All four RHS Gardens will remain open during England's third national lockdown under a pre-booking system.
The beautiful gardens — including RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Harlow Carr — will have social distancing measures in place, enhanced cleaning at each site, and capacity reduced by a further 30 - 40 per cent to limit visitor volumes.
While this will come as welcome news for those wanting to soak up nature during these challenging times, the horticultural charity explained that people must only visit the Gardens if they are in their local area.
A statement on their website read: "Given the significant rise in cases of coronavirus across the UK, we ask that everyone considering visiting the gardens does not travel outside of their local area, defined in the latest government guidelines as the village, town, or part of the city where they live."
Following the government's announcement, enclosed areas of the Gardens, such as Glasshouses, Alpine Houses and Bird Hides, will close from Tuesday 5th January in line with the new regulations.
And, garden centres at the four Gardens will also remain open throughout lockdown, giving people the chance to continue to grow plants, indoors and outdoors. The online plant shop is also open for those unable to visit the Gardens in person.
Why do I have to book?
Visitor numbers will be restricted and social distancing measures need to be adhered to, so it's essential to pre-book. All visitors – including RHS Members, must pre-book in advance, or they will be turned away. Booking is now open and can be accessed here via www.rhs.org.uk/gardens.
If you already have a pre-paid ticket but can no longer visit due to the new restrictions, the team advise you visit the website for information on how to cancel your booking and request a refund.
Back in November last year, the charity explained that the gardens have "offered a vital safe sanctuary to the public for their mental and physical health during these times" and is "delighted" that this has been recognised by the government.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, previously said: "We are concerned that people will not pre-book tickets so a plea from me to anyone planning to visit an RHS Garden is that it is imperative you book a timed slot in advance on the RHS website. Sadly, we will be turning away anyone who hasn't pre-booked."
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