Last updated: 12 April 2021
Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority said: “We have been pleased to see people enjoying the Lake District responsibly over the last couple of weeks as we understand how important national parks are going to be in helping the nation to recover from covid-19.
“From Monday 12 April people will once again be able to stay overnight in the Lake District in certain circumstances and we welcome this next step in the easing of lockdown restrictions. We would ask people to plan their visit in advance as not everything is open just yet and it’s important that you have somewhere organised if you plan to stay overnight.
“We’re delighted that non-essential shops and outside catering can start from 12 April, but not everything will be open and it’s advisable to book in advance where you can.
“Visit saferlakes.co.uk to see real time information on what areas of the park are busy and please plan your visit accordingly.
“And please, remember the basics - hands, face, space and fresh air – social distancing is still very much needed to help control the virus.
“Lastly, our key message is please enjoy your time in the Lake District, we are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors back safely, but please leave no trace and take your litter home with you alongside all the new memories you will make.”
As part of Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum response to the pandemic, we’ve been working with organisations such as Cumbria Police, the county and district councils, Highways England and major landowners such as the National Trust and Forestry England, to create a Tactical Visitor Management Group. By working together and planning ahead for the return of more people coming to the county, we are able to ensure a warm welcome to new and returning visitors, whilst also managing potential pressures across National Park. This includes creating area-specific action plans to help manage issues such as congestion, fly-camping and anti-social activities. This approach ensures we can respond to the latest changes and support communities, visitors, businesses and our vital local healthcare services.
Many paths are near to farmers' and local people's homes and their families. In 2020, some alternative permitted paths were made available to maintain social distancing and protect residents and local communities. If you see a sign for a permitted path, please follow the way markers along the temporary route. Maintain social distance, hand wash or sanitise after touching any shared surfaces in line with government social distancing advice and keep dogs on a short lead.
Exploring the Lake District by bus, boat or bike is a fantastic way to take in the views and help protect our world by reducing your carbon. If you do visit by car, plan ahead and check availability in our car parks at www.saferlakes.co.uk – most car parks are open and temporary signage will help improve the flow to car parks.
Extra temporary car parks have been set up for 2021. These have been set up in key areas where there was a shortage of parking in 2020, leading to issues of congestion in communities.
We know how important the National Park is to people’s health and wellbeing and activities such as camping are the perfect way to recharge and connect with nature.
We’re supporting farmers and landowners to create additional temporary campsites for this year, using the new 56 day planning permission rules. This will help accommodate more people on official campsites and away from the ‘fly-camping’ seen last year, which impacted on the fragile natural environment of the Lake District.
Get ready to book your Lake District stay here.
If you’re planning to visit by campervan or motorhome, please plan your journey and book your site in advance as staying overnight on roadside or car parks is not permitted.
Take a look at Cumbria Tourism's 2021 guide to VanLife for ideas and locations for your campervan adventure in the Lake District.
Please know your own capabilities on the water and do not place yourself or others at risk.
Emergency services may not be able to respond as quickly as they might have done before and this puts people at risk and is unfair to those that are volunteers in those services.
Our lake rangers are patrolling to support people’s safe enjoyment of the water and will enforce as necessary where there are clear breaches of the byelaws that impact on safety or have negative environmental impacts.
To protect staff and customers during the Coronavirus outbreak, boat registrations and renewals are not be taken at Ferry Nab or at the National Park office in Kendal. New registrations and renewals can be done online.
We ask everyone to please be prepared when exploring the Lake District fells and plan ahead. Emergency services are under increased pressure at this time and responding to emergencies puts teams at risk. Be adventure smart and ask yourself three questions before you set off:
Most public toilets are open and we have plans to open temporary ones where the demand is required.
Follow the latest government guidance.
There is plenty of space and new places to explore in the Lake District. We know everyone has their favourites, but why not make 2021 the year you try somewhere new?
Please plan ahead and get ready to visit when the time is right, check out Cumbria Tourism's recommendations for places to visit, food and drink, adventure activities and more.
Our information centres are open - pop into Bowness, Keswick or Ullswater to get top tips, great walking routes and ideas for your Lake District adventure.
We are working with other National Parks, government and Keep Britain Tidy to update the Countryside Code and find new ways to encourage people to take their litter home.
Please play your part and leave no trace.
In 2020 we formed the Safer Lakes initiative. This is a combination of dedicated National Park Authority officers and more than 100 volunteers who report issues and provide assistance to communities across the National Park, together with a range of local partner agencies.
Issues can be reported by emailing: CVAlerts@LakeDistrict.gov.uk.
We are planning to host visitor management volunteers at popular locations to both improve visitor experience with local knowledge and top tips, whilst also reducing negative community impacts. If you are interested find out more about volunteering and get in touch.
We’re also taking part in the government’s Kickstart scheme to add extra welcome hosts, supported by our Safer Lakes team.
We have installed more than 12,000 temporary signs in communities, including providing thousands to local businesses. These signs remind visitors and residents about the importance of social distancing, parking considerately and planning ahead.
Welcome your visitors with a reminder to keep 2 herdy sheep apart for social distancing. A2, A3, A4 and 6ft banner sizes available to download.
We have 2 posters available to download and display on any rights of way. These are to help communicate the message of social distancing across the Lake District National Park.
Our committees are no longer meeting in person . We have changed the ways we hold committee meetings and conduct Authority business using different forms of communication, like phone and web meetings. Find out more about how and when we are holding meetings on the meetings page on our website.
Our planning services are currently reduced. You can find update of the current status of our planning services, and details of how to contact us on our planning page.