What to expect from your visit to Mottisfont

The north face of Mottisfont house, Hampshire

Our gardens are now open for pre-booking, along with our car park, two takeaway cafes, the shop and some toilet facilities. 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.

Parking and arrival

Please have your tickets, membership card and booking voucher close to hand as you arrive, as we'll be checking your booking as you enter the car park.

Please arrive within your half-hour timeslot, to help maintain social distancing. If you’re more than 10 minutes late for your arrival slot then entry will be at the discretion of the property team. We're asking visitors to limit their visit to three hours, to help maintain safe numbers in the grounds.

There's no extra charge for parking - your pre-booked ticket includes a parking space.

Campervans that are used for transport are welcome for pre-booked visitors, but are not permitted to stay overnight. At this time we’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches.

Staying safe

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. And look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site. There are one-way routes for the rose garden (with some small areas closed off), the river walk and the meadow.

You'll find bottles of hand sanitizer you can use at key locations, as well as sinks for hand washing in the available toilets.

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

Toilets - including access and baby change facilities - are available at the Welcome Centre, the Stables and the Kitchen Garden, on a one in/one out basis. These are sanitized at least three times a day by a professional cleaning company.

The Old Kitchen Café is serving takeaway food and drink from 10am-4.30pm. Here you'll find soups, one pots, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and drinks. There's no indoor seating, but outdoor seating is available on the east lawn. 

In addition, our refreshment kiosk in the Kitchen Garden offers hot drinks, cakes and light bites from 10am-4.30pm,. If weather permits, our Jude's horsebox will serve up scoop ice cream from 12noon. Feel free to enjoy a picnic when you visit - some picnic tables are available on the paddocks, appropriately spaced.

Our shop and plant sales are open from 11am daily.

For the safety of staff and visitors we've introduced social distancing measures and changes to payment in our cafés and shop, which will be via card only. In line with government guidance visitors to our shop and the indoor Old Kitchen Café are now required to wear a face covering. Please bring one along with you.

Sadly, we’re not able to open everything at once. Some facilities and areas remain closed at the moment, so that we're sure that everything we do is safe, but new possibilities are opening up all the time. The path beside the font stream and the winter garden are closed for now, as well as the house, gallery and most other indoor spaces (including the Old Kitchen Café seating area, the Coach House café and second-hand bookshop).

Our play areas also remain closed. They are usually very popular, making it difficult to uphold social distancing. It's also not possible for us to keep them sanitised with our current limited resources. However, we continue to monitor government advice and will open them as soon as is safely possible. There are plenty of other spaces to play in the gardens: ball games and frisbees are welcome on the paddock areas (though please not on the formal lawns in front and behind the house, or in the walled rose gardens).

Access

We're not currently able to offer a buggy service as it's not possible to operate this while observing social distancing. Visitors are welcome to loan one of our five wheelchairs on a first come, first serve basis. Benches are located around the site for visitors to rest as they walk.

Dogs are welcome everywhere apart from the rose gardens and formal lawns (assistance dogs only in these areas), but please keep them on a short lead at all times.

Exploring the gardens

The herbaceous borders of the walled gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Stroll through our gardens 

The herbaceous borders in our famous walled garden are showcasing a huge variety of flowering plants, while some late and repeat-flowering roses continue to bloom. There’s plenty of space to spread out on our wide, grassy lawns, and the tree-lined river walk provides shade for hot days. Head up to the beech circle on the paddock to experience an immersive sound installation.

Our gardens are looking lovely, but they won’t be quite as you’re used to seeing them. We’ve had almost no gardeners 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 gardens aren’t perhaps as well-groomed as you might be expecting. There are some weeds and rough edges; please bear with us as we do what we can as soon as we can, and instead enjoy all the many other pleasures that our gardens have to offer.

Please don't use bikes, scooters and trikes anywhere in the grounds, and please don't bring parasols, wind breakers, tents, gazebos or inflatables on your visit.

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.
 

Family walking in the woodland at Box Hill, Surrey

Which places are open and what you need to know before you visit 

We’ve opened more than 135 gardens and parks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland through advanced booking. Tickets are released on Friday for the following week. More than 200 coast and countryside car parks are open across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read this article to find out what's open and what to expect from your visit.