For the past few months, my five suggestions of what to get up every month have been somewhat restricted, but it seems change is afoot! And if everything goes ahead as planned, there will be some very excited reopenings in the up coming weeks!
For me I've particularly missed art galleries. I often wander it to the National Gallery to cheer myself up, have a bit of a destress or just to have a bit of time out from a busy schedule. But I don't think that will be possible for a while... Although I'm grateful many galleries and museums are opening the doors soon, despite all the restrictions and changes in place, I think it will be a long time until we see a sense of normal again.
So let's keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well for all the art galleries and museums opening over the next few weeks, and I hope I'll be tempted to visit some of them soon!
My top five suggestions on what to get up in July!
Visit the National Gallery
The National Gallery is one of the first to open its doors on the 8th of July, but make sure to book. Some other great news is that the Titian exhibition has been extended, which I luckily got to visit the day before Lockdown, and I highly recommend! Hours have been cut down to 11am–4pm (Friday until 9pm), there will be a one way system in place and many changes in place to make your visit safe and as enjoyable as possible. For other places to get your art fix, the Wallace Collection reopens on the 15th, the Royal Academy on the 16th and Tate Britain/Modern on the 27th.
For those of you who may be in the same boat as me, and unlikely to venture into the unknown just yet, some of London's parks are now open which are considerably easier to social distance in!
Kenwood House gardens, Hampton Court (booking required), Eltham Palace (booking required), Horniman Museum, Osterley Park (booking required) and Kew Gardens (booking required). Another very different garden is also opening from on the 3rd of July is the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie. Booking is required as it always was but it seems only a handful of people are allowed up every half an hour, so be quick! I managed to get a ticket for the 7th though, so it doesn't seem to be that popular just yet.
Eat out, drink out, and support the hospitality sector!
As some of you may know, I used to eat out pretty much every lunch and dinner, oh how life has changed. Although I've been trying out many restaurants delivery options, it will be great to finally sit back in a restaurant! Having said that, I have re-discovered my love of cooking, so perhaps I'll do a bit of both from now on.
I will no doubt be trying out a few restaurants, but I think I will give it a few more weeks and let things fall into place.
On the 4th of July quite a few are opening their doors for anyone venturing out - a few of my favourites include; Bone Daddies who are opening all their sites on the 4th, Ducksoup in Soho, Elliot's in Borough Market, Homeslice, Lina Stores and Smokestak. A few days later the likes of Noble Rot wine bar and Barrafina will also open their doors which is very exciting!
Explore the UK
It seems that summer holidays might be back on the cards for some, but for me I think I'll stick to the UK for the next few months. I actually love exploring and travelling around the UK, and many of my childhood holidays were spent here.
I've also rediscovered my love for hiking during Lockdown, so you certainly won't find me on any beaches during the summer months!
Instead my recommendations are centred around areas great for walking and generally exploring the great outdoors!
I'm about half way through the Cotswold Way now, and I'm really enjoying it, despite the long and often quite steep uphill. If you are local its great to do in smaller sections and there's many circular routes to do if you have to leave your car.
I'm hoping to get to Wales in August if all reopens safely by then to complete a section of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Many companies offer great packages, organising hotels and B&Bs along the route, as well as transferring your bags. So if you're like me and hate carrying heavy rucksacks when out, many companies can just sort that out for you. I'm a bit tempted by the Lake District and Peak District but I can imagine they might be a bit busy, but I guess we will all have to wait and see! Are there any parts of the UK which you hope to visit? Do you have any places to recommend?
Or keep staying in and read
I've always got my head in a book, but my reading has gone off the scale during Lockdown. The amount of books I've ordered the past 3 months is probably nearing 100 which is slightly worrying. One of my favourites I've read recently is The Lady In The Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir, also by her is Innocent Traitor which is a fantastic novel on Lady Jane Grey. I'm re-reading the Shardlake series by C.J. Samson, set in the times of Henry VIII. I first read it years ago, but it's still as thrilling the second time round.
A few art history ones which I'm enjoying at the moment are A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet and Keeping an Eye Open
by Julian Barnes.
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Heard in London