Jersey Heritage is extending its opening hours into the winter months as a thank you to its loyal Members for their support over the past few months and to encourage people to continue to visit the Castles and Museums to help them thrive.
Hamptonne Country Life Museum was due to close for the season this weekend but will now remain open daily from 10am-4pm until the end of the year. All of the other heritage sites were due to switch to winter opening hours on 1 November. From that date, they will now remain open daily from 10am-4pm until 30 December.
The only exception is Elizabeth Castle, which will close for the winter, as planned, on 1 November. This is because access to the Castle via the causeway and the ferries is so heavily reliant on fair weather.
Louise Downie, Jersey Heritage’s Director of Curation & Experience, said: “We want to say a big thank you to all our loyal Members, who have been incredibly supportive during this difficult time. Our visitor numbers over the summer season have been decimated by the Coronavirus pandemic but Members, new and old, have flocked to our sites, with the number of their visits nearly doubling, compared to last year.
“In response to that support, we are extending the opening hours at almost all of our sites into the winter months, giving Members the opportunity to make the most of their Membership and enabling Islanders and tourists to continue to visit and access Jersey’s heritage.”
However, Louise explained that this strong support by locals had not made up for an extremely difficult summer season. She said: “The tourism market has been very challenging this year and we estimate that we will have lost £1.5million in income from tourists by the end of 2020. While opening for the winter months won’t make up for that loss, we are working extra hard to look after the visitors that we do have. We hope the extended winter hours will help to make up for the late start to the season due to lockdown and encourage people to continue to visit the heritage sites.”
Hamptonne will be closed to the general public over the weekend of 17-18 October. This is when the annual Cider Festival, La Faîs'sie d'Cidre, was due to take place. Instead, access will only be given to Islanders who have pre-booked to watch the volunteer cider makers at work.
Occupation Tapestry Gallery at the Maritime Museum will be closed to the general public during November due to an ArtHouse Jersey installation, which people can pre-book to view.
All Jersey Heritage sites will be closed on 24 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January 2021 for Christmas and New Year.
Click here for more details about site opening times.