Visiting Hidcote: what you need to know
The garden, shop, secondhand bookshop, plant centre, toilets and Winthrop's Café (takeaway only) at Hidcote are open. To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, we've reduced the number of people we can welcome at one time and you’ll need to book your visit in advance. In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit.
Arrival and parking
On arrival, please have your ticket ready to show our staff, either on your phone or a printed copy. If you’re a member, you’ll also need to show your membership card.
In order to maintain social distancing, please arrive within your timeslot. Sadly, if you're more than 10 minutes late, we won’t be able to guarantee you entry. Your entry will be at the discretion of the property staff and will be based on visitor numbers and the ability to maintain social distancing.
Parking at Hidcote is free, and it's a 100 yard walk from the car park to the entrance. Mobility parking is in main car park, 20 yards from the entrance, which is via the gravelled courtyard and car park. Unfortunately, at this time we will not be able to provide any disability scooters or wheelchairs.
The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority. To ensure that social distance is maintained, some areas of the garden are one-way. Look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.
To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.
In line with government guidance, you're required to wear a face covering in most enclosed spaces, unless exempt. Please bring one with you.
There is a two hour limit time limit to the amount of time you can spend at Hidcote during your visit. If picnicking, please use the designated picnic area by the car park. No re-entry is allowed after exiting.
The garden, shop, bookshop, plant centre, Winthrops' Cafe (takeaway), toilets and car park are open.
The house, plant shelter, gazebos and chapel remain closed.
Food from home
Only food and drink bought at Hidcote can be consumed in the garden.
You can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the picnic area under the avenue beside the car park.
There is no re-entry after exit from the garden so you can choose to have the picnic before or after your visit.
Bringing a dog?
Dogs are not allowed in the garden except for assistance dogs, but there are walks in the surrounding countryside. Please ask at Visitor Reception about our local countryside walks.
- Adapted toilet within the garden grounds
- Wheelchair accessible route covers one third of the garden
- Full route includes slopes, steps, grass, narrow and uneven gravel pathways
- Drop-off point in courtyard
- Reduced benches and seating in the garden with some roped off to enable social distancing
Exploring the garden
The Garden is now open for you to explore at leisure so please take your time and enjoy the new growth of Spring. There are some arrows where we think that social distancing could be difficult so please follow the directions to avoid bumping into other visitors.
We are proud of how the garden and its team has weathered the effects of the pandemic following reduced staffing and volunteers in 2020; and more recently the longer term impact of a permanent reduction of the garden team when the National Trust had to respond, under financial pressure, and make a series of redundancies affecting all staff across the organisation. Our brilliant volunteers have been helping where restrictions allow, currently volunteering about 20 hours per week in contrast to about 200 hours per week before CV-19!
Because of a reduced Garden Team, we have taken steps to prioritise some areas of the garden over others. For example, areas like the Rock Bank, Kitchen Garden and Long Borders may not reach the same high standards we will expect of the Central Axis, Old Garden and Fuchsia Garden. We hope you enjoy the garden, once describe by a fellow garden visitor, Vita Sackville West as ‘A jungle of beauty . . . . never allowed to deteriorate in to mere disarray, always kept just in hand’.
Gardeners will be working in the garden, please respect the social distancing guidelines around them and be aware that at times some areas may be closed for maintenance and to give the team space to work.
There will be no talks or tours at this time.
Book your tickets
Changing your booking
If your plans change and you can’t make your timeslot, you can easily change or cancel your booking. We really appreciate you doing this as soon as possible so the tickets can be made available for other visitors.
If you’re a member, the option to cancel or change your booking can be found in your confirmation email by selecting ‘view and manage your order online' underneath your order summary.
For non-members, please ring us on 0344 249 1895 to discuss changing your booking.
Book your tickets
How to book
All visitors must book a ticket in advance, including members. Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance.
- Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don’t need a ticket.
- You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.
- The timeslot is for your arrival time only
- Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale
- We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.
Every Friday we'll release new bookings for visits the following week. You can book up to 18 hours before a timeslot.
Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit.