Leeds Castle to remain open for 'local visitors' during January lockdown

A popular Kent castle is to remain open this month for 'local visitors'.

Leeds Castle has confirmed its outdoor spaces will remain accessible despite the government plunging the country into another lockdown in order to halt the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Under the latest rules issued on Monday evening, following Boris Johnson's announcement, households are allowed to leave their homes for exercise but this is now limited only to exercise and not for any recreational activities such as picnics or meeting people socially.

This can take place, explains the new guidelines, in public gardens, playgrounds or within the grounds of a heritage site and whilst there is no time limit, the public is asked to only leave home once a day for this reason.

According to the government website people should not travel outside their local area to take exercise, but can travel a short distance within their own local area if necessary - for example to access a suitable open space.

Local area is defined, under the guidelines, as the 'village, town or part of the city where you live'.

In a message on its website Leeds Castle said it will be keeping its outdoor grounds and gardens open for 'local visitors' as well as its children's play areas, which are also allowed to remain open during this current lockdown.

The statement says: "The UK Government has confirmed that outdoor parts of heritage sites can remain open for exercise for local visitors during the national lockdown. Leeds Castle's Grounds, Gardens, Playgrounds and Takeaway Kiosks will therefore remain open.

"The Castle, Maze, Adventure Golf, Bird of Prey Centre, Falconry Shows, Shops, Dog Collar Museum, Castle View Restaurant, Mobility Bus, Castle Train and Gatehouse Exhibition will be closed until further notice."

No cash will be accepted on site anywhere, adds the castle, and face masks must be worn in any indoor areas such as toilet blocks.

The attraction is also currently offering 15 months for the price of 12 on its annual passes to recognise the number of facilities currently not open because of restrictions. All visits must continue to be pre-booked to enable to the attraction to manage visitor numbers and social distancing. To learn more, or to book a visit, see the website.

The latest government announcements have forced Kent's animal parks to close their gates to visitors. You can read more about that here.

For more guides and ideas of things to do with the family this month visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

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