Date: Wednesday 1 April 2020 – Coronavirus latest information

With the safety of our guests, members, volunteers and staff in mind, and in line with government advice on the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), we’ve made the decision to extend the temporary closure period of our holiday operations until Tuesday 30 June 2020.

All of our holiday cottages, campsites, bunkhouses and bothies are now closed and we're no longer taking bookings for the period of Friday 20 March to Tuesday 30 June 2020.

We know this is disappointing news, however the health and safety of our guests, members, volunteers and staff is our top priority.

If you've booked to stay with us during this time of closure, we’ll be in touch to postpone your holiday. If you’ve received a key and direction details email for your holiday cottage, please disregard this and refer to the cancellation information you've received instead.

We thank you for your patience and support at this difficult time.

Please note

We're currently in the process of contacting all guests affected by this situation to discuss their options. Guests with the earliest booking dates will be contacted first.

In line with government recommendations, we've had to temporarily close our central holidays contact centre for the health and safety of our staff. If your holiday has been affected by the temporary closure, we’ll continue to get in touch and ask that you please wait for us to contact you directly.

For any questions you may have, please take a look at our FAQs below.

Thank you again for your patience in these exceptional circumstances.

What does this mean for me?

We appreciate this will be disappointing news and we still want you to have a holiday to look forward to. Therefore, if you've booked to stay with us during this time of closure, we’ll be in touch to move your holiday to another time of your choosing. We’ll also waive the administration fee.

How do I postpone my holiday?

We're currently contacting all guests impacted directly to help them rearrange and postpone their holiday to a later date.

We completely understand your disappointment and, although the usual route in these circumstances would be for you to claim on your travel insurance, we still want you to have a holiday when we re-open.

Therefore, we’re offering all affected guests the chance to postpone their holiday any time up to 24 months from their original booking with no administration costs. We’re also waiving any increase in costs on your original holiday – for example due to a change in season – up to 15 per cent. If your holiday costs go down, we’ll also refund the difference.

When we get in touch, please do let us know the dates you’d like to reschedule your holiday to and we’ll amend your booking so you have something to look forward to. If you’re not sure of the dates you’d like to postpone your holiday to, we’ll simply hold your existing booking until you’ve had the chance to check with your party and choose a new date.

I’ve been asked to leave my holiday part-way through. Will I get a refund?

We’d hoped that all of our current guests would be able to complete their stay. However, in line with the latest government advice, we’ve now asked all holiday guests to vacate and return to their homes with immediate effect for their own safety.

All guests who’ve been asked to end their holiday part-way through will receive a partial refund and we are contacting them directly to arrange this.

Why has the holidays closure now been extended to 30 June?

We know this is disappointing news and we thank you for your patience and support. The wellbeing of our guests, supporters, volunteers and staff is our top priority and we are regularly reviewing our holidays closure, in line with government advice.

Understandably, we have experienced a high volume of requests from guests to rearrange May and June bookings. Extending our closure to June 30 means we can more proactively and efficiently meet this demand, while maintaining our high standards of service and care.

Will the holidays closure extend again?

These are rapidly changing circumstances and while we hope that we will be able to reopen and welcome guests again from Wednesday 1 July 2020, we are reviewing this on a regular basis and will keep all of our guests informed of any changes.

We plan to review all July holidays in the week commencing Monday 1 June 2020 and if your holiday is affected due to government recommendations, we’ll be in touch that week to give you the opportunity to postpone your stay.

What if I want to cancel my holiday?

Following government recommendations, we’ve now closed our central holidays contact centre for the health and safety of our staff. We kindly ask that you wait for us to contact you directly about your holiday booking and thank you for being patient at this time.

If you’d like to discuss your booking further or would like support on claiming on your travel insurance due to cancellation, please let our team know when they get in touch with you directly.

You can find all of our terms and conditions here:

I have an urgent enquiry - how can I get in touch?

If your query is really urgent and can't wait, please email us at cottages@nationaltrust.org.uk and our small team of staff will do their very best to help you.

For all other holiday bookings outside this time of closure, here are our most frequently asked questions about National Trust Holidays.

