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COVID-19 Coronavirus: FAQs for visitors to the Golakes website

I’d like to visit The Lake District, Cumbria. What is the advice?

The Prime Minister has issued instructions for all of us to stay at home and reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, in order to protect the NHS and to help save lives.
You can read more about the tough but necessary new measures, here.

The key points include:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes:
  • To shop for essentials, as infrequently as possible
  • To exercise outdoors once per day, alone or with household members
  • To receive medical treatment or provide care and travel to and from work, if impossible to work from home.
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

For the reasons outlined above, visitors and second home-owners are being asked to stay in their primary residence.

As well as closing pubs, cafes, restaurants, gyms and museums, the requirement makes it explicit that this includes: “hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers)”.

We understand that this also includes self-catering properties being used for leisure purposes. Many self-catering businesses are in the process of postponing bookings.

In line with the Government’s instructions, we are aware that the vast majority of self-catering operators are no longer welcoming visitors and are cancelling bookings for at least the next three weeks.

In light of this development, we are asking people not to come to the Lake District, Cumbria, at this time. By visiting for non-essential reasons, you will be breaking the law.

Why do I need to follow this advice?

A breach of the new measures is likely to result in fines, or further action, as mass movement of people contributes to the rapid spread of this virus.

Secondly, Cumbria's public health system is only designed to meet the needs of its full-time local residents (this does not include second home owners, caravan owners etc) and given our above-average ageing population here in Cumbria, the NHS does not need the extra pressure in addition to that which is already being experienced by serving the needs of local residents during this difficult time.

Although we would love to see all of our regular visitors, we really need you to support the official advice to stay at home and stay safe.

We all have a responsibility – visitors, tourism businesses and residents - to heed government advice, help our NHS and help save lives.

I am no longer travelling to The Lake District, Cumbria.
Can I get a refund on my public transport costs?

If your trip to The Lake District, Cumbria, has been affected by COVID-19 Coronavirus, you will need to contact your transport provider directly for further information on how to obtain a refund.

I’ve booked accommodation. What should I do?

The situation is very fast-moving and most non-essential businesses are now closed. Only essential businesses such as shops which sell food remain open at this time. The Government has been very clear on the need not to undertake unnecessary travel and to socially distance in your own home.

For businesses providing hotel and other accommodation, including self-catering properties, the advice states:

Businesses providing holiday accommodation (including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses and short term lets) should now take steps to close for commercial use as quickly as is safely possible.

Full consideration should be given to the possible exclusions for residents that should be allowed to remain. Any decision to close should be implemented in full compliance with the social distancing guidelines.

What do the exclusions mean?

Hotels and other accommodation providers should be able to remain open if:

  • They are part of the response to support key workers or vulnerable groups.
  • There is a specific need for some or all of the site to remain open (for example they are housing people who have been flooded out of their homes, being used by public services to provide emergency accommodation or are not able to return to their primary residence).
  • If businesses are providing rooms to support homeless people, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they should remain open.
  • If a holiday park or caravan park is your primary residence you can remain on site.

Is there any guidance for families in temporary accommodation or B&Bs?

If the temporary accommodation is currently the family’s primary residence, they can remain.

Is there any guidance for hotels serving food?

Hotels and accommodation providers that are remaining open to house key workers, vulnerable groups and other exempted groups will still be able to serve food, subject to the social distancing guidelines (for example by providing a takeaway service, ‘grab and go’ service or room service).

Workplace canteens can also stay open where required but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.

As I cannot travel can I get a refund or amend my booking?

If you have a holiday booked for the coming months, please contact your booking agent or venue directly. Please be aware that accommodation providers are very busy, handling hundreds of enquiries each, so please be patient during the process.

For anyone postponing their visit, we look forward to welcoming you back soon, in happier times.

I’m not happy with the response I’ve had from my agent/hotel/cottage

We have no control over individual businesses, however, we are advising businesses to be flexible in their approach to postponement and refunds and again, urge patience among customers.

I have tickets to an upcoming event or an attraction in The Lake District, Cumbria. Is it still going ahead, or can I still visit the attraction?

Most events that we are aware of, have already been cancelled or postponed until further notice. If you have pre-booked tickets to attractions, please contact the individual attractions and venues for further information.

Are there any changes to public transport in The Lake District, Cumbria?

Avanti West Coast and Northern are both operating a reduced rail timetable. Stagecoach is also operating a reduced bus timetable.

The most up-to-date information for current timetables are here:

Avanti West Coast (For Oxenholme The Lake District, Penrith North Lakes and Carlisle)

Northern Rail (for the Lakes and Cumbrian Coast routes)


Windermere Car Ferry services are suspended until further notice because insufficient numbers of operational staff are currently available to safely run the ferry due to COVID 19.

Updates will be made on Twitter, here.

Please remember, only travel if it is absolutely essential.

I can’t avoid my visit. What do I do if I start to experience Coronavirus symptoms while I’m in The Lake District, Cumbria?

If you are displaying signs of the Covid-19 virus (cough, fever), you should not be using public transport. If you are not symptomatic but need to return to where you live, then using public transport is ok.

When using public transport, try to adhere to the simple social distancing principles of being two metres apart.

If you suffer any symptoms (fever, persistent cough, breathlessness) consult the NHS 111 Online service for further help and advice, here.
For further information, please use the NHS Coronavirus website, here.

Regular updates on COVID-19 from the government can be found here.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
For more information about what Cumbria Tourism is doing to help affected businesses, click here.


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