How to book your visit and what to expect

Visitors walking beside the river at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

There are lots of places open for you to visit, including gardens and parks, and coast and countryside sites. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays. However, where there’s availability, you can now visit some places during the week without booking.

In this article you'll find everything you need to know about what's open, when and how to book, and what to expect from your visit.

What's open to visit?

In England, we're pleased to have been able to keep our gardens, parks and outdoor spaces open through the current lockdown. From 2 December, we'll be able to reopen some houses and welcome you to sit in our cafés again. In tier 3, indoor areas will remain closed and cafés will be takeaway only. Please follow your area's tiering system and government guidance when planning a visit.

Following Welsh government guidance, all places in Wales are now open for Wales residents, and we're pleased to be welcoming many of you again.

In line with Northern Ireland Executive circuit break restrictions, our gardens and parks in Northern Ireland will open from 28 November. All houses, shops and visitors centres will stay closed during the circuit break until 11 December, and cafés will be takeaway only.

How to visit

Your safety is our priority so we’re continuing to limit numbers to maintain social distancing. You can now visit some places during quieter times without booking. If you visit without booking, your entry will depend on visitor numbers on that day and staff will advise you on arrival.

To avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend booking at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays.

Some smaller places will remain booking only so please always check the property webpage of the place you wish to visit before you travel. 

New tickets are released on a Friday for the following week. More information on how to book your visit can be found further down the page. 


How to book

Booking gardens and parklands

Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. You’ll need to enter a valid membership card number for each member booking and membership cards will be checked on entry. Non-members will need to pay.

  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children under five as they don’t need a ticket. 
  • You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit
  • The timeslot is for your arrival time only and the length of time you can stay will depend on the opening times of the place you're visiting
  • Opening times and booking availability is listed on the webpage of the place you wish to visit. You’ll need to book your tickets by 3pm the day before your visit
  • Tickets are for your use only and are not for resale
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email



Carers can continue to access our places for free with an essential companions' card. Carers don't need to book a ticket for themselves, but the person they accompany will need a booked ticket.

Booking car parks only

To open safely, we’re limiting visitor numbers at some car parks. To avoid disappointment, we recommend you book your car parking space in advance for the car parks listed below, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holiday. Members can park for free but you'll need to book a ticket for your car. Non-members will need to pay.

The car parks which need to be booked are: 

  • If you're booking a car parking space only, you'll need to book one ticket per car. You can check the web page of the place you wish to visit to see the car park opening times and booking availability
  • The length of time you can stay will depend on the place you're booking, and the booking form will specify how long you can park for
  • Tickets are for your use only and are not for resale
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email
Plan your visit View places near you

What to expect from your visit

To help keep our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities safe, we’ve made some changes so your visit will be a bit different to what you’re used to. We need your help to enable us to keep these places open safely, so we’d be grateful if you could follow the guidance below:

When you arrive

  • Before you arrive please have your ticket ready to show our staff either on your phone or a printed copy. If you’re a member, you’ll also need to show your membership card
  • If you have booked a ticket please arrive within your timeslot. If you're more than 10 minutes late, we won’t be able to guarantee you entry. Your entry will be at the discretion of the property staff and will be based on visitor numbers and the ability to maintain social distancing
  • To keep visitor numbers at a safe level, the layout and flow of the car park may have changed. Please look out for staff and any signs around the car park
  • If you arrive without a ticket, please head to the visitor reception and our staff will be happy to advise you
  • Campervans that are used for transport are welcome but are not permitted to stay overnight. At this time we’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches

During your visit

  • We may have set up new routes, such as a one-way system. Please look out for any new signs around the property
  • To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit
  • In line with government guidelines, you're required to wear a face covering in many places, unless you're exempt. Please bring one with you.
  • We’re still working hard to keep our gardens looking their best. But with fewer staff and volunteers to help out, things may look a little different on your visit. Please bear with us as we adjust to these challenging times
  • Some cafés and shops may be closed or will offer a limited range. You can check which facilities will be open for your visit on the property web page
  • Our natural play trails which encourage people to explore and allow for social distancing will be open, however formal playgrounds and play areas are closed
  • Dogs now need to be on leads at certain places. You can check the property web page before your visit for the most up to date information and please look out for any signs during your visit

Caring for these places of beauty takes hard work, and with your ongoing support, we’ll be able to continue to conserve the parks and countryside, gardens and historical spaces that we all love. Over the last 125 years, your generosity has helped to protect 780 miles of coastline, thousands of listed buildings and over 200 gardens. It's thanks to your membership that we're able to look after these historical and natural havens for everyone to enjoy for ever.

Plan and book your visit

There are so many places waiting for you to explore this autumn. Find out which of your local places are open, check availability and book your visit.

Reopening FAQs 

Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our phased reopening and the booking system.