Choose a country to see content specific to your location

Skip to main content

Visiting Gardens Again? Here is How To Keep Safe

Published on April 1st 2021

by CandideUK. All rights reserved

A close up of a flower
Here at Candide, we're overjoyed to hear that gardens are slowly but surely opening up around the country, following government advice around capacity and social distancing.
With the proper precautions, visiting these beautiful gardens is a great opportunity for people to enjoy nature, meet up with family and start to ease back into normality.
Find and explore gardens near you.
However, there are a few things you should be aware of before you plan your first trip. To help you out, we've put together a few tips to ensure your garden visit goes as smoothly as possible.

Check the garden’s availability before you go

Most gardens are clear about whether they are open or closed and whether you need to book a ticket in advance.
Generally speaking, gardens ask people to book in advance to avoid the use of cash and avoid queues at the entrance. You can check their websites or social media to find the most up to date info.
If you are booking through Candide, you can easily see the days gardens are open and book specific time slots when you complete your ticket purchase.

Keep safe

We hope this is so obvious we don't even have to say it, but just in case: Please don't visit gardens if you have experienced Covid-19 symptoms in the last two weeks or have been in contact with someone who has!
It also goes without saying to use hand-sanitiser and face masks when visiting public spaces. I myself will be wearing a botanical themed one!

Take your litter away

Many gardens are operating without their cafes and tearooms for the time being but often allow people to bring their own picnics. It’s important to take litter away to keep the gardens looking beautiful for everyone else visiting.

Try to avoid cash

To avoid physical contact, many gardens will ask you to use your bank cards for buying tickets. Better yet, try to purchase your tickets online beforehand!
You can easily pre-book tickets to our partner gardens on our ticket page, making sure you have a stress-free and contactless visit.

Observe the signs in and around the gardens

If you are unsure about the proper distancing rules, keep this chart from the Lost Gardens of Heligan in mind!
We’re all used to queuing outside shops by now, and garden attractions are no different. Many gardens will have signs on where and how to queue at the entrance, which may be different from the gardens' usual entrance. If you are unsure, ask a member of staff what to do.
Many gardens have created one way systems around their grounds to avoid people bumping into each other. These should be clearly marked, so keep an eye out for any directional signs!
If you need some guidance on the route to take, check out the Candide audio tours. They not only provide guidance but some fun facts about the garden and it's history. Here are some of our favourites:
A large purple flower is in a garden

Sherborne Castle & Gardens

Designed by the legendary “Capability” Brown, the 42-acre castle gardens at Sherborne are a stunning example of his craft. This Grade 1 listed garden was one of Capability Brown’s first commissions. Using Sherborne Old Castle as his backdrop, he designed the lake in 1753 and reshaped the Pleasure Gardens in 1776, creating the gently rolling landscape we see today. An RHS partner garden, there is something to see all year round – from the spring bulbs to the autumn colours reflected in the lake. **Important:** Contactless entry is available with Candide tickets and we ask everyone to adhere to social distancing guidelines on site. [More details](

The Newt in Somerset at dawn from above

The Newt in Somerset

Woods, orchards, and cultivated gardens are nurtured using age-old skills at The Newt in Somerset. Close to artistic Bruton, this large working estate immerses visitors in the tranquillity of nature. The world-class gardens at The Newt cleverly evoke different historic eras. Explore the Cottage Garden for a glimpse of Gertrude Jekyll’s famous landscaping style, and see the flowers that scented 19th century gardens in the Victorian area. The Cascade is a contemporary twist on traditional water features, and the Colour Gardens feature hellebores, astrantias and anemones inspired by garden designer Penelope Hobhouse. Her family home was The Newt’s Georgian manor Hadspen House – now a luxurious hotel. Once you’ve taken in the gardens and explored the woodland walkways, you can refuel at The Garden Café. Or, at the Cyder Press, sample the cider made from the estate’s 3,000 apple trees, perhaps enjoying a guided tour of the cellar and apple pressing demonstrations. Make sure to activate your Garden Membership on Candide, and return to The Newt as often as you like over the next 12 months. Accessibility Information All gardens areas are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, though via indirect routes – often up thick lawns, steep gradients, uneven ground and gravelled pathways. Pushchairs may be stored at the Threshing Barn, and for longer distances transport is available for those requiring assistance.

Kathy Brown's Garden

Kathy Brown's Garden

If you’re into art as much as gardening you’ll love Kathy Brown's Garden, which combines the two. Developed by owners Simon and Kathy Brown over the last thirty years, there are five areas which cleverly utilise the textures, colours and architectural qualities of plants to bring famous paintings to life. Prepare to feel engulfed by towering waves of feathery Miscanthus and Calamagrostis in the Hokusai-inspired garden, lose yourself in a wall of colour in the Rothko Room and contemplate life among the shimmering grasses of the Monet inspired garden. But it isn’t just culture vultures who flock to Kathy Brown's Garden, the edible flower patch is a fabulous place to learn about the joys of cooking with plants, while guided by Kathy’s expert tips. In addition to the art-inspired areas, this award-winning garden includes a wisteria walk, an ethereal white-stemmed birch avenue, a fragrant rose garden and much more besides

Be patient and kind, and enjoy yourself!

It's been an absolute joy to see people returning to gardens. They're a great place for friends and family to meet, and garden owners across the country have been touched to see reunions, anniversaries and birthdays being celebrated on their grounds.
While the gardens try to keep everyone safe (including visitors and staff), you may have to be patient to use facilities or enter certain parts. Please remember to be kind and courteous of each other and the garden staff. Nature waits for everyone, after all.

Related articles

David Austin rose garden

In the garden


What to Do in the Garden This Week - June 26th

A few pests and diseases can crop up at this time of the year so as well as my tips here, be sure to take a look at the...
A close up of a flower

Coronavirus Lockdown Sparks a Gardening Revolution

The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred gardeners to embark on a mammoth spending spree this season, with nurseries, suppliers and...
A close up of a flower

Connecting with Nature Can Provide Hope in Times of Crisis

It’s no secret that more and more people are beginning to appreciate nature and turn to gardening as a way to cope during the...