During my hour of daily exercise taken during the COVID-19 Lockdown of Spring-Summer 2020, I found and followed new paths that took me to parts of Lancaster that I didn’t know were there and had not explored before. I became more aware of how the city connects, where tracks, streams, waterways, roads and the river meet and cross. I found allotments, prisons and graveyards, followed narrow bluebell-lined tracks through woods and into high-up places where the view across The Bay or The Lakes opens up and lorries on the motorway push past.
The pull of fresh air, warm sun or the whip of the wind is irresistible as is the need to stretch my legs and body, and clear my mind – and have some physical, spiritual and mental breathing space.
I was not alone in these findings and revelations and soon invited others to join me in recording our their lockdown routes. This connected me – at a distance – with friends and strangers alike. Together, we have created a joint map and a lockdown community linked through shared paths and breathing spaces. All of the mapped routes have now been combined in to a single Lockdown in Lancaster and Morecambe: Walk, Run, Pedal, Push, Map map.
This map makes visible the paths and places we visited from 16 March (start of national lockdown) to the end of July 2020. It builds week by week and shows how routes accumulated and grew over that period of time.