Our local parks have become an essential part of life in the past year. Limitations on travel and exercise, and regulations on who and how we can meet have directed us to local gardens, beaches and woodlands to enjoy our free time safely.
After a year of being stuck in the house, families are looking forward to returning to their favourite outdoor spots and exploring new ones this summer, enjoying havens of green grass, towering trees and more. No matter where you live in the UK, you’re never far from a great park to explore. But are some people around the UK more proactive than others in scoping out and exploring their local parks, in their search of more walking spots, nature and other places to enjoy fresh air and a sense of groundedness?
One national housebuilder, St. Modwen Homes, has analysed the UK’s Google searches over the last year, to find out which UK region is most likely to seek out a park and other outdoor activities near to their home. 57 popular search terms relating to parks and outdoor living were reviewed across every region of the UK. These search terms included ‘beaches near me’, ‘country parks’, ‘playgrounds’, and ‘woodland walks’.
Here, we explore the results, revealing where people are keenest to get back to quality outdoor living. We’ll also take a look at the best park options in those regions to find out how you can spend endless summer days with your family and friends.
Most likely to get outside and explore their local area: the South West
The study found that people in the South West were more likely to seek out parks and other outdoor activities when compared to other regions. In fact, for every 100,000 people in the region, 765 searched for the park-related terms on Google. This is 109 per cent more than the average UK region.
For people that live in South West of England there is no shortage of great parks and outdoor spaces to visit after you move in. If you find yourself in Bristol, for example, you can enjoy the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. The former railway line is now a smooth-running track for cyclists and leisure walkers, who can enjoy local art, historical monuments, and engineering structures along the route.
Following behind the South West, other regions showed an enthusiasm to get outside. The East of England and Wales were found to have the second and third most searches in respect to their population. People in the East of England searched for park-related terms 63 per cent more than the national average. Meanwhile, people in Wales also proved their love for the outdoors, searching for park-related terms 40 per cent more than the national average.
If you’re looking to get out and about in the East of England, we’d recommend checking out Lake Meadows, a 40-acre park in Essex that features a lake, playground, flower meadow, and local café. A great family day out. Living in Wales? Take a trip out to Cyfarthfa Park, a historic castle grounds complete with a museum and sensory garden.
Less enthusiasm for scoping out local parks: Yorkshire, the North East and London
While the South West showed the most interest in the outdoor world, other regions were not as enthusiastic. People in the North East were the least likely to search for a park-related term on Google. Their search scores fell 65 per cent below the national average.
Meanwhile, people in London and Yorkshire also showed limited enthusiasm for going to the park. People in London were 61 per cent less likely to search for park-related terms than the average UK region. People in Yorkshire were similarly unenthused by the idea of flower gardens and playgrounds, searching for park-related terms 33 per cent less than the UK average.
That being said, there are of course many people across these regions who are desperate to get to the park. Here are our a few of our recommendations:
- North East – Check out the South Park in Darlington. The Victorian park, complete with a lake and bowling green, offers the perfect spot for those looking for a break. Visit the rose garden and relax in the café that dates back to 1908.
- London – It’s good to get out of the city, but it’s also important not to travel too far. Visit Danson Park in Bexley, an old manor home that offers fun for the family. Parents can visit the house for tea and cake, while younger ones can enjoy the splash park.
- Yorkshire – The St Ives Estate is an outdoor adventure woodland. With plenty of tracks to walk, children can also have fun on the timber trail and explore the mischievous wood carvings dotted about this lakeside gem.
Wherever you live in the UK, whether in a quaint market town or a metropolitan city, every region has something to offer. You’re never far from a picture-perfect park or a brilliant beach. Most parks have something for the whole family, so explore your local region and enjoy the outdoors this summer.