 

For all bookings outside this temporary closure period, please find our most frequently asked questions below.

Before booking

How far in advance can I book?

For our cottages, you can book up to two years in advance. For our bothies and bunkhouses, it can vary as they are sometimes used for working holidays and the dates will be released once the working holiday programme for the following year has been finalised.

For camping and glamping, please check the information on the relevant campsite page of our website.

You can get more information about our hotels, by contacting the individual hotels.

What is the preferred changeover day?

This is the usual preferred changeover day for the accommodation. On the whole, we do offer some flexibility on the preferred changeover day within four weeks of departure during peak and high seasons. During mid and low seasons you can request alternative changeover days up to two years in advance.

None of our cottages or bunkhouses allows holidays to start on Sundays, but you can book a bothy.

What if I want to book several cottages in one location?

It's possible, but it’s likely these will have different changeover dates, so please get in touch with the contact centre who will be able to discuss this with you.

What are short breaks and when can I book them?

A short break is any booking lasting less than seven nights. Short breaks can generally be booked within four weeks of departure during peak and high seasons and up to two years in advance for mid and low season departures.  A few properties accept one and two night breaks, but most minimum stays are three nights. See ‘minimum stay’ on the relevant website page.

Short breaks of a minimum of four nights for the festive season can be booked from eight weeks in advance. 

How can I save money?

From time to time, we may offer promotional discounts which are only valid if shown at the time of booking. Promotional discounts cannot be added retrospectively. We reserve the right to change or withdraw a promotional offer at any time by amending or removing the offer from the relevant section of the website. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to book there and then if you see one.

The National Trust magazine sometimes carries a reader offer in the autumn and summer issues.

Is your accommodation suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

For information on our properties which are 'good for accessibility' please use the accessibility filter of the holidays home page or refer to the ‘Good for Accessibility’ page in the brochure. The accessibility guide on the relevant accommodation pages of the website will help you further.

Deaf or hard of hearing visitors can have a fire alarm provided which triggers a vibration on capturing the sound of the main alarm. Please let us know in advance of any members of your party who are disabled or require this facility.

Please let us know if you are taking a guide dog with you.

Is your accommodation suitable for families and children?

Most of our accommodation is suitable for children. If there are any restrictions, we'll let you know when booking. Children over two count towards the maximum occupancy number. We have indicated the accommodation that is suitable for children under two as these will have a travel cot and high chair provided, however these will need to be requested at point of booking. Please note no bedding, linen or towels are provided for cots or rubber under-sheets for young children using the beds.

If we do not supply a travel cot or highchair it means that the accommodation has not been deemed suitable for little ones.

Is there access via public transport?

The best place to check this is Traveline.

Your booking

How much will my deposit be?

You will be asked to pay a third at the time of booking or the full amount if your booking is less than £100 or within two months of departure date. For camping, glamping and working holidays payment in full is required at the time of booking.

Do National Trust members get a discount?

As a charity we are governed by regulations which mean that we are unable to offer financial or monetary rewards to our members. We claim gift aid on our membership fees which means we gain 20% on every membership purchased. To be able to do this, HMRC put rules in place: one of them is charities are not allowed to offer benefits back to members above 25% of the membership value.

Offers appear in the National Trust magazine as they are reader offers – it’s not an exclusive membership magazine.

Is travel insurance provided?

No, we recommend that you take out travel insurance as soon as you have made your booking to cover any unexpected changes to your personal circumstances or if severe weather stops you from travelling. Please also familiarise yourselves with the cancellation policy in our terms and conditions.

Can I transfer my holiday to another date or accommodation?

We’re not able to change bookings less than 30 days prior to the start of your holiday and changes may be subject to an administration fee of £25. Any reduction in the number of nights will be treated as a partial cancellation and cancellation charges calculated in accordance with our terms and conditions may apply.

Can I add extras after I have booked?

You can add extras (where applicable) such as a cot, logs, food orders up to a week prior to travel. Please call our contact centre to arrange this. Late notification of any requested additional services may incur a charge.

