Published: 06:00, 24 August 2020
The National Trust is set to let visitors inside one of its Kent properties for the first time since lockdown.
The world famous Sissinghurst Castle Garden, once home to Vita Sackville-West, reopens its doors today for the first time since March, with new safety measures, reduced numbers and one-way systems.
Visitors entering the Long Library at the property will also notice some changes inside, including the removal of interactive displays and comment cards. They will need to wear a face covering inside and book online in advance, with entrance to the Long Library not guaranteed, due to social distancing and less numbers of visitors.
The trust had been running a pilot to open some of its houses since last month and the latest reopening marks the start of a phased reopening of indoor spaces.
John Orna-Ornstein, the National Trust’s director of culture and engagement said: “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.”
General manager Philip Barnes said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to the Tower and exhibition spaces at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Recent weeks have seen visitors to the garden eager to see inside. Although the visit will be different than normal with a one-way visitor route, we are really excited to be able to open the doors to these indoor spaces and welcome our visitors in.’
The Long Library will be open daily from 10.30pm to 5pm with last admission at 5pm. The garden is open 10.30am to 5.30pm. Visitors will need to book their visit in advance online here.