The National Trust has just announced that from June 3 it will begin a phased re-opening of some of its gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland with advance bookings needed to limit visitor numbers and maintain public safety.
The announcement comes after the UK government updated its advice on ticketed garden venues on May 23, confirming that people in England can now visit gardens and land maintained for public use. And in Northern Ireland, the Executive permitted the reopening of outdoor spaces as part of step one in its Pathway to Recovery Plan.
From next Wednesday the Trust will begin a phased and gradual re-opening of a small number of its gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland. Over the coming weeks more places will begin reopening. People will be able to book their tickets in advance on property web pages. These will be free for Trust members, and other visitors will pay an admission fee.
Gardens and open spaces in England and Northern Ireland will start to re-open where social distancing can be observed but will be to around a third of their normal capacity at any one time. Visitors arriving by car will be asked to show pre-booked tickets through their vehicle window before parking. Those arriving on foot will have bookings checked by a small team of staff who will adhere to social distancing.
Most of the Trust’s countryside and coastal car parks are now open, but car parks with a risk of high demand may need to be closed, and some may need to be booked in advance.
Visitors are asked to check property web pages before travelling to see what is open and what needs to be booked. All admission to gardens and parklands will be by pre-booked ticket only.
All the Trust’s houses, shops, holiday cottages and campsites remain closed in line with government guidelines. All car parks and properties in Wales remain closed in line with Welsh Government guidance.
Are you a National Trust member? Would you be happy to visit a National Trust garden next week or do you feel it is still too soon? Are you suffering from FOGO (Fear of Going Out)? Without the full National Trust experience of café and shop will it lose some of its appeal?