Our latest statement on reopening and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Close up of an oak leaf
Published : 05 Mar 2020 Last update : 18 May 2020

Our latest statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Friday 15 May 2020

On Monday 18 May a booking system will open on our website for some of our larger car parks so you can once again get access to more open green spaces and nature. 

The opening of larger car parks in England will come days after we start opening some of our smaller car parks in line with government advice. We will be opening up some of our larger car parks in England from Thursday 21 May to visitors who’ve pre-booked their spaces.

Property web pages will contain the details about which car parks are bookable. We're urging visitors to check online for the latest details and booking instructions before travelling. Members will be able to book a space for free, while non-members will need to pay in advance for their space.

 For now, while the First Minister in Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive reiterate the 'stay at home' message, all cark parks in Wales and Northern Ireland will unfortunately remain closed.

Sadly, for the time being our pay-for-entry places, including houses and gardens, will need to remain closed, due to the latest government guidance restricting the public’s use of outdoor ticketed venues.

When we get the chance to reopen any pay-for entry places it will be phased and gradual to ensure that we protect any local communities from being overwhelmed. In order to maintain social distancing when they reopen, we plan to introduce a pre-booking system. 

Tuesday 12 May 2020

For several weeks we have been working on plans to reopen our places. We're really looking forward to welcoming visitors back.

We’re closely following government guidance at all times and are now considering the detailed plan published yesterday afternoon to further inform our own plans. The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and local communities remains our priority. 

From tomorrow (Wednesday 13 May) we will start opening some car parks in England, in line with government advice, so people can access fresh air, open space and nature. Car parks which are staffed and have facilities, will take longer.

However, all car parks in Wales and Northern Ireland will remain closed after the First Minister in Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive reiterated the 'stay at home' message.

All opening decisions will be guided by local judgement. It’s important that we avoid hotspots developing for the safety of visitors and local communities, and we may not open places where this is too great a risk.

For the moment our pay-for-entry places including houses and gardens, remain closed. Any reopening will need to be phased and gradual. In order to maintain social distancing when they reopen, we plan to introduce a pre-booking system. The latest government guidance about outdoor ticketed venues means they remain closed for now. 

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

Thursday 7 May 2020

For several weeks, while our places remain closed, we have been working on plans to gradually reopen them.

The safety of our staff, volunteers and public is our priority. We are following government guidance and will respond to any changes in this as quickly as we can.

Any reopening will need to be gradual and phased and visitors’ experience is likely to be different from usual, including the need to manage volume at our pay for entry places.

Countryside and coastal car park opening will also be phased.

We will need the support of everyone to enable us to keep places open safely. We will be updating the website with details of how and when things might change. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Monday 23 March 2020

National Trust car parks will be closed by the end of Tuesday 24 March in a further attempt to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and to encourage the public to stay local and observe social distancing. 

The move comes as the Trust ramps up its efforts to help the nation fight the spread of the virus, which has already seen it temporarily close its houses, shops, cafes, parks and gardens.  

Director General Hilary McGrady said:

'Following the scenes we saw at the weekend, where visitors travelled to coast and countryside, it is really important that we do all we can to discourage travel, and ask people instead to stay local and observe social distancing as guided by the government. It is so important that people stay at home. We must all work together and not see a repeat of those weekend scenes.

'There is so much the public can do at home, and over the coming weeks our website, social media feeds, podcasts and video will become even more important, ensuring the places of nature, beauty and history that we care for on behalf of the nation can remain open for business virtually while we are temporarily closed.

'We will also be ramping up our efforts to help people connect with nature wherever they are and to find moments of joy in the world around them. We will be providing rich content and staying in touch with our members and followers throughout this time.'

Sunday 22 March 2020

We've sadly taken the decision to close all our gated parks and gardens, in addition to our houses, shops and cafés, to help restrict the spread of coronavirus.

Many of our car parks for countryside and coastal locations will also have to close due to high demand. We urge people to stay local and observe social distancing. Please do not travel.

The move follows the closure of pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and leisure centres announced by the government, and tightening travel restrictions and public health advice.

National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady said:

'We know that people are likely to need space and fresh air in the coming weeks and months and we will do all we can to provide access wherever possible.

'Our countryside and coastal locations remain open with parking charges waived, but we encourage people to stay local and observe social distancing measures.

'Over the coming weeks our digital platforms - our website, social media feeds, podcasts and video - will become even more important, ensuring the places of nature, beauty and history that we care for on behalf of the nation can remain open for business virtually while we are temporarily closed.

'We will also be ramping up our efforts to help people connect with nature wherever they are and to find moments of joy in the world around them. We will be providing rich content and staying in touch with our members and followers throughout this time.'

The latest government information on coronavirus can be found on the Department for Health and Social Care’s website. Follow the link below:

Department for Health and Social Care

Reopening and coronavirus FAQs 

Find answers to some of the coronavirus-related questions we’re hearing the most in light of the current situation at our places.

Family walking dogs

How to book your visit and what to expect 

We're reopening the places you love, gradually, safely and in step with government advice. Our houses, gardens and parklands remain closed for now, in line with the rules about ticketed venues. But we're opening some of our coast and countryside car parks in England, so you can get out into green spaces. Some of our coast and countryside car parks in Northern Ireland will start to reopen from 27 May. You'll need to book for some of them. Read this article to find out what's open, how you can visit, and what to expect from your visit.