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Days out are going to look significantly different for the next few months, and particularly over summer 2020. What does a typical day out now look and feel like? We decided to go for a post lockdown day out to Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire to see how it differed from before. And to see what new features to expect from a typical UK attraction in these socially distanced post lockdown times.
A Post Lockdown Day Out To Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire
Bolton Abbey is a lovely place to visit, whatever the weather. We have always loved the walks and grounds there, which made it one of the first places we wanted to visit once attractions started to reopen. Set in acres of fields and woodland, Bolton Abbey seems the perfect place to visit during these social distancing times.
And It Is Open!
But you cannot just rock up and pay at the car park kiosks as before. Instead, you need to book ahead. You can book online at BoltonAbbey.com. Car parks open at 9am, close at 5pm, and last entry is at 3pm.
Firstly, you need to choose which car park you are parking in of the many parking areas around the Abbey grounds. You then need to specify the hour time slot in which you will arrive. You’re able to book for a car size up to 8 people. But can only book one car per day.
You then need to arrive at the hour that you have booked in the car park where you have specified. The people in the kiosks have screens to check that you have booked (£10 per car) so this is a contactless process. As usual as you book you are asked not to visit if you have any coronavirus symptoms. And the lady in the booth confirmed this with us too when we arrived on the day.
Finally, as you walk into the grounds, people are situated on the entrances to check your ticket. In these days of social distancing, all attractions and events will be making a big effort to prevent the attraction being too crowded. This is why you have to book beforehand. Similarly, we noticed that there were a lot of cones placed around the local village and roadsides. This stops people just parking on the road and walking into the grounds without having booked.
The Grounds Of The Abbey
The grounds of the Abbey are extensive, so it is very easy to avoid others and social distance. That being said, there are many signs around reminding you to keep 2 metres away from others.
A significant sign was placed onto the footbridge over the River Wharfe near the Abbey. This advises people not to loiter on the bridge. Obviously, you have to wait for others to cross before using the bridge yourself. And so this could be a bottleneck on busier days. But on the day we went we only had to wait when crossing back over.
Luckily, because of the size of the open fields and walkways, it is easy to social distance throughout most of the grounds.
The views from the walk around the grounds are amazing, and it is a great walk, though not really suitable if you have a mobility issue or a large pram.
The stepping stones were totally submerged on the day we visited. I am not sure that these would reopen even if the weather was good.
However, the small beach area on the opposite side of the river from the Abbey grounds would be perfect for a summer’s day. In fact there are some amazing picnic spots around the site.
Perfect Picnic Spot
There are several areas that are perfect for a picnic. Up near the village car park, there are several picnic benches, and normal benches to sit. Plus the tea rooms and small village shop are open for outsales of socially distanced teas, coffees and sandwiches. Although this doesn’t feel quite the same, it is great to support local businesses, and this will hopefully keep the local economy going. Which is definitely the best thing to do.
Also in the village car park are portaloos and places to wash your hands, with hand roll for drying. We actually had a picnic in our car when we got back to the car park. And it was good to be able to wash our hands before eating (even though I always had my trusty hand gel too!).
So that is our post lockdown day at Bolton Abbey. All in all, I would totally recommend the Abbey and its grounds as a perfect post lockdown place to visit. No matter what the weather (we have visited in all seasons) it is a lovely place to spend the day.
Do you think you will be venturing to some UK attractions this summer? Where do you want to visit?
And please do pin this for later.