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Travel in UK (England and Scotland) in May 2022

No one knows the future for certain, but I'm trying to decide whether or not to book a 2-3 week trip to UK this May. I had to cancel a similar trip in 2020 and don't want to go through that headache again.

I saw from one post that masks are not required in most of England now. What is the situation in Scotland? Are tourist attractions, pubs, theaters, restaurants, shops largely open now? Did many places go out of business or is UK largely back to pre-Covid levels of activity?

Please don't turn this question into a fight about covid restrictions. Good or bad, I'm just trying to get a feel for what's happening.

Posted by
851 posts

I can't compare to pre-pandemic, as I hadn't been to Scotland in a very long time previously. But I was in Edinburgh two weeks ago. I visited the National Gallery museum, the Edinburgh Castle (and military museum inside) a cool church nearby, and lots of pubs. No problems, no worries. I took a train there and back from London. At the time masks were required except while eating or drinking, I'm not sure if that has since changed.

Posted by
96 posts

We were in Scotland earlier this month, and masks were required everywhere except when eating and drinking. From what I can see from the news it remains that way (

Everything in Edinburgh was open - we went to the ballet, ate out every night and visited all the usual tourist attractions. Ditto in London.

Obviously now England has loosened the restrictions, but you still have to wear a mask on public transport in London, and most large shops are still asking people to wear a mask. All my family in England are still wearing masks indoors.

We had such a great time over Christmas/New Year that we've just booked to come back for a few weeks in May. As far as I can see at this stage all the big events are on - we have tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and have entered the ballot for Trooping the Colour. Obviously no-one can see into the future, but I'm optimistic.

Posted by
6113 posts

I had a 3 night short break in Stirling last weekend. It was a last minute booking and I stayed at the Premier Inn, which was very quiet, even on Saturday night. Due to Covid, they don’t clean rooms during your stay and if you want more coffee, towels etc, you ask at the front desk.

Mask wearing is adhered to indoors, unlike in England. In cafes, you can remove your mask to eat and drink, but put it back on to leave or go to the bathroom.

Even though it was quiet, you couldn’t just turn up at Stirling Castle - you had to book in advance online. We found last week (and a previous 4 week trip to Scotland last summer), that once you get out of Glasgow, Edinburgh and the St Andrews bubble, the high streets have been badly affected by Covid and the move to online shopping, with many shop and restaurant vacancies and in some places, a desolate feel. This is the same situation in England.

Posted by
19 posts

That's sad to hear Jennifer, because it's the small towns, pubs, and shops that I'm most looking forward to seeing.