What to expect from your visit to Houghton Mill

Autumn walks

From scenic walks along the river to popping into our tea-room for a takeaway treat, here is all the information you need to get the best out of your visit - whatever the weather.

Parking and when you arrive 

There is no need to pre-book a car parking space at Houghton Mill. Our car park is free for members or £3 for non-members. You can stay for up to two hours and the car park will be open from 8:30am until 4pm when the gate will be locked. Upon arrival to the car park, one of our welcome team will be on hand to show you where to park and answer any questions you might have about your visit.

Please note the car park is limited in size and during busy periods such as school holidays, we advise using alternative modes of transport. Various car parks are available in the nearby town of St Ives, from here you can get one of the many buses which stop near to Houghton Mill (the closest bus stop is an approximate 5 minute walk). 

There are also cycle routes and walking routes along the Ouse Valley Way which allow you to take in the beautiful scenery on your way to visit the mill. 

Staying safe 

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. 

Facilities and Tea-room

Check out our opening times to find out when our tea-room is open. We're currently offering a takeaway menu. The toilets are open daily from 10am-4pm.

NEW Mill Tours

Houghton Mill is now open on Wednesdays and at weekends for guided tours. Entry to the mill is by pre-booked guided Mill Tour only. Tours are timed and will run at 11am on Wednesdays and at 11am, 12:30 and 2pm at weekends.

Please arrive 10 minutes before your entry slot so that your visit can begin promptly. On your tour you'll be able to discover the story behind the mill, with our knowledgeable volunteers as your guides. Tours will last approximately 1 hour. 

Please note assistance dogs only are allowed inside the mill. There are two flights of stairs to climb inside the Mill so the tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users.

Book your visit

Please note you need to book tickets to visit Houghton Mill and Waterclose Meadows.

Can't make it? Here's how to cancel your ticket

If you've booked a ticket for a guided tour of the mill, but can no longer make your slot, we would really appreciate it if you could cancel your ticket. It takes just one quick call or click and means someone else can visit in your place. 

Q: How do I cancel or change my tickets? 

A: If you set up an account when you made your booking, you will be able to amend the date/time of your booking online up to 24 hours before the date of your visit, or by calling 0344 249 1895. If you are a member and can no longer attend, please let us know by giving us a call on 0344 249 1895. 

Q: What is your refund policy for admissions tickets? 

A: We do not offer refunds for admissions tickets. If you are unable to attend and you would like to rearrange your slot, or you are a member having booked a free ticket, please call our team on 0344 249 1895. 

Enjoy the countryside around us

We have a grassy open area which is perfect for picnics and relaxing with your family or friends. Please remember to follow the Countryside Code and take your rubbish home with you.  

Dog walking at Hougton Mill

Dogs are welcome to enjoy the many walks and meadows surrounding the mill. We ask that dogs are kept on a lead at all times. Assistance dogs only are allowed inside the mill and tea-room. There are water bowls situated outside the tea-room where you can also treat your four- legged friend to a dog friendly ice-cream or puppuccino. Please bag and bin your dog poo so we can keep Houghton Mill beautiful for everyone. You will find dog waste bins located in the car park. 

Riverside safety

Visiting the riverside and Mill Pond is a popular activity at Houghton Mill, but it's important to be aware of the risks involved. Get the most out of your day with us by following these safety guidelines. The Mill Pond is deep and contains building debris so is unsuitable for paddling or swimming. Strong currents may also pose a risk so we ask that visitors have the right skills and equipment to stay safe in the water. We also ask that visitors do not bring inflatables as these are not suitable for riverside use or within the Mill Pond. 

We recommend launching canoes and paddleboards from the portage points just through the Mill. Please note Houghton Mill does not operate a canoe hire, this service is provided by a local operator. Please see our canoeing page for more details. 

Please don't bring a BBQ

Barbecues are a significant fire risk and can be hazardous for wildlife. The Countryside Code says not to have barbecues or campfires in the open countryside. 

The countryside can become very dry during the spring and summer months, which creates the perfect conditions for fires to ignite and quickly spread. 

Wildfires also put a lot of pressure on the emergency services, and endanger local communities and wildlife. Although we have a very small number of designated barbecue areas at some of the places we care for, for instance on concrete surfaces where the risk of fire is low, these should not be used during periods whilst there is significant fire risk.

Please think of others; think of the wildlife; think of our emergency services; and don’t bring barbecues to the beach or countryside.