Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Please be assured that we are continually revising policies in line with the latest Public Health England (PHE) advice and ask that you check ahead with venues across South Warwickshire before you visit, as with the ever changing situation it may not be possible to list all information below.
Helen Peters, the chief executive of Shakespeare’s England, the destination management organisation for South Warwickshire has praised the industry’s response to moving resources online and sees e-tourism as the new way to ‘visit’ a region. She said: “These are difficult times for the tourism industry, but it’s great to see so many new and creative ideas being used for attractions to bring a taste of Warwickshire to people at home. Arm-chair travelling will become the next big thing for people who are planning where they want to visit once it is safe to do so, which means being able to virtually interact with and tour these attractions will be crucial to the travel industry over the next few months. Lots of attractions in Warwickshire have increased their online offering with virtual tours, workshops and videos for people to interact with their businesses so we hope lots of travel-lovers will get involved with this new method of ‘visiting’ our top attractions.”
Here’s a list of which Warwickshire attractions are available to tour online:
· Warwick Castle – History experts at Warwick Castle have developed a range of free resources to support families across the UK with fun and educational activities. From printable colouring sheets, word searches and quizzes to videos that explain key periods in the castle’s almost-1000-year history, the new History Unlocked section at www.warwick-castle.com/history-unlocked hosts a wide range of resources, activities and downloadables, all available for free.
· Kenilworth Castle –The best stories from England’s history will also be shared on the English Heritage Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/englishheritage/
· Market Hall Museum – Will be sharing images of the museum’s collections, archives and stories online along with online packs for families to download. http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/museum-service/
· Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon – Live streaming of services – https://www.facebook.com/HTCStratforduponAvon/
· Royal Fusiliers Museum, Warwick – Online videos of a performance piece about the remarkable story of Hannah Snell, a female soldier, are available and some PSHE educational pages are available for students
· British Motor Museum created a range of Easter activities for families to do in the safety of their own homes. Families can take part in a quiz, a word search, a colouring competition, an egg box craft activity and, of course, a touch of egg-citing science from their ever popular scientists – Dr. Pumpkin & Professor Pickle! The activities will be available online from Good Friday, 10 April until Sunday 26 April. There is no charge to take part but donations would be welcomed. Simply visit the Easter Holiday page on the website at https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on/easter-holiday-activities
· Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust – While the five Shakespeare family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon are temporarily closed, its virtual doors are wide open and there are lots of ways to encounter and enjoy Shakespeare’s wonderful works, life and times on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s digital platforms. Enjoy a video tour of the five historic sites, discover fascinating online exhibitions which reveal treasures from the Trust’s world-class collections, educational resources for learners of all ages including over 300 free Shakespeare Week resources for primary school children, and of course Shakespedia for a glimpse into the life of the man behind the works.
· Royal Shakespeare Company – Working with Marquee TV, the RSC is offering a free 30-day trial, meaning people can watch 18 of the Shakespeare productions for free. This will include a ‘premiere’ of Christopher Luscombe’s 2017 production of Twelfth Night on 11 April. People can sign up here: marquee.tv. There’s also the Shakespeare Learning Zone, which has a large range of fun and educational information about Shakespeare’s plays and themes for children and students https://www.rsc.org.uk/shakespeare-learning-zone, or watch scenes from plays and short films about making theatre on their YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/theRSC/videos. Take a virtual tour of how the RSC bring plays to life https://www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/how-we-make-theatre/. The RSC has also teamed up with BBC for ‘Culture in Quarantine’ where RSC plays will be available to review on iPlayer – https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/culture-in-quarantine
· Stratford-upon-Avon College – offers a range of free distance learning courses to help you progress and up-skill in a variety of roles. These courses can be studied flexibly at home around work and family life to suit you. · https://www.stratford.ac.uk/demographic/part-time-learner/category/distance-learning/
· Stratford Literary Festival – the festival might have been cancelled, but the team behind the scenes will be bringing you their favourite book recommendations to read in quarantine. https://www.facebook.com/stratfordlitfest/
· FarGo Village – FarGo’s popular Spring Markers Market will now take place online, so you can buy products from local creators and support independent shops. There’s also the brand new online shop, so you can buy your favourite products from FarGo’s top traders – https://www.fargovillage.co.uk/covid-19/
· Shakespeare Distillery – New Home Gin Tasting Kits include a video so you can understand all the flavours you’re tasting and see the process behind the production, enjoying your favourite gins at home! https://shakespearedistillery.com/shop/
· Leamington Spa Art Gallery – Online workshops for all ages, so you can get creative at home – https://www.instagram.com/p/B-K5bxUlB7A/
Shakespeare’s England has a long, rich history and is home to many passionate people who will welcome you back to experience these incredible places in due course.
Warwick District Council – Press Release from 15 May 2020
The coronavirus situation is changing daily and government guidelines continue to evolve. A number of our attractions are now closed and we understand that many of you will be considering your options. We are more than happy to discuss these with you, but we would ask that you consider postponing your break by accepting a credit voucher which can be used to rebook your holiday anytime in the next 24 months. We are a small team who have worked hard over the last 15 years to keep the costs of our breaks down and provide the best possible value and experience to all of our valued visitors and this is having a huge impact on us. We plan to be giving you the opportunity to take great value family holidays for many years to come and are already working on some really exciting new breaks, so if you possibly can, please try and support us at this challenging time.
Our industry is facing some very sudden and harsh obstacles; the impact of the coronavirus is something that none of us can predict and we are aware of the implications it will have for all of us over the coming weeks and months.
The trend in the industry is to re-book, rather than cancel and this is the message that we will be putting out to our customers who have purchased The Explorer Pass by Shakespeare’s England. The Explorer Passes are valid for 12 months and are not activated until they are admitted into the first attraction and this will be made clear in our communications. However, the industry has seen many closures and cancellations, so we will be offering a full refund for any customer who requests it.
Chiltern Railways dedicated website page contains full information of how they are responding to coronavirus. This includes timetable changes, revised refund arrangements, and advice for customers. The most important advice at the present time is to not travel on our services unless you are a key worker.