Group Booking Information

Houghton Lodge Gardens is the ideal place to visit, whether your passion lies with Historic Houses or beautiful gardens – or both.

Houghton Lodge is one of the finest, and earliest surviving examples of a Cottage Ornée – a style of ‘picturesque’ Gothic architecture that flourished for about 25 years from 1790. Houghton Lodge was thought to be designed in 1793 by John Plaw – one of the pioneers of the genre – and was probably intended as a fishing lodge. Some fishing lodge! Today the house is Grade II* listed, it is a charming and quirky house, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful privately owned historic houses and gardens to visit in Hampshire.

For groups visiting the house, you will be guided by the owner’s family and learn of the history of this unique Historic House and discover why it is one of the “must see” places of interest in Hampshire. You will be regaled with stories of ancestors interwoven with social and family history, while you enjoy the exquisite woodwork, beautiful furniture and stunning architecture. Houghton Lodge is not a National Trust property, but a family home, there are no ropes or teasles and you are welcome to sit on the chairs!

For groups visiting the gardens – there is lots to see:

The gardens at Houghton Lodge are a charming example of an eighteenth century informal garden designed in this ‘Natural Style’. Architects and garden designers set about softening the boundaries between house and garden with delightful contrivances such as conservatories, French windows, terraces and verandas with vases of flowers and plant containers in profusion both inside and out. There is total harmony between the shape of the house, its carefully contoured lawns and the sweeping bends of the river.

The walled garden boasts vast espalier fruit trees enclosed by a historical chalk cob wall. It provides protection to 32 different varieties of apple tree, many of which cannot be bought today. There is a wonderful herb garden with pharmaceutical, medicinal, natural dye, pot pourri and tea beds. The fruit cage is home to both white and red raspberries. Vegetables grow in raised beds, and you will see wild flowers, sweet peas and dahlias providing a kaleidoscope of summer and autumn colour. Not to be missed is the magnificent espaliered pear tree growing on the eastern wall- which is now over 52’ long!

On leaving this part of the garden the scents and colours of the magnificent 300 foot herbaceous border are an impressive sight indeed. Ambling down to the Test, visitors can engage with our ever-friendly Alpacas, Tom, Dick and Harry. They are quiet fellows enjoying the natural meadow and curiously observing visitors. Feel the coolness from the famous river’s waters meandering its way through the 14 acre estate. On approaching the wooden bridge, visitors need to be wary of our resident Topiary dragon who enjoys puffing his welcome.

A gentle walk up to the house gives the visitor a wonderful opportunity to take in and look at the marvellous view. What a sight to behold! Nearby, the woodland walk offers an enchanting mix of the quiet and scents of ancient times. On approaching the house again, the statue of Mercury announces the abundance of Delphiniums in all their spiked glory. Before returning to the walled garden, see the splendour of the semi formal box -hedging that makes up the stunning peacock topiary garden.

Planning your Group Tour visit

Houghton Lodge Gardens is the ideal place to visit, whether your passion lies with Historic Houses or beautiful gardens – or both.

To get the best from your group tour we recommend a minimum of a 3 hour visit to enjoy both the House and Garden. With 14 acres of picturesque countryside to explore and delightful tea-rooms, many of our visitors stay longer to soak up the peaceful surroundings.

Historic Houses Association - Group Visit Testimonial

Click here to read.

Build Your Own Group Tours

House & Garden
You will be guided by the owner’s family and learn of the history of this unique Historic House. Groups can then explore the garden at leisure. There are plenty of seats to stop and enjoy the gardens.

Groups of 30 or more people
£7.00 for the Gardens only
£16.00 for the House and Gardens

Groups of less than 30 people
£7.50 for the Gardens only
£17.00 for the House and Garden (£200 minimum)

Please note: Membership of the RHS and HHA does not apply to group visits.

Garden Talks

Our gardening team are available for specialist seasonal talks, on request, for a minimum of ten people and include topics such as:

  • Planning a border (south, north, shady, hot, wet)
  • Sweet Pea cultivation
  • Container planting
  • Growing a cutting garden
  • Growing Orchids
  • Rose and fruit-tree pruning
  • The Outside room -ancient to modern
  • Contact us for more information and prices

Opening Times

The Gardens are open to visitors 10am – 5pm 1st April – 1st October. Group visits to both House and Gardens can be arranged for any day, including early evening. All group bookings must be made in advance.


Refreshments are available via PRE ORDER ONLY to ensure fresh food, and quick service.
Please can the group organiser select ONE option per group.
For visiting groups we can arrange a delicious lunch, a cream tea or a light supper if required. We use only the freshest and best local produce. We are afraid groups cannot order large quantities of food on the day as the kitchen is modestly sized and brought in fresh on the day from the Honesty kitchens.

Parking & Emergency Contact

Parking is available for up to 3 coaches of up to 15 metres each, and there is ample parking for cars.We look after our coach drivers by giving them light refreshments.

Coach parties are by appointment only because we like to make sure we have the time to fully look after our groups.

“If you have never been there, I can advise that it is a brilliant place to visit, for you, and for any visitors you may have I am sure it will not be our last visit!” – Rita Simmons

“I visited Houghton Lodge a few years ago with my WI and we enjoyed it so much that some members returned the next day with their husbands!! Apart from the gardens we loved the tour of the cottage orne which was such a relaxed visit and it was obviously a much loved home rather than just a museum piece.” – Pamela Keen

Book Your Group Tour

01264 810 502

Membership of the RHS and HHA does not apply to group visits.