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Is the driving for exercise distance vs exercise a thing?

(51 Posts)
PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 08:19:48

I’m getting proper cabin fever! I have a favourite spot I like to go and it’s 12 miles away.
I’ve read recently from the police reports that you can drive as long as the journey is shorter in time than the exercise.

Have I made this up?

OP’s posts: |
bulletjournalbilly Sat 02-May-20 08:29:13

You haven't made it up

chantico Sat 02-May-20 08:33:37

You have not imagined it.

But I would urge you to think - if 'favourite spots' start attracting crowds, then they might have tomclise (or all nearby parking be closed). The people who live there might not want to have incomers.

The going outdoors provision is for exercise, not for accessing pretty places. If you desperately need a change of scenery, then no it's not illegal. But I would urge you to go very early, to reduce your impact on the people who live there

YinuCeatleAyru Sat 02-May-20 08:44:46

individual police forces have discretion in how to enforce these things. the central government advice does allow for driving to somewhere for the purpose of exercising but our local police have confirmed that in our city we should not be doing that if there is a park within a reasonable walking distance from our front door, and about 90% of the city does have a park within reasonable walking distance. other places will have different situations and so the rules need to have flexibility for how they are enforced, so it will depend on your location. going to a favourite spot isn't an essential need. I really wanted to drive to a lovely local spot that is only about 7 miles away last weekend but DH and I thought about it together and concluded that if everyone within easy driving distance who liked it there was allowed to go there, it would be so crowded that the people for whom that is their nearest sensible place for outdoor exercise would find it too crowded to use with safe distancing.

if there is nowhere nearby where you can walk to and safely and sensibly exercise then by all means do drive to get to somewhere appropriate but don't drive further than you need to - don't drive 12 miles if you can get somewhere appropriate in 7.

PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 08:47:54

I was going to go ride my bike the @chantico... it’s a good spot for that

OP’s posts: |
Bagelsandbrie Sat 02-May-20 08:49:34

Officially you’re allowed to but in our area (Norfolk) the local police have issued a statement saying they don’t want people to drive unless it’s an essential journey...! They’re very strict on it here. I think it’s because we are so rural and if people start driving all over the place it will cause other issues (accidents etc).

PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 08:50:20

Thank @YinuCeatleAyru
I’m just desperate for a change of scenery 😖

OP’s posts: |
yearinyearout Sat 02-May-20 08:53:53

@PeanutbutterJamSandwich I feel the same, we have always been keen walkers and have exhausted our local walks. I checked earlier to see if the car parks are open yet at our favourite localish hills and they're not. I can understand why as it would attract crowds but it's starting to get me down. I can live without pubs and restaurants but I really want to be able to walk further afield without pissing off the locals.

rookiemere Sat 02-May-20 09:04:54

We have lovely walks that I walk to, but it is getting a bit groundhog dayish - particularly as in April I was doing a step challenge so pretty much had to take the same route every time to get my steps up.

I'm not going to break the rules but I am keen for a change of scenery.I think OP it's about common sense. If its a short 5-10 minute drive and it seems relatively people free when you get there, then go for it as they did say you could make a short journey if exercise time was a lot more than travel time. I've driven DH a few miles down the road to get him out of the house for longer so he could hike back over our local hills.

PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 09:07:01

Me too @yearinyearout I’ve never been one for pubs and shopping but have always grown up around mountains... born and bred in snowdonia. I live right on the periphery of the Lake District right now, (the boundary is 2 fields away) and can see some lovely walks/rides from my window. We have some lovely ones on our doorstep too but totally exhausted them like you.

I know this isn’t a major issue atm, just asking

OP’s posts: |
Scrowy Sat 02-May-20 09:09:22

I think that was very badly worded guidance and clearly it was intended in the spirit of, yes it's ok to drive a few minutes out of town to go somewhere quieter if there's nowhere suitable to walk to exercise from home.

Unfortunately people are interpreting it as I can now go wherever I prefer.

For my family and our farm this means we have lots of people from miles away coming and parking up in our field gateways, blocking our access and going walking for the day. It's very very frustrating.

PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 09:09:41

I think cumbria police are pretty hot on it to be honest as they don’t want visitors coming from outside the county... lots on twitter of people driving from as far as lincoln to windermere.
So I’m best not risking it purely because of the police presence rather than covid itself as where I want to go is not very well known

OP’s posts: |
PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 09:10:27

That does sound very frustrating and inconsiderate @Scrowy

OP’s posts: |
TheCumbrian Sat 02-May-20 09:24:34

I suppose if you are in (for example) Burneside it's just about reasonable to go a few miles to Staveley for a change of scenery, but Windermere or Ambleside would probably be too far as there's loads of perfectly good walks much closer and it strays into the realms of a day out and excessive non essential travel rather than just going a mile or so further for a change of scenery.

Plus if it is Lakes area you are thinking of heading to the police are stopping loads of cars and checking their travel is essential, so in your position I would want to be sure you felt you could justify it to them rather than randoms on mumsnet grin

wheresmyhairytoe Sat 02-May-20 09:29:45

I wouldn't. I think we're all desperate for a change of scenery but we need to stay local.
At least you've got countryside to walk in. We've walked round our streets everyday and it's getting very dull...

Puddypuds Sat 02-May-20 09:34:48

Friends of ours announced they went up Blencathra the other weekend. Admittedly it's only a few miles away but we live in a farming community. They are relatively new to the area and perhaps don't appreciate the concerns of handling/opening and closing field gates etc that farmers and their families have no choice to touch because it's their livelihood. Or the prospect of injuring themselves and having to call the mountain rescue team. Its killing me but I feel I'm doing the right thing.

WanderingLost167 Sat 02-May-20 09:44:28

I took the kids out, drove 30 mins just for a new place to go, walked and ate lunch for an hour or two. Came home. Felt like a big day out

megletthesecond Sat 02-May-20 09:48:13

I'm on the brink of doing this too. I'd like to get away from roads as DD isn't great near them.

Scrowy Sat 02-May-20 09:50:55

I took the kids out, drove 30 mins just for a new place to go, walked and ate lunch for an hour or two

Nicely demonstrating my point there hmm

AuntieMarys Sat 02-May-20 09:52:58

I drive 10 mins to do a 5 mile walk. Yesterday I went at 7.30am and saw 3 people.

Isoneedtorun Sat 02-May-20 09:57:19

It's so tricky. I've not left the house for 6 weeks, stuck to the 'rules', not gone anywhere, only walking from the front door but since the clarifications came out a couple of weeks ago, I have twice driven half an hour to a trail and run for a couple of hours. I don't live in a particularly pretty area so the issues that they are facing in the Lake District don't really apply. There never have been and never will be an influx of walkers/runners to where I went. I parked in a scruffy little layby and was the only person there - same as ever, it's on a totally non-descript lane. My exercise exceeded my drive, it's the one thing I do - wouldn't dream of secretly meeting someone, going to a shop or anything. I barely saw a handful of dog walkers and carefully sanitised my hands after going through a couple of gates (on path not farmers fields). There's a certain amount of risk assessment going on in a lot of people's heads right now as it's obvious this will be our lives for a long time to come sadly.

Isoneedtorun Sat 02-May-20 09:58:27

Nicely demonstrating my point there hmm

The poster said it felt like a big day out, it wasn't though was it

WanderingLost167 Sat 02-May-20 10:02:05

@scrowy I saw lots of cyclists, and zero other walkers. We socially distanced our arses off, and managed to not have an accident, crash or require contact with any other human being.

All rules were adhered to, so up your bum.

PeanutbutterJamSandwich Sat 02-May-20 10:13:51

@TheCumbrian this is a bit outing but it’s driving from Cartmel to Either Simpson Ground or High Dam area - out the back, not actually high dam. Our nearest petrol station is Newby Bridge and I do actually need fuel for work

OP’s posts: |
Unescorted Sat 02-May-20 10:16:47

All through this we have had an influx of people driving to our "out of the way only known to one person and his dog" place. We are not a well known honeypot. What appears to be happening is that people are looking at their favourite walking / biking/ running/ riding places and looking at the other side of the hill or the next valley over and heading their. So don't expect to be the only person with a unique idea of where to go.
A few things to keep in mind if you do go out, otherwise a section of the local community will get irate
Don't park in passing places, gateways or block lanes
Try to avoid paths that go through yards
Stay off the high fells so if you do get into bother the MR can pick you up relatively easily.
Don't park outside the local curtain twitchers house..... the rest of the village will have to put up with their rants on the village facebook page for weeks to come.

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