Opening its gates for the first time since the lockdown Kiplin Hall and Gardens welcomed visitors back last weekend and with social distancing and one-way routes in place visitors were free to enjoy a walk and picnic in the rural estate.
There is national concern for the future of heritage attractions that rely on ticket income to operate. Having missed out on the normally busy Easter period attractions with outdoor space are beginning to re-open, offering visitors a destination in the summer months.
Director of Kiplin Hall & Gardens, James Etherington says “It is a pleasure to see people back at Kiplin, enjoying the grounds. We’ve done all we can to create a safe environment, and while we are still tweaking our procedures the weekend has largely been successful. Despite the poor weather, we had a steady flow of visitors, many coming from local towns for a walk in the countryside. We were especially thrilled to welcome visitors using free passes we issued to key workers following a nomination scheme we ran on social media during the early weeks of the lockdown.”
“We’ve adapted our offer, working with another local, small business, Proper Pizzas, to offer hot food and drinks on site while our Tea Room is closed. After the rain we’ve had in the last few days the gardens will look all the more spectacular when we open again this weekend. We hope to see new visitors enjoying the space as well as those returning making use of our new 12 month ticket.”
Kiplin is operating on reduced opening hours as part of a phased plan to recover from the lockdown. The Gardens are currently open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10am – 5pm. The Hall and Tea Room remain closed, but toilet facilities are available. Hot food and drinks are available from local artisan takeaway firm Proper Pizzas, serving pizzas from their converted horse-box with a built-in wood-fired oven until 3pm!
North East based family blogger, The Freckled Mum of 2, visited on the first day of the re-opening and left this review online. “The gardens and grounds have been set up with social distancing in mind and safety for all visitors, with one-way routes for the walks and plenty of signage letting you know where you can and can’t go at the moment. Also, toilets that are open. It’s a beautiful setting with woodland and lake sidewalks, Kiplin Hall itself beautiful. The best news, I personally think is, that the entrance fee doubles up as pass, that will last a year!”
Those wishing to visit Kiplin Hall and Gardens are advised to check the website www.kiplinhall.co.uk or social media before traveling in case of any adjustments to opening hours. Ticketing has been restructured for the re-opening. All newly purchased tickets are now valid for 12 months, making return visits free for a year. At the time of printing Kiplin Hall & Gardens expect to open this weekend, Friday 12th , Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 10am – 5pm, with Proper Pizzas on-site serving until 3pm.