It’s often difficult to think of places to bring groups during the winter months, with the cold weather, money being tight after the Christmas period and many visitor attractions being closed from November to March. Gilbert White & The Oates Collections in the picturesque Selborne is a perfect winter getaway and for the months of January and February, and for this winter only are offering an exclusive special group rate.
Gilbert White & The Oates Collections celebrates the lives of three explorers of the natural world. The historic house was the home of the eighteenth century pioneering naturalist Gilbert White; whose major work The Natural History of Selborne has never been out of print since its publication in 1789. The well presented and fascinating museum tells the story of the man behind the science and shows visitors what an immense contribution Gilbert White made to the way understand the world today, inspiring minds such as Charles Darwin. The House is surrounded by 25 acres of majestic restored garden and parkland, which specialises in eighteenth century plants and gardening methods inspired by Gilbert White. The garden is spectacular in Winter with clear views of the famous Selborne hanger. The grounds have a wonderful tranquillity and are perfect for a crisp walk and exploration. Garden Tours given by the experienced and knowledgeable garden team are available for a supplementary cost.
The Museum is also home to the Oates Collections where visitors can discover the stories of the Frank and Lawrence Oates. The Frank Oates gallery lets you investigate the life of the Victorian Explorer whose passion for natural history took him to Africa and Central America. Visitors can follow his travels and see the animals and specimens he would have encountered.
The Oates Collection also commemorates the life of Captain Lawrence Oates, who travelled with Scott to the South Pole on the epic yet ill fated Terra Nova Expedition of 1912. Oates is best remembered as the brave Antarctic hero who was chosen to be part of Captain Robert Scott’s team to undertake the epic journey of discovery to the South Pole 1911-12. Scott’s team suffered inadequate food supplies, severe weather conditions and failing health so Oates sacrificed his life in the hope of saving his comrades, leaving the tent in a terrible blizzard with the famous last words “I am just going outside and may be some time.” His body has never been found. The Antarctic galley leads visitors through the life of his heroic individual, and what the Terra Nova expedition did by laying the foundations of Antarctic Science.
This unique and diverse Museum also boasts an award winning Tea Parlour, which serves warming lunches, homemade cakes and cream teas, which can be pre-booked for a special group rate. The Museum has a well-stocked and unusual gift shop as well as outdoor plant sales.
By visiting the Museum you will be allowed to come and go into the village of Selborne throughout the day. The picturesque village had not much changed since the days of Gilbert White, with 2 pubs and a small selection of unusual shops and an art gallery. Across the road from the museum is the churchyard where Gilbert White is buried and the beautiful church has two stained glass windows dedicated to Gilbert White.
The Village is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is within the South Downs national Park. Ideal for walkers and nature lovers alike, there are many beautiful walks within minutes of the museum including the Zig Zag path which was commissioned by Gilbert White. The path is iconic and leads from the village up the hanger to Selborne Common from where there are breath taking views of this beautiful part of Hampshire, made all the most spectacular in the winter without the canