When can I book a cottage in the UK for a holiday?

Currently (May 2020) all holiday accommodation from cottages to campsites and even hotels are closed to paying guests except for the odd exceptions that are allowed to sleep people travelling for funerals or those identified by the government as “critical workers”. Every day there seems to be a story in the press of a hopeful couple turning up somewhere like the Cotswolds or the Peak District for an Airbnb booking!  Yet the rules are pretty clear.

Travelling for day trips to the coast or countryside is now allowed in England (different rules for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) – staying overnight is still a no-no!

To the frustration of many in the hospitality industry, the government has not yet given any commitment to when restrictions will be lifted.  “Baby steps” is what Boris said.  Hospitality businesses were included in the “step three” of the government’s recovery strategy. No earlier than the 4th of July!  Itching to get going many holiday accommodation providers have started taking bookings for dates after July 4.  Many are offering the ability to change dates or give refunds should there be an extension or return of the lockdown.

With holidaying abroad looking complicated demand for cottage holidays is likely to be high. Savvy individuals are making bookings now in the hope that they will get away at some stage.  Admin fees may be applied to discourage lots of speculative bookings.

Worth noting is that organisations are insisting that employees take their annual leave allowance – even if holiday plans have been cancelled. So, if the “R rate” stays below 1 and tourism is open up holiday accommodation will be at a premium.

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Self-catering cottage holidays in the UK and Ireland can still be a green option. You can have the comforts of home and the flexibility to do what you want; when you want - without the hassles of air travel!

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