Ashridge Estate car parking FAQs

disabled spaces in a car park

We are at the early stages of investigations, but we’d like to provide you with as much information as we can. Here are some answers to common questions about the Ashridge Estate car parking project. We’ll update these FAQs as more information becomes available.

Why do you want to create new car parks at Ashridge?

We need to protect the estate and create a better experience for visitors. The current facilities are inadequate for the number of visitors and cars are causing damage to trees and verges.

How many spaces do you need?

Based on data from car counters and visitor surveys, we aim to achieve 450 appropriately surfaced car parking spaces. There are currently around 200 spaces in existing surfaced car parks, which we intend to retain.

What are the options?

We are at a very early stage and are currently investigating all options to create the most sympathetic, appropriate surfaced car parking scheme for our visitors at this important and much-loved site.

Will we still be able to park and picnic?

We’re very keen to ensure that people enjoy Ashridge as they always have, with direct access to grassed areas to put up chairs and picnic tables.

Will you introduce pay and display?

Members of the National Trust will not have to pay to park at Ashridge. Those who are not National Trust members will be asked to pay a parking charge.

How much will it cost to park?

For non-National Trust members, the fee will be in line with that of similar locations in the area. There will be a short-stay and all-day parking charge.

Why are you introducing car park charging?

Increasing visitor numbers mean that the money we spend on path maintenance, litter

clearance, car park repairs, visitor facilities, dog bins etc. is continually rising. We also need to

raise additional funds to increase the core conservation work in the countryside we care for.

Is the National Trust introducing car park charging everywhere?

The National Trust is introducing car park charges where there’s a strong case to do so. For instance, to regulate parking or to earn additional income for conservation work and visitor infrastructure. Pay

and display machines have been installed at around 170 locations across the country (as of summer 2017).

Will blue badge holders have to pay?

No. Blue badge holders, like National Trust members, will be able to park for free provided they are

displaying a valid form of ID.

I volunteer for the Trust, do I have to pay?

Parking is free for volunteers actively volunteering at the time of parking or volunteers who have

a volunteer card.

What about horse boxes, school coaches, mini buses and motorbikes?

Pre-booked coaches bringing children for an educational visit and annual riding permit holders won’t have to pay to park. Other users will be asked to contribute.

What about visitors who are attending paid-for events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and

guided walks? Or visitors to the shop or café?

Anyone who is not a National Trust member will need to pay the parking charge.

What about those people who live close by and visit the site regularly, e.g. dog walkers?

We want people to continue to come and enjoy Ashridge. We hope regular visitors will support the work that we do to look after this special place by becoming National Trust members.

Membership is currently priced at £64.80 per year which works out at just £1.25 per week.

There are also more than 20 additional designated parking places at Ashridge. We will provide a free map of these, so that anyone who doesn’t want to pay can use the free car parks instead.

What about people who walk, cycle or use public transport?

There is no charge for access, so those arriving by bicycle, on foot or by public transport will

not pay a parking charge.

When will car park charges begin?

Parking charges will be introduced when the surfaced car parking has been created and the pay

and display machines installed. We anticipate this will be in 2019.

I thought the National Trust was encouraging people to get outdoors?

We are keen to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors. However we also have a responsibility

to protect what we look after and we need to ensure we have the funds available to do so.

How do I take out membership?

You can join the National Trust at Ashridge. Just pop into the visitor centre and ask any member

of staff. It’s open from 10am – 4pm daily in the winter months and to 5pm in summer. If you join at

Ashridge, your first year’s membership fee stays at Ashridge so it’s a great way to support your

local property.

How do I make my views known?

Please send your comments or questions to our project manager jennifer.ponsford@nationaltrust.org.uk