EXBURY Gardens will remain open into December for the first time in its 101-year history to give people outdoor space during the lockdown.
The 200-acre attraction, which is currently ablaze with seasonal colour, will possibly even operate until Christmas after the government ruled visitor gardens can continue to welcome the public.
Robin Savill, head of operations at Exbury, said: “Since lockdown was announced, we’ve had lots of requests from members of the public wanting to know if we would remain open as they’ve been enjoying the gardens so much.
“With government guidance clear, we’re pressing ahead and look forward to seeing visitors make the most of our socially-distanced open space and woodland wonders.”
Admission prices to the gardens will be slashed to £8 per adult and £3 for a child.
Mr Savill continued: “The gardens are exceptionally beautiful at the moment, with our acer collection shedding vibrant reds and our national collection of Nyssa and Oxydendrum aflame with oranges and yellows.”
Before the government announced the second shutdown, Exbury Gardens had already decided to extend its season throughout November due to visitor demand.
The site was one of the first attractions in the area to reopen following the first lockdown, and saw a boost in admission numbers over the summer and in the recent autumn months.
Tickets must be booked online, with visitors given an arrival time. Opening hours are 10am until 4pm, with last entry at 2.30pm. Takeaway snacks and refreshments will be available.
Furzey Gardens in Minstead will also be opening to pre-booked visitors, under group number rules, from 10am to 4pm at weekends through the lockdown, including
takeaway refreshments at its café.
Adam Dodd, Furzey Gardens manager, said: “Since we were able to reopen in June we have been blown away by the number of visitors who have told us how important their visits to Furzey have been for their mental and physical health and wellbeing.”