Reopening and coronavirus FAQs

Spring reflections at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

We want to keep you updated about how we are responding to the coronavirus situation. Below are answers to some of your most frequently asked questions in the light of current guidance.

In these FAQs:

How do I get in touch if I have an urgent query?

Our Supporter Services call centre is available for urgent calls, with a reduced team, so please bear with us. We're working hard to keep our website up to date so please do use it to keep informed. If your query can't wait, please call us on 0344 800 1895 or email enquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk and we'll do our very best to help you.

What's open?

Which places are open?

We’ve opened more than 135 gardens and parks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland through advanced booking. More than 200 of our coast and countryside car parks in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are also open.

We're opening these places at a reduced capacity to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. Visitors to our gardens and parks must book beforehand. New tickets are released every Friday and we'll continue to open more places over the coming weeks.

We will only open places where we are able to maintain social distancing. Our reopening will be phased and gradual.

We've reopened nine houses in England and Northern Ireland as part of a test pilot to welcome back visitors to our houses and buildings.

We ask all visitors to visit property web pages ahead of travelling for the latest information about what facilities are open and whether you need to book.

What’s happening to your places in Wales and Northern Ireland?

Wales

From Monday 22 June we started to reopen our coast and countryside car parks in Wales for local use only, in line with Welsh Government guidance. From Monday 6 July, we’re starting to gradually reopen gardens and parklands in Wales. All visits need to be booked using the booking system on our website. 

Northern Ireland

Most of our car parks in Northern Ireland are now open, and many of our gardens and parklands are also open and visits must be booked via our website.

We welcome the news from the Northern Ireland Executive to allow caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering accommodation to open from 26 June, and for restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and visitor attractions to open from 3 July.

We're now developing our plans to effectively manage social distancing and begin reopening more of our places, starting with the house at The Argory, County Armagh.

Can I see a list of places you’re opening?

For our open gardens, parklands, houses and bookable car parks we have included a list on our website.

When are you opening your houses? 

Nine houses in England and Northern Ireland are open as part of a pilot project. It is the start of a careful and steady plan to reopen our houses over the coming weeks and months and we will continue to follow Government guidance to ensure they open safely.

We are very grateful to our members and supporters for helping us work through these plans, and for their continued loyal support.

Why can’t you open all houses now?

We have over 200 houses many with extensive collections of historic furniture and art – but each one is different and will need its own plan for reopening under the current guidelines.
We wanted to open a small number of places first so the lessons we learn can be passed down to the ones which will open in coming weeks.

The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and local communities is our priority and we want to welcome you back to somewhere safe for a good day out.

Why can’t you open houses faster?

Each house is very different. They were often designed as grand homes for their time not visitor attractions and each has very different challenges. We want everywhere to be safe for our visitors, volunteers and staff when it does reopen as well as looking after the houses and their collections properly. It is not work which can be rushed.

Which houses are opening in the pilot

Nine of our 200 historic houses are open as part of a pilot to test what works best. They are: 

  • Barrington Court, Somerset
  • Killerton, Devon
  • Kingston Lacy, Dorset
  • Lyme, Cheshire
  • Nostell, West Yorkshire
  • Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
  • Petworth, West Sussex
  • The Argory, County Armagh
  • Packwood House, Warwickshire

When will other houses start to open?

We hope to be able to announce other places opening over the next few weeks. 

Each one of our 200 places is different – which is why we are running a pilot scheme to open just a small number initially and share the lessons with those which will open in coming weeks.
This does not just affect the National Trust - reopening is a challenge being faced by many others in the heritage sector who are working to reopen their buildings only if they can be done safely.

Will the whole of each house be open? 

It is unlikely. Depending on the property layout, in most cases we may not be able to open all the rooms. Because we are introducing enhanced safety measures, such as one-way systems and social distancing, visitor routes within some houses have been changed and this means less of the house is able to reopen. 

How are you cleaning your places?

We have implemented enhanced cleaning regimes in line with government guidance. 

Will children’s play areas and play trails be open?

Our natural play trails which encourage people to explore and allow for social distancing will be open, however formal playgrounds and play areas will remain closed in line with government advice. Please check the property web page before you visit and follow all signage on site and instructions from staff.

