Are day trips currently allowed in the UK? Rules for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Laura Hampson
·3-min read
Port Isaac in Cornwall, England (Getty)
Port Isaac in Cornwall, England (Getty)

After being in lockdown for the better part of a year - save a month or two last summer - we’re very much ready to explore other parts of the UK besides our own suburb.

Luckily, as we continue to follow the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, things are starting to open up. And with self-contained accommodation available to book from Monday, 12 April, day trips will soon be on the cards too.

Read more: The 10 most searched-for international destinations for summer 2021

This means we could soon be whizzing off to the seaside (likely Brighton or Whitstable for city-tired Londoners), or going for a lofty coastal walk, visiting one of our many great national parks or, as the weather warms, taking a dip in our favourite nearby swimming spot.

Can I go on a day trip in England?

As it stands, limited day trips for those living in England has been possible from 29 March. This is when the government changed its advice from “Stay at Home” to ‘Stay Local” meaning that those living in England could leave their homes for non-essential reasons.

Castle Combe in the Fall, Wiltshire, England (Getty)
Castle Combe in the Fall, Wiltshire, England (Getty)

However, the government is still advising people to minimise the number of journeys they take and continue to work from home where possible.

Day trips in England will more likely commence from 12 April, as this is when pubs and restaurants are opening outdoor facilities and zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will reopen too.

Official guidance should be given next week, but those living in England will still be unable to travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Can I go on a day trip in Scotland?

Scotland’s “Stay at Home” order was lifted on 2 April, but residents are being told to “Stay Local” until at least 26 April.

Domestic tourism (including day trips) within Scotland will be allowed from this date and shops, museums, B&Bs and hotels will reopen. This is also the date that pubs and restaurants will be able to begin serving food and drink outdoors.

Read more: When can I travel between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

It is expected that Scotland’s borders will open to the rest of the UK on this date too, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Watch: People can now think about booking foreign holidays, says transport secretary

Can I go on a day trip in Wales?

Welsh residents have been free to day trip within the country’s borders since late March meaning unrestricted travel is currently permitted.

Those outside Welsh borders are not currently allowed to enter to travel. Outdoor attractions and hospitality venues are set to open from 22 April.

Barafundle Bay, Wales (Getty)
Barafundle Bay, Wales (Getty)

Can I go on a day trip in Northern Ireland?

While Northern Ireland plans to switch its “Stay at Home” messaging to “Stay Local” on 12 April, there is still no date for stage three of the country’s roadmap which is when hospitality will reopen.

Read more: The best beachfront campsites in the UK

At present, 10 miles is the furthest you can travel for exercise in Northern Ireland, so day trips are unlikely. The next review is said to be on 15 April, so we should know more then.

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