coronavirus parks playgrounds

As lockdown has started to ease, we thought it would be timely to do an update on what open spaces are open in the local area and details of any new restrictions. We know that lots of you will still be wanting to take a walk, run or cycle to get some exercise, particularly if you have kids that need a runaround!

Now that we’re allowed to meet up with people from other households and even have a picnic, these spaces have also become all the more appealing. It goes without saying that everyone is being asked to follow government advice to keep washing hands and maintain distance from each other, but we are lucky that we can still enjoy a lot of these wonderful sites.

This update doesn’t include all the council maintained green spaces, which remain open at this time. Please bear in mind that playgrounds and cafes are still closed though.

We will do our best to update as and when anything changes. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

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CORONAVIRUS: LAST UPDATE 16TH JUNE 2020

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Bushy Park:

Visitors must continue to stay 2m apart from other park users outside their household to stay safe, and to protect themselves, the park’s staff and others from the threat of coronavirus. Sitting outside is now allowed but if areas of the park become too crowded, it may be that people will be asked to move on. Catering outlets have begun to reopen with social distancing measures in place, offering takeaway only, with no seating inside or outside. Public toilets remain closed, as do children’s playgrounds. Car parks remain closed and park roads are closed to motor vehicles. Ideally, dogs should be kept on leads at this time to support government social distancing guidelines, but in any case MUST be kept on leads until 6th July due to deer birthing season.

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Chiswick House:

You can visit to spend time outdoors, exercise as often as you wish and meet one other person (not in your household) at 2 metres apart. Use all areas of the gardens and spread out. If an area is crowded, do not enter if you cannot stay at a safe distance from others. The playground and toilets remain closed. When the gardens are busier, please walk dogs on leads to allow the maximum room for everyone to exercise. The café is now open but for takeaway only. The car park is now open.

Chiswick House & Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 2RP.

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Ham House:

The gardens and toilets at Ham House are now open, but you must book to visit. Booking is online and tickets go on sale (free for members) every Friday for the following week. Tickets must be booked by 3.00pm the day before you plan to visit. There is limited availability to ensure everyone can adhere to social distancing to maintain the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers. To help keep everyone safe, they’ve made some changes so your visit will be different from what you’re used to. There are new routes so please follow any signs or guidance from staff. The house, shop and cafe remain closed. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Ham House, Ham Street, Ham TW10 7RS.

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Hampton Court Palace:

The palace remains closed but the gardens reopen on the 18th June. They will be offering you a very warm welcome as always, but have some new ways of doing things. For example, there will be fewer people at the palace at any one time and they’re paying extra attention to hygiene. All visitors will also have to book a start time, with new time slots released every week on a Monday. Toilet facilities available, but the cafe, shop, maze and Magic Garden remain closed.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey KT8 9AU.

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Kew Gardens:

The gardens are open to limited numbers of people. Please keep 2m away from other people and only travel to Kew if you can walk, cycle or travel there safely. You must book a time slot in advance to help stagger the entry flow, reduce queues and limit the numbers of visitors. In this first phase, capacity is limited to support the new approach, and the majority of tickets are reserved for members. The shops, cafes and restaurants are closed, but a limited pop-up shopping and food & drink offer is available. Assistance dogs only.

Kew Gardens, Kew TW9 3AE.

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London Museum Of Water & Steam:

Currently closed. As a small, independent museum who relies on income from its visitors, the closure is going to hit them very hard. Any donations would be gratefully received to help them maintain their historical buildings and collection.

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London Wetland Centre:

Now open, but please note that everyone needs to book their visit in advance. Bookings open every Wednesday morning at 9.00am for the following week, and you need to book before midnight the day before you’d like to visit. Please keep two metres apart from other people. There is limited access to indoor areas. Some hides are open with the doors and windows propped open so you don’t have to touch them. Play areas, Wildwalk and Explore adventure are closed for the moment. Some paths are one-way to help you keep a safe distance from other households and some areas are closed where people might naturally gather. Some (but not all) toilets are open. The shops and cafes are closed for now, but they hope to be able to offer takeaway food very soon. You’re welcome to take your own food and drink and make use of the picnic areas. Assistance dogs only.

WWT London, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT.

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Osterley Park & House:

The gardens, estate, car park and toilets at Osterley are now open, but you must book to visit. The play trail is closed. Booking is online and tickets go on sale (free for members) every Friday for the following week. Tickets must be booked by 3.00pm the day before you plan to visit. There is limited availability to ensure everyone can adhere to social distancing to maintain the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers. To help keep everyone safe, they’ve made some changes so your visit will be different. There are new routes so please follow any signs or guidance from staff. The house, shop and cafe remain closed. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Osterley, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB (sat nav TW7 4RD).

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Richmond Park:

Visitors must continue to stay 2m apart from other park users outside their household to stay safe, and to protect themselves, the park’s staff and others from the threat of coronavirus. Sitting outside is now allowed but if areas of the park become too crowded, it may be that people will be asked to move on. Catering outlets have begun to reopen with social distancing measures in place, offering takeaway only, with no seating inside or outside. Public toilets remain closed, as do children’s playgrounds and Isabella Plantation. Car parks remain closed and park roads are closed to motor vehicles. Cycling is permitted before 10.00am and after 4.00pm, but is permitted all day for children aged 12 or under and their immediate family (see here for latest cycling details). Ideally, dogs should be kept on leads at this time to support government social distancing guidelines, but in any case MUST be kept on leads until 6th July due to deer birthing season.

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Strawberry Hill House & Garden:

Strawberry Hill House, Cafe & Shop is currently closed. However, the beautiful garden, now blooming with spring flowers, is open daily free of charge. They hope this offers a place of well being and respite at this time, whilst observing social distancing measures.

Strawberry Hill House & Garden, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST.

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Syon Park & House:

The house remains closed but the gardens and Great Conservatory are open between 17th & 21st June. Tickets must be booked in advanced and are in hourly timeslots. They will be operating a one-way route around the gardens, going through the Great Conservatory. The new cafe is not quite ready but you are welcome to picnic in the gardens beyond the Great Conservatory (please take your rubbish home). The shop remains closed and only assistance dogs are admitted.

Syon House, Syon Park, Brentford TW8 8JF. (If driving use the entrance on Park Road, Iselworth TW7 6AZ.)

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