Reopening and coronavirus FAQs

Autumn colour at Stourhead

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?

More than 100 gardens and parks and hundreds of coast and countryside car parks are open in England and Northern Ireland. You can also explore many historic houses in England. 

To avoid disappointment, we recommend you book tickets in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week, around 700,000 tickets are available weekly. 

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the 'fire break' lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus. 

Following the latest official guidance, our historic houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. 

Please check the property webpage of the place you wish to visit before you travel. 

Are your places in Northern Ireland open?

Following the latest official guidance, all National Trust houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. However our gardens and parklands remain open for everyone to enjoy. Please book ahead before visiting.

Are your places in Wales still open?

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and local communities remains our priority. We urge people to follow government legislation, stay at home and not to travel at this time. We look forward to welcoming you back when we’re able to.

What happens if I’d already booked to visit a place in Wales?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to visit us at this time. In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

Anyone who has booked to visit our places in Wales during the lockdown period will receive an email from us soon. We look forward to welcoming you back when we’re able to. 

Do the lockdown restrictions apply if I live in England and want to visit Wales?

Anyone who is in Wales, whether resident or travelling here, is bound by Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown. Travel is limited to essential travel only, for example, for caring responsibilities or for work purposes where people cannot work from home.

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and local communities remains our priority. We urge people to follow government legislation, stay at home and not to travel at this time. We look forward to welcoming you back when we’re able to.

Please visit the Welsh Government website for further information on the lockdown restrictions.

Can I see a list of open places in England and Northern Ireland?

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

Are your houses open? 

Many houses are now open in England. 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.

Following the latest official guidance, our historic houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. 

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

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.

Following the latest official guidance, all National Trust houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. 

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.

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.

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

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. 

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.

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 has been gradual since 13 May and decisions on what will open are being 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

Do I need to book?​

We still employ a pre-booking system and, where possible, encourage visitors to use this in the first instance. However, at quieter times during the week, some places are allowing visitors to turn up on the day without having booked, although entry will depend on capacity on that day. It is still necessary to use the booking system at weekends and bank holidays.​

The booking system is open to members and non-members. Charity tax law means our places must be available to everyone – not just members. 

How can I book a visit?

By visiting property web pages.

Is it still safe to visit without booking?​

We are still adhering to government guidelines around social distancing and are implementing one-way systems at our places with enhanced hygiene measures like hand sanitising stations. Face coverings are compulsory for visitors inside our historic houses and we carefully monitor numbers to ensure visitors, staff and volunteers are safe. There will still be a limited number of slots available each day for every property.​

Why do you have to book some places, but not others?​

Many of our coast and countryside places do not need pre-booking and the latest information will be on their website.​

Some of our places will be able to welcome more visitors than others each day so pre-booking may not be necessary here. However, to avoid disappointment we'd always recommend booking in advance. It is still necessary to book at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays.​

Why was I turned away even though you say booking isn't required​?

We would encourage all visitors to book in the first instance where possible. Booking at weekends and bank holidays is still necessary. However, at some of our places it is possible to visit on the day without having booked, although entry will depend on capacity that day.​

If people can just turn up how will you keep them safe?​

Ensuring the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority. We still have limited capacity at our places in order to allow for social distancing to be maintained. In some places there will be one-way systems and visitors will be asked to follow arrows and slow their pace. ​
We would ask visitors and members to use their own judgement on visiting our places if they fall into a clinically vulnerable category.

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.

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 does 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. 

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 often can I visit?

We're 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?

If you’re a member the option to cancel or change your booking can be found in your confirmation email by selecting ‘view and manage’ your order online underneath your order summary. 

Members can also cancel their bookings online through the Eventbrite website.

We appreciate you doing this 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’ll 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 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 5.6million 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 non-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 per cent 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 per cent 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.

Please always 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.  

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.

Do I need to wear a face covering?   

Wearing a face covering is now mandatory for customers and visitors in shops, indoor cafés offering counter service and other enclosed spaces – including stately homes - where you may encounter people you don’t usually meet, unless you are exempt. This applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Where necessary, staff will politely request that visitors wear one.

In Wales, face coverings are also mandatory for staff and volunteers in the above settings.

In England and Northern Ireland, it is mandatory for staff and volunteers to wear a face covering in indoor cafes, shops and retail as well as visitor transport (eg shuttles).

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.

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, Northern Ireland and Wales, can be refused to anyone not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt, although this will be at the discretion of the House, Retail or Food and Beverage Manager.     

Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?  

Government guidelines state that children under the age of 11 in England and Wales, and under 13 in Northern Ireland, 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, Northern Ireland and Wales 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 one million items.

Why do I need to give my details twice? Why can't I scan my membership card at house entry?

England and Northern Ireland

Our cafés use scanners to record member information. At houses where we do not have the necessary scanners, data will be collected manually at the point of entry. In some instances, it may be necessary to provide information twice as there may be those who visit one and not the other. Those with the test and trace app will be able to scan their details using QR posters at National Trust entrance points.

Wales

Data for test and trace will be collected via the online booking system. Providing details for test and trace is a legal obligation. In the instances which see people access places in Wales without pre-booking, entrance may be refused to those who do not comply with these laws.

