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COVID-19 Information for Visitors

Welcome back!

We are delighted that following recent government guidance we have been able to bring forward our plans for safely re-opening the Gardens of Castle Howard, and we will be doing this in the first instance for Members only, commencing Wednesday 3rd June, and then for all visitors from Monday 8th June.

Please do read the information below in its entirety, as it contains all the details you need to book a visit to Castle Howard and will inform you of what will be open in this initial phase of being able to welcome you back; as well as explaining the measures we have put in place to keep you safe during your visit.

Reopening Dates and Times

For the first five days of re-opening, Wednesday 3rd – Sunday 7th June inclusive, we will be opening the Gardens only for our Friends Members between 10am and 5pm.

From Monday 8th June we will be open daily 10am – 5pm for all visitors. The Gardens will close at 6pm.

From 15th June we will be offering Members only entry hours from 9am – 10am and from 5pm – 6pm. The Gardens will close at 7pm.


Please pre-book an arrival slot online

We are moving to an entirely online booking function so that we can manage the capacity of visitors coming through the Courtyard, therefore maintaining social distancing and importantly so that you can enter through the ticket office and self scan your booking barcode. We feel it is very important to be able to monitor and manage numbers during this first easing of restrictions, and to ensure public safety.

Sessions available to book

10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12noon, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm

Please note for the 4:30pm slot the last entry through the Ticket Office will be at 5pm

You can book an arrival slot at any of the following times listed above, and then stay in the Gardens for as long as you want. You can arrive anytime during the half hour slot, so, for example, if you book an 11am slot, but turn up at 11.15am that is fine. Also, if you happen to be running late or early, your booking barcode will still work so there is no need to try to re-book; this is simply about spreading out visitors throughout the day so that you can have a better experience, and we can manage capacity and maintain suitable social distancing conditions.

When will tickets go on sale?

Priority booking for Gold Members will go live on Thursday 28th May from 3pm.

Booking for Silver Members will go live on Friday 29th May at 3pm.

Booking for the General Public will go live on Tuesday 2nd June.

How to book your admission tickets & what happens when you arrive

Visit the Castle Howard website and click Book, or you can access this via the ‘Visit Us’ tab. Choose the day you would like to visit, click the arrival session time. If you are a Member, you will be asked to enter the Membership numbers of everyone in your party, including child members. As long as you have a valid, current membership there will be no need to pay anything for your admission tickets.

You will be emailed a bar code for each person visiting and this is what you need, either printed at home or visible on your phone to self-scan in, when you arrive at the ticket office. We will not be handing you a physical ticket, our intention is for your entrance to be a contactless experience. Please be assured there will be a member of our team present, behind a perspex screen wearing the recommended PPE, to welcome you and to be available should you need assistance. There will also be a separate desk set up for those wishing to renew or buy Memberships.

We have placed markers on the floor and will be using signs to encourage anyone queuing to maintain a 2-metre gap. However, by pre-booking an arrival slot online this will help us to manage the flow of people into the car-park, through the ticket office and into the grounds. Every measure we have put in place is following current government guidelines.


What will be open

In our first weeks of opening the focus is on allowing you back into the gardens, with limited facilities, but we will phase these back in over the coming weeks and will only re-open outlets when we are confident we have systems, risk assessments and team members in place and trained up to operate each outlet safely.

The Farm Shop and Garden Centre are open and operating with social distancing, limiting the footfall into the outlets and ensuring all trolleys and baskets are disinfected.

In week one the Coffee Shop will be open for a grab and go, takeaway service including hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, ice creams and cakes. We will be operating a one-in, one-out, queuing system and enabling social distancing measures by re-routing the flow through this space. Please ensure you dress for the weather on the day of your visit as our new queuing systems and social distancing measures rely on the outdoor spaces.

There will be a take-away service operating from the Kiosk at the Boathouse on busy days.

In the first week it is unlikely that any other catering outlets will be open, but we are preparing these spaces and systems to allow for this in line with further easing of restrictions. Of course you are very welcome to bring your own picnics and we have spaced out what picnic tables we do have. As usual dogs on leads are welcome in the Gardens. There will be bins available on site for you to responsibly dispose of picnic litter and dog waste, and we appreciate your co-operation in keeping the gardens tidy.

The main toilets in the Courtyard will closed, with the exception of the accessible toilet and the baby changing facility, only available for those visitors who need to use these specific facilities. We have installed portable toilets on the North Front (as you walk down the main drive they will be on the left by the tree line). These are individual units, allowing outdoor queuing in the open air and they will be regularly cleaned and maintained by our facilities team. You will see additional hand wash and hand sanitiser stations around the site, which we encourage you to use.

At the moment we are not able to open the Adventure Playground and Skelf Island and we are monitoring government advice carefully on this. We cannot say at present when this area will re-open and we do understand that many of you will be desperate to get back there. All of the gardens and Ray Wood are open, and you will be able to download our seasonal spotters trails and sensory trails before visiting  to bring with you if you think the family would enjoy some more structured play. These will be uploaded shortly. Please note that in our initial phases of re-opening the Kelly Car land train will not be operating.

And, of course, the House itself remains closed until further notice. If you are missing the indoors then do check out our Curator, Dr Ridgway’s, fantastic series of blogs and lectures, that we mentioned earlier in this newsletter as he really does shine a spotlight on some of the lesser know history of the House and its collection. To view our online webinar series, please click here.

To download a Map of the Gardens that shows what is currently open please see below.

Map of the Gardens showing what is currently open

See you soon

Thank you for taking the time to read through this and digest all the information. We look forward to seeing you in the very near future.


What outlets remain open?

The Farm Shop

The Castle Howard Farm Shop is an important resource for local people and is open daily from 10am - 5pm.

The team are working hard to ensure that we protect our staff and customers with social distancing measures, maintain stocks and replenish shelves, so that we can best serve our community. Please be aware that the shop is cashless, so be ready to pay by card or mobile device and we are asking shoppers to respectfully limit the quantity of items they are purchasing. We will also continue to limit the numbers of people in the shop at any one time and have an outdoor queuing system in place.

The Farm Shop is now offering a food ordering service (similar to the well known Click & Collect system) and a delivery service to local villages.

Click here to find out more.

Garden Centre

The Garden Centre will is open daily, 10am -5pm.

The team are working hard to ensure that we protect our staff and customers with social distancing measures. Please be aware that the Garden Centre is cashless, so be ready to pay by card or mobile device. We will be limiting the numbers of people in the Garden Centre at any one time and have a queuing system in place.

We continue to offer an order online with delivery service to the local area (charges apply for deliveries over 10 miles away or when spending less than £30).

To place and order, please click here.

Social Media Channels

Whilst we are all keeping our physical distance we don’t need to be socially distant online and the Castle Howard team will continue to share information from the Estate and open up some of our history, heritage and natural assets in a digital format. Please follow us on Facebook (@castlehoward), Twitter (@CastleHowardEst) and Instagram (@castle_howard), sign up to our e-newsletter where we’ll continue to share news from the Estate and communicate any changes to our operation.

You can also visit the Castle Howard blog for weekly content produced by our Curator on the rich history of the House and surrounding landscape,


For any queries around membership, including booking, renewal, access and new purchases, please use the contact details below.

Membership Queries Contact Information

 Direct Telephone +44 (0)1653 648620
Mobile +44(0)7816 150657
Email [email protected]
Switchboard +44 (0)1653 648444

Tickets booked prior to the 23rd March.

We’ll be communicating with everyone who has bought an online advanced admission ticket to the House and Grounds or an upcoming event. Tickets to Castle Howard will be available to use on any day this season (until 1st November), so we hope we’ll see you back before too long. However, if you are unable to use your ticket later in the year, of course we’ll offer you a refund.

Once again, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and wish you all the very best at this unprecedented time.

Contacts from 23rd May 2020

Farm Shop: 01653 648649
Garden Centre: 01653 648668

David Abbot ([email protected])
Building Services:
Mark Chapman ([email protected])
Building Services Emergency Call Out number
01653 648605
Retail Operations and Hospitality enquiries:
Matthew Nicholson ([email protected])
Chris Ridgway ([email protected])
Lettings and Holiday Cottages:
Rosie Wall ([email protected])
Forestry and Tree Nursery:
Maria Ellis ([email protected])
Lesley Cheeseman ([email protected])
Miles Gaynor ([email protected])
Landscape and Gardens:
Alastair Gunn ([email protected])
Lakeside Holiday Park:
Scott Stamper ([email protected])
Marketing and PR:
Abbi Ollive ([email protected]) 01653 648623
Friends Membership:
Matt Collier ([email protected]) 01653 648620
Wider Estate matters:
James Holliday ([email protected])