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Our advice for visitors to the National Park

October 5, 2021

Now that lockdown restrictions have eased it is great to be welcoming visitors back to the National Park. However, it’s still important that we all continue to keep following the latest Scottish Government advice and to enjoy the National Park safely and responsibly. 

Following a busier than normal summer as lots of people enjoyed staycations, the winter months are likely to be busier than usual too. With shorter days and wilder Scottish weather it’s really important to plan ahead before you set off to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible.

What is open where?

As we move into the winter months many facilities and businesses may be operating on reduced or different hours. This goes for those managed by the National Park Authority as well as other public bodies and local businesses. Following a busier than normal summer as lots of people enjoyed staycations, the winter months are likely to be busier than usual too. With shorter days and wilder Scottish weather it’s really important to plan ahead before you set off to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Please check the most up to date information on the location and status of car parks and toilets, and other visitor facilities, before you come. 

The National Park’s seasonal camping management byelaws have now finished until 1st March 2022. During this time you are able to wild camp responsibly across the National Park following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

The Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway remains open during the winter, but check the opening hours of facilities before you head out.

What do I need to do?

Having considered the national guidelines and checked whether there are facilities you might need to use, remember to:

Protect yourself and others – It’s important to remember that the virus has not gone away. You can protect yourself and others by:

  • Wearing a face covering indoors or on public transport
  • Keeping your hands clean
  • Avoiding crowded spaces and staying 1m apart from others

‘Go’ before you go  – Toilet facilities may be operating at reduced hours/capacity. Make sure you ‘go’ before you go and check where the nearest public toilets in the National Park will be.

Plan ahead – Even in winter popular places get very busy and car parks fill up early. Please check the most up to date information on the location and status of car parks and toilets, and other visitor facilities, before you come. Have a Plan B if your first choice of destination is going to be busy.

Journey Planner – Our new Journey Planner app is a pilot project which gives you all the potential travel options for your journey in one place, making it easier to research, plan and book a day trip.

Think of alternative options – As some popular places can get busy on nice days, we also suggest you think of alternative options for A Different Adventure in the National Park.

When you get here

Finally if you are out and about in the National Park always:

Be kind and show respect for others –  We all enjoy getting out into nature and this can be especially beneficial in difficult times. It’s also important to remember that many people live and work in the National Park.

Whatever you bring with you, take it home – This one is easy! Respect your Park and be a responsible visitor. Don’t leave your waste behind, including next to bins. Pack two extra bags so you can take your litter away safely and leave some space in your car or bag to carry it home.

Support local businesses – Help small and local businesses continue to get back on their feet by visiting local cafés, restaurants and shops. Remember you may need to book ahead.

We hope you enjoy your visit.

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