National Trust closes stately homes but keeps parks open

PUBLISHED: 10:34 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 19 March 2020

Visitors in the garden at Blickling Estate, Norfolk. Picture John Millar/National Trust

Visitors in the garden at Blickling Estate, Norfolk. Picture John Millar/National Trust

©National Trust Images/John Millar

Its stately homes across the region are set to close, but the National Trust is keeping its parklands open free of charge.

The trust, whose properties include Blickling Hall, near Aylsham and Oxburgh Hall, near Downham Market, said it would be closing its pay-for-entry sites including houses, cafes and shops by Friday.

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But the charity said it will keep as many of its parklands open free of charge to encourage people to enjoy open space during the period of social distancing.

Hilary McGrady, the trust’s director general, said: “The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive.

“Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.

“While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space.”

The trust also runs Felbrigg Hall and Brancaster Activity Centre, and the Blakeney reserve.

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