Parks in London become the new hotspot for sunbathing during lockdown

1 June, 2020

Scores of Londoners have been spotted in parks basking in the summer sunshine as the lockdown eases. 

With the prevalent restrictions that accompanied the lockdown, beaches and resorts still remain closed. However, Brits have found a new hotspot to sunbathe in these difficult times. 

Jake Murphy, 26, resident of Hampstead Heath said, ‘We need our pale skin to have some sort of colour. The virus already took our summer plans away from us, the least they can do is allow us to sit naked in the park.’

Hampstead Heath.

Photographed by Samaksh Kalra

On the other hand, Boris Johnson has urged the citizens repeatedly not to succumb to the fine weather. In a tweet, he remarked “Don’t be tempted to meet friends at the park this weekend,” “Do your bit to protect the NHS and save lives by staying at home.”

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We covered the following parks and interviewed people regarding their opinion on covid-19 and the lockdown.  

1- Hampstead Heath- A large ancient London health that covers 320 hectares of land, running from Hampstead to Highgate. Many people were spotted playing loud music and smoking marijuana. 

Hampstead Heath.

Photographed by Samaksh Kalra

Jessica Maria, 24, said, ‘I don’t think I can get corona if my body has sufficient THC. Would you like to take a puff?’ when we asked her ‘Aren’t you afraid of the coronavirus?'

2- Kensington Gardens-  SItuated in West London, Kensington Gardens are among the royal parks of London. A perfect spot to witness beautiful white swans, friendly ducks and feed some hungry pigeons. 

Various groups of people were spotted; some working out with their mates and some had their own barbeque set up to enjoy the very occasional sunny afternoon in London. 

Kensington Gardens

Photographed by: Samaksh Kalra

We asked a couple in their late forties, Dave and Margreth respectively, ‘Do you think that sunbathing in parks is more important than our physical health?’ to which they replied

‘Absolutely not, it isn’t. However, staying inside our homes for almost two months has severely affected our mental health, and that definitely needs to be addressed by the government. Statistically speaking, there might not be a lot of people who had their physical health affected but nearly every living individual had a toll on their mental health and they all need an escape from their bedrooms.’

3- Greenwich Park

Overlooking the River Thames and a home to the great wilderness of Red and Fallow deer, Greenwich Park is situated in south-east London. You can also find the rose garden on the eastern side of the park. Originally planted in 1960, one can find predominantly hybrid tea and floribunda roses.

Greenwich Park.

Photographed by Samaksh Kalra

TheTravelXS found many families having small picnics with their kids and dogs. The park has become the primary spot for east Londoners to crack a cold one with their mates. 

Samuel El Paso, 25, sales manager at Adidas, remarked that ‘The police officials often come and try to break the groups of people. I have seen someone get arrested last week because he was not obeying the social distancing rules.’ 

4- Hyde Park

The largest of the four royal parks, and one of the prime locations for the recent George Floyd Protest, Hyde Park is situated in Central London.

Another wild spot for many students to drink and smoke, it also has a long history as a site of protests, rallies and marches with the recent protest for BLM (Black Lives Matter) on June 3, 2020.

1- Hyde Park.

2- Black Lives Matter Protest at Hyde Park.

Photographed by Samaksh Kalra

Lois Baiglin, 35, shared her fears and thoughts with us. She said, ‘I am afraid if this casual ignorance will lead England to another wave of lockdown. People should be smart enough to not hang out in groups, especially at this stage.’ 

She was sitting alone and reading her book in the park. Along with her, many other people expressed their concern that people sitting in groups should be heavily fined by the police officials. 

5- King Edward VII Park

In North-West London, resides a small cozy park near Wembley arena. From casual walks to a group of ten playing football, this park has always been filled with people due to its close proximity to a residential area with numerous student accommodations. 

Mr. Fox, a Met police officer, who chooses to remain anonymous, told TheTravelXS how they are dealing with angsty young people who desperately want to get outside of their homes.

He remarked, ‘As much as we understand their situation, people should also realise that their small efforts can save many lives. I strongly urge everyone to jog or walk alone. Once this is all over, we can get back to normal soon.'

King Edward VII Park.

Photographed by Samaksh Kalra