Hold Still

Visiting Us

The National Memorial Arboretum remains open to pre-booked visitors following the introduction of new national coronavirus restrictions from Thursday 5 November, however the number of visitors permitted access each day will continue to be regulated and will be by pre-booked ticket only.

Access to the Arboretum will be via the Remembrance Centre where our visitor toilets remain available. The new restrictions mean that all indoor areas including our Shop are closed and we are currently unable to offer dine-in options in our Restaurant, though a limited take-away service is available from our Coffee Shop kiosk. Our tours, talks and trails are also unavailable.  

Further information about the measures currently in place at the Arboretum can be found by following the link below.

Find Out More

Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still is an ambitious community project which was launched in May 2020 to create a unique collective portrait of the UK during lockdown.

People of all ages were invited to submit a photographic portrait, taken in a six-week period during May and June, focussed on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness. Over 31,000 submissions were received from across the country, with entrants ranging from 4 to 75 years-old.  

A selection panel, including The Duchess of Cambridge, National Portrait Gallery Director Nicholas Cullinan, the author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, the Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May, and award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid, met via a video call in July 2020 and undertook the challenging process of selecting 100 portraits for the exhibition. The judges assessed the images based on the emotions and experiences they convey rather than on their photographic quality or technical expertise. Their aim was to select images which create a collective snapshot of the nation over the past few months and reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, human tragedy and hope. 

Tree Canopy From Below

Featured here at the National Memorial Arboretum, the nation’s centre of remembrance, the final 100 pictures present a unique and highly personal record of this extraordinary period in our history. From virtual birthday parties, handmade rainbows and community clapping to brave NHS staff, resilient keyworkers and people dealing with illness, isolation and loss. The images convey humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope – expressing and exploring both our shared and individual experiences.

You might have your own thoughts and stories in response to Hold Still, so please feel free to share them online using the #HoldStill2020 hashtag. 

On site from 24 October - 6 December 2020.

On The Doorstep (approved for social media, must credit Kenny Glover)

Explore From Home

This downloadable resource is designed for young people, school groups and families to use while exploring the Hold Still digital exhibition.
Download Activity Sheet
Hold Still Exhibition