What provisions/facilities do you have in place at those play areas that are open?

While most of our natural play areas are open, we have closed some elements such as tunnels or areas within a building. We have also ensured open areas can accommodate dispersed family use to maintain social distancing, and we have placed handwashing signage across play areas. There will also be toilets and handwashing facilities nearby at the property.

Will walking trails be open?

Many of our walking trails will be open but please check the property web page before you visit and follow all signage on site and instructions from staff. 

Are people allowed to bring picnics? 

Yes, as long as people follow government guidelines on social distancing and take their litter home with them.

Barbecues are a fire risk and aren't permitted at the vast majority of our places. Please don't bring a barbecue when you visit.

Will you have picnic tables? 

Benches and picnic tables will be available where they are dispersed and allow for social distancing.  

How many places are you hoping to open initially?

Our reopening will be phased and gradual. Over the coming weeks more of our places will open.  

What is happening at smaller places?

Smaller places where social distancing cannot be maintained will remain closed. 

How will you enforce social distancing?

The safety of our staff and visitors is our main priority. Our estates, gardens and houses that are reopening will have a strictly limited capacity and anyone wishing to visit must have booked before arriving at the site. 

At the gates, we will have a system in place to organise the flow of vehicle and foot traffic, minimise the need for person-to-person interaction and maintain a safe flow of people coming onto the property. 

Your tickets and membership card will be checked through your car window. Please wait patiently and show your documents through the window when asked.  

Once on site we’ll have set up the best routes for you to follow to avoid crowds or queuing. 
If you’re visiting one of coastal or countryside places and don't find a parking space please leave and return later.

Why have some places opened over others? What was your criteria for deciding which places should open?

Local managers have taken into consideration a number of factors when deciding whether to open and which areas of their places should open, including whether it is large enough to maintain social distancing so we can protect public safety. 

Will there be hand sanitiser on site?

Some places may have hand sanitiser available but you are strongly advised to bring your own. 

Car parks

Are your car parks open?

Many of them are, and some require you to book in advance. Please check the property web page to find out what is open and if you need to book.

Why haven't you opened all your car parks at the same time following government advice

Some of our car parks have facilities and require staff. Getting staff back from furlough, to manage our car parks and facilities, and ensuring we maintain their safety, has to be carefully planned in line with government guidance. Initially we plan to start opening some of our car parks that don’t require staff. Car parks, which are staffed and with facilities, will take longer to reopen.

Are you charging for car parks

Members can park for free. Non-members will need to pay where there are pay machines.

Do I need to book to use a National Trust car park?

To manage numbers at some of our busiest car parks we have introduced a booking system. There are also a number of other car parks which don’t need to booked. These tend to be smaller car parks which don’t have facilities or require staff.

Some of our car parks, which specifically cater for our houses, gardens and parklands will remain closed.

We ask that you visit the property web page ahead of travelling for the latest information about what facilities are open and whether you need to book.

How will I know which car parks I need to book in advance?

Before you set off on your journey, please check the property web page for the latest information.

Will I need to pay to book a space?

Members won’t need to pay but do need to book, but non-members will pay at the point of booking their space. 

What facilities will you have open at car parks?

This will differ from place to place dependent on a number of factors. However, where we can, we will try to publish available facilities, such as toilets, on property web pages, but please be aware these can change from time to time.

How long can I park for?

The length of stay will depend on the car park you are booking. The booking form will specify how long you can park for.

How do I know which car parks are open, do you have a list?

The process of opening our car parks will be gradual from 13 May and decisions on what will open will be made by local judgement to avoid hotspots for the safety of visitors and local communities. This means some car parks may not open at all. Where car parks feature on our web pages we will update information. However, it’s worth noting that we have a wide range of car parks in a number of locations which don’t necessarily feature on web pages.

Our booking system

Is car parking included in my booked ticket price? 

Members always receive free parking, and in many cases parking is included for paying visitors, however we advise that they check parking machines when they arrive as this may differ from place to place. 

Do I need to book one ticket per car or per head?

It depends. If it is just a car park, there’s a per car ticket. For most of our places, you need a ticket per person. Details about what you need to book and how to do it can be found on property web pages.

How can I book a visit?

