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)
We're aiming to open many of our gardens and parks for free during this difficult time, so the nation can use open spaces to relax and refresh, while following the government’s social distancing guidance. We will be closing our houses, cafés and shops this week. pic.twitter.com/ETY1oEo8VZ
— National Trust (@nationaltrust) March 17, 2020
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.”
View this post on Instagram
Cycle hire at Osterley Park will reopen on Saturday 15 February, just in time for half term adventures! Don’t forget we have bikes for all the family (including balance bikes and trailers) from just £3 a bike, providing a perfect way to explore our 350 acres. Half term visitors can also join in craft activities and story-telling sessions, and follow the Tiger pawprints around the Gardens 🐯. Head to our website or get in touch for more details. #halfterm #halftermfun #osterleypark #londondays Image: National Trust Images/John Millar
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.