As of 12th April, for those craving an outdoor escape, it's good news! The Coronavirus paused our outdoor adventure for a while, but with lockdown measures relaxing across the UK, summer holidays are once again on the cards.
Here’s a round-up of what you need to know, plus our new video.
PLEASE NOTE – all information is as given at the time of writing. Please refer to government guidance and check before you travel.
Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly
While life won't feel 'normal' for some time yet, it's great that we can once again press play on adventure and enjoy the outdoors responsibly. After all, here at Millets, we’re Made for Adventure!
Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, will also be reopening across England and Wales as of 12th April. In Scotland, the date for reopening all these facilties is Monday 26th April.
Yet it is important to stress that we should all recognise that the virus still poses a risk to both yourself and others. Therefore, it’s essential that you keep up to date with the latest government and public health advice.
For travel further afield, current Scottish regulations mean that you must not travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK without a reasonable excuse and travel around mainland Scotland is prohibited until 26 April.
Here’s our quick guide to staying safe outdoors whatever your adventure.
‘Stay Home’ rule: - During lockdown, you may have visited that same park down the road one too many times. Now is the perfect time for you to ferry yourself to undiscovered places again! Branch out to further than just the green spaces on your front doorstep, because domestic travel is allowed again. With the recommendation of 'Staying Local' where possible in place from the government, you may want to consider how far you are travelling and how often before you whisk yourself off.
Check before you travel: - From campsites to beaches, check they are open and what their rules are before you travel. Remember, guidelines do vary across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland vary.
Over-Prepare: - Facilities might still be closed and queues might be a reality. Consider taking pack lunches in cool boxes, and always taking precautions with hand sanitisers and masks to hand.
Social Distancing still matters: - Missing your friends? You can continue to meet with five other people outside or two households outside. The official Rule of six within your bubble or two households must still be followed. The regulations concerning meeting friends inside will remain the same. From the 17th May, two households or a group of six will be allowed to meet indoors.
Leave no trace: - There’s no excuse for littering. Care for outdoor spaces and leave them as you find them.
Showing symptoms: - If you or anyone in your household has symptoms, you must stay at home and self-isolate following government advice.
Campsites Given the Green Light
The novelty of camping under the stars never seems to wear off for those who love being at one with the elements, and many have managed to keep up tradition during lockdown by camping out in their back gardens. Yet we’ve all been eagerly awaiting news on the reopening of campsites and caravan parks.
According to the latest government guidance, whilst some campsites and caravan parks will reopen from 12th April across England and Wales, and 26th of this month across Scotland, communal areas like toilet blocks and shower blocks will likely be closed. You'll need to take a wash bag and your own camp toilet with you.
Some campsites will be asking all members and guests over the age of 16 to provide Test and Trace (or UK country variants) information. If you already have the NHS Covid-19 app, you will be asked to use this on arrival at the campsite. If you do not have the app, you will be provided with a log sheet to complete.
For anyone who usually swap camping for glamping and like to stay overnight in self-catering accomodation or a B&B, holiday accomodation like this will reopen as of 17th May.
Check out our Guide to Camping Through COVID where we aim to answer your questions on safety, campsite facilities and other things you should consider when planning your summer camping trip.
Walkers Can Wander Again
With travel restrictions set to relax further, taking a hike has now become more possible. National parks are open, but be aware that there will an influx of people which can make social distancing harder to follow. Car parks in particular can be hot spots so stay alert and don’t hang around.
If you are concerned, then we recommend staying local and finding walks where visitor numbers are likely to be lower. If you do head further afield, don’t take unnecessary risks, tell people where you are going and be sure to take the right equipment with you. The current pandemic makes things even harder for organisations like Mountain Rescue to help you in a crisis.
Here’s a few quick tips to help you walk safely outdoors:
- Pack hand sanitiser for gates and styles
- Follow social distancing at all times with people not in your household
- Stay vigilant in car parks
- Plan walks where open spaces are common
- Don't be a litterbug! Take your litter with you
The Bike Boom Continues
Since lockdown began, bike sales have been booming as more and more people jump to two wheels. With quieter roads and good weather, cycling has been a fun and affordable way for people to enjoy the outdoors and even commute. With restrictions easing, there is little sign that the demand for bikes will slow over summer so buy yours now to avoid missing out.
From pedalling around town to pushing yourself on off-road trails, cycling is a great way to explore the outdoors. Just be aware of walkers and take care when riding on roads. Read our Bike Buying Guide
UK Beach Breaks
Looking to top up your tan or feel the sand between your toes again? Beaches in England are now open and when the weather is good, these places can feel irresistible for many. But be aware that areas are seeing a massive influx of people with buckets, spades and sandcastle-building skills at the ready. Think about the following things before you travel:
- Facilities may not be open including toilets
- Follow social distancing at all times with people not in your household
- An early start can help you to beat the crowds, but expect them to get busy
- Be a good citizen and take your litter with you!
- If things feel too busy, it’s time to head home
Restrictions on travel, facilities and destinations vary across the UK so check government guidelines and local council sites before travelling.
You'll find the latest information on where you can now go on holiday from BBC News here
With the vaccination programme under way and mass testing available, several events have put tickets on sale, confident that fans will be allowed to boogie on down sooner rather than later.
Here are just some of the festivals that have released tickets so far:
- Deer Shed Festival - North Yorkshire
- Camp Bestival - Lulworth Castle, Dorset
- Green Man - Brecon Beacons, Wales
- Boomtown - Matterley Estate, Hampshire
From Blackpool to London, from Chester to Bristol, take those little monkeys of your own to one of these four zoos for a family day out as of 12th April. Just keep in mind that the indoor areas and indoor viewing points are likely to be closed though.
Book your tickets for summer in advance to avoid disappointment and see rare species of animal thanks to these hubs of wildlife working with well-respected and widely-known wildlife preservation projects and conservation foundation.
Step right up and take your seats inside the rollercoaster train!
All of you thrill seekers will be delighted to know that theme parks such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Flamingo Land will also be opening their gates and turnstiles to visitors as of 12th April.