Visiting Montacute House: what you need to know

The Elizabethan mansion and partial view of one of the pavilions at Montacute House, Somerset

The garden, parkland, car park, cafe and toilets are now open. To ensure everyone's safety, 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.

Arrival and parking 

Please have your booked 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. If you are arriving by car, you'll be asked to show these through your vehicle window before parking. Those arriving on foot will be checked by a small team of staff who will adhere to social distancing.

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 your entry. Your entry will be at the discretion of the property staff and based on visitor numbers and the ability to maintain social distancing.

Parking is free. There is designated mobility parking in main car park, 40 yards from the entrance. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to offer wheelchair loan. 


Staying safe

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority. To ensure that social distance is maintained we have set up a one-way route round the formal garden and estate. Look out for signs while you’re here, which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site. 

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 guidelines you'll be required to wear a face covering in our café from 24 July. Please bring one with you.

 

How long can I spend here?

There is no limit to the amount of time you can spend at Montacute House during your visit.   


What's open?

The garden, parkland, car park, cafe and toilets are open. The house, shop and book barn remain closed. We’re working hard to get these open as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Food and drink

The cafe is open again. You can get takeaway drinks and light snacks, including hot sausage rolls and pasties as well as cold ice creams. And yes, there will be cake - of course!

You are welcome to bring your own picnic - Cedar Lawn is a lovely place to spread a rug, or find a secret spot in the long grass off West Drive!

In line with government guidelines you'll be required to wear a face covering in our café from 24 July. Please bring one with you.


Can I bring a dog?

Dogs on a lead are allowed in the garden. There are walks aplenty in the parkland, St Michael's Hill and Ladies' Walk; do be aware of sheep and lambs and leash your pet where necessary.

Dog bins can be found in strategic positions, so please make use of them.

 
Accessibility

  • There is an accessible toilet by the entrance
  • Much of the garden is on level ground or has ramped access. Paths are a combination of compacted gravel or stone paving.


Exploring the garden

The garden is looking lovely, but it won’t be quite as you’re used to seeing it. We’ve had just our head gardener in the property for many weeks, while everyone stayed home and stayed safe.

We have a small team in now, but nowhere near what we’re used to, so the garden isn't perhaps as well-groomed as you might be expecting (like many of us). You might spot some weeds and rough edges; please bear with us, and instead enjoy all the many other pleasures that our garden has to offer. Long grass and wild flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies!

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, tours, or opportunities for questions or advice at this time.
 

Booking 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.

Help support key workers

To say thank you to our nation's key workers and all they have done for us, we're encouraging visitors to keep the first and last slots of each day free for key workers to use. While we are unable to 'reserve' these slots exclusively for key workers, we hope you will join us in thanking them by leaving these times free. If you or someone in your group are a key worker, please take the opportunity to book these early and late timeslots.
 

Upcoming events

Timed entry to Montacute House (10 August - 16 August)

Mon 10 Aug 2020
10:00-10:30
Book your timed entry to visit Montacute House.