Castle in the Clouds is taking all of the necessary precautions in accordance with New Hampshire’s regulations for reopening museums as well as following CDC guidelines for businesses. Your visit at the start of our 2020 season will look different from previous years, and we will continue to update these new visitation procedures in response to both state and federal guidelines and local COVID-19 numbers.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures have been implemented
- All staff, volunteers and guests are required to wear face coverings while inside buildings, on the trolley, and other locations where physical distancing is not possible.
- Entry to tour the Castle is timed and ticketed
- You can only buy tickets in the Ticketing Office building
- The Gift Shop has been relocated inside the Carriage House
- Food, beverages and ice cream may be purchased at Café in the Clouds
Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation
In accordance with recommendations from the State of New Hampshire and the CDC we have implemented additional cleaning and sanitation efforts to ensure guest and staff safety. High touch surfaces will be disinfected at least once every two hours. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the property for guest use.
Getting to Castle in the Clouds
This year, our scenic road, accessed at the Front Gate on Rt. 171, is closed to vehicle traffic. It is open for pedestrians and hikers. Visitors will instead drive up Ossipee Park Road, located 2 miles north of the main entry, and park in the usual parking spots. We ask that you refrain from visiting the Castle if you are feeling unwell, if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or if you have used public transportation in any state other than NH, ME, or VT in the past 14 days. There is a barrier and tent near the gift shop building – you must wear a face covering and purchase admission in order to continue onto that part of the property. Face coverings are required for all guests over the age of two once you reach the barrier and tent (if you didn’t bring one, a limited number of disposable face coverings will be available or cloth face coverings are available for purchase in the Ticketing Office & Carriage House Gift Shop).
Buying Your Tickets
Castle tours are now timed-entry only– you will purchase your tickets in the Ticketing Office. We ask that only one person per party go inside to make the purchase. You can purchase tickets for one of the next few available time slots. Tickets are limited so that we may encourage social distancing within the Castle and on the trolleys. You will be given a sticker and a receipt – the sticker allows you into the Carriage House and onto the trolley, the receipt will have your entry time for your Castle tour on it, which you will need to present to a guide in order to enter the Castle.
Getting to the Castle
After you have purchased your ticket at the Ticketing Office you will make your way to the Carriage House. You may use the restrooms here as there are no public restrooms at the Castle. In front of this building you will wait for the trolley, we ask that you leave at least 6 feet of distance between parties while waiting.
When the trolley arrives and the driver indicates that they are ready for you to board, please do so by taking the seat farthest in the back and load back to front. This will keep people from crossing paths in the tight quarters of the trolley. Some seats will be blocked off to help encourage appropriate distancing. The trolleys are cleaned and sanitized a minimum of every two hours per state guidelines.
Arriving at the Castle
When delivered to the Castle, you will be asked to explore the lakeside lawns where you can take in the stunning view of Lake Winnipesaukee (weather and time permitting). A guide may be on the lawns to answer questions and provide historic reference. At the designated time on your receipt, a guide will usher you into the Sun Parlor for a 5-minute Orientation video that provides a brief history of the property and outlines our rules for the Castle i.e. no food or drink is allowed inside and we do not allow flash photography. The guide will then allow guests into the Castle through the kitchen. This year, we have laid out a specific one-way path for you to follow through the house to encourage appropriate distancing and guest safety. Once you enter the Castle, you have 1 hour to make your way through the tour. There will still be guides stationed throughout the home to answer questions and provide interpretation. The walking tour does include 2 flights of stairs – if you do not feel comfortable/are unable to navigate stairs please tell your orientation guide so that he or she help you access a video tour of the second floor. After you have completed the tour, you will leave Lucknow through the front door. You’ll have the option to wait for the next trolley to take you down to the Carriage House, to enjoy the views from the back lawn, or take a walking path down to the Carriage House (accessed via the back lawn).
In the Carriage House
For the beginning of our 2020 season, the Carriage House Restaurant will not be open for lunch service. Our gift shop will be set up in the stalls of the Carriage House with souvenirs for you to purchase. Again, this is where you would use the restroom if need be as well. In this space you may also explore the next exhibit: The Shoes that Built the Castle and/or step out on the terrace for another beautiful view!
Café in the Clouds
If you are hungry while visiting the Castle, be sure to visit Café in the Clouds located in the fields between Shannon Pond and the parking lots. Café in the Clouds offers lunch daily from 11-4 – they have a rotating menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, and ice cream. You can also purchase fish food here to feed the trout at Shannon Pond. There are restrooms in the field for your convenience as well.
Cars with Handicap stickers/license plates will be able to continue passed the barricade at the Ticketing Office to our handicap parking lot outside of the Carriage House. Drivers may also drop off their party at the barricade to wait and purchase tickets while the car is being parked.