One of Yorkshire's historic beauty spots reopens its gates - social distancing restrictions will apply

Bolton AbbeyBolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey | other
Yorkshire historic beauty spot Bolton Abbey will reopen its gates to visitors from tomorrow - with social distancing measures place.

The Bolton Abbey Estate, near Skipton, will welcome visitors to enjoy a walk along the banks of the river Wharfe, through Strid Wood or across the heather moors.

As part of the re-opening the estate team have introduced new steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of the local community, staff and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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For the foreseeable future all visitors will be asked to pre-book their visit online in order to manage the number of visitors on site at any given time.

Visitors are advised to check the Bolton Abbey website before leaving to avoid disappointment as admission will be refused on arrival without a ticket.

Visitors without a ticket are asked not to park on the road verges in order to keep the farming community and other visitors safe and in order to maintain emergency access at all times.

Additional lavatories and the introduction of a one-way system along the nature trails from the Priory Ruins to Barden Bridge, are just some of the steps taken to allow visitors to social distance.

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All visitors should be observing the Government’s social distancing guidelines. To support social distancing and respect the local community, fellow visitors, staff and the emergency services the Estate will welcome picnics but ask visitors to leave their barbeques at home, keep their dogs on a lead at all times and not to play ball games or swim in the river.

Estate director Benedict Heyes: said: “The health, safety and welfare of our colleagues, local communities and visitors is paramount in the decisions we make.

"We have been working hard on these measures so we can make the Estate accessible again without putting people at unnecessary risk. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support through this unprecedented time. Although we welcome the government’s roadmap to recovery, we need to remain cautious at all times and would like to reassure our local communities that their safety remains a top priority as we re-open.”

He went on to explain the reasoning behind some of the new measures:

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“Many of the people who live on the estate, as well as many of our staff, are over 70 so restricting visitor numbers not only protects people visiting Bolton Abbey but those working and living here too.

"In line with government guidelines our cafes will be offering a much reduced take away service comprising of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream. We ask visitors to be kind as they endeavour to offer the same friendly and efficient services under a new and challenging working environment.

Businesses and residents living on or near to the estate were informed of plans in a letter sent out last week

“We will be keeping everything under constant review and be flexible in the way we operate but we hope our new pre-booking system will reassure visitors it is safe to return to Bolton Abbey.”