Can I travel to the Lake District to climb or walk?

Posted by Rob Dyer on 14/05/2020
Dow Drag. Photo: Rob Dyer

With one of the highest infection rates for Covid-19 in the UK, local people and organisations in the Lakes District are understandably apprehensive about a sudden influx of visitors following the easing of lockdown restrictions in England since 13th May. Here's the latest advice.

Whilst it is now lawful to travel to the Lake District for a day trip (overnight stays are still not permitted), consider other options if you can. 

Large numbers of staff from the National Park Authority, National Trust and other land owning bodies have been furloughed and, given the very short timescales since the government announcement on 11May, those organisations have had little time to react.

Large visitor numbers will be difficult to deal with due to reduced visitor management staff and Mountain Rescue Teams who are operating with much reduced capacity.

Anyone who does decide to visit is strongly encouraged to follow BMC advice and check the Safer Lakes website before setting off.

Crucially, avoid busy areas of the National Park, maintain social distancing and be self-reliant both on and off the hill as many local services such as cafes, public toilets, shops and accommodation (including campsites) are not currently open.

Richard Leafe, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive said:

Following the Government’s announcement that people will be able to travel for exercise from 13th May, we know that many will be keen to visit the Lake District. This is understandable for the many physical and mental health benefits the National Park provides. However, sadly Cumbria currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, therefore keeping our staff and local communities safe must remain our priority. For example, our mountain rescue teams are made up of volunteers, many of whom work in the NHS and other frontline professions, so we cannot afford to put unnecessary pressure on them. So for now, we’re asking people not to rush back to the Lake District - help protect our communities, the fells will still be here when this passes.

“Campsites, hotels, restaurants and many businesses across the Lake District remain closed. When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Lake District and have been working with partners to put measures in place that will help keep people safe, such as new car park information and availability to help plan ahead.

“For now, we ask everyone who lives in and visits the Lake District to act responsibly, continue to observe social distancing and stay safe.”

READ: Can I start climbing and hill walking again?


More FAQs about the BMC and Covid-19

🌳 Can I start climbing / hillwalking? Yes, but be cautious in your actions, respectful of local communities and vigilant in avoiding transmitting the virus. Read our latest advice for July here and for the general return to climbing here

🌳 What's the situation in Wales? Read the full July update here

😷 When and how will the walls reopen?  In England it's July 25th Read the ABC's advice for walls and watch their live update here

✈️ Can I now travel abroad again? Get the latest answers to going abroad with travel restrictions now easing

🛒 Is the BMC shop open? Yes - we officially reopened at the start of July!

🏡 Do you have any advice for clubs and huts? The latest club huts update and all you need to know

📜 Will the BMC keep running smoothly? Read more or watch our weekly live updates from our CEO

🚗 What have the BMC access team been doing during this time? Read on

As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.

If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join


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