By visiting property web pages.

Is car parking and the garden/park included in the ticket?

Yes. Your ticket will include a space in the car park and you are welcome to explore the garden and grounds of the house – if available.

Will everyone who applies for tickets gain entrance to the house? 

No. We already know that not everybody who comes to one of our places wishes to see the house. But unfortunately, under social distancing rules, the number who can explore the house will be far fewer and we realise this may create some disappointment. Everybody with a ticket will have a car park space and be able to visit, but because social distancing greatly reduces the number who can explore the houses, we cannot guarantee entry to the house for everybody who may want to see it. 

But I/a family member doesn’t have access to the internet

For those who are unable to book online you can call our booking team on 0344 249 1895. 

Will I have to print out my tickets or can I show them on my phone?

Visitors should show their tickets on their phone, and at some places they may be asked to share their name and booking number. To maintain social distancing, we’re asking visitors not to pass anything to our staff.   

How many people are you going to let in each day?

We're opening our places at a reduced capacity to ensure we can manage social distancing and maintain public safety. Capacity will vary depending on the property.

Do I need to book if I’m arriving on foot or by bicycle? 

Yes, if you're visiting a garden or parkland, you will still need to book one ticket per person. Tickets are booked in advance using the main online booking system via the property web page. You will need to show your ticket confirmation when you arrive for your visit.

How will your booking system work?

Half-hour arrival time slots will be available. The last slot will be one hour before usual closing. Properties can choose their own opening hours, which will be advertised on their web page. 

One week of booking will be opened at a time. The following week’s booking will open at a fixed point the week before. Booking closes at 3pm the day before the visit. 

Visitors arriving at gardens and parklands by car will be asked to show booked tickets through their vehicle window before parking. Those arriving on foot will be checked by a small team of staff who will adhere to social distancing. 

Do carers need to book a ticket?

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 pre-booked ticket.

How will people have to show their booking?

Visitors arriving at gardens and parklands by car will be asked to show booked tickets through their vehicle window before parking. Those arriving on foot will be checked by a small team of staff who will adhere to social distancing. 

Will anyone be allowed in?

No, we are introducing a booking system so we’re able to control numbers to maintain public safety. However, the booking system will be open to members and non-members. Charity tax law means our places must be available to everyone – not just members. 

What happens if people turn up on the day?

They will politely be turned away. It is important that any visitor wanting to use one of our bookable car parks, or gardens and parkland must book in advance. 

How long can I stay? 

Some busier places and those with limited space may introduce a two-hour stay limit. This information will be on the booking system before you book a ticket as well as on your ticket itself. Please check property web pages for the latest information and to book a ticket.  

Why can’t we stay longer? 

To maintain social distancing and protect public safety we have had to limit numbers which is why we’ve introduced a booking system. To make this system fair and to ensure as many people as possible get a chance to enjoy our places, some of our places are introducing a time limit. Details of time limits will be highlighted on property web pages, which you will need to visit to book a ticket and to find out what is open.  

How will I know what is open?

Check the National Trust website. Please do not assume your local property is open or simply turn up – you’ll be politely asked to turn around. Entry will be to those who have booked tickets in advance 

How often can I visit?

We are looking forward to our members and visitors returning, but in order to keep everyone safe, we’ve had to significantly restrict capacity.

We’re asking everyone to be considerate and only book one visit a week for the time being.

Can I sell on my ticket?

Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale. We will cancel tickets which we believe have been resold.

Can I cancel my booking?

Members can cancel their bookings online through the Eventbrite website. We ask that you do so in good time, if you can, to make the tickets available for others as they are in high demand.

If you're not a member and you need to change your booking, please contact our central booking office on 0344 249 1895 and we will try to accommodate your request. We cannot change or cancel bookings after 3pm the day before your timeslot, in any circumstance. Our terms and conditions at the time of booking state no refunds.

Why are your tickets selling out so fast? 

We’re aware that there continues to be high demand for our places which have reopened. We are gradually reopening our gardens and parklands, and have limited capacity to ensure we can manage social distancing and maintain public safety.

