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Heading for the hills as travel limit relaxed from Friday

By John Davidson

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Glenlivet mountain bike trails are set to reopen. Picture: John Davidson
Glenlivet mountain bike trails are set to reopen. Picture: John Davidson

Outdoor enthusiasts are expected to flock to the countryside this weekend after the five-mile travel limit was lifted from Friday, July 3.

Hill walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and paddlers will be among those looking to stretch their legs after months of restricted access to the outdoors.

But the public are being warned to be prepared and to keep following important public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

While the weather forecast predicts rain for the weekend, Mountaineering Scotland says climbers and walkers from all over Scotland are expected to take advantage of the relaxation.

CEO Stuart Younie said: “The lifting of the travel restriction is great news for Mountaineering Scotland members and hill walkers and climbers across Scotland, most of whom have been unable to access the hills and mountains during the last three months.

“We urge anyone heading to the hills to plan ahead, and to enjoy their activities safely and responsibly while continuing to protect themselves and the communities they may be visiting.

“Remember to stay ‘Covid aware’ – the virus is still out there and we cannot yet return to normal, so we should all be aware of physical distancing and hand hygiene, and be sensible in our ambitions for the moment.”

As well as being able to travel any distance for leisure and recreation, people – with the exception of those in Dumfries and Galloway – will be able to stay overnight in self-catering accommodation or caravans where there are no shared facilities. However, wild camping is still not allowed under the guidance, with those wanting to take to their tents asked to wait until July 15.

Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) welcomed the easing of the travel limit as "an awesome development" and thanked riders for sticking to the guidelines.

The trail centre at Glenlivet is due to open from Friday, July 3, with trails at Nevis Range and Highland Wildcat in Golspie already open.

DMBinS has created a web page of trail centres across Scotland, showing if the facility is open, closed or giving the date it will open.

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