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England, Scotland, and Wales

We have our flight to Heathrow in late September and hired a car. According to several websites, hotels in the Yorkshire Dales and The Borders are not taking reservations for October. What's the latest on the effects of Covid on traveling in the UK? Thank you.

Posted by
25751 posts

rita, you might change your screen name to something other than your email address.

We get lots of spammers and con artists wandering through and a complete email address is a golden invitation to them.

Regarding the question, at the moment there are not restrictions on travel, but covid numbers have shot through the roof since the relaxation of all controls. Large parts of Scotland are now very dark red on the contagion map (means over 1,000 per 100,000 population new active cases), with several over 1,400.

Many of us predict another lockdown, although the government said they never wanted to do that. The current relaxations are "irreversible". At least until they are not.

Right now most of the remaining open hotels are full, but they won't want to take reservations and then have to refund money if (when) they have to shut down again.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you, Nigel, for your reply and the tip. I was surprised no one else had this screen name.

Sorry to hear about the Covid situation. It is only an inconvenience for us as, at our ages, it gets harder to "keep on traveling;' but for everyone who makes their living from the travel industry, it has to be gut wrenching.

I have only seen infection rates by entire country. Britain is a little higher than the U. S. and France was less than the U. S. I need to find the data for parts of a country. We may have to cancel our trip......again. This flight was a credit from a previously cancelled trip.

Good luck to all.

Ed & Rita

Posted by
1850 posts

As Nigel says there are no restrictions on travel around the country. All restrictions have been lifted. Mask wearing is not compulsory though most still do so in shops and on public transport

Though infections are high, vaccinations have broken the link between large numbers of deaths and hospitalisations. Whilst those remain manageable, we won’t return to lockdown.

Posted by
25751 posts

If you'd like to see what's happening in every council area or virtual council area anywhere in the 4 nations of the UK if you can see BBC webpages you could look at which is updated every day in the late afternoon UK time.

It is very comprehensive.

Posted by
22 posts

Again, thank you.

The Washington Post does similar reporting for the individual States in the U. S. As in your case, some areas are experiencing higher rates of infection than others. We have both been vaccinated, but know friends who have come down with it despite their vaccination. We are considering an "extra dose."

We were envisioning a 30-day driving tour around England, Scotland, and Wales. The lack of hotel availability would be the greatest contributor to our hesitancy.



Posted by
714 posts

Hi - I assume you are talking about 2021. I just typed ‘Yorkshire Dales’ into for late October and there were plenty of options. It may be down to where you want to stay and when and what sort of of hotel/accommodation you are after. My wife and a friend head off on the Nidderdale Way next weekend and have had no trouble securing overnight accommodation, albeit at pubs that have rooms rather than Hotels.

Which websites claim bookings aren’t being taken? If you give us a more specific idea where you are wanting to stay, maybe we could offer some suggestions on places you might try….nothing ventured and all that.

I need to book some accommodation on the wrong side of the Pennines later in October so I’m hoping there is some error in the claim that hotels are not accepting bookings.

Of course if you are talking about 2022 it may be that some hotels haven’t opened reservations for that far ahead yet - I’ve experienced that myself. Before COVID restrictions were raised the hospitality sector were making enough noise about wanting to accept bookings.

Let us know where you are looking to secure accommodation.


Posted by
39 posts

--Many of us predict another lockdown, although the government said they never wanted to do that. The current relaxations are "irreversible". At least until they are not.

Nigel, what type of lockdown do you foresee? Full lockdown, with travel cut off, businesses, museums, restaurants and pubs closed? Or a lesser indoor masks required, sort of thing? Coming any day? Next month... ? We leave for London on Sept. 22, and while I know this is all speculation, this insight from those of you paying close attention over there is interesting and a reminder not to take my trip for granted in these times. Thanks

Posted by
25751 posts

dunno. just smell it in the wind. couple of snippets on the recent news....

or not.

I can understand caution from people who won't want to be doing refunds.

Posted by
742 posts

I don't think any great restrictions are going to come in myself.
The climb in numbers we got last Sept was pre vaccine,should be a very different story this year.
Last time I checked my city region of 700,000 had 84 people in hospital.
We also held the biggest live music event in Europe at the time, 120,000 over the weekend and the upshot of that was a few hundred likely extra cases .

Posted by
4752 posts

We aren’t meant to speculate, but as the vaccination protection seems to be waning, I think more restrictions are likely to be introduced over the winter. Scotland has acted quicker and harder than England over Covid in the past. The first thing to happen would be a ban or restrictions for the hospitality sector and indoor sporting events, museums etc then a ban on foreign tourists.

If Covid is allowed to run rife, the U.K. will be on the No Travel list for most of the world.

Hotels may not be taking reservations because they maybe full in my experience. Staycations have rocketed. There are school holidays in October which will also impact on bookings.

Posted by
4873 posts

My wife and I did a four week drive tour of S. Wales and England in 2017. We had originally planned to go to Scotland as well, but the more that I planned the trip, I could see that I needed more time to do all three countries, so we limited it to S. Wales and England.

We did this in October and the weather was pretty nice until the end of the month when it started t get chilly while we were in the Lake District.

Not sure that I would do this with COVID this year.

Still, check out my detailed review of our four week tour.
28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you for that.

We did shorter trips in the earlier 2000s. At first, we exclusively used the the Rick Steves guide books for recommended sights. Once we retired, we were able to extend our trips to 5 weeks in 2014 and 2017 and also in the spring and fall. We also began using other guide books (Eyewitness and Lonely Planet) of road trips to less traveled areas. We try to have a mix of things and places we've seen and want to see again as well as new places. Using a streaming version of Britbox, we were enamored with a TV series of a contest of Beautiful Villages. We recorded their names and added them to our itinerary.