With 5.8million members and limited tickets, we expect our places to book up quickly as demand outstrips ticket availability. Local managers are monitoring visitor numbers and social distancing, and increasing ticket availability where it is safe to do so. We’re also reopening more properties on a weekly basis. We have contacted members, for whom we have email addresses, to make them aware of the booking process, so they have the best chance of booking tickets.

We are so thankful that our members and supporters have stood by us as we work through these unprecedented times, and we ask for their continued support as we make this gradual transition a success so we can get back to offering nature, beauty and history for everyone.

Why have I been put in a 'waiting room' for tickets?

We're experiencing exceptionally high demand for tickets at the moment so many people are being placed in a queue to allow Eventbrite to manage the numbers of people booking at one time. Wait times differ depending on the numbers of people trying to access specific places. Thank you for bearing with us, your support as a member is really important.

Tickets are selling out because the garden is so busy – why can’t I just book tickets for the house separately?

We’re unable to book separate tickets for the house or garden under the current booking system. We understand this may cause difficulties. Details of how you can visit the house will be included in your booking confirmation.

Is it quicker to book if I call your Supporter Services Centre/booking team?

No, our teams act on behalf of visitors who do not have access to the internet or need additional help. Our colleagues on the phone will still need you to join a queue to book. 

Our advice is; if you're online and in the queue it's best to stay there until you get through, otherwise you risk losing your place in the queue. With 5.8million members and about 160,000 tickets available, we expected our places to be booked up quickly, as demand outstrips ticket availability.

We are delighted that over 90% of those successfully booking are members. It is important that we continue to limit capacity so we can manage social distancing and maintain public safety.

Why does it show no tickets are available for members, where it's showing non-member slots are booked?

This is something we're unable to change within Eventbrite. The system shows member slots as ‘unavailable’ and non-member tickets as ‘booked’ due to the system processing much higher volumes of tickets for members. Eventbrite will show tickets as ‘unavailable’ whilst the ticket booking process is still underway. We haven't got specific tickets allocated for members or non-members. Our members have access to all available tickets, and we're pleased to say over 90% of those booking are our members. 

I can see that X amount of slots are available for members, but only X for members - why is this?

We haven't got specific tickets allocated for members or non-members. Our members have access to all available tickets, and we're pleased to say over 90% of those booking are our members. The number of tickets showing as available is the total number of tickets left and isn't specific to members or non-members. For example, you may see that two tickets are showing for members as well as non-members - this means there's a total of two tickets left, rather than four tickets allocated between members and non-members. We're sorry this isn't something we're able to change within Eventbrite. 

I can see there's only one ticket available for a member, but then you've got a family ticket available for 2 adults and 3 children for the same slot, why?

The number of tickets that are showing as available is the total number of tickets left. If Eventbrite is showing just one ticket is available, this means if someone was to select a family ticket they wouldn't be able to proceed with their booking as this would require 4 or 5 tickets to be available. We're sorry this isn't something we're able to change within Eventbrite. Our members have access to all available tickets, and we're pleased to say over 90% of those booking are our members.

Your visit

I’m not a member. Will I have to pay?

Yes, prices will vary across properties and will depend on how much of the property is open.

Like many organisations, we have suffered a significant loss of income during the lockdown, which has resulted in many of our conservation activities being stopped. Your money will help us to continue vital conservation work and keep providing access to nature, beauty and history. 

I’m a member. Can I book free entry for non-members in my group using my membership?

No, each member booking needs to be against an existing membership. You’ll need to enter your unique membership number when you book and membership cards will be checked on entry.

What can I expect from my visit?

Given the unprecedented circumstances, and in order to keep everyone safe, your visit to the National Trust will feel different from normal.  

Firstly, if you’re planning on visiting one of our estates or gardens, you will need to have booked via the National Trust website before arriving. Our places will be free to members. Non-members will need to pay an entrance fee when they book their visit.  

We are urging everyone to stay local, avoid busy places and continue to follow government advice on social distancing. For this reason, not all parts of the property will be open, but we’ll show you the best routes when you arrive.  

You may be asked to follow arrows, follow a one-way system, or slow your pace. It’s vital that you follow these instructions – they’re for everyone’s safety.  

We know how much our visitors are looking forward to returning but are asking everyone to be patient, play their part and not all rush to our places.  

Are you giving members priority on booking or giving them exclusive access?

