Visiting Flatford in 2020

Bridge Cottage, Flatford

The COVID 19 outbreak means we are doing things a little differently at Flatford. Not all our facilities are open and we are limited in what we can offer to visitors.

Do we have to book to park?

We are not operating the booking system at Flatford, so you don’t need to book a space before coming.  However, we are limiting the capacity of the car park to prevent the site getting over crowded, so we can run out of spaces from 11am on sunny weekend days.

Are there toilet facilities available?

We have two cubicles open for visitors to use, one of which is adapted for disabled use. Unfortunately we can’t open our full toilet facilities because of the confined spaces in the buildings. We will do our best to keep the facilities open, but we may have to close them at short notice if they become impossible to keep clean. The safety of our staff and visitors is our priority.

Are your walking trails open?

Our walking trails are fully open, but please respect the government’s social distancing advice. Please note that Fen Bridge, which crosses the river Stour between Flatford and Dedham, is currently closed because of structural problems. However, the walk to Dedham beside the river is still open.

Can I walk my dog at Flatford?

You are most welcome to bring your dog for a walk at Flatford.  All we ask is that you keep your dog on a lead at all times. There are ground nesting birds and the area is extensively used for livestock grazing.

Are we able to picnic beside the river?

The fields beside the river at Flatford are not owned by the National Trust and access to these fields should be limited to the public footpath. However, people often find riverside places to eat their picnic. Please take your litter home with you.

Can I bring a BBQ?

Unfortunately we can’t allow BBQs or camping stoves on our land at Flatford. This is because the grass is very dry following a sunny spring and the area is used for grazing.

Can I launch my kayak or paddle board at Flatford?

At present there are no launching facilities on the National Trust (northern) bank of the river.  However, there are several areas where you can launch your craft on the far side of the bridge. Please note that anyone who launches a craft on the river must have a licence from the Environment Agency: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/anglian-waterways-boat-registration-and-application-forms