Lancashire museums are ready to reopen and here's how to plan your visit

Three of Lancashire best loved museums are to reopen their doors after closing due to coronavirus.

Clitheroe Castle Museum is to welcome visitors again
Clitheroe Castle Museum is to welcome visitors again

Visitors are to be welcomed back to Clitheroe Castle Museum, Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings and Gawthorpe Hall as part of a phased reopening of Lancashire County Council’s museums,.

However, visitors are being warned they will need to book an appointment to visit the attractions which have been closed since March when coronavirus restrictions were introduced.

On August 28 Clitheroe Castle Museum and Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings will open to be followed by Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, on September 2.

Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings is reopening to the public

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    There is an online system to book a visiting slot at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/museums. For those unable to book online, appointments can be made by calling or emailing the museums directly.

    When visiting a museum, all visitors will be required to wear a face covering unless they are exempt and social distancing measures will be in place. Children under 11 will not be required to cover their faces.

    One-way systems may have been set up in the museums and bookings can only be made by people aged 16 and above. Group bookings can be made for up to six people who are from the same household or support bubble.

    County Coun Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming people back into our museums to enjoy them again, but we need to take a phased, step-by-step approach to this.

    “That’s why we are opening up three of our museums for now, and offering limited services. People will notice significant differences in how we are able to safely open them, for the time-being. A big difference is that people won’t just be able to visit a museum but will need to book a timeslot. This is necessary so that we can enable social distancing and limit the number of people in a museum, in a way that is safe for customers and staff.

    “People will need to respect social distancing rules, and to follow any one-way systems that have been set up.I would ask people to check the specific details regarding the museum that they want to visit before they make their booking, to make sure that the new arrangements will work for them.

    “I’m grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I’d ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce further details of other museums reopening, when it is safe to do so.”

    Staff are currently working towards reopening Helmshore Textiles Museum and Queen Street Mill Museum. Due to major refurbishment works taking place in the Shire Hall Complex, the guided tours at Lancaster Castle have been suspended until January 2021.

    The usual admission charges will apply at the museums and should be paid at the museum on day of visit. Contactless payments are preferred. Specific information including opening days and hours, what facilities are available, and accessibility arrangements can be found at:

    Clitheroe Castle Museum https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums/clitheroe-castle-museum/

    Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings Museum https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums/judges-lodgings/

    Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Burnley https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums/gawthorpe-hall/