Charity tax law means our places must be available to everyone - not just members, so we're unable to offer exclusive access or prioritised booking to anyone. Even if we allowed members priority booking, we would still need to hold back a small number of tickets for non-members so they also have an opportunity to visit. With over 90% of tickets booked by our members, priority booking wouldn't result in any more member slots being available.

Will you be asking visitors to wear face coverings or other PPE? 

Wearing a face covering is now mandatory for customers in shops, supermarkets, indoor cafés offering counter service and other enclosed spaces where you may encounter people you don’t usually meet in England and Northern Ireland. This includes museums and stately homes.

Visitors to all such National Trust settings in both England and Northern Ireland will be required to wear a face covering. These spaces include houses, shops, indoor cafés offering counter service, and other enclosed areas. Where necessary, staff will politely request that visitors wear one.

​Will you be asking staff to wear a face covering?   ​

Face coverings are not currently compulsory for staff, unless required by law. Staff, volunteer and visitor safety is of paramount importance and we have put in place a range of mitigating factors including social distancing, hand sanitising stations and Perspex screens at till points.  

However, if staff or volunteers choose to wear their own face covering we respect their wishes to do so. Should government guidelines change then we will review our approach.  

Are you providing face coverings for visitors?   ​

We will not be providing face coverings, although a small number will be on offer to buy in some shops. We encourage visitors to bring their own.

Why don’t I have to wear a face covering when I’m in museums, indoor cafés offering counter service or shops in Wales? Why do I have to wear one in Northern Ireland?

Face coverings are mandatory in England and Northern Ireland, and visitors to all of our indoor settings here will be required to wear a face covering.

There are no requirements in Wales. We will be following further government updates and review our approach accordingly.

How will I know when and where I need to wear a face covering?  ​

There will be a note on the booking system reminding visitors to bring a face covering and, where possible, signs on site will remind visitors entering houses, shops, indoor cafés offering counter service, and other enclosed spaces. Staff and volunteers will be on hand should visitors have further questions or concerns, but please do bring a covering with you.  

Will you refuse entry to those who do not wear a face covering?   ​

Admission to houses, shops, indoor cafés offering counter service, and other enclosed spaces in England and Northern Ireland can be refused to anyone not wearing a face covering, although this will be at the discretion of the House, Retail or Food and Beverage Manager.

Do children have to wear a face covering in National Trust shops/indoor cafés offering counter service?  

Government guidelines state that children under the age of 11 do not have to wear a face covering. Anyone who is unable to use a face covering due to a physical or mental disability or impairment is also exempt, as is assisting someone who is lip reading or relies on lip reading to communicate.

Where does the need to wear a face covering apply in a café?

Visitors to cafés in England and Northern Ireland will be required to wear a face covering when entering and using internal counter areas (including order and collection points). There's no requirement for face coverings to be worn at outdoor food outlets or when eating and drinking.

What do you mean by ‘other enclosed spaces’?

Face coverings are required in enclosed spaces where you may encounter people you don’t usually meet. This may include our exhibition spaces, reception areas, orangeries and other indoor settings, as well as our houses.

There will be a note on the booking system reminding visitors to bring a face covering and, where possible, signs on site. Staff and volunteers will be on hand should visitors have further questions, but please do bring a covering with you.  

Are you using 2m or 1m+ social distancing?

We have planned the reopening around 2m social distancing to meet current government guidance which says to maintain 2m distancing where viable. We will be asking visitors to keep to this as they go round the houses. We want people to feel safe as they are welcomed back to our houses once more.

How long will I have to explore the house?

There are no time limits once you are in the house. We will limit the numbers entering at once to ensure the correct social distancing. 

Will I have to queue to get into houses?

In order to keep everyone safe we are limiting the number of people within the house at any one time. This means that you may have to queue, places to queue will be clearly signposted.

Will you have room guides?

Yes, we will have some volunteers coming back to support us and we are working with them to ensure they can return to the places they love safely and with confidence. 

Will visiting houses be safe?

The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and local communities is our priority. We’re not rushing to open everything at once but to take the time to ensure they meet all the guidelines for safety before we open. 

We’re looking forward to welcoming people back, to see the inside of our houses and some of the treasures in our collection of over 1 million items.
 