Can I order additional linen?

If you’ve got different guests coming to stay during your time with us, you can ask for additional linen. Please let the contact centre know at least 7 days before your stay so it can be ordered. There will be an additional charge for this.

When will I get key and direction details?

You will receive key and directions details approximately three weeks prior to departure. If you have booked within three weeks of departure you will receive this information within 24 hours of receipt of full payment.

What happens in the case of bad weather?

If your accommodation becomes inaccessible due to bad weather, we will try and relocate you. This may be in a different area. We regret we will be unable to offer any refunds and therefore it is strongly recommended that you take out travel insurance after confirming your booking.

Where the accommodation is inaccessible and no alternative accommodation is available, we will allow a transfer of the booking to another time of year at the same accommodation. Any additional costs incurred due to seasonal price differences will be payable. In the case of you cancelling the amended booking, you will be liable for 100% of the original booking, plus any cancellation charges relating to additional costs paid on the new booking.

Staying with the National Trust

What can we expect in the accommodation?

All of our accommodation is self-catering. It's kitted out with a standard inventory and this includes most things you'd need to cook a meal or bake. You'll need to take all food and condiments.

We do provide a pint of milk and enough tea, coffee, toilet roll, bin liners, washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets to help you settle in for a day or so. We also provide some cleaning supplies, matches and firelighters for properties with fires. As far as possible, the cleaning products are environmentally friendly.

Bed linen, towels (one bath and one hand towel per person), tea towels, a bath mat (where applicable) and an oven cloth are provided unless otherwise stated in your booking confirmation. There are a few cottages where this isn’t supplied, so please check the notes on the relevant accommodation page of the website. If you're travelling with young children, we would advise bringing your own rubber sheets. We don't supply linen or bedding for our travel cots. Please note that we supply oven cloths rather than oven gloves.

Where there is a garden, there will be an outside seating area which may be a bench or chairs and a table. We don't currently supply sun loungers, recliners or parasols.

Service cleans

If you’re staying for 10 nights or more, you’ll get a service clean and change of linen mid stay. It will usually take place on the 7th day (the usual change-over day) unless you advise you don’t need it or if the caretaker asks you to agree a date a different day.

Can I bring my pet?

Dogs are welcome in a lot of our accommodation at no extra charge. Please check the accommodation page of the website or brochure for the number of dogs allowed. Please don't bring dogs to non-dog friendly accommodation as you will be asked to leave. For all dogs, we respectfully request that dogs are kept on the ground floor at all times (or upper floor if the living space is inverted). Dogs should not be allowed on the furniture or left unattended in the accommodation. In the event of your dog fouling the gardens, we require you to clean up and dispose of this in the correct manner. We reserve the right to charge for any damage caused to the accommodation by your dog.

We regret that no other pets are allowed at our accommodation.

Can we take more guests to the accommodation than those stated?

The number of guests shown for each accommodation is the maximum number of guests. If we offer a travel cot and highchair, we allow one additional guest under the age of two. Whilst most accommodation has sufficient crockery for two day guests, we cannot allow others to stay over due to managing fire risk and ensuring we have adequate insurance to protect our guests in the event of any incident. We will ask you to leave the premises where over occupancy occurs.

Can we take camper vans/tents/blow up beds, etc for additional guests?

The number of guests shown for each accommodation is the maximum number of guests. If we offer a travel cot and highchair, we allow one additional guest under the age of two. Whilst most accommodation has sufficient crockery for two day guests, we cannot allow others to stay over due to managing fire risk and ensuring we have adequate insurance to protect our guests in the event of any incident. We will ask you to leave the premises where over occupancy occurs. This includes additional guests staying within the boundaries of the property.

Will I have a mobile phone signal?

Please note there may be little or no mobile signal in the area you are travelling to. Advice can be sought from your mobile phone provider, or by visiting Signalchecker.

Is there a payphone nearby?

If there is a telephone in the accommodation or in a shared area this will be mentioned on the website. There is a payphone directory which provides details of the nearest payphone.

Why do only some of your holiday cottages have telephones or WiFi provided?

