What to expect from your visit to Upton House and Gardens

Two adultsd and three children on a lawn next to a large hedge or tree in front of a large mansion house

Upton House and Gardens are open for pre-booked visits. To keep everyone safe, we’re limiting the number of visitors we can welcome at any one time, and staggering arrivals. You’ll need to book your visit in advance.

Whether you’ve visited before or plan on visiting for the first time, we’ve prepared some guidance about what to expect.

Parking and arrival

Please arrive within your half-hour timeslot, to help maintain social distancing.   You’re then welcome to stay for as long as you like until closing time at 5pm.  The carpark is locked at 5:30pm.

Please have your booking confirmation ready to show the visitor welcome team.  One family group only is permitted inside the visitor reception at any time.  You’ll need to wear a face covering when entering the reception building, and if you’re a member we’ll ask you to please self-scan your membership card and those of your party.   

Staying safe

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. 

There is a one-way route in place across the property.  Collect a map at the entrance to guide you, and look out for signs, which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.

You’ll find hand sanitiser at the entrance to the property and inside the toilets, shop, and Pavilion café as well as at the entrance and exit for the house. 

In line with government guidance, you'll need to wear a face covering in the visitor reception building, Pavilion café, shop and inside the house.  Please bring one with you. 

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.

Explore the gardens and the mirror pool
View across a lake with lilly pads on an autumnal day. The ground rises steeply beyond the lake with large cedars behind
Explore the gardens and the mirror pool

Facilities 

Toilets in the plant centre – including accessible and baby changing facility - are open and are cleaned regularly by staff throughout the day. To help keep everyone safe, there’s one cubicle available in the ladies and one in the gents – one out, one in. The accessible toilet is available for all visitors to use. 

Reward yourself with a bite to eat
Close up of a fruit scone on a plate with a knife, small tub of clotted cream and miniature jar of jam
Reward yourself with a bite to eat

The Pavilion café is open daily from 10:30am – 5:00pm, serving takeaway sandwiches, cold savoury snacks such as sausage rolls, cakes and bakes and hot and cold drinks.  There is limited seating available inside the café and outside.  

You’re welcome to bring a picnic with you.  Feel free to bring something to sit on, as seating around the property is limited right now.

The shop and plant centre are open Thursday-Monday, 10am to 5pm, however the second-hand book shop remains closed. 

Accessibility

We’re operating a one-way route to and from the carpark and around the garden. Most of the garden access is via steps and slopes, but it can be seen from the lawn.  

There is a wheelchair-accessible route around the garden. We’ve updated our access statement, with more information about way-marked routes, and what facilities are available across the property for visitors with specific requirements. We’re sorry, but the buggy is not currently running.  

How to book

All visitors must book a ticket in advance, including members. Entry and parking are 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’ll need to book your tickets by 3pm the day before your visit.  

If you’ve booked a ticket but can no longer make your slot, we’d really appreciate it if you could cancel your ticket.  It takes just a couple of clicks and means someone else can visit in your place.

Carers can continue to access our places for free with an essential companions' card. Carers don't need to book a ticket for themselves, but the person they accompany will need a booked ticket.

The National Aster collection is at Upton
Close up of purple aster flowers with yellow centres
The National Aster collection is at Upton

Visiting Upton House 

The house is reopening Monday 21 September, from 11am to 3pm, every day.  Last entry is 2:30pm.  Please do not join the queue after this time.  

  • Entry is on a first come, first served basis, on the day.  Please queue on arrival, in the courtyard, outside the house entrance.
  • The time on your pre-booked admission ticket is your time of arrival and entry to the grounds.  It does not guarantee you entry to the house.
  • Numbers to the house are limited to ensure social distancing.  We’re sorry, if this means that not everyone will be able to see the house. 

Please see visiting the house information for more detail.

Visiting the house:

We’re delighted to be reopening Upton House from Monday 21st September.   We’ve missed the sound of your footsteps and voices and sharing your discoveries with the collection.

Conservation work is always going on
Hands holding a hammer and braiding against a wall for repairs
Conservation work is always going on

A skeleton team have been caring for the house and collection throughout lockdown: monitoring light and humidity, controlling pests and keeping on top of vacuuming and dusting. We’re looking forward to opening the shutters and doors and welcoming you back.  

To keep everyone safe, we’re limiting the number of people in the house, and you may have to queue before entering. Please help us to manage capacity by completing your visit to the house before visiting other parts of the property.  

We regret that visitors with timed ticket entry for 3pm and 3:30pm will not be able to view the house.   We appreciate your patience, as we seek to reopen in the safest manner possible.

Your visit

Your visit might feel a little different, because of measures we’ve introduced to help keep everyone safe: 

  • As we’re supporting the NHS test and trace programme, we’ll ask you to leave brief contact details before you enter.  
  • There is a one-way system and a shortened visitor route through the ground floor and lower ground floor of the house.  We’re sorry, this means you’ll only be able to see some of the collection, though we think you’ll agree the route includes some of the finest pieces.  
  • The picture catalogues are currently unavailable.  Details of the paintings on the visitor route can be found here. 
  • Please give other visitors, and our room volunteers, plenty of space, and kindly follow the directions of our volunteers, who will be ensuring that social distancing is possible.
  • Hand sanitiser is available at the house entrance and exit. 
  • Surfaces are sanitised regularly throughout the day.  For your safety, please avoid touching surfaces as much as you can. 
  • In line with government guidance, you're required to wear a face covering in most enclosed spaces.  This includes the house.  Please bring a face covering with you. 

Key information

  • The house is open everyday from 11am to 3pm.  Last entry is 2:30pm.
  • Admission to the house is included with your pre-booked ticket, on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please wear a face covering.
  • We’re limiting numbers for everyone’s safety and can’t guarantee everyone entry.
  • One-way system and shorter visitor route.
  • Large backpacks and buggies must be left outside.  We’re sorry, we’re unable to store bags and personal belongings.

Don’t miss

Fashion in Paintings: Exploring new perspectives on the art collection at Upton.

Part of A man and his wife by master of the St Barbara legend at Upton House
Head and shoulders of a man and a woman on a Middle Ages period painting.
Part of A man and his wife by master of the St Barbara legend at Upton House

Jenny Lister, Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the V&A Museum, London, takes over the interpretation of 12 paintings. Look out for her labels as you walk around the house.