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Thursday 29th July 2021

Our Senior Management Team and Health & Safety Manager have reviewed the advice regarding the reopening of our soft play area in The Barn in line with government guidance.

Due to maintenance of the soft play area, we have taken the decision to keep the soft play area closed until further notice.

On a positive note, we are delighted to offer indoor seating for our café in the Play Barn and we hope you continue to enjoy our wonderful estate.

31st March 2021

Dear All,

Following the changes to Government guidance and the roadmap after lockdown, we’re pleased to announce that the Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens are re-opening from Monday 12th April 2021, 7 days a week, between the hours of 10:00am-4:00pm.

We are fully aware this has been a difficult year for many, so we have made a few changes for the benefit of everyone.

1)     It’s free.

2)     No, really, it is. We have scrapped entrance charges for the Animal Park and Gardens, and the public are free to utilise it between the hours of 10:00 – 4:00. This will continue indefinitely.

3)     The parking is still free too. The normal car park might get full but there’s plenty of parking elsewhere on the estate and you can access the gardens from a number of points.

4)     The Barn Café is re-opening for takeaways, but the soft play will stay shut for a little longer to ensure hygiene. We hope to re-open this in due course as and when we can according to government guidance. We’ll reintroduce seating inside soon as well, but we understand sitting in there with young children who can’t use the play area would be unfair, so we’ve removed the temptation for a bit. We’ll let you know on here when it re-opens.

5)     We are changing the animal mix a little, so sadly we’ve said goodbye to the ‘exotic’ animals such as the wallabies and rhea, and will be focusing on the farm animals and the small furries young children love.

6)     Due to hygiene considerations we won’t be encouraging activities such as guinea pig fishing or feeding the animals just yet, but again this will come back as and when it feels appropriate. As such the animal park might feel a little more passive than before, but as parents ourselves we know it’ll be good just to get out and run around and see things.

7)     Access to the Animal Park will be by the gate by the car park or through the gardens. We are in the process of completely refurbishing the shop and this will re-open as a fully-fledged shop later in the spring.

OK, so….

‘Hang on, I bought a season ticket….’

Yes, we know, many of you might have season tickets which you’ve paid for, we love you for it and can’t wait to have you back. When you re-visit, bring your season ticket to The Barn Café and we will give you a voucher to the FULL VALUE (not how much time is left) for use in The Barn Café and later in the tea rooms with no time limit on use. That should be about £50 worth of delicious cake and treats to keep you going for a while.

‘Sorry, did you say Tea Rooms?’

Well, whilst locking down we’ve been considering how to make more of the glorious old mansion that is the main house at Kingston Maurward and we are likely to be opening tea rooms within the old ground floor state rooms many of you will not have had a chance to visit before. Keep your eyes on this page for info – we will also be also offering celebration prosecco high teas for those special events and/or people in your life later in the season.

We think that’s it for now – we’ve all been indoors far too long – let’s get outside and enjoy the spring.

PS – it’s free….

Luke (Kingston Maurward Principal and Chief Executive)

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01305 215000

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Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park , Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8PY

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