Gilbert White's House & Garden and The Oates Collection

Historic House
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Discover three fascinating stories about explorers of the Natural World…… Rev.Gilbert White, 18th century naturalist is remembered as the first ecologist and author of the world famous book The Natural History of Selborne. Explore his home which is set in 25 acres of restored gardens and ancient parkland, situated beneath the beech-clad ‘Hanger'. Learn about the fascinating travels of Frank Oates, a 19th century explorer who was one of the first Europeans to journey to Africa and the Americas. Marvel at his fabulous collection of birds, animals and African weapons. 2012 marks the centenary of the death of Antarctic Hero Captain Lawrence Oates, who travelled the epic journey to the South Pole in 1911-12 with Captain Scott. He is remembered for sacrifcing his life with the famous last words ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.' See the new exciting exhibition dedicated to him.


Took my mother after many years of saying we would visit. Well worth the trip. Staff were wonderful and welcoming and very knowledgeable. We very much enjoyed the beautiful items in the house and had some fun trying on the Artic clothing in the Oates section. We will return with the children as they are well catered for with lots of interactive things all around. The view from the garden across the meadow was simply stunning and we are excited to return with our season pass to enjoy in in slightly dryer weather. There were may beautiful flowers all around and well kept lawn and gardens, we watched the gardener mow the neat stripes into the lawn - he must have walked miles, just doing that job alone! There were many unusual varieties or plants we know well such as the sunflowers, which were also on sale there. We also enjoyed a beautifully prepared and served lunch in the tea room. The freshly baked (and still hot to the touch) scones were a beautiful way to finish of a shared ploughmans lunch. Reasonable pricing and proper tea, with cup and saucer made mum's birthday just that little bit more special. The shop is pricey as others have mentioned but these are unique items and the price reflect the quality. We also purchased some produce from the kitchen garden which made a delicious supper for the rest of the family.


We have visited the House and Museum on a number of occasions over the years, but have not been for some time so that on a bright and sunny Summer's day it made the ideal visit. There is much to see and enjoy on a number of levels, interesting house and gardens plus the unlikely, but fascinating Oates Museum on the upper floor. When the house was on the market in the 1950's it was a member of the Oates family that provided most of the funding and impetus,with the property being shared between the naturalist and his own ancestors. The two sit surprisingly well together, the man of field and nature, plus the adventurous British explorers. There is clearly a busy programme for schools and specialists. An excellent shop plus a welcoming cafe. If you have not been, put it on your to do list.


I visited this museum with my 10 year old daughter who was doing a school project on Gilbert White. The staff here are fabulous, and the museum is very well set out with plenty of tasks for children to try. If you are willing to gift aid then you also get the bonus of a year's membership so you can visit the museum again as often as you like! Although the Captain Oates part wasn't the object of our visit, my daughter also loved that piece, and the large garden was an extra delight. We treated ourselves to lunch (and delicious cake!) in the tea-shop. All in all, an excellent day out! We'll be back!


We've visited Gilbert White's House (and more to the point the lovely gardens and grounds) many times, but this was the first time we have been for a 'course'. This was a very pleasant and informative evening 'bat walk', led by two very knowledgeable people. Really recommended - and I am sure they do many other activities and events - worth keeping an eye out for.


There is plenty to enjoy here, esp if you have children and good walking shoes! The exhibits are so well thought through but the vista is wonderful... Wish i could have wandered further... Just had no idea it was there! Great shop though a bit expensive perhaps!


The house has various nature artifacts and many editions of the book written by Gilbert White. The garden was very pretty. The tea shop had a very good cream tea, and the gift shop had many interesting items.


Loved this as there was lots of interesting detail about Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the Antarctic.

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Facilities & information


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Extra info

Open Times: 1st January-14th February Friday-Sunday 10:30am to 4.30pm. 16th February-24th March Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-4:30pm. 25th March-30th October Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-5:00pm. 1st November-23rd December, Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-4:30pm. 24th December Thusday 10:3am-3:00pm.
Price Details: Adult £9.50, Concession £8.50, Child (Under 16) £4.00, Child Under 5 Free, Family (2A+3C) £24.00. Garden only: £7.50. Pre-booked group (10+) £7.50.

Arrival information & directions

Address: The Wakes, Selborne, Alton, Hampshire, AltonGU34 3JH, United Kingdom

By Road Selborne is on the B3006 from Alton to the A3. The village car park is behind the Selborne Arms and to reach the House and Museum turn left on leaving the car park and walk along the High Street. The house is almost opposite the Plestor (a small village green) and Church. Postcode: GU34 3JH By Bus There is a limited bus service to/from Selborne. Please click here to see the bus timetable. By Rail Alton and Liss Stations are reached via Waterloo and are within easy reach. Both have a limited bus service to Selborne. Taxis are available at the stations; it is advisable to book the return journey.


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