If lockdown has left you craving some culture or a well-deserved day out with the family, then we have some good news for you.
As part of the government’s relaxing of lockdown measures from July 4th, UK museums, parks and attractions are preparing to open their doors to the public once again.
So if you are looking to finally escape the four walls of your home, we’ve gathered together some of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions (and some that are a little more ‘off the beaten path’) that will be welcoming visitors from July onwards.
The National Gallery
Located in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery will reopen on July 8th. The museum is free to visit, but in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are asked to book online to secure their ticket and adhere to social distancing measures upon arrival.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the artwork of great artists such as Monet, Van Dyck and Michelangelo. The National Gallery is also the home of Van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers.
There will also be the chance to experience the Titian exhibition, which closed just three days after its launch in March but has now been extended until January 21st 2021.
Set to reopen from July 4th, with a pre-booking system in place, Warwick Castle lets you explore over 1100 years of history under one turreted roof.
Set in 64 acres of scenic gardens, there is plenty of room for guests to respect the social distancing guidelines in place. As well as the magnificent castle with its Great Hall, visitors can climb the ramparts, ascend to the dizzy heights of the castle’s towers for a fabulous view over Warwickshire or watch The Falconer’s Quest, the UK’s largest birds of prey show.
The Tate Modern
Fans of pop art icon Andy Warhol will be welcoming the reopening of the Tate Modern, to take a new look at his art and extraordinary life.
It’s the first Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern for almost two decades and will contain works never seen before in this country. His infamous pop art images of the Campbell soup can and Marilyn Monroe will also be on display.
Tate Modern reopens on July 27th, with a one-way social distancing system in place and timed entry which can be booked at the museum’s website. Entry is free, but charges apply to some exhibitions.
Alton Towers Resort & Theme Park
Rollercoaster fans will welcome the reopening of Alton Towers on July 4th. The popular theme park is home to white-knuckle roller coasters such as The Wicker Man and Nemesis as well as CBeebies Land, designed with the little ones in the family in mind.
The outdoor rides and attractions are open, but the website advises that some indoor attractions will remain closed for the time being. Prices start from £34 and tickets can only be booked online as the park is operating with reduced visitor numbers to aid with social distancing measures.
With so much to explore, you may need more than one day, and the resorts hotels will be welcoming a reduced number of guests to stay in their themed hotels.
Loch Ness Boat Tours
Scotland’s most famous Loch is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster. If you have a youngster who wants the opportunity to spot ‘Nessie’ in her natural habitat, then boat tours are bookable from July 15th (but be warned, we hear Nessie is rather shy!)
After your monster spotting adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Urquhart Castle which overlooks Loch Ness from its rocky peninsula. This Highland Fortress has dramatic views of the Loch – and if you take a trip to the top of the Grant Tower, the high vantage point might make it a little easier to spot the elusive Nessie!
Woburn Safari Park
If Nessie doesn’t put in an appearance, then you’ll be guaranteed to spot some wild animals at Woburn Safari Park when it’s road safari and most areas of the foot safari will be ready to give you a ROAR-some welcome!
Guests will also be able to meet the safari parks newest residents ‘The Lockdown Lion Cubs’. The five mischievous cubs were born in April and have been keeping their Mum, Dakota, busy ever since.
As well as the little (and big) cats, the safari park is home to elephants, giraffes and apes. From July 6th, more areas of the park are due to reopen including the Sea Lion Cove, the outdoor play areas and the Great Woburn Railway.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
If you’d prefer an educational, yet adventurous, family day out in the great outdoors, then we recommend a trip to Llechwedd Slate Caverns to discover the story of slate.
The 2,000-acre site is best explored by booking the Slate Mountain Adventure Tour, which takes you on an off-road journey in an ex-military vehicle to visit the historic mining sites. Visitors will then take a ride on the steepest cable railway in Britain and venture deep beneath the ground to experience the Victorian tunnels and caverns created by the miners.
If you’d prefer to stretch your legs, there are also guided walking tours of the site, which reopens to the public on Monday July 6th.
Book your tickets at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns website
Book online and stay safe
We’re all keen to get out and about now that the pressures of the lockdown period are starting to ease, but it’s important to remember to stay safe and be responsible when visiting tourist attractions. None of the places we have mentioned are currently allowing visitors who have not booked a ticket online, so please check the individual websites for the latest information before planning your trip.