Last month the National Trust reopened seven properties in England and Northern Ireland as part of a phased reopening of its 200 houses. which were closed as part of the national lockdown in March.
On Monday 24 August, the National Trust in the South West will see Dunster Castle open their doors daily, for the first time in more than four months – with several new safety measures in place.
One-way systems and limited numbers inside houses will ensure that social distancing is possible, while enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising stations will be made available.
The house is open daily from 10am to 4pm with last admission at 4pm (the garden is open 10-5pm daily). Visitors will need to book their visit in advance by 3pm the day before visiting through the online booking system.
Visits are limited to ensure social distancing and entry to the house is not guaranteed on the day you visit. In line with government guidance, you’re required to wear a face covering in the house.Please bring one with you.
Regular visitors will also notice some changes to their exhibitions, including the removal of interactive displays and comment cards.
The latest round of properties to reopen have been specifically selected to operate within current government guidelines following the pilot scheme launched on July 13.
Since then hundreds of people have visited National Trust houses nationwide with more than 3.5 million visiting its parks and gardens, which were reopened from June 3 in England and Northern Ireland and from July 6 in Wales.
The National Trust will continue to operate an advanced booking system and tickets will grant joint access to the house and gardens. Due to limits on capacity as a result of social distancing, it may not be possible for everyone to access the house during their visit.
John Orna-Ornstein, the National Trust’s Director of Culture and Engagement says: “We have received some fantastic feedback since we started to reopen our places in July and are incredibly grateful for the patience and understanding that visitors and members have demonstrated as we start to welcome people back to our houses. This latest reopening is part of a process to open all of our properties safely and we will announce more in the coming weeks and months. Being able to share these beautiful places and their histories is what the National Trust is here for and we are truly excited to be able to open these houses and welcome people back.”
David Moore, House Manager for Dunster Castle, said: “We are excited to be welcoming visitors back to the castle again, for the past two months visitors to the garden have been eager to visit the castle and I’m happy that we can finally say the castle is open. The visit will be different than normal with a one-way visitor route, a queuing system in place and the visitors will need to wear face coverings when inside. We are really excited to be able to open the doors to Dunster Castle and welcome our visitors in.”
(Photo ©National Trust Images/James Aitken).