21/03/20 EDIT – This evening at 9:30pm the National Trust had to reverse this decision and immediately close all gated gardens and parks to help restrict the spread of the coronavirus. The Spring weather saw huge crowds at National Trust properties and with Mothering Sunday tomorrow, the Charity conceded that physical distancing could not be enforced.
The countryside and coastal locations remain open and parking charges have waived. But we encourage people to consider the importance of limiting the spread of Coronavirus and to maintain a safe distance.
The National Trust announced that while it would close houses, shops and cafes to help restrict the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, from Friday 20th March selected gardens and parks would be free entry to encourage public use. They urge people to check their site before travelling and to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines.
The charity was set up in 1895 as a charity that works to preserve and protect places of historic interest and green spaces for the public to use.
On the National Trust website, there is an easy option to search on the homepage for location and postcode to show you all the places near you. In light of this amazing news, we have hand-picked some of the countries top spots which even if the buildings are closed are stunning scenery. We encourage a field trip if you are homeschooling young children. You can create your own nature trail to make the walk more exciting.
South of England
Bodiam Castle, Sussex
While the castle itself is likely to be closed, the landscaped grounds of Bodiam Castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex offer stunning views of the 14th-century moated fortress. Built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge to defend the French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War, it will delight young kids.
Kynance Cove, Cornwall
The National Trust manage many stunning properties along the Devon and Cornwall coast. Our favourite would be the stunning white sand, turquoise sea and rock stacks of Kynance Cove. Located on the Lizard Peninsula, there’s a step 15 minute walk from the National Trust car park on top of the cliff.
I first found the Palladian house and world-famous landscape garden of Stourhead by a chance stop off on the way back to London from Dorset. The 1000 hectare grounds make for a beautiful walk with many hidden treasures along the way.
Address: Stourton, Warminster BA12 6QF
North of England
The Lake District is full of stunning locations like the Gothic Revival Wray Castle which sits on the shores of Lake Windermere complete with turrets and towers. The grounds will make for an excellent walk and explore and there is boating on the lake too.
Address: Low Wray, Ambleside LA22 0JA
Culzean Castle, Carrick
Another stunning Castle on the Ayrshire cliffs, the 260 hectare country park is confirmed to be open but sadly the play park and other gated areas will be closed to the public. The grounds though are full of adventures with a swan pond, deer park, woods and beaches under the cliff-top castle.
Address: Maybole KA19 8LE
Giants Causeway, Antrim
Discover the legend of Finn McCool and the 40,000 interlocking basalt columns of rugged beauty of the Antrim Coast. There are walking trails and many sites to see including Finn’s boot.
Address: Bushmills BT57 8SU