More gardens re-open in England
More historic houses and major gardens in England have now announced the re-opening of their outdoor spaces from early June including Kew, Warwick Castle, Westonbirt Arboretum and Castle Howard.
Kew Gardens and Wakehurst
The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London, and Wakehurst – Kew’s country garden in Sussex – have already re-opened. Priority given to members and all visitors must pre-book a time slot, and can stay for as long as they like once they are in. Most indoor spaces remain closed, including Kew’s glasshouses, Treetop Walkway, and restaurants, galleries and shops. Visitors are advised to avoid coming by public transport, though parking in Kew is also problematic. Some toilets and pop-up catering facilities will be available, and beware that many entrances and exits are now one-way only. Ticket availability was good for June at the time of writing.
Warwick Castle is re-opening its grounds and gardens on Saturday 6th June under limited capacity with reduced hours of operation. Initially this will be for Merlin and Warwick Castle Annual Pass holders only. From Monday 8th June they will welcome all visitors. Tickets must be pre-booked online and indoor experiences remain closed.
Tatton Park, Cheshire
Pre-booking is not required to visit the grounds and gardens of Tatton Park, though the attraction reserves the right to restrict access or change this if social distancing becomes compromised. The parkland has opened first, but the plan is to open the gardens from 8th June.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Forestry England’s National Arboretum has re-opened to pre-booked visitors. Some facilities will be closed, but the restaurant will offer takeaway food and the Tree Top Walkway will also be open with a one-way system.
Borde Hill Garden, West Sussex
This 35 acre garden created by a Victorian plant collector has also re-opened to pre-booked visitors. It may be too late to see Borde’s collection of rare magnolias at their best, but perfectly timed to enjoy the many roses on display. The Gardeners’ Retreat Café will be open, offering a takeaway service for picnics, along with barista coffee and cream teas.
The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park
The Savill Garden has re-opened, but only to Friends and Members, and without toilet facilities. This is their first phase of re-opening, so access to the general public and further facilities is likely to follow within the next few weeks.
Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
At the time of writing, the grounds are only open to members, but will open to the public from Monday 8th June. All visitors must pre-book admission tickets online to control capacity and stagger arrival times. As with most of the other gardens on this list, an arrival slot must be booked, but visitors can stay for as long as they want after entry. The Farm Shop and Garden Centre will be open, with takeaways also available from the cafe. The Adventure Playground and House remain closed.
The Bishop’s Palace Gardens, Wells, Somerset
These distinctive gardens were very quick to re-open on 24th May. Tickets can be booked online or with contactless payment at the entrance.
Other gardens and grounds that have or will very shortly re-open include Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; Great Dixter and Pashley Manor Gardens in East Sussex; Chatsworth, Derbyshire; Leonardslee Gardens, West Sussex; Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire; Hever Castle, Kent; Penshurst Place Gardens, Kent; Sherborne Castle, Dorset; Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire; Whatton House, Leicestershire and Muncaster Castle Gardens, Cumbria.
The gardens of the RHS have already re-opened, and the National Trust is gradually re-opening the gardens of its properties.
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