National Trust gardens will be free to explore from this week.
A chance to escape into nature might just be what we all need right now, and thankfully the good folks of the National Trust are here to help. Yesterday, the organisation took the decision to close their houses, cafes, and shops in line with social distancing guidelines – however, recognising that self-care and fresh air are important in these times, they’re making their parks and gardens free to explore for the time being. (Featured image: @nationaltrust)
By Friday, March 20th, the National Trust will have shuttered any “pay-for-entry” sites – confined spaces like historic homes or on-site cafes – but will endeavour to keep open as many outdoor spaces as possible. In a statement, National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady said “We’ll work, where possible, to keep as many of our gardens and parklands open, free of charge, alongside coast and countryside, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, while observing social distancing measures.”
Normally, one would need to be a National Trust member or pay a fee to get inside these immaculately planted spaces, so if you’re able to get to one easily, I’d suggest you make liberal use of this kind offer. Within the M25, for instance, you’ve got the rolling estates of Osterley Park and House, Eastbury Manor House in Barking, the walled gardens of Fenton House in Hampstead, Ham House and Gardens down in Richmond, and charming Morden Hall Park to explore.
You’ll need to check individual sites to see what is and isn’t open, but since greenery and a breath of fresh air can do wonders for your mental health, I’d urge you to take the opportunity (whilst practicing safe and responsible social distancing and respiratory hygiene, of course!).
Find out more from the National Trust website.