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The National Trust reopens its first two gardens in Kent after restrictions were eased

The National Trust has opened the first two of its sites in Kent after they closed during lockdown - but tickets were snapped up in record time.

The trust, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is gradually reopening its venues, but only to those who pre-book tickets to keep visitor numbers down.

The Lime Walk at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The Lime Walk at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Tickets are being announced on Fridays, with the first in the county - Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Scotney Castle in Lamberhurst - announced last Friday. They were fully booked by the weekend.

Car parks had already begun to be opened, and the sites returning opened from today.

Scotney Castle is one of the sites that has reopened to pre-booked tickets
Scotney Castle is one of the sites that has reopened to pre-booked tickets

In a statement the trust said: "We want to make it as easy as possible for you to visit the places you love, and enjoy the landscapes and nature we’ve all missed.

"From June 3, we’re opening a small number of gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland through advanced booking. To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, we've reduced the number of people we can welcome at one time and you’ll need to book your visit in advance.

"Sadly, we can’t open everywhere at once, but we’re working hard to open more places as soon as possible."

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

The trust added: "All visitors must book in advance for the places listed below, even if you’re a member. Sadly, if you don't book, you’ll be turned away. More slots will be available every Friday. We'll continue to add new places over the coming weeks, so if your local place isn't showing as open yet, please continue to check back each week."

Visitors will find social distancing measures and will be given an arrival time when they book.

Check for next week's sites in Kent at nationaltrust.org.uk

For other days out ideas across Kent and Medway click here.

Scotney Castle is sold out this week
Scotney Castle is sold out this week

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