Although I haven’t felt confident enough to attempt trips out to the shops, or been ready for a visit to a pub or restaurant just yet, we have been going out for the past few weeks to visit local outside attractions. We signed up for National Trust membership last July, on trip to the Lake District, and made a lot of use of it during the summer. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to visit many places prior to lockdown this year, but since restrictions have lifted, we have been to Corfe Castle, Kingston Lacy and for a walk at Badbury Rings.
As these places are all outside and open air, I felt a lot safer than I think I would in a shop or enclosed building. We are lucky to have some venues near us with beautiful grounds, as the indoor attractions have remained closed due to Covid-19. The booking process is really straightforward, and means that the venues can limit the amount of visitors per day, allowing for social distancing. As we are members, we have just needed to put in our membership number at the time of booking, but as it is done through Eventbrite, I would imagine payment is also easy, if you aren’t a member.
The slots, especially weekend ones, do book up quite quickly, so it is advisable to visit the website first thing on a Friday, when the tickets for the following week are released. You can book as many attractions as you would like, but obviously don’t book for more than you will be able to visit, so that others can have a chance to visit as well. Under 5s don’t need a ticket booked, and I have had no issue booking for our family and a place for my mum as well at both Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy on a Friday and Saturday afternoon.
When you arrive at the venue, you need to show your ticket (which can be on your phone) to a member of staff, and then you are free to walk around and explore. There were directions put in place at Kingston Lacy, to ensure social distancing was maintained around the extensive grounds, and a short one-way section has been put in place around the castle ruins themselves at Corfe Castle. We felt safe the entire way around both of the venues, and during our visit to Badbury Rings as well. The children absolutely loved being able to go out for the day again, after being in lockdown, and it was just nice to be able to get away from everything for a short while and regain some form of normality once more.
If you are a member of the National Trust, or fancy a day out, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the websites of the venues near to you to check if they are open and offering online booking for tickets. I hope to be able to take the children away somewhere in the UK over the next couple of months, and if we do, I will definitely be looking into which National Trust venues we could visit during our trip.
Are you a National Trust member? Have you ventured out to any of the local venues since lockdown yet?