FOR the first time since its closure in March, Chawton House will once again welcome visitors to the gardens.

The visitor attraction will reopen on July 4 for advance ticket holders only, with numbers restricted to ensure the gardens are safe for both staff and visitors.

Chief executive Katie Childs said: “We are carefully monitoring the latest government guidelines, so that we can continue to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Nevertheless, we are so excited to welcome people back after all this time. It is only due to the kindness and generosity of our supporters that we have been able to start the long process of re-opening Chawton House to visitors.”

The Old Kitchen Tearoom will be open for takeaways, and visitors will be able to pre-order food and drink so that it is ready upon their arrival.

The gift shop will also be opening as a stall into the courtyard for visitors to browse a range of gifts, garden goodies and books.

In the meantime, visitors are encouraged to walk Chawton House’s parkland. Chawton House sits within 275 acres of parkland, almost as rich in history as the house itself.

The parkland consists of fields with ancient and evocative names like Carter’s Lea, Hopkilns, and Knickerknocker, some recorded in documents from when the house was built. These were farmed by tenant farmers, paying rent to the owners of the manor of Chawton.

To aid with social distancing, entry will be split into two time slots: morning (11am – 2:00pm) and afternoon (2:00 – 4:30pm).