In England, many National Trust properties – gardens only – are now open to the public once more. You have to book, they only allow a few people in at a time, two-metre social distancing, the current regulation for the whole of the UK, is insisted upon, and one-way systems are superbly organised. Booking is opened on Fridays for the following week, and to book for Lytes Cary Manor I logged on at 9.00 on the very first day that booking was open. I was held in the ‘virtual waiting room’ for 80 minutes. But I got the two tickets I wanted for the day and time I wanted.

Lytes Cary is only a few miles away from me, and is my nearest NT property. The house is consists of two parts. The older part, mainly Elizabethan plus a 14th century chapel, is open for visitors (normally, that is). It is a only small, but delightful. The larger part, now mainly in Arts and Crafts style, was added in the eighteenth century onwards, and is available for lettings. Indeed, in both 2013 and 2014 I hired it in early spring for four-day music-making house parties. One evening in 2013, Geoff (2nd left) took this photo of us all at dinner.

Back to the present. Thursday was overcast, but the 30% chance of rain worked out according to the odds. That my bridge partner, Daphne, and I had brollies with us must have done the trick. There were very few people in the grounds – the National Trust is being very cautious! They made it impossible not to follow their one-way system. Almost without comment, here are the pictures I took.

Much of this is the holiday let.
The general public do not normally have access to his part of the garden as it belongs to the let.
But they do to this.
Identification of this in comments would be appreciated. Even Daphne, a very keen gardener, did not know.
The drawing room
The visited part of the property.
Looking back at the younger part
The two parts of the house are clearly identified here. The very oldest part, the chapel, is the part jutting out towards the left-hand side

My next NT visit will be to Barrington Court, on Friday next. Logging on at 9.40 this morning (Friday), I didn’t have to wait, but all the slots bar one had gone, so it will be an afternoon visit for me. Daphne and her husband are planning to go there the following day. They managed not to have to wait – by logging on at 6.00 this morning!