Thousands of visitors have been rediscovering Speke Hall after the property reopened on limited hours in June. Now, even more people will be able to enjoy the National Trust attraction as it moves to opening seven days a week for pre-booked visits. The property has also announced that the popular restaurant will be reopening and there’ll be a new nature activity trail for families to enjoy.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point”, says Speke Hall’s General Manager, Simon Osborne. “During the period when Speke Hall was closed to visitors due to Coronavirus, we had a small team of staff continuing to ensure the property was cared for and kept safe. This included the huge task of maintaining around 50 acres of gardens and woodland, as well as caring for the 500-year-old mansion filled with important historical objects and collections from Liverpool’s history.”
“Of course, our visitors are a huge part of what makes Speke Hall such a special place to be, so it’s fantastic to finally be open again and give them the chance to rediscover the property. It’s important that we continue to reopen safely though, which is why we’ve kept some areas closed and put certain measures in place.”
One of these measures has been to introduce an advanced booking system, which is helping to make sure that the numbers of visitors are kept to a safe level.
“We’ve been really grateful to our visitors for responding so well to needing to book a visit to Speke in advance,” Simon says. “This is the first time we’ve introduced essential pre-booking for a general visit to Speke, which is necessary for us to manage our capacity to allow for safe social distancing. As we move towards opening more days, our visitors will still be required to book in advance and we really appreciate the support from members of the public for adopting this new habit to ensure you have an enjoyable day out.’
Another main difference that visitors will notice is that there is a one-way route in place through the property’s grounds to ensure social distancing measures are met, though everyone is welcome to stay as long as they like.
To give even more people the chance to visit, the National Trust have increased Speke Hall’s opening days from five days to seven. While the house, shop and play areas remain closed until further notice, they have also reopened some areas that previous visitors will be familiar with, including the scenic Bund walk.
Home Farm restaurant is now open seven-days-a-week serving a delicious menu with some classic favourites such as a traditional cream tea. The current menu includes hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream, with more items being added over the next few weeks. There is also outdoor seating and picnic tables to enjoy, or visitors can get their food and drink to take away.
Between Monday and Wednesday only, visitors to the restaurant can also take advantage of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme by enjoying 50% off their bill up to a maximum of £10 until 31 August.
For families, there is a new interactive trail through the grounds to take part in that offers fun for all ages. Until 1 September, visitors can escape to Speke’s ancient woodlands to meet a mischievous creature that is gobbling up trees and to help the small-but-mighty Magic Acorn to protect its leafy friends and rescue nature. For more information, visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/speke-hall-garden-and-estate/features/summer-at-speke-
In order to safely control the number of visitors on the property, Speke Hall is reminding anyone who would like to visit that they must book ahead of visiting. Slots are available on a weekly basis, with new tickets being released every Friday. Tickets are available up until 3pm the day before visiting. National Trust members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Anyone who hasn’t pre-booked will be turned away.