Freedom Day (19 July 2021) has arrived and with lockdown rules finally ending, we need to remember to look after ourselves, one another and the environment around us. So, to make sure we’re all doing our bit to tread lightly and travel responsibly, we’ve put together a few simple tips to help you get the most out of your days out and short breaks, and ensure they’re as safe and stress-free as possible.
1. Plan and book ahead
Make sure your days out and weekend breaks run as smoothly as possible by planning ahead and checking our guidance for holidays in England. Many attractions will still require pre-booked tickets with allocated time slots. Be sure to check individual attraction websites in advance before starting your journey. And if your plans do change, please remember to cancel in good time so your table or room doesn't go to waste.
If you’re not sure where you want to go on your short break, check out our Inspire Me page, full of post-lockdown trip inspiration, to get you started.
2. Look out for each other
While COVID-19 rules and restrictions have officially ended, there are plenty of things we can continue to do while out and about to make sure we’re keeping ourselves and others safe. For example, you should continue to wash your hands as regularly as possible and keep a face covering in your bag or pocket – you’re still advised and expected to wear a mask in busy indoor places, like shops and public transport. The same applies to respecting other people’s personal space.
No one likes to live in a pigsty so let’s try our best to keep England’s outdoor spaces looking and feeling beautiful by following the helpful tips in the Countryside Code. Make sure you put all your rubbish in nearby bins or, if they’re full, take it home with you – remember to grab a bag before you leave home! While you’re out and about exploring, try not to disturb wildlife or farm animals and keep your dog on a lead. Stick to designated footpaths, close gates behind you, follow local route signs and, where you can, leave the car behind and walk or cycle instead.
Find out more about what you can do when out and about by following #respectprotectenjoy on social media.
Dying for a dip? Check out the Swimfo website before diving into any wild swimming.
And while you’re away, remember to be #WaterWarriors and protect England’s waters by putting wet wipes, fats and dairy products in the bin – not down the drain.
4. Find England’s hidden gems
Avoid the crowds and slink off the beaten path to discover some of England’s hidden gems. That way, you’re more likely to get a spot on the beach or a table at a locally loved restaurant. Plus, you can brag to your friends about the next go-to place to visit they haven’t even heard of!
If you're heading to the seaside, download the Beach Check UK app - it'll let you know which beaches are busy and help you find a quiet spot in the sand.
It’s been a tough old time for us all, so remember to be kind to everyone you meet on your travels, whether that’s the local farmer, your waitress or a ticket inspector on a train.
Small, independent businesses have also struggled during the pandemic, so why not show your love and support by shopping locally where you can – homemade, local produce is always top-notch anyway!
6. Look out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark
Keep an eye out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark. Businesses with this mark have made necessary changes to their day-to-day workings in line with government and public health COVID guidance – including social distancing measures and staff training – in order to make you feel safe on your visit.
The mark has been awarded to businesses across the country and it can be found on the business’ website and, in some cases, as a sign in a window.
You can also search for businesses with the green tick on our interactive map.
VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.