National Trust starts opening parks and gardens - with precautions

The National Trust will reopen some gardens and parks in England and Northern Ireland from June 3rd.

a view of Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is one of the sites which is reopening (Photo: Barry Skeats via FlickrCC BY 2.0)

Annette McGill

The National Trust will reopen some gardens and parks in England and Northern Ireland from June 3rd.

The Trust says it will open nearly 30 sites. More locations are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

The Trust has already  opened more than 200 coastal and countryside car parks in England and Northern Ireland. All National Trust places in Wales will remain closed due to government guidance

COVID precautions

Only around a third of the usual number of visitors will be permitted in order to maintain social distancing. 

All visitors must book in advance, even if they are a National Trust member. Visitors will be required choose a 30-minute arrival time on the day of their visit. Entry will be free for National Trust members, while non-members will pay an admission fee.

Visitors arriving by car will be asked to show pre-booked tickets through their vehicle window before parking. Visitors arriving on foot will have their booking checked by a small team of staff who will adhere to social distancing.

All indoor sites – including houses, cafés and shops – will remain closed.

Thanking key workers

The Trust says it is  encouraging visitors to leave the first and last slots of each day free for key workers. The Trust is unable reserve these times exclusively for key workers, but hopes people will co-operate with the policy. 

The National Trust, which is the UK's largest conservation charity, looks after more than 300 historic houses and almost 800 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Trust decided in March to open their parks and gardens for free, to give people more access to green spaces, but after stricter coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced it was forced to reverse the decision.