Hi my lovely readers!
This week marked one year for me of working from home and the 16th March marks one year of lockdown here in the UK. That sounds really depressing, right?
One year since life changed for all of us. But then I went through last years pictures and I noticed that although I was not able to travel outside of Britain really and could not see and experience as much as I normally would, I still had a year full of sightseeing. Just a bit different.
Last years memories are filled with lots of nature, long walks, exploring the countryside and the occasional town when restrictions were eased in the summer. Overall not bad at all. I treasure these memories as these are great memories.
Of course Covid is horrible, but I would have never gone to some of the places I visited last year if it was not for this virus. We need to make the best of any situation, which I did.
Today, I wanted to share with you a brief photo diary with all the places I visited in 2020, although many of them being local sights and nature, plenty of them are stunning and satisfied my hunger and thirst for culture and history.
I hope you will enjoy this 2020 photo diary!
Before lockdown, I managed to attend a tea masterclass in London from Twinings. This was super interesting, not just for tea lovers. But of course as I am a tea lover it was such a treat.
Twinings Tea Master Class
Also, before lockdown, I took a nice spring walk close to home with my boyfriend when we could walk around without a care in the world. We drove to one of the National Trust sites called Claremont Landscape Garden. This is a nice park with a lake and big open spaces for having a picnic and letting the kids run around.
Claremont Landscape Garden
And then lockdown happened…
The first months everything was closed as no one knew what to do. But then the government realised that people really need to be able to get out for exercise, but also for their mental health and it was decided that we could leave the house again and visit open spaces and parks such as the once managed by the National Trust eg. Claremeont Landscape Gardens and English Heritage. Plenty of them even became accessibly free of charge to make it easier for people to enjoy time in nature.
That sparked months of exploring parks and the countryside for me, as you will see below. When we were first able to venture outside our home for longer again, I started to explore my local Park – Bushy Park. I noticed more and more the birds, deer and other wildlife in the park and really started to listen to and appreciate nature.
Then I started to venture out a little more around my county Surrey and go for longer walks, starting with Norbury Park in the beautiful countryside with almost no one around, except the cows and one or two people.
Another site close to me is Boxhill, classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty. I came here a few times before and just went for an afternoon walk again and longingly looking at the closed pub that I went to a few times before that was still closed.
My first “day trip” during lockdown was a hike around Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl. This felt like freedom to me, but again it was outside and as these sites are huge, acres and acres of land, you hardly come across a lot of people and can social distance easily.
Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl
Hikes and walks became my new weekend activities for the next months, more precisely in the summer as the weather was glorious in 2020. My next really long hike was in the Chiltern area, Coombe Hill with an amazing view across the valley, one of the best views I had in the UK.
And then we came out of lockdown and life seemed normal again for a few months. Shops, pubs and attractions opened up again and I was able to finally use my English Heritage membership.
I got the membership at the end of February just a week before lockdown, unlucky for me. As I was keen to finally see some English Heritage sites, I prebooked a visit to Kennilworth Castle, a ruin but very beautiful with a well looked after garden.
As I visited more and more sites that were not indoors and I was able to see what the establishments put in place to prevent Covid from spreading, I started to feel more and more confident in taking the next step. So, I went for a weekend trip to the Isle of Wright, one beautiful and stunning part of Britain.
I took the Red Funnel car ferry to the island and on my first day visited Osborne, the former holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and took a stroll along the beach. On the second day I visited Ventnor Botanic Garden, went for a walk along the coastal path that goes all the way around the island and went up to Tennyson Down for more breathtaking views.
Isle of Wright
Later in the summer, my partner suggested to go to Germany to visit my family as it seemed safe to do so. I did not want to fly in case we would catch Covid and pass it on to my family, so we drove there. Took an entire day, almost 24 hours to get to Berlin, but it was totally worth it of course.
That was the only time I saw my family in 2020, but I am so glad I did. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to Sanssouci Park in Potsdam for one day full of cultural sightseeing with my boyfriend and my Mum.
The Park has several palaces such as New Palace of course Sanssouci itself, a tea house and much much more. It is a perfect day trip from Berlin, if you ever go to my hometown.
Summer came to an end here in the UK and on the very last day, seriously it was the last day when the weather was warm, I went to Hastings to see where the Battle of Hastings took place and to go to the seaside for a last day out and to have some fish and chips.
In September and October I really made good use of my English Heritage membership. As it got colder and rainy, I was drawn to the inside and visited a few grand manor houses such as Eltham Palace, Wrest Park and Audley End.
After all this cultural sightseeing and visiting many parks, I was really wanting to see something different. Do not get me wrong, I was happy with any sort of sightseeing opportunity and to get out of the house, but I was craving something else.
Hence, I took another small weekend trip and this time to Dorset. It was such a lovely trip, I managed to see the ruins of Old Wardour Castle on my way to Dorset, went over to the Isle of Portland to explore Portland Castle and the famous lighthouse they have and stopped at the Tank Museum on my way back home.
Looking back at my photo diary I feel very lucky to have been able to do so much during 2020. Most of my trips were only day trips, but nevertheless, they were so important.
I hope you enjoyed this post!