By Amy Hunt
Following the coronavirus lockdown on 23rd March, not only were public places such as shops, restaurants and libraries closed, but so too were public green and outdoor spaces.
However, following the government's guidance that we can now spend unlimited time outdoors, and are even allowed to drive to visit beauty spots, the National Trust has finally begun to reopen its (metaphorical) doors.
So has your favourite site reopened already - and if not, when might it?
Which National Trust places are open now?
If you're wondering, which National Trust places are open? It seems we now have an answer!
The National Trust have explained that they have now reopened many outdoor areas such as countryside locations and seaside locations in England and Northern Ireland, but at a reduced capacity in order to protect the health and safety of staff. However, sites remain closed in Wales.
Their website states, "More than 200 coast and countryside car parks are now open. For now, houses remain closed and all places in Wales remain closed following Welsh Government advice."
It's also been confirmed that the National Trust will be gradually reopening a small number of gardens and maintained parklands from today - 3rd June.
The National Trust have posted a full list of sitesnow open on their website HERE, but a small selection includes:
- Corfe Castle, Dorset
- Kingston Lacy, Dorset
- Killerton, Devon
- Attingham Park, Shropshire
- Belton House, Lincolnshire
- Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
- Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
- Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
- Polesden Lacey, Surrey
- Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
- Standen House and Garden, West Sussex
- Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire
- Gibside, Tyne & Wear
- Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester
- Lyme, Cheshire
- Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
- Ickworth, Suffolk
- Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
- Castle Ward, County Down
- Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House, County Londonderry
How has National Trust adapted its bookings policy due to Covid-19?
In order to reopen safely and allow for social distancing, the organisation is however requiring visitors to book in advance to visit any of the above sites.
They've explained that all visitors need to book, whether you're a National Trust member or not, and if you turn up without a booking, you'll be turned away.
Unfortunately, it seems a trip to one the National Trust's many enviable gardens and outdoor spaces has been in high demand, as many of the recently reopened sites are now fully booked.
But never fear - because they've reassured keen visitors that more slots will be available every Friday. And similarly, if you don't see one of your local gardens on the list, they'll also be opening up more parks over the coming weeks, so it's a good idea to keep checking back.
If your local site isn't full and you're looking to book a trip, visit the National Trust website for details. They advise that entry and parking will still be free for members, but non-members will, as ever, need to pay, but this time in advance.
When you come to booking, it looks advisable to head to the website on a Friday when new bookings are announced. You'll then need to choose a 30-minute arrival time slot, and you can book up to 18 hours ahead of the time you're planning to visit.
But, the National Trust advise, "Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit."
So will you be planning a weekend trip this summer?
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