Thousands flock to UK beauty spots during first weekend of national covid lockdown as Brits enjoy the great outdoors

THOUSANDS flocked to beauty spots in the country during the first weekend of the national Covid lockdown as Brits enjoyed the great outdoors.

Many fled to the Peak District on the fourth day of the lockdown, as others were seen exercising and walking their dogs in parks across London.

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People were spotted exercising at a busy Hyde Park in London

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People were spotted exercising at a busy Hyde Park in London Credit: AFP or licensors
Families are seen on the hills of the Peak District

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Families are seen on the hills of the Peak District Credit: Mercury Press
Richmond Park was filled with people as some rode bikes and others went for a jog

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Richmond Park was filled with people as some rode bikes and others went for a jogCredit: London News Pictures

The Government announced a second lockdown, which begun on Thursday in response to the increasing rates of coronavirus infections.

As part of the rules, all non essential shops have been forced to shut.

Different households have also been banned from mixing as gyms, pubs and restaurants have been told to close their doors in a desperate bid to curtail the spread of the deadly bug.

This however, did not stop many from braving the cold and wet weather to hit the Peak District this afternoon.

Car parks are full in the countryside as people brave the weather to hit the Peak District

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Car parks are full in the countryside as people brave the weather to hit the Peak District Credit: Mercury Press
Members of the public walk alongside Bournemouth beach despite the Government's order to stay home

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Members of the public walk alongside Bournemouth beach despite the Government’s order to stay home Credit: Bournemouth News

Others were seen taking walks along Bournemouth Beach despite the Government’s advice to stay home.

Streets in central London such as Soho, however, were empty, backing up data that Londoners followed social distancing measures than people in other parts of the country over the summer, according to Mail Online.

Streets in central London were uncharacteristically empty on the first weekend of the lockdown

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Streets in central London were uncharacteristically empty on the first weekend of the lockdownCredit: Rex Features
Central London was virtually empty as all non-essential shops were forced to shut

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Central London was virtually empty as all non-essential shops were forced to shutCredit: Rex Features

Data collected anonymously of mobile phone movements by Google show that while other areas of the UK opened up after months of lockdown, Londoners remained careful.

As people visited pubs and restaurants after the lockdown between July to September, people in London either stayed inside or made use of socially distanced outdoor venues, according to the data.

Figures released today reveal that there were 20,572 cases recorded, which is a decline of about 12 per cent, compared to last Sunday’s figures.

Families headed to parks in London despite the second England lockdown

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Families headed to parks in London despite the second England lockdownCredit: London News Pictures
A woman is seen enjoying the waves at Bournemouth beach

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A woman is seen enjoying the waves at Bournemouth beachCredit: Alamy Live News
Three women are seen cycling at a busy Green Park in London

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Three women are seen cycling at a busy Green Park in LondonCredit: AFP or licensors

A total of 156 new coronavirus deaths were reported today in the country.

In England, 127 deaths were recorded with Scotland reporting three.

Wales saw 19 deaths along with 744 new cases of the virus.

The country is expected to come out of its “firebreak” lockdown tomorrow.

In Northern Ireland,

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John Lewis reveals 60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November

John Lewis survey reveals 60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November. (Getty Images)
John Lewis survey reveals 60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November. (Getty Images)

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If you’ve been starting to shop around for Christmas presents (well, we all need a bit of joy in our lives don’t we?) then you’re probably familiar with the following phrases:

“Why are you looking so early?”

“Someone’s overly organised, aren’t they?”

And: “Why? You’ve got ages!”

But, before you sheepishly tuck your credit card away, we’ve got some news that will reassure you about your festive shopping habits.

According to a new survey from John Lewis, 60% of people will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of John Lewis has revealed how the UK is planning for Christmas this year – and as expected, it looks set to be a very different one to previous years.  

But, one thing remains the same: we’re a nation of forward-planners. In fact, just 2% of shoppers say they leave gift buying until the last minute.

The survey also revealed that, this year, homemade gifts and sending cards are set for a big resurgence, decorations will be up earlier and in more rooms around the home and more people will be putting up outdoor lights to spread a bit of joy or perhaps in friendly competition with the neighbours.  

Of those surveyed, 74% said they are shopping for gifts early and 39% are already stocking up on food gifts like chocolates and panettone.

John Lewis Christmas shop sales are up 63% on last year, with its virtual Christmas shop one of the most viewed pages on johnlewis.com.

Here’s what Brits are buying

Advent calendars

While advent calendars are a staple each Christmas, searches for the countdowns on the John Lewis website are up 48% this year.

The British department store has also expanded its offering this year, launching a highly-anticipated beauty advent calendar, as well as its first ever jewellery advent calendar. 

Buy it: Beauty Advent Calendar 2020 | £150 from John Lewis & Partners

Buy it: Jewellery Advent Calendar | £199 from John Lewis & Partners

DIY gifts and kits

Got into arts and crafts during lockdown? Almost a third of people said they would make their own presents this year, with John Lewis seeing haberdashery sales up 30% and craft kits up 85%.

And, continuing the baking theme that has dominated 2020 thus far, Christmas baking kit sales are up 65% with customers already looking for festive activities to do.

Buy it: The Make Arcade Mini Rainbow Cross Stitch Kit | £8.50 

Buy it: StompStamps Personalised Biscuit Kit | £19.95

(John Lewis)
(John Lewis)

Christmas treats 

Nearly two in five (39%) people are already stocking up on food gifts like chocolates and panettone – and some of us,

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