We recognise our guests may like a telephone or WiFi provided at our holiday cottages and where it is feasible to do this, we will provide them. Over 50% of our properties either have a telephone, WiFi or both installed.

Much of our accommodation has free WiFi available. Those that do will have it mentioned in the brochure and on the website. The WiFi is supported by BT. Please note intermittent connection problems can sometimes occur due to the remoteness of our accommodation and therefore should not be relied upon.

Many of our cottages are based in rural locations which means that it’s not always feasible to install WiFi and telephones. We continue to review new technology which may increase the portfolio of accommodation with WiFi.

Where we do provide telephones, it may be on a shared basis, for example in a shared laundry or shared hallway. The telephone facilities are described on the relevant website pages.

What do I do if I have an issue with the WiFi while on holiday?

In the event you have an issue, a lot of the answers should be available in the Welcome Folder, self-help guide or Accommodation User Guide located in the accommodation. If you have any other concerns, please call us on the number provided in your key and directions information as we want every opportunity to put it right.

What is access to the accommodation like?

Most of our accommodation has car parking close by, but at some you may need to carry your luggage from a car park or even across a field. In some cases, there may be steep or irregular steps and footpaths to the front door, which are an essential part of the character of the building. Others are in secluded locations and can only be reached by driving down a rough track. If you have any concerns, please have a look at the accessibility guide on the website or check with the contact centre.

What time can I arrive?

Please arrive at your accommodation after 3.30pm, as this allows us time to get it ready before you arrive.

What time do I have to leave?

Departure time is 10am, Monday to Saturday. Most of our cottages benefit from a later Sunday checkout of either 12pm or 4pm - please check your booking confirmation for full details.

Can we use a barbecue?

If your choice of accommodation offers a barbecue, this will be shown on the relevant page of the website. Please only use a barbecue if it is provided. In some places, the age and structure of our cottages simply makes barbeques too much of a fire hazard.

Can I bring my bike or other sports equipment?

If you bring your bikes and/or sports equipment (e.g. kayak), please store them outside. We know people can be very protective of their bikes, but our buildings have to take priority. Some of our properties benefit from designated outside storage areas, please ask the Holidays Team for more information.

What’s it like to stay in a heritage building?

Staying in a characterful and historic building is a wonderful experience; however, there are a few things to consider. Plumbing and heating systems are often sensitive and are less efficient than in a modern home. More information will be provided in the welcome folder at the cottage or please contact us if you need help during your stay.

Please don't move furniture during your stay as it can cause damage to the furniture itself and the property.

Bats and other wildlife may be present. Any disturbance caused by wildlife should be reported to us immediately and we will take reasonable steps to assist. Please remember that bats and some other species are protected and it illegal to interfere with them or their habitat.

Can I smoke?

All National Trust Holiday Cottages are non-smoking areas. This includes the use of vapours and e-cigarettes.

Can I charge my electric vehicle?

In some areas, we provide electric vehicle charging points and we’ve partnered with BMWi to have electric car charging points servicing 100 of our places to stay by the end of 2020. Please don’t extend wires from our accommodation as this creates a trip hazard and can also cause supply problems. Zap-map will be able to help you find the nearest charging points.

What happens if I break something during my stay?

We appreciate that sometimes accidents can happen. If you have a breakage, please complete the form in the Welcome Folder for a member of our team. We reserve the right to charge for breakages and damage to the accommodation.

Can I get supermarket groceries delivered?

Yes, however, you’ll have to check with the supermarket that they deliver to the accommodation’s postcode and you’ll have to be there to receive your delivery. It’s therefore a good idea to leave it until the first morning of your holiday in case you get delayed arriving.

Other useful information

Can we book our wedding and accommodation with the National Trust?

We have several National Trust properties which can host weddings. Please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/venue-hire/weddings/. Our cottages cannot be used to host wedding ceremonies or similar events, although they are often used to accommodate guests who are getting married on a property. Many of our properties have cottages on site or nearby and we have groups of cottages, so guests can stay in separate locations but within walking distance of each other.