welcome back banner

Welcome back, we have missed you!

We are delighted to announce that we are able to open our doors and welcome you back to the Museum. We have been extremely grateful for all of the support we have received over the past few months and although we still have a long way to go, your patience and generosity will have a huge impact on the future of the Museum.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum and hope you enjoy wandering our impressive 40-acre open air site, whilst admiring the scenery of the South Downs National Park. 

The well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff has always been, and continues to remain, our number one priority. Although the Museum hasn’t changed, we have had to make a few adaptations to ensure the correct safety measures are in place and that there is a robust social distancing plan that adheres to government guidelines.

When are we open?

We opened on 22 June – 5 July Members only, and 6 July on wards to the general public.


To ensure social distancing restrictions can be maintained, entry to the Museum will be through timed, pre-booked tickets only –  Book Online Today.


  • The main car park will be closed and you will be directed to park in the overflow car park. The parking will have clear signage and will be marked out with rows labelled A – H. The first row will be allocated for disabled parking only.
  • Entrance to the Museum will be through the admission marquee, located in the overflow car park. Here you will need to present your pre-booked ticket(s) for scanning, before entering the site.
  • You will notice additional health and safety protocols have been put in place, these include additional signage, way finding markers, queuing systems, safety screens and contactless transactions, as well as increased cleaning and sanitisation.
  • We ask that any payments made on site for food/drink or in our shop are made by card and contactless if possible. You will not be able to make purchases by cash.
  • If you have to queue to enter the Museum you will be asked to keep a two-metre gap between you and those around you. Additional signage will be visible to act as a reminder.
  • Toilets will remain open across the site. All toilets will be made unisex with a one-group-in-one-out system to ensure social distancing can be maintained. We ask you to please keep a 2-metre distance if you have to queue.
  • The café will be open 10.30am – 5pm for a take-away service only and will include hot and cold refreshments, and a take away lunch offer between 12-3pm. There will be a one way queuing system in place and you will be asked to maintain a 2-metre gap when queuing.
  • We do encourage visitors to bring their own picnics to enjoy in the scenic grounds of the Museum. However, we advise all visitors to follow correct social distancing guidelines at all times, and ask that they leave the Museum as they wish to find it by using the bins provided.

We will continue to monitor government guidance during this time and will adapt our opening arrangements to adhere to any new requirements, therefore please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for any future updates.


We will continue to monitor the number of visitors on site and therefore can only accept pre-booked tickets. To ensure that social distancing restrictions can be maintained, we do have a new admissions procedure that applies to all visitors, including Members.

Step 1: Visit our online booking page.

Step 2: Select the quantity and type of ticket you wish to buy.

Step 3: Select your chosen date and time of entry. Please note the time slot for your ticket is the time in which you will be permitted entry to the Museum. You will be permitted entry at any point across your chosen time slot. There is no restriction on the length of your visit.

Step 4: Confirm your booking and make payment if required. (Members/Volunteers will need to book a timed entry ticket but this will be free of charge).

On arrival to the Museum you will be asked to show your pre-booked tickets and valid Membership card/Volunteer pass if applicable, at the admissions entrance, which will be located in our overflow car park, please follow the signs upon arrival.


Are you open?

We are pleased to announce that we are now open! 

Is my ticket for a specific day and time?

Yes, all tickets are valid only on the specified date, and entry will only be permitted during the one hour time slot stated on your ticket, however visitors are allowed to enjoy the Museum at their leisure until closing time (6pm).

NB: Entry will only be allowed via pre-booked tickets. 

Will my time on site be restricted?

No. We ask you to book a specific time and date for entry, so we can manage visitor numbers on-site – however, there will be no restriction on the length of your stay. 

I am a Member, do I still need to book and will I have to pay?

If you are a Weald & Downland Living Museum Member you will still be able to visit for free, but we will need you to book a timed entry ticket online, in advanced in order for us to manage numbers and keep to the government guidelines. This ticket will be free of charge. You will need to present both your membership card AND timed entry ticket on arrival to gain entry.

Disabled membership, plus carer

If you have a disabled membership and you are bringing a carer with you, you must book two tickets, one for you (membership) and another ticket (free of charge) for your carer.

Are 2-4-1 ticket offers such as Gardener’s World voucher holders, still applicable?

Yes, we are accepting Garender’s World 2-4-1 tickets. NB – these tickets are only valid during the week (Mon-Fri).
You will be asked to provide your Gardener’s World card, so please don’t forget to bring it along with you when you visit, thank you.

I have already purchased a ticket/ have received a complimentary pass; do I have to book again?

Yes, you will need to book a timed entry ticket but you will not be charged. Please choose the ticket option for those with open tickets/complimentary passes. We will need you to book online in advance in order for us to manage numbers and keep to the government guidelines. You will need to present both the open ticket/complimentary pass AND your timed entry ticket on arrival to gain entry.