Food and drink

Are your cafés open? 

We're delighted to have reopened more than 100 cafés and food outlets in England and Northern Ireland. In line with government guidance we have also reopened indoor and outdoor seating at some places in England.

In line with the latest official guidance, we're offering takeaway service only at our cafés and food outlets in Northern Ireland.

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

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.

Will there be somewhere to sit and eat? 

Yes. We have reopened indoor and outdoor seating at many locations in England. Seating will be limited, so we ask that our visitors are mindful of this prior to booking a visit.

In line with the latest official guidance, we're offering takeaway service only at our cafés and food outlets in Northern Ireland.

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:

  • 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 and Northern Ireland. 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 and will be adhering to latest PPE requirements, including face coverings.
  • 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.
  • Outdoor seating in England will have a minimum of 2m distance between tables. Indoor seating in England will be subject to the government's 1m+ guidance for social distancing.
  • In line with the latest official guidance, we're offering takeaway service only at our cafés and food outlets in Northern Ireland.

What safety standards will be in place for indoor seating?

In line with the latest government guidance we are legally obliged to support 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 sitting inside and at some of our enclosed outdoor seating areas to provide contact details.

As an organisation it is a legal requirement for us to ask for this information. Provision of this information is voluntary in England and Northern Ireland, but in Wales it is now a legal requirement to provide Test and Trace details.

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.

In England and Northern Ireland

Our cafés use scanners to record member information. For members the details provided will be your name and phone number or email address as detailed on your membership record. If you don’t have your membership card with you, we’ll take this information manually. 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.

In England, those with the NHS Covid-19 app will be able to scan their details using QR code posters.

In Wales

In Wales, data for the Test, Trace and Protect programme will be collected via the online booking system. In instances where people access our places in Wales without pre-booking, you will need to provide your details manually at the café. Those with the NHS Covid-19app will be able to scan their details using QR code posters at National Trust entrance points, but we are also required by law to take your details manually.

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, Northern Ireland and Wales 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? 

Some of our cafes are now able to refill reusable water bottles provided they are clean and in good condition. For the health and wellbeing of everyone, our teams will be following a specific process to minimise handling. Bottled water will also be available to purchase in cafés, where open. Self-service water fountains currently remain out of use.

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.

Can I bring my reusable cup?

Some of our cafes are accepting reusable cups provided they are clean and in good condition. For the health and wellbeing of everyone, our teams will be following a specific process to minimise handling.

Will there still be a charge for using disposable cups?

No. As some cafes/food outlets are still unable to accept reusable cups we will not be adding the additional 5p charge for the use of disposable takeaway cups.

Will hot drink loyalty cards be accepted/stamped?

The hot drinks loyalty card scheme has been suspended until further notice. Redeeming complete cards or stamping current ones poses a cross-contamination risk.

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 were able to open from 15 June, we were delighted to be in the position to begin the phased reopening of our on-property shops in England and Northern Ireland.

This phased approach has allowed 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're able to continue to care for the nature, beauty and history we all have deep affection for.

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

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, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

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're still issuing the Members' Magazine. Our 125th anniversary special edition was sent out to members in the summer, followed by our autumn edition in August.

Holidays

Are you taking holidays bookings?

Holidays in England and Northern Ireland

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our holiday cottages in England and Northern Ireland.

Many of our bunkhouses and bothies are also open.

In England, most of our campsites are open and welcoming campers who’ve booked in advance. However, we’ve had to temporarily close our campsites in Northern Ireland until 12 November due to government guidance.

Holidays in Wales

In line with Welsh Government legislation and the ‘fire break’ lockdown, we’ll be closing all of our cottages, campsites, bothies and bunkhouses in Wales from 23 October until 8 November inclusive. We hope to welcome guests from 9 November onwards, pending government guidance.

Group bookings 

We’re pleased to share that we’re keeping our larger holiday cottages and bunkhouses open, with a limit on the number of people that can stay in line with government guidance.

During October and November, we’ll only accept bookings for up to six people, unless exceptions apply. And we’re lowering the cost of our larger holiday cottages and bunkhouses to reflect the new ‘rule of six’.

We’re now getting in touch with all guests who have a booking of more than six people during October and November to discuss their options of changing, postponing or cancelling their break.

Local lockdown 

Before your break, please check the latest government guidance for any restrictions that may affect your travel plans.

If you have an upcoming booking for a holiday cottage, campsite, bunkhouse or bothy that is affected by a local lockdown or intervention, please be reassured that we’ll be in touch with you to discuss your booking options. If you need to change or discuss your booking, please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity. For campsite bookings, please get in touch with your campsite directly. 

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 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

Family walking in the woodland at Castle Ward, County Down

How to book your visit and what to expect 

More than 100 gardens and parks and hundreds of coast and countryside places are open in England and Northern Ireland. Many historic houses are open in England. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at weekends and school holidays. In line with Welsh government legislation, all places in Wales will close from 24 October to 9 November. Please check the property webpage of the place you wish to visit before you travel. Read this article to find out how to book and what to expect from your visit.