There are many mental health benefits of spending time outdoors and amongst nature, but I have never felt those benefits more than during the lockdown. I have also never felt so grateful to live very close to green open space. We’ve all had to find different coping mechanisms to get through this challenging time, but for me, the one hour of daily exercise has been a saving grace. For the past 8 weeks, I have been using my 1 hour of daily exercise to go on a long pram walk around Temple Newsam.

Temple Newsam is a Tudor-Jacobean house in East Leeds with extensive grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. It’s also home to a courtyard cafe, a working farm, a lake, a wood, a GoApe, a walled garden and children’s playgrounds. As its owned by Leeds City Council, entry to the grounds and playground is free. I can walk to Temple Newsam from my house in under 10 minutes and I feel very lucky to have it on our doorstep, especially during this time. 

The Rhodedendron Walk at Temple Newsam

Every May Temple Newsam’s Rhododendron walk springs into life and seeing it in full bloom is nothing short of spectacular. A cocktail of fuchsia, purple, white and pale pink rhododendrons combine to make an expansive flower wall that is fit for Disneyland. The best time to visit the Rhododendron walk at Temple Newsam is around the second and third week of May each year. It’s definitely the most beautiful and most exotic thing I have since since lockdown began, so I thought it deserved a dedicated blog post.

We visit the Rhododendrons every year, but this year I appreciated them more than any other. They boosted my mood in such a profound way and reminded me of the incredible mental health benefits of being around nature. Even whilst the world is going through a global pandemic, nothing can stop mother nature from doing her thing. 

We will continue to take our daily walks in Temple Newsam and try to appreciate the simple things in life.

Stay a while! Check out more of my Leeds blog posts

  • A Luxury Afternoon Tea at Crafthouse
  • Discovering the Tiled Hall Cafe in Leeds
  • The Best Sushi in Leeds

What has helped you to get through lockdown? Do you always feel better for getting out in the fresh air? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Jess x 

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