What to expect from your visit

The Barn Theatre at Smallhythe Place, the home of actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to 1928 at Tenterden, Kent

The garden and toilet facilities are currently open. From Wednesday 19 May the indoor spaces will also be re-opening with social distancing measures in place. We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing, please pre-book all tickets.

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. Please book your tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking.

Pre-booking is necessary before your visit, unfortunately we won't be able to guarantee your entry without a pre booked ticket. 

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 at visitor reception.

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 two hours, to help maintain safe numbers in the grounds and ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy Smallhythe Place.

Campervans that are used for transport are welcome for pre-booked visitors but are not permitted to stay overnight. Currently, we’re unable to welcome minibuses or 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.

You'll find hand sanitizer you can use near the toilet facilities 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 and access 

The house will re-open after government guidance from Wednesday 19 May, every weds-sunday, between 11am - 5pm. We strongly advise booking your visit however where capacity allows we will be accepting walk ups. Please be aware that there will be new social distancing measures in place for the house and theatre and following government guidance, please wear a face covering. 

Toilets are available next to visitor reception which are sanitized at least three times a day.

For the safety of staff and visitors we've introduced social distancing measures and changes to payment at our visitor reception, which will be via card only. In line with government guidance visitors to our toilets 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.

Visitor reception will be located next to barn theatre, please follow the signs upon your arrival to locate the reception team. 

Please be aware that there are no food or beverage outlets that will be open during your visit, please bring any refreshements with you. 

Benches are located around the site for visitors to rest as they walk and to enjoy a picnic. 

Dogs are welcome, please keep them on a short lead at all times.

Exploring the garden

Our garden is looking lovely and will continue to do so well into the autumn. However, it might not be quite as you’re used to seeing it. We have a gardener back at work now but with the lost time over the year the garden isn'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 garden has 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 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.

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.