DOZENS of motorists took advantage of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown to visit district beauty spots over the weekend - despite the fact that many car parks are still not open.

Drivers left their cars on the side of the road leading to Bolton Abbey causing an obstruction to those trying to get past.

Among them was a taxi licensed by the council in Blackpool 58 miles away.

The line of vehicles stretched for about 400 yards from the Devonshire Hotel until the double yellow lines start near Bolton Abbey itself.

Lines of vehicles parked on verges were also reported at the Cow and Calf Rocks outside Ilkley while car parks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park which were opened for the weekend proved busy.

The car park in Malham was filled to overflowing within hours on both days with vehicles crammed onto every available square metre of the site.

Police cones were in place to stop people parking on the village's roads but there were still dozens of visitors and it looked typically busy for a summer weekend.

Bradford Council, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales National Park had earlier appealed to people to continue to Stay at Home and discouraged people from travelling but roads were busier than they have been with more cars and motorcycles in evidence.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy Places and People, said: “The easing of restrictions will allow people to spend more time outdoors and gives us a wider choice of places to visit and activities to participate in.

“But we still need to exercise caution to stop the spread of this virus. We have to only go out or exercise with members of our own household and we still need to stay at home as much as possible."

David Butterworth, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Everyone should be observing the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

“Prospective visitors should be aware that the Yorkshire Dales experience they may have been used to will not be the same. Most local businesses remain closed, including cafés, restaurants, pubs, and many local shops. Visitors will need to be self-sufficient when they visit the National Park.

“National Park Authority car parks and toilets will be open, but, if car parks are full, we would ask people not to park in villages or on verges in order to keep local communities safe. And remember that you can’t stay overnight."

Welcome to Yorkshire CEO James Mason tweeted: "Mixed reports of visitor behaviour/traffic to Yorkshire’s countryside and coast yesterday. Most people respected the message and stayed at home. Thank you!"