have been crucial not only for physical health but also for the mental health of everyone. The outdoors has been the new leisure for many who is working from home or studying online.
The UK is home to many stunning landscapes and national parks scattered across England, Wales, and Scotland. Plan a visit soon to England’s oldest national park Peak District, UK’s biggest national park Cairngorms, or North Wales’s national park boasts mountain and sea views Snowdonia.
Dine Al Fresco
Before the pandemic, UK households spent a little under 20 British pounds a week on restaurant and café meals alone, plus an additional eight pounds a week on drinking out in pubs and bars.
In England, al fresco dining and outdoor pint licences will continue for another year as part of a government plan to support the hospitality industry’s pandemic recovery. Schedule intimate dinners with family and friends in Sabine, one of London’s newest rooftop bars, Glasgow’s Cranside Kitchen, or grab a beer or two at Chinaski’s.
As England moved to Step 4 of its COVID-19 roadmap, you can now watch participate or watch in sporting events, both indoor and outdoor. Those organising large events should follow the guidelines for events and attractions. Buy tickets for the opening of the most awaited English Premier League on August 13 or the upcoming Hundred cricket tournament in England and Wales.
Subscribe to Digital Libraries
Not ready to get out yet? Embrace digital innovation and subscribe to digital access to libraries. Get access to the digital collections of The British Library, Digital Library of Camden Council, and other UK public libraries.
The global fight against the coronavirus and its evolving variants are far from over but find comfort knowing that the governments are working towards ushering us to the new normal, leisure, and fun activities included.