Visiting The Firs: What you need to know

Cottage room at The Firs

The Visitor Centre, Exhibition spaces, Birthplace Cottage, Outdoor areas, Orchard Picnic area and Second hand bookshop are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at The Firs from 11 June. We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. You will need to book your visit in advance. You will be turned away if you arrive without a booking. Check What’s On for the latest information and to book. In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit. Please remember that dogs must be on a lead at all times and stick to the designated dog areas.

Staying safe:

  • To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. Look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site. 
  • We have a one-way system in place along our visitor route which will be explained upon arrival if it is your first visit in a while, the map on our Welcome Board, signage, staff and volunteers will also show you which way to go.
  • You’ll find sinks for hand washing in the available toilets. You will find hand sanitiser at the toilets, Birthplace cottage and second hand bookshop. 
  • If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

Parking and arrival:

  • On arrival, please have your tickets, membership card and booking reference close to hand as you arrive.
  • A member of our team will you greet you at our front gate as you arrive in your car, bike or on foot and check you in using your surname and booking reference.  
  • Please park up and head inside our Visitor Centre. We will scan in your membership card at reception and give you information about your visit. Face coverings are required inside our Visitor Centre unless you are exempt.  
  • Please arrive within your half-hour timeslot, to help maintain social distancing. If you’re more than 10 minutes late for your arrival slot then entry will be at the discretion of the property team.
  • There are designated blue badge spaces available close by the Visitor Centre in the car park. 
  • We ask our visitors to stay at The Firs within the recommended 2 hours to allow for safe social distancing.
  • The car park gates will be locked at 5pm
  • Campervans that are used for transport are welcome for pre-booked visitors, but are not permitted to stay overnight. At this time we’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches.
Beautiful blooms in the Sound Garden
Beautiful blooms in the Sound Garden
Beautiful blooms in the Sound Garden

Facilities:

  • Our Visitor Centre, Exhibition spaces, Birthplace Cottage, Outdoor areas, Orchard Picnic area and Second hand bookshop are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at The Firs from Friday 11th June 2021. 

Eating and drinking: 

  • There is no refreshment facility at The Firs but we welcome our visitors to bring their own picnics which can be enjoyed in our Orchard picnic area beside the car park. 
  • We have limited waste facilities on site, so we ask that you take your litter home with you and BBQ’s are not permitted.

Shopping: 

  • Our second hand bookshop is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 5pm 
  • We are employing several measures to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and visitors, including implementing social distancing measures, mandatory hand washing and sanitising as well as signs to encourage visitors not to handle books where possible.
  • Card/contactless payments will be accepted at the reception desk and cash donations can be put in the donations box.
  • To allow for social distancing, there will be a limited number of people allowed in our shop area at any given time. Shop areas will also be cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Accessibility:

  • Designated blue badge parking in the main car park
  • Benches are located around the site for visitors to rest as they walk.
Visitors chatting outside the cottage
Visitors chatting outside the cottage
Visitors chatting outside the cottage

Visiting with your dog:

  • Dogs on leads are welcome across the property except within the Birthplace cottage. Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the property.
  • Please use the dog bins for dog waste and the Visitor Centre bins for normal waste if you cannot take it home with you.
  • For more information on visiting with your dog click here 

How to book

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors from the local community remains our priority and we urge you to book your visits in advance. Every Friday we release new bookings for visits the following week.

  • Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance.
  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don't need a ticket.
  • You'll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.
  • The timeslot is for your arrival time only
  • Bookings are for your use only and are not available for resale
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

Upcoming events

Timed entry to The Firs (18 June - 20 June)

Fri 18 Jun 2021
11:00-15:00
Book your timed entry to visit The Firs