Bamburgh Castle is planning to reopen its grounds later this month in line with the Government’s easing of England’s national lockdown restrictions.
From Monday 29 March the 1400-year-old Northumberland castle’s gates will re-open to visitors once again, when the Government’s planned roadmap gives the green light for heritage sites to reopen their grounds for recreational purposes.
It is also the earliest date when the ‘Stay at Home’ message is set to be lifted, allowing people to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of six, or with one other household.
Francis Watson-Armstrong, owner of Bamburgh Castle said: “We are excited to be working towards reopening the castle for visitors after being closed for almost 150 days. We are, however, acutely mindful that the lockdown roadmap is subject to change and we will be following Government advice and regulations closely.
“While the castle has been closed for an unprecedented period of time, we’ve been busy behind the scenes carrying out essential maintenance to conserve the fabric of the castle and its collections and making ongoing preparations to welcome visitors and staff back securely.”
Mr Watson-Armstrong added: “Bamburgh Castle was one of the first attractions in the country to be awarded the industry standard ‘We’re Good To Go’ in recognition of our rigorous Covid-secure measures. We’ve bolstered that with the addition of a further quality assurance, the World Travel & Tourism Council’s global Safe Travels stamp.
“The safety of our visitors and staff remains our absolute priority. As before, we’ll be operating enhanced cleaning, social distancing and one-way routes, limiting visitor numbers and installing additional WC facilities and hand sanitiser stations throughout the site. The rule of six or visiting with one other household regulations will also apply.”
Once the Anglo-Saxon capital of Northumberland, Bamburgh Castle is famed for being the real Last Kingdom of Bebbanburg in Bernard Cornwell’s epic television series and historical novel set. Visitors exploring the castle’s grounds will be able to discover why England’s finest coastal fortress has been the ultimate defensive stronghold for thousands of years with guides and outdoor re-enactors narrating its past.
Mr Watson-Armstrong said: “While the castle’s indoor areas remain temporarily closed, until 17 May, reopening our grounds will give visitors the chance to explore one of the region’s most spectacular open-air locations and experience one of the most unique coastal viewpoints Britain has to offer.
“It will be a tremendous opportunity for people in the region to visit a landmark they’re so familiar with from the outside, but perhaps have never managed to step within its gates and see the views from inside our walls.”
Regular four-legged castle visitor Marley the mini pony will be one of the first to trot into the castle ready to welcome visitors when it re-opens at 10.00am.
Due to current Government restrictions, the castle’s staterooms and Armstrong and Aviation Museum will remain closed until May 17 at the earliest. A takeaway food and drink outlet will temporarily replace the castle’s indoor Clock Tower Tearooms.
As visitor numbers are restricted to allow social distancing on site, visitors are advised to pre-booked advance ground tickets which include fast track entry. Grounds tickets priced at £6.00 for adults / £3.00 children / £16 family (two adults and up to three dependants aged up to 18) are available at www.bamburghcastle.com
Dogs are allowed into the castle grounds free of charge.
Bamburgh Castle grounds will be open from 10.00am until 5.00pm with last admission at 4.00pm.