Complimentary passes include:

  • Museum complimentary passes – pass must be handed to admissions staff upon entry
  • Association of Independent Museum – free entry for card holder only, proof of AIM membership must be presented upon entry
  • Museum Association – free entry for card holders only, proof of MA membership must be presented upon entry
  • Sussex Top Attractions – please refer to the terms and conditions in the booklet, this must be presented upon entry

NHS, Armed Forces and Emergency Service discounted entry

 We offer a 25% discount to those who work for the NHS, Armed Forces or Emergency Services (police, fire, ambulance). Please select the ‘Entry Front-line Worker‘ ticket type when booking. Proof of ID will be required upon entry.

I am a volunteer do I get free entry and do I have to book to visit?

Yes, you will have to book, but you will not be charged. Please choose the ticket option for volunteers. We will need you to book online in advance in order for us to manage numbers and keep to the government guidelines. You will need to present both your valid volunteer pass AND your timed entry ticket on arrival to gain entry.

Can I book tickets for friends and family outside of my household?

Yes, you can. Tickets bought online can be emailed on to family and friends who will need to present their tickets at the admissions entrance.

Do you offer refunds?

Unfortunately we are not offering refunds at this time. Tickets are non-refundable even if they are unused.

What if I can’t print my ticket?

A valid timed entry ticket must be presented to be scanned, to gain entry to the Museum. Tickets can either be presented on paper or on a smart phone.

How do I renew my membership?

Please email [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible. There may be a delay in our response as the team continue to work remotely. You can also renew your membership on the day of your visit at the admissions entrance.

Will the Café remain open?

Yes, the cafe will remain open as a takeaway service of hot/cold drinks, cakes and hot/cold lunch offer. The café will be open at 10.30am – 5pm with lunch available between 12pm – 3pm.
NB: there will be no seating available.

Face coverings

From Friday, 24 July, inline with government guidelines, all customers (apart from children under 11 and those with disabilities or breathing difficulties) are to wear a face mask, scarf or other covering when entering the Museum cafe. The face covering may be removed only when in a seated area.

Please be aware that not all disabilities are visible, so please be understanding of others who may not be able to follow this rule.

Will the Gift Shop remain open and can I purchase the Museum’s flour?

Unfortunately our shop will not reopen until Autumn.  Please do keep an eye on our website for details.

In the meantime Museum flour will be available to buy from the cafe and is also available from our neighbours at Goodwood Farm Shop and West Dean Stores.

NB: Museum flour will not be available for purchase in the Museum’s watermill during this time.

Can I still buy duck food to feed the ducks?

Duck food is available for purchase from our cafe.

Can I bring my own picnic?

Yes, you can. You are welcome to have your picnic anywhere at the Museum provided that social distancing guidelines are followed. Please remove all rubbish, use the bins provided and make sure you wash your hands before and after eating.

Is there wheelchair access?

Our Museum accessibility has not changed. We are a rural site with a blend of stone, gravel and earth pathways. Visitors tend to find that wheelchairs with wide tyres makes access around the Museum easier and smoother. The use of a powered wheelchair or four-wheeled mobility scooter will enable access to the majority of the open areas of the site. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer the loan of Museum wheelchairs at this time.

Will the toilets remain open?

Yes, all toilets across the site will remain open, except in the café where one disabled toilet will be available. We will operate a one-group-in-one-out policy that will be clearly marked, and we ask visitors to keep a 2 metre distance when queuing.

Will the disabled toilet be available in the café?

There will be only one toilet available in the Museum café. This will be the disabled toilet, at the far end of the café and will be available for all visitors to use, however we will encourage visitors to give priority to those that need it.

Can I bring my dog/s?

Yes, dogs are welcome, however we do ask that they are kept on short leads at all times whilst on site.

Will the mill be open?

The mill will be in operation, most days, however access to the mill will not be possible under the current guidelines.

What time is last entry to site?

The last timed entry slot is 14:30 – 15:30 (2.30-3.30pm). Timed entry slots are selected at the time of booking. Please note, these are entry times and you can spend as long as you like on site, however the Museum does close at 18:00 (6pm).

What time does the Museum close?

The Museum closes at 18:00 (6pm).

What if I witness people not obeying the social distancing rules?

Please report the incident to the nearest member of staff or volunteer. All staff and volunteers wear a green/blue lanyard with a name badge.

Will weddings still be taking place?

Unfortunately, we are not taking any further bookings for 2020. If you would like to enquire for future dates please email [email protected] 

Can I book a wedding for 2021?

Please refer to our wedding hire page on our website in Autumn 2020 when we will be updating any available dates that may be available to book in 2021.


If your question has not been answered above, please email [email protected] and we will respond to your question as soon as possible.