Reopening: English Heritage, National Trust and Historic Houses

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive effect on access to UK heritage properties, but they are now reopening.

Beninbrough Hall - National Trust
Beninbrough Hall – National Trust

All staffed sites were closed in March; that included houses, cafés, shops and toilets.

A few free-to-enter coastal and countryside sites remained open, although parking was very  limited. But now other sites are reopening.

Here are reopening statements as of October 18th from English Heritage, National Trust, Historic Houses, National Trust for Scotland,  Historic Environment Scotland and CADW (Wales).

If you decide that now is the time to join one of these organisations, then check out our Special Offers on annual membership. All heritage organisations will be very keen to get new members or renew previous members to help with their much depleted funding.

English Heritage

Almost all of our historic sites are now open. We’re delighted to welcome you back.

To help keep everyone safe, visitors and Members need to book an arrival time in advance. Once you arrive, you can stay for as long as you like. We’ve reduced visitor capacity by a third and demand for tickets is high, so only book if you’re sure you can make the date and time of your visit.

Each site has specific measures in place to keep everyone safe. Please check the individual property pages for more details.

Around two hundred free-to-enter sites are already open, including places like Iron Bridge, Caister Roman Fort, and many parts of Hadrian’s Wall. There’s no need to book your visits to free-to-enter sites.”

Click here for more information.

National Trust

You’ll find lots of places open now – over 50 houses, 135 gardens and parks, and hundreds of coastal and countryside sites.

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.

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

Click here for more information.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses Logo SmallThe coronavirus outbreak is affecting people and businesses everywhere, including our member houses. While the situation unfolds, we’re trying to keep on top of developments among our houses and keep you aware of any changes to their opening arrangements.

With our member places facing one of the worst crises in living memory, our work supporting independent heritage has never been more essential. We are grateful for the support of all our members. We understand that many will be disappointed by the reduction in free-entry benefits but we’re working hard to ensure that we can still offer a great value membership when brighter times return.”

Click here for more information.

National Trust for Scotland

“Over 40 of our places have reopened, including Glencoe visitor centre, Culloden visitor centre, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the Hill House, Culzean Country Park, Threave Garden, Brodie Castle’s garden and grounds, Arduaine Garden and Crathes Castle’s garden and estate.

Our countryside places such as St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve, Ben Lomond and Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve are also open.

We advise people to avoid visiting at traditional peak times, as much as possible, and to double-check opening times online, in advance of travel. Please also check individual property pages to find out if toilet facilities are available.”

Click here for more information.

Historic Environment Scotland

“We’re re-opening the places you love gradually, safely and in line with government guidance.

Explore our sites which are now open and those with pre-booking available.

Visitors can also travel to over 200 free sites where physical distancing can be readily maintained.

If a free to access site is likely to be busy and you think that it may be difficult to maintain physical distancing, please consider visiting another nearby location or visiting at another time instead. Please also bring your own hand sanitiser.

Be sure to check a site has reopened before you travel.”

Click here for more information.

CADW (Wales)

“With guidance from Welsh Government, we’ve reopened many of our 130 heritage sites around Wales. Pre-booking tickets for our reopened staffed sites is essential, please familiarise yourself with our guidance to help you plan your visit safely and within current lockdown measures.”

Click here for more information.

We will update this article as we receive more information from heritage organisations about their response to the coronavirus pandemic.


POSTED 1st OCTOBER 2020 by STEVE HANSON.