Return of the Rule of 6

The Rule of 6 is back!

At least in England where Covid restrictions are beginning to ease.

So now you can meet outdoors with 5 other people, what activities are back on the menu and where will you go?

Day trips are allowed, though you should shop for food and fuel in your local area rather than stopping off along the way. And remember many attractions and hospitality venues will still be closed.

But as long as you stay safe, your options are widening.

So here are 7 things you can do in England to ease yourself out of lockdown.

Have a Picnic

Picnic on Hove beach, East Sussex
Picnic on Hove beach ©Candy Goode/Unsplash

The choice of picnic locations has multiplied, but always chose one as close as possible to your home to reduce travelling.

Parks, beaches, public areas of countryside like heath, mooorland and forests are now accessible.

Plus public and botanical gardens, outdoor sculpture parks and the grounds of heritage sites can re-open.

And of course meeting up in back gardens is back – so break out the barbecue!

Walk (part of) the South Down Way

(Other footpaths are available)

Seven Sisters, South Downs Way East Sussex
Seven Sisters, South Downs Way East Sussex ©Marc Najera/Unsplash

Overnight stays aren’t allowed until 12 April at the earliest, but there are plenty of stretches of the South Downs Way that you can complete in a few hours.

Logistically it’s a bit of a challenge as you can’t share car journeys and you’ll need a kind, non-walking friend to drop you off and pick you up.

Some parts are accessible via bus – with the bonus of a beautiful bus ride as well.

The South Downs National Park has a useful guide for exploring by public transport

Beautiful Bus Rides of Britain

Circular Walks

A round route avoids all those pesky, logistical problems and means you can really relax.

Bluebells in Clapham Wood West Sussex ©rosemaryandporkbelly
Bluebells in Clapham Wood West Sussex ©rosemaryandporkbelly

We love our Fullers Follies stroll in East Sussex – plenty of oddities to see along the way.

Fullers Follies

Clapham Wood in West Sussex is also a favourite of ours, especially at bluebell time.

One of Those Days in England

And if you want to stay away from the crowds don’t head for a well-known beauty spot but look for little known walkways instead.

We used *Country Walking Magazine to discover a fascinating route around Croydon and Kenley Airfield.

Country Walking

Footpath sign for Purley, Coulsdon, Chaldon in Surrey
©rosemaryandporkbelly

Go on a group bike ride

Cycling’s been encouraged as a safer method of transport throughout the pandemic but now there’s nothing to stop you meeting up with a few friends for a more relaxed and sociable cycle ride.

City bikes for Brighton
City bikes for Brighton ©rosemaryandporkbelly

Many towns and cities now have pay-as-you-go bike hire if you don’t have one of your own.

Sport and exercise outdoors

Cheadle Golf Club
©Matt Walsh/Unsplash

Mad-keen golfers have been champing at the bit to get back on the greens, but even non-members can find pay-and-play games now.

And for those of us less skilled, we can challenge each other in groups of up to six at a mini-golf outdoor course.

Tennis is also now possible. If you’re not already a member of a club you’ll need to use the public courts in parks.

Team sports like netball and football have resumed, as long as they’re run by a business, charity or public body which has taken the required precautions.

The signs and fences have come down from the outdoor gym equipment in our local park and already small groups are working out with their personal trainers.

Take a Treasure Hunt around your nearest city

We loved our trip round Brighton a few weeks ago – we learned a few things and had a great time following the clues Capn’ Bess gave us.

Check out their full list of UK cities here and see what we got up to.

Treasure Hunting in Brighton

Mobile phone © rosemaryandporkbelly
©rosemaryandporkbelly

Make music, for pleasure not profit

Professional events can’t yet go ahead but if you’ve a bunch of musical friends there’s nothing to stop 6 of you getting together for a socially distant jamming session in a garden.

No audience though.

What you can and cannot do during the COVID pandemic

The above suggestions are correct at the time of writing, but one thing this pandemic has taught us is that things can change very quickly.

The latest guidance for England
For Scotland
For Wales
For Northern Ireland

Check out our ideas for post-lockdown walks.

Best Foot Forward

And of course we’re all now waiting confirmation that the next step of the Road Map will go ahead as planned from 12 April.

We’re looking forward to alfresco eating, overnight stays in self-contained, self-catering accommodation and a bit of non-essential shopping.

Oh, and a haircut please!

Slow and steady, but hopefully we’ll be travelling again soon.


Where to next?
Grounds for Sculpture
8 reasons to visit Whitstable
Lost Gardens of Heligan

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