Finally, it is here! We can actually go camping from 12th April 2021 – huzzah! But wait – Where can we go? Will it really be back to “normal”? Is it safe? How many of us can go? Should we be packing extras?
The gradual opening up of the country raises lots of questions, particularly around holidays and, of course, camping. So, let us clear up a few points.
1. Where can we go?
Well, the 12th of April 2021 opening relates only to those in England. (More information here) In Wales, campsites opened for those living in Wales from 27th March. (More information here.)
Wye Glamping is one of the simply gorgeous welsh glamping sites opening for those lucky folks living in Wales!
For those in Scotland, the “stay local” message is in place until the provisional date of 26th April when camping can recommence. (More information here.) In Northern Ireland, the stay at home message is still in place and they will review the measures on 15th April. (More information here.)
This all means that for the time being, we cannot cross borders for holidays but must stay within our own country.
2. Will it really be back to “normal”?
Not as we know it. As already explained, we will be restricted to our own country and cannot cross the border to another just yet. At this stage, we will not be able to use shared facilities such as shower and toilet blocks. This means we need to be self-sufficient with our own facilities. Most sites will provide freshwater points and waste disposal facilities but check carefully before going. The gorgeously rural Haw Wood Farm in Suffolk will be open to all self-contained units from 12th April and they are so excited to be able to welcome guests at last.
We will not be able to take off in large groups but need to stay with our household. This might make some of us joyful and others are probably sick of the idea of spending yet more time with our families after the last few months! There are a few sites about that can help take this pain away though. For example, the glorious backdrop of Brocklands Farm Glamping where you can bask in the delights of the South Downs National Park from the home comforts of a fully furnished safari tent – bliss!
3. Is it safe?
As you can imagine, camping, glamping and caravan sites around the country have put in huge preparations for a safe re-opening. From contactless booking and check ins, restricted numbers to signs and hand sanitiser everywhere. As we know, camping, in all its guises, lends itself quite nicely to natural social distancing, particularly when you have the huge fields available in Petruth Paddocks, Somerset allowing plenty of space between pitches.
Longberry Farm in Kent are only opening one of their beautiful bell tents at a time on their site and giving exclusive access to all facilities to the lucky family that books. So, social distancing really won’t be an issue there!
4. How many of us can go?
Across all of the UK, the message is clear that campsites will not take any group bookings right now. It is families only, although “bubbles” can be accommodated. If you fear that this might compromise your holiday, why not look at a family glamping site such as Tinkers Bells, Staffordshire where you have the use of the whole site for your family? No-one else to worry about so no social distancing required – easy-peasy!
5. Should we be packing extras?
Yes! Self-sufficiency requires extras that we usually take for granted i.e. toilet, showering and wash facilities. If you don’t have these, pop over to World of Camping where they have plenty of cost-effective solutions such as portable toilets, solar showers and washing accessories.
Although sites will definitely have oodles of hand sanitiser available, it makes sense to pack plenty of your own. And don’t forget your masks!
6. What happens next?
To be honest, we just have to be patient. The next provisional date for opening up further is 17th May in England. And, of course, this depends on the data surrounding Covid-19 continuing in the right direction. As restrictions change across the UK, here at Gone Camping Co, we will keep you informed what that means as campers and glampers.
Langstone Manor Park are open for business from 12th April but are particularly looking forward to extending opening from the 17th May.
If you are holding back from booking as you don’t want to risk losing out financially, it is worth checking out with your preferred campsite what their policy is as most are incredibly flexible during this uncertain time. After a torrid time over the last year, we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to support this industry in 2021. Many campsites have invested heavily to ensure they are “Covid-19 Safe” but at the same time have a hugely reduced income because of being unable to open and only then with a reduced number of guests.
People are feeling a range of emotions after a whole year of dealing with the pandemic. Some are champing at the bit to get out there, some are cautious about their and others’ health, some are confused about the rules and what they can do and others have grown entirely used to staying at home and don’t want to venture out at all! However the pandemic has affected you, we wish you all the best and encourage you to take the time to (responsibly) explore our beautiful country. Give camping a try, or if you are not quite ready to leave behind all of your home comforts, a bit of glamping. Either way, they are amongst the most natural ways to socially distance right now!