Cadw has revealed that entry tickets to some of Wales’ most historic castles, abbeys and historic sites, will be available to book on Monday 3rd August 2020.
The announcement follows recent news that 18 of Cadw’s 25 staffed heritage sites will reopen as part of a phased action plan this summer, The new booking system will be accessible via the Cadw website and will require both Cadw members and general visitors to reserve or purchase time-allotted tickets, no less than 24 hours in advance of their visit.
The ticketed entry process will allow Cadw to manage reduced visitor capacities at its staffed monuments —ensuring a safe and socially distanced experience for visitors and employees alike. This approach will be further reinforced by limited on-site time allowances; with each monument offering either a morning or afternoon slot for each ticketed visitor.
Visitors can expect a number of changes at the sites in question, including the installation of plastic partition screens at entry desks and the placement of directional arrows and distance markers along walkways, as well as the introduction of one-way routes, where required.
New site hygiene measures will include increased cleaning practices across all reopened staffed sites with regular deep cleans scheduled alongside daily disinfection of key touch points; including door handles, railings and interactive screens. Hand sanitiser will also be readily available for visitors to use.
Also initially, the sites will be set up to reopen for five days a week (rather than seven). Additionally, all site entry prices have been reduced to reflect the recently announced reduction in the VAT charged for entry into visitor attractions. With Cadw kindly arranging the full reduction to be passed on to visitors in order to support local tourism economies.
These details will be clearly specified through the online ticketing platform, with all tickets to be site specific and only valid for entry to the monument selected at point of purchase or reservation. For more information please visit Cadw’s FAQ page here.
Cadw Monument Pass holders will need to reserve a free ticket in advance of their visit to their local heritage site. To gain entry, Monument Pass holders must also remember to bring their pass with them as proof of identity.
Site Reopening Dates
During the first week of August (4th-8th),
Plas Mawr, Blaenavon Ironworks and eight spectacular fortresses (including the Castles of Caerphilly, Conwy, Raglan, Laugharne and Harlech) will be the first to reopen to visitors.,
Conwy Town Walls will then reopen on Saturday,8th August, complete with a new one-way system to ensure public health and safety in line with Welsh Government social distancing guidelines)
At both Caernarfon Castle and Tintern Abbey, there will only be access to part of the site due to the need for essential conservation or development works. As a consequence, the admission price to Caernarfon will be reduced by 50% and adults tickets to Tintern are reduced to just £5.
At this time, the booking visiting slots will only be available for the staffed sites that are ready to welcome visitors in August. Further sites will be added to the ticketing system as and when they reopen.
Members will only be able to secure free tickets for the number of people included in their membership package and will be required to show their membership card upon arrival (alongside their reserved tickets and booking number).
Similarly, general visitors must reserve a date and time-allotted ticket for every person in their group, (children included) at least 24hrs in advance of their visit. For those without access to the internet, tickets will also be available to book or reserve via telephone on 03000 252 239.m
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said, “Complemented by new hygiene measure (and in some instances, site adaptations), this new process will allow for a safe and socially distanced experience for us all. I’m thrilled that the people of Wales and beyond will be able to explore Welsh history again — and I remind everyone to do so safely, respectfully and responsibly.”
For further information on the planned re-opening schedule for Cadw’s staffed heritage sites, visitcadw.gov.wales/a-phased-reopening-our-staffed-heritage-sites, search Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales or @CadwCymru on Twitter.
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