As of this month, there are more than 400,000 people infected with Covid 19 in England and 92 of these confirmed cases are from Luton. This sudden rise of cases pushed the government to publish new social distancing rules, wherein all gatherings of separate households are restricted to groups of six or less (the so-called “rule of six”), excluding work or educational settings. This, as what most people say, is “the new normal“.
I am a nurse and I know that staying at home is encouraged but, in all honesty, most of us are not indoor creatures. Whether we like it or not, we are all social beings. Yes, it is safer to stay inside the house but, to a certain extent, isolation is not good for our mental health. We are all witnesses of how this disease infects the human body. It’s scary but can we really ignore how Covid 19 affects our psyche? We need to have some sort of interaction with our external environment to somehow fortify a positive and sound mind.
My wife and I experienced the lockdown both here in the UK and in the Philippines. It was a terrible experience because there’s an atmosphere of panic and uncertainty. There are moments where I still feel that fear until today as I work in the frontlines. I always worry about my own health and safety but most of the time, I worry about my wife and our families back home.
We need to remove this negative energy in our minds. As our remedy, my wife and I decided to visit places in this town where it is safe but enough for us to think, socialise, meditate, chill and relax. Our goal is to find open spaces in Luton where we can safely distance ourselves from others but enjoy each other’s company. Furthermore, we want to tell our curious friends that Luton is a beautiful place to visit – rich in diversity, historical structures and relaxing parks.
To start with, we followed a blogger named Laura on instagram to help us find interesting places in Luton. Her instagram handle is @thelutonproject and as written in her profile, her mission is to prove that there’s more to living in Luton than just day time drunks and endless chicken shops. Follow her social media platform to learn more about Luton.
Of course, as healthcare professionals, my wife and I are aware of Covid 19’s mode of transmission. That is why when we go out, we follow the safety protocols as advised by the WHO, NHS and the British Government. We are wearing our surgical masks correctly, socially distancing in public, following the rule of six, practicing the cough and sneeze etiquette and performing proper hand hygiene using 70% isopropyl alcohol as our disinfecting agent for hand rubs.
The Luton project account served as our guide to find these places and we visited each on separate dates. We started searching for a tunnel on Dallow road, followed by Wardown park, Stockwood Discovery Centre, Bide a while and lastly, the Bob Marley Mural in Marsh Farm near Mcdonalds. It was fun going to these places and I hope it reflected on the pictures I posted below. You can see more photos on the married to a happy soul facebook page and videos in our stories.
The Tunnel behind Foxdell Recreation Centre
It took us an hour to find this place and we both laughed when we realised that it is a walking distance from the the B&Q store and just behind the Foxdell Recreation Centre. Google maps gave us a looooong walking route. *lol*
In the Luton Project IG post, one follower commented that the tunnel was formerly used by farmers to transport cows safely from one field to another when the motorway was built. I wish I knew more about this place but I can’t find anything online.
Personally, I don’t recommend to go there alone especially at night when it is dark because, in general, any tunnel gives me the creeps. Even so, it is awesome if you want to use the tunnel for an editorial shoot or to take an artsy photo for instagram or do “whoa” dance move for a tiktok content. *cringe*
We went there with our friends recently. Unfortunately, the museum is still closed but we were able to enjoy the serene ambience beside the man made lake, which was used during World War 2 to waterproof test trucks for the British Army. This lake was formed by widening the River Lea during its development in the Victorian era.
Boating was introduced after the war but the boat man retired in 2004. It would have been cooler if we were able to experience the boat ride. Going there, It felt like we were in Baguio City in the Philippines.
We went there in the morning and only a handful of people were there. We took pictures beside the museum and also on the pedestrian bridge. Seeing all the old trees, waterfowls, flowers and many more made the entire experience wonderful.
Stockwood Discovery Centre
My wife and I visited this place because we heard that it is a great place for families to rest and unwind. And it’s true! It is a family friendly space and no entrance fee. You just have to follow the contact tracing protocols.
Currently operated by the Luton Culture Charity and was known before as Stockwood Craft Museum. The recreational centre offers a mixture interesting themed gardens and plenty of spaces for kids to play around. However, there were no indoor entertainment – the Discovery Hall and other popular galleries are closed. Nevertheless, there’s a cafe inside and a souvenir shop. We can always go back.
This 1.2 acre ornamental paradise was cultivated by a deaf gardener. It’s a true story! His name was George Farr. In 1920, he rented, acquired and developed a small piece of land and turned it into a whole landscaped garden, which featured a pond, a fountain, herbaceous borders and pergolas with climbing plants. George considered himself more fortunate than those who could not see. For many years, visitors put money in the garden’s donation box and the sums collected went to help the blind. Mr Farr’s story reminded me that any kind of disability won’t hinder you to create amazing and incredible things in life. Indeed, He is a True Happy Soul.
Bob Marley Mural in Marsh farm
Painted by local artists named Aimi Rix and DemoGrafix, this beautiful mural has become a local landmark, which helped raise awareness to certain causes. It gives a very positive message – “united we stand together we rise.”
In summary, these 5 places in Luton are the safest areas we can visit to avoid the risk of contracting Covid 19 because it is not crowded and we can properly implement the a 2 metre distance from others. You can use these places for inspiration or a venue to produce any creative content whether it is for social media or personal use. Plus, all of them are accessible via car, bike or public transport.
Part of our fight against covid 19 is to have a healthy mindset. Ensuring that we have a harmonious pysche is essential to be alert and conscious of the needs of our body, mind and spirit. If we are depressed and fearful, we become disorganised, clumsy and reckless. These things are not going to help in times of crisis.
Exploring different places to guard our mental is good but our safety is our priority. We need to wear our masks and wash our hands when we travel and follow the safety protocols diligently. If you have any symptom, please stay at home. You can call your GP or use the NHS 111 online service to ask for advise. You can also read about the Basic Facts of about Covid 19. I wrote this earlier this year. Please click the link and learn on how you can protect yourselves form Covid 19. Remember, correct information is our first line of defense from any kind of infection.
“God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” -2 Peter 1:3