Food and drink

Are your cafés open? 

We're delighted to have reopened more than 100 cafés and food outlets in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What food and drink can I expect? 

Since reopening some cafés have expanded their offer to include some hot dishes such as soup and jacket potatoes. As a minimum all cafés and food outlets will be serving hot and cold drinks, some pre-packaged and freshly baked snacks and sandwiches where possible. 

Due to the limited offer we ask visitors with specific dietary requirements to come prepared, should we not be able to provide anything suitable.

Some locations are serving pre-packed children’s items, however this is not at every location. In these instances, some of the drinks and snacks served are suitable for children. Please be mindful of this when booking a visit and come prepared.

Are your cafés taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme?  ​

More than 80 National Trust cafés are taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. This entitles visitors to our cafés to 50 per cent off their bill, up to a maximum of £10 per head on food consumed in the café/food outlet. The scheme applies from Monday to Wednesdays only until 31 August.​

Which cafés are taking part? ​

Follow the link below to discover which cafés are taking part.

Cafés taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme View the list

Will there be somewhere to sit and eat? 

Yes, we have opened outdoor seating at a number of locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and indoor seating at some locations in England and Northern Ireland. We will be opening indoor seating at some Welsh locations after the 3 August in line with local government guidance.

Seating will be limited, so we ask that our visitors are mindful of this prior to booking a visit.

How is my safety and that of the staff being managed in the cafés? 

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority. To ensure that social distance is maintained we’ll be implementing the following:

  • At some of our cafés and outlets we’ll be serving food and drinks in our plant-based takeaway containers. We know our visitors are as passionate about the environment as we are and like to bring their own re-usable cups, but while we are in this unprecedented time we ask that you support our  request to not bring re-usable cups. This is for the health and safety of everyone.
  • One-way queueing system to place orders and for order collection.
  • In line with government guidelines you’ll be required to wear a face covering in our cafés and food outlets in England from 24 July. There's no requirement for face coverings to be worn at outdoor food outlets or when eating and drinking indoors.
  • Card payments only to limit personal interaction, with contactless preferred.
  • Staff will have had comprehensive training prior to reopening to ensure they operate in the safest way possible. 
  • Till and collection points will be screened.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available and visitors will be encouraged to use it.
  • For our seating areas, we’ll be carrying out enhanced cleaning of tables and chairs between uses. Each seating area will be managed by a specific member of staff who will clear and clean the area once the table has been vacated. Staff will sanitise their hands between serving different tables.
  • For outdoor seating there will be a minimum of 2m distance between tables. Indoor seating will be subject to the government’s 1m+ guidance for social distancing. 

What safety standards will be in place for indoor seating?

In line with the latest government guidance we will be supporting the NHS Test and Trace Programme in England, the HSC Test, Trace, Protect programme in Northern Ireland and the Test, Trace and Protect programme in Wales by asking all visitors using our inside seating areas to present their membership card at the till for scanning or leave their name and contact details. Provision of this information is voluntary.

For members the details provided will be your name and phone number or email address as detailed on your membership record.

For non-members personal data will be limited to your name and phone number or email address plus the date and time of your visit, and will be collected while queuing. Provision of this information is voluntary.

The information will be stored securely for 21 days and only shared in response to an official request. After 21 days your information will be securely destroyed or deleted. 

The National Trust will not collect any health-related personal data when you visit.  

Do children or those with exemptions have to wear a face covering in National Trust shops/indoor cafés offering counter service?   ​

Government guidelines state that children under the age of 11 do not have to wear a face covering.

Anyone who is unable to use a face covering due to a physical or mental disability or impairment is also exempt, as is assisting someone who is lip reading or relies on lip reading to communicate. ​​

Where does the need to wear a face covering apply in a café? ​

Visitors to cafés in England and Northern Ireland will be required to wear a face covering when entering and using internal counter areas (including order and collection points). There's no requirement for face coverings to be worn at outdoor food outlets or when eating and drinking. 

Can indoor tables be booked or is it first-come-first-served?

Seating will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. We advise that if visitors are particularly keen to sit inside this may involve a wait, until a table is vacated.

Can I bring my own food and drinks? 

Yes, visitors may bring their own food and drink. Providing that social distancing guidance is followed if sitting down to eat, this can be consumed at designated picnic spots (where available) and in the outdoors. 

We ask visitors not to consume their own food and drink in seating areas that are associated with the café/food outlet, as these are for café/food outlet customers only.

Please don’t leave any litter behind.

Will tap water be provided even if the café isn’t open? 

To minimise the possibility for contamination from refillable bottles, we’re asking visitors to come prepared with the water they’ll need for their visit. Bottled water will be available in cafés, where open.

Will there be facilities to warm milk for my baby? 

To ensure a safe flow of visitors, and that social distance is maintained, cafés will be designed with one-way routes. A bottle warming station could stem the flow of visitors and make it more difficult to maintain social distancing. The warmer itself could also increase chances of cross-contamination, therefore there will not be the facility to warm milk during this time.

Will those with physical disabilities and young children have priority in seating areas?

Wherever possible we’ll do our best to prioritise those with physical disabilities. We’ve taken into account the spacing of our walkways to ensure access is suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs, while ensuring that social distancing measures can still be maintained.

Where possible, we’ll be asking for pushchairs to be situated in buggy stations to avoid the blocking of walkways, and will provide highchairs upon request.
 

Shops

Will shops be open? 

Following the government's easing of COVID lockdown restrictions on Sunday 10 May 2020 and the guidance that non-essential shops are able to open from 15 June, we are delighted to be in the position to begin the phased reopening of our on-property shops.

This phased approach will allow us to embed new social distancing measures, which due to the unique character of each of our properties and shops, must be tailored to suit.

It is through your purchases in our shops that we are able to continue to care for the nature, beauty and history we all have deep affection for.

Our online shop is also open.

Why do I need to wear a face covering? 

Wearing a face covering is mandatory for customers in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24. 

All visitors to our shops will be required to wear a face covering and, where necessary, staff will politely request that shoppers wear one.  

Membership

Will you be refunding, extending or pausing payments of memberships while places are closed?

We don't have plans to freeze all memberships, however we're very aware that in the current climate, some of you will be worried about your finances. There are ways that we can help, and you can find out more information on this here.

Will members continue to receive benefits, like the National Trust Magazine?

Yes, we are still planning to issue the magazine. Our 125th anniversary special issue is being sent out now and will arrive with members in May and June.

Holidays

Are you taking holidays bookings?

Our holiday cottages are now open across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Most of our campsites are also now open and welcoming guests who have booked in advance. We’ve made the difficult decision to postpone reopening a small number of our campsites until the 2021 season. Find out which campsites will remain closed until next year here.

We’re also pleased to share that we’ve reopened some of our bunkhouses and bothies. In some locations, it’s not been possible to reopen at this time due to the additional measures required.

Due to the remote locations of our bothies, we’re only able to provide an enhanced clean every three days and we’ve updated the minimum stay to reflect this. We’re sorry for any disappointment caused. 

Group bookings and working holidays

In line with government guidance on social distancing and other requirements, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel all working holidays for the rest of the year and postpone all group bookings until 30 September 2020. 

We’re now in the process of getting in touch with all affected working holidays participants to cancel their bookings and provide them with a full refund.

We know this will come as disappointing news and we thank our guests, working holidays leaders and participants for their support as we continue to regularly review this situation.

We’re also pleased to share that we’ve reopened some of our bunkhouses. See which bunkhouses are now open and accepting bookings here.

Reopening information

We’re closely following all government recommendations and will continue to reopen gradually and safely, with the health and wellbeing of our guests, staff and volunteers as our top priority.

We’re now taking action behind the scenes to make sure all of our guests can enjoy the holiday they’ve been longing for – whether that’s an active summer break by the water or a cosy autumn retreat among the trees.

Find out how we're carefully reopening and operating our cottages and campsites with new procedures and cleaning regime to ensure the safety of our guests and staff:

You can read our full Holidays FAQs here

You've helped us open more than 135 gardens and parklands

How to book your visit and what to expect 

We’ve opened more than 135 gardens and parks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland through advanced booking. Tickets are released on Friday for the following week. More than 200 coast and countryside car parks are open across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read this article to find out what's open and what to expect from your visit.