National Trust and RHS to reopen gardens from next week - full list

29 May 2020, 00:00

A small dedicated team of horticulturists care for RHS Garden Wisley near Woking, Surrey
A small dedicated team of horticulturists care for RHS Garden Wisley near Woking, Surrey. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The National Trust and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will begin reopening their gardens from next week with pre-booked ticket systems in place to maintain social distancing.

The National Trust’s phased reopening will begin with around 29 gardens and park properties in England and Northern Ireland opening from June 3.

Meanwhile, the RHS will open its four gardens from June 1, with strictly limited numbers of pre-booked tickets available each day for members and visitors at the four properties.

Safety measures will be brought in, including limiting numbers allowed in the garden centres at any one time and floor markings to help customers queue safely, separate entry and exit points where possible, hand sanitiser points, and card transactions only.

The moves come after the UK Government amended regulations to confirm that people in England could visit gardens and land maintained for public use, while, in Northern Ireland, the Executive permitted the reopening of outdoor spaces.

The grounds of Ickworth House in Suffolk are among those sites reopening
The grounds of Ickworth House in Suffolk are among those sites reopening. Picture: PA

More National Trust sites will open over the coming weeks for properties where social distancing can be observed, and with only around a third of the normal number of visitors permitted.

All National Trust houses and shops remain closed, along with holiday cottages and campsites, and, while coastal and countryside car parks are mostly open, some busier ones may need to be closed or pre-booked, the charity said.

Booking for parks and gardens opens on Friday morning on property web pages via the National Trust website, and will be free for Trust members, while other visitors will pay an admission fee.

Director-general Hilary McGrady said: "We want to provide safe, local, welcoming spaces for people, and, wherever possible, we will open our gardens and parks, and coast and countryside car parks.

"The fresh air, bird song, big skies and open spaces people have missed will be there, but things will be very different, particularly at first.

"We want to thank people for their patience and support while we gradually begin reopening and welcoming our visitors."

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RHS director-general Sue Biggs said: "We are delighted that the Government has said it is safe to reopen our RHS gardens because it is proven that spending time outside in green open spaces surrounded by plants has an immensely positive effect on our health.

"We look forward to welcoming our members and visitors safely back from June 1 and to bringing the joy of plants, flowers, trees and nature back into people's lives, which for so many will be a much-needed tonic."

She added that it is "imperative" that a timed slot ticket is booked in advance on the RHS website for every visitor, warning that those without tickets would be turned away.

The National Trust has announced that bookings for a number of gardens and parklands will open on May 29, with the sites open from June 3 only to those who have booked in advance.

For information and to book people can visit:

South West:

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Killerton, Devon

Lacock, Wiltshire


Attingham Park, Shropshire

Belton House, Lincolnshire

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Hardwick, Derbyshire

London and the South East:

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Scotney Castle, Kent

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Standen House and Garden, West Sussex

Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

The Vyne, Hampshire


Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire

Gibside, Tyne & Wear

Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester

Lyme, Cheshire

Quarry Bank, Cheshire

Wallington, Northumberland

East of England:

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire

Ickworth, Suffolk

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire

Northern Ireland:

Castle Coole, County Fermanagh

Castle Ward, County Down

Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House, County Londonderry

Florence Court, County Fermanagh

Mount Stewart, County Down

Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry

Rowallane Garden, County Down

The Argory, County Armagh

Booking is also required for some car parks. For more information and to book people can visit

The Royal Horticultural Society has also announced the opening of its gardens from June 1 for visitors with pre-booked tickets only, with booking opening from 10am on Friday May 29 for:

Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire

Hyde Hall, Essex

Rosemoor, Devon

Wisley, Surrey