Even for travel bloggers, taking a flight while Coronavirus still ravages some countries such as the US, Brazil and Russia, is a daunting prospect – and many are planning to take staycations this year instead. (If you’re in this bracket, check out Flight-Free 2020 to pledge.) However, while we’ve all been in lockdown there have been plenty of changes made in the camping & glamping industries. So, to make your travel planning easier, I’ve decided to compile them below.
How is camping changing in the UK?
- Possible shared-facility closures. Toilets and or wash-rooms may be closed on-site while the owners ensure they are implementing social-distancing measures correctly.
- If shared facilities are closed, tents will not be allowed on the site. Caravans with their own facilities are the only way you will be able to camp at those sites.
- Limited car-parking spaces on site. There is talk of a “no second vehicle allowed” rule, which is again due to the owners wishing to implement social-distancing correctly. This means if you wanted to camp with your partner, you cannot both bring a car. You will have to drive there together.
As with England, but also:
- Entry to Scotland from other parts of the UK is still not allowed. This may change on 15th July when Scotland’s tourism sector is expected to re-open.
- Visit Scotland is encouraging people to get to know one area rather than having an extended road-trip (i.e. NC500 is off the cards).
- ‘Wild camping’ is currently not allowed. Again, this may change on 15th July.
- Currently, people in Wales can only travel in their local area, making camping difficult or impossible.
- The date for re-opening self-contained accommodation (such as caravan camping) and Welsh tourism is expected to be 13th July. You can make provisional bookings for after this date.
*I have decided not to include Ireland as you would need a flight or a ferry to get there from the UK mainland, which is a whole other ball game!
How is glamping changing in the UK?
- Expect later check-in times, and earlier check-out times. This is to ensure that your accommodation is thoroughly cleaned between each guest.
- While your glamping pod will probably have a hob and microwave, you will need to bring your own cooking utensils. This is to save on cleaning time.
- You may have to bring your own bedsheets & towels. Again, this is to keep you safe and save on cleaning time. Many places had this rule before the lockdown.
- Expect limited occupancy in glamping accommodations. Glampsites will have a lot of pressure on them to respect social-distancing rules and to make sure lots of different households aren’t mingling (if there are restrictions in place). Therefore, in a lot of places glamping may be restricted to two persons.
- Yurts may be unavailable for booking in line with restrictions on tent camping. This is because many do not have their own facilities.
The good news:
The good news for the general culture of camping is that local areas are slowly re-opening, including cycle hire companies and walking trails. Many castles and stately homes have already re-opened their gardens – you just have to book in advance. I’ve only seen one stately home which has decided to close its doors until 2021, but even so I’d recommend doing your research into the area before you book!
I hope this post has made clearer what to expect out of camping this year. Where are you headed when UK tourism opens up?
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DISCLAIMERS: All facts correct at the time of writing this post and may not be updated regularly. Title picture by Cathy Stanley-Erickson on Flickr was taken in Alaska, not UK.