Ahead of the UK's latest lockdown, the Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the National Trust have all confirmed they will be doing everything they can to keep their gardens open for public use.

Can gardens stay open over lockdown?

In line with government guidance, these gardens are keeping their doors open over lockdown, enabling the public to access space, nature and fresh air.

The RHS has confirmed that its gardens Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor will stay open for visitors to enjoy fresh air and exercise during the month-long lockdown in England.

The charity cited the need for the public to access sanctuary spaces for their mental and physical health during the time the country will be on lockdown. Social distancing measures will continue to be adhered to, including enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor volumes. Pre-booking a visit is still essential.

Enclosed areas of the RHS gardens, including Glasshouses, Alpine Houses and Bird Hides, will close from Thursday 5 November in line with the new regulations. Play areas will remain open.

The National Trust has announced that it will keep local access open to parks, gardens, countryside and other outdoor spaces including car parks during lockdown in England.

Indoor spaces at gardens to close

However National Trust shops, houses and holiday accommodation in England will all close from Thursday 5 November.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has also announced that though the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst will remain open, some buildings will be closed. From 5 November the glasshouse, restaurants, shops and buildings will all be closed. Toilets will be open. Pre-booking is essential and social distancing and timed entry slots remain.

The RHS is waiting further guidance from the government over whether their Glow illuminations events within the gardens can take place. Garden centres at each of the four RHS gardens will also remain open throughout the lockdown so that people can continue to grow plants in their houses and out. The catering venues in each of the gardens will be closed but mobile and takeaway options will be made available at all gardens.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is still working through options for Christmas at Kew this year, and more will be announced in due course.

Many other gardens are keeping their doors open in England over lockdown, including Hampshire’s Exbury Gardens, which will be open for the first time throughout November and December.

Always check before you travel to any gardens in England and make sure you are adhering to the government's COVID-19 guidance and restrictions before attempting to travel. Many gardens only allow visitors with pre-booked tickets.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London