What to expect from your visit to Mottisfont

Looking down the lime walk towards the back of the house at Mottisfont, Hampshire

We're looking forward to welcoming you back. Please book your tickets here before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary, however if you do not book we cannot guarantee admission.

The car park, most of the gardens, The Old Kitchen café, shop and toilets at Mottisfont are open. The house is open on weekdays only, 11am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm). 

Parking and arrival

If you've pre-booked, please have your tickets and membership card close to hand as you enter, as we'll be checking your booking at visitor reception. In line with government guidance, you're required to wear a face covering here. Please bring one with you.

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.

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 walled gardens (with some small areas closed off), the river walk and the meadow. Please note that there are currently further route restrictions in and around the walled Kitchen Garden while we carry out some essential tree works in the area.

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.

What's open?

Facilities

Toilets - including access and baby change facilities - are available at the Welcome Centre, the lower corridor of the house, 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.

Café and shop

The Old Kitchen Café is serving food and drink from 10am-4.30pm. Here you'll find soups, one pots, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and drinks, all served on plant-based disposable tableware which is composted or recycled.

There's some limited indoor seating here, and outdoor seating is available on the east lawn. If indoor seating is available we will guide you to a table, and you may have to wait while we clean between customers. We will have to take some contact details in line with government guidance for Test and Trace if you choose to sit indoors.

An additional refreshment kiosk will be open in the Kitchen Garden when weather permits, offering takeaway hot drinks, cakes and light bites from 11am-4.30pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, 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.

Gardens

Autumn sunlight from behind a tree in the gardens at Mottisfont

Stroll through our gardens 

Our gardens are taking on the colours of autumn: ancient trees around the grounds are crowning themselves in shades of red and gold. Take a slow stroll beside the river, looking out for trout in the Test's clear waters, and head up to the paddock to see a sculpture by Peter Frie among season's changing colours. You can also explore the gardens with a creative trail for adult visitors.

Our gardens 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.

House

The house is open on weekdays only, 11am-4pm, last entry 3.30pm.

Please note that the house will be closing at 2pm on Wednesday 28 October to manage a delivery and some essential works.

You’ll have the opportunity to take in the spectacular Whistler Room and a selection of other stylish rooms re-modelled under Maud Russell's influence. Although the gallery remains closed, our permanent collection of 20th-century art will be on display. 

To keep you safe we have introduced a one-way route through the house and hand sanitising gel will be made available on entry and exit. We are also limiting the number of people who can access the house at any one time. Due to limits on capacity, it may not be possible for everyone to access the house during their visit. 

In line with government guidance for Test and Trace, we'll need to take some details from you before you step inside. This information is stored securely for Test and Trace purposes only, for 21 days after your visit.

To make sure everyone can maintain social distancing, we have set up a new exit route through the Morning Room, via an exterior stairway. Please speak to our house team if this is not accessible for you – we will arrange an alternative safe exit.

In line with government guidance visitors to our house are required to wear a face covering. Please bring one along with you.

What's closed

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 art gallery, the Coach House café and second-hand bookshop.

Our climbing and water play areas also remain closed. We haven't been able to carry out essential maintenance to these facilities this year, and we don't feel we can open them safely. We will work on these when we can, but this may take some time.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to run self-led activities for families in school holidays to help avoid any disappointment. There are plenty of other spaces to play in the gardens, too: 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.