Reopening unstaffed sites: FAQs
- What is meant by the term ‘unstaffed site’?
Our unstaffed heritage properties are spread across Wales and range from medieval castles and abbeys to prehistoric standing stones and burial chambers. These sites are all free to enter. We do not have visitor centres or staff based at these sites.
- My local unstaffed site isn’t on the open list — when will I be able to visit?
We understand that during this uncertain time, our heritage sites and outdoor monuments can offer a sense of calm, enjoyment and wellbeing for local communities. Therefore, we are working hard with Wales’s local authorities to open as many of our outdoor, unstaffed heritage sites as we can, in the safest way possible.
We will only reopen an unstaffed Cadw site once necessary health, safety and maintenance checks have been carried out, which may include the introduction of new social distancing measures, so that we can be confident that each site is safe for the responsible use of visitors.
With over 100 unstaffed sites across Wales, this process can take longer at some monuments than others, so we are unable to give exact reopening dates for individual sites.
We will update this page as and when other unstaffed sites are able to reopen. Until then, we thank you for your patience.
- Are unstaffed Cadw sites safe to visit?
If the site in question is listed as open on the website, the answer is yes. We will not remove public access restrictions at our unstaffed sites unless we are sure that they are safe for visitors.
Furthermore, most of our unstaffed sites are open air monuments, where risk of coronavirus transmission is very low. In some cases, we have introduced measures, such as closing off towers or enclosed spaces, to help visitors maintain essential social distance levels while enjoying their visit.
All we ask is that visitors help us to keep the sites safe for everyone by following Welsh Government guidance on social distancing at all times.
We encourage people, as always, to visit responsibly and follow the Countryside Code:
Respect other people
• consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
• park carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear
• leave gates and property as you find them
• follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow.
Protect the natural environment
• leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
• don’t bring alcohol or BBQs to sites
• keep dogs under effective control
• dog poo — bag it and bin it, or take it with you.
Enjoy the outdoors
• plan ahead, check what facilities are open, be prepared
• follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures.
- My local unstaffed heritage site has reopened. Will I be able to use the nearby car-park?
Some of our unstaffed heritage sites have parking facilities. Please check the individual site webpage for specific information or updates to parking facilities before your visit. You can search for your local site here.
Additionally, some of our unstaffed sites are locked overnight so we recommend that visitors check individual site webpages for details of opening times before visiting.
- Why are you conducting a visitor survey at unstaffed heritage sites?
We are using this survey to help us monitor safe visitation and usage of our sites, while providing a simple way for local visitors to report any problems e.g. anti-social behaviour and large gatherings.
We are monitoring the survey responses daily and will pass on any concerns to relevant departments for review and management.
The information collected via the survey is anonymous — so no personal data will be required or obtained.
- I would like to report a health and safety concern (e.g. anti-social behaviour, large gathering, site maintenance problem) at my local unstaffed heritage site. What should I do?
Please fill out our unstaffed sites visitor survey to report the health and safety issue. We are monitoring these responses daily and will pass on any concerns to relevant departments for review and management.
If you have an urgent concern – we advise calling us on 03000 256000.
Risk to Life:
If you see an incident or situation that poses an immediate threat to life of our visitors, please call the appropriate 999 emergency services.
Risk to the Monument / Heritage Crime underway:
If you need to report that damage is taking place, please call the police on 101 and request them to attend.
Reporting that damage has taken place to a Cadw monument (perpetrator not present)
If you wish to report that you see damage to an unstaffed monument — please email Cadw@gov.wales or speak to us on 03000 256000 (Monday – Friday, between 8.30am – 5pm).
Reporting problem with site maintenance — if you wish to report a problem with site maintenance please email Cadw@gov.wales or speak to us on 03000 256000 (Monday – Friday, between 8.30am – 5pm).
- When will your staffed heritage sites reopen to visitors?
In line with current Welsh Government advice and guidance, all of our staffed monuments remain closed to visitors, but we are planning ahead for the safe, eventual reopening of our these iconic castles, abbeys and historic houses — and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further announcements and updates.