It’s a rather miserable time isn’t it? Whilst as travel editor I cannot recommend any travel abroad, I can tell you about where you can escape to during our current health crisis. Unless you are self-isolating, social distancing can still involve going out into nature, so long as you keep two meters between you and anyone else. Cafes, restaurants, and concert venues may be shut, but if you’re feeling restless staying inside and avoiding the outside world, nature is never off limits.
The National Trust have certainly confirmed this with their latest statement regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. As places continue to close and the world comes to a grinding halt, the National Trust has now proudly declared that for the foreseeable future their sites will be remaining open. In a public announcement dated 17th March, Hilary McGrady – director general of the Trust – said “We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive. Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.”
The Trust has clarified that whilst cafes, shops, properties, and indoor centres will close, their parklands, forests, wild coasts, and ruins will continue to be open to the public. In this dark time we cannot deny that we still need air, changes of scene, and to witness the beauty of the world that is often forgotten. As McGrady reiterates “we recognise that people need access to open spaces… nature and history.” Furthermore these sites will be free to the public, regardless of having a charity membership. So, if you can and only if it is safe to, get some boots on and get walking!
National Trust sites can be found all over the United Kingdom through nationaltrust.org.uk, but here are just a few near Bangor:
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, Gwynedd
Plas Newydd, Llanfairpwyll, Anglessey
Cemlyn, Cemaes Bay, Anglessey
Bodnant Garden, Llandudno Junction, Conwy
Craflwyn and Beddgelert, Gwynedd
Remember these positive things in these uncertain times, as they will help to give us hope and guide us through. Keep safe, and if it’s alright to, keep exploring.
Well, this is what you could have done. Since I wrote this a matter of hours later the National Trust announced that, due to the high numbers of people accessing their parks and gardens, these will now be shut for the forseeable future. This just goes to show how fast things are changing during the Covid-19 outbreak. For now, take these words with the hope of plans to be fulfilled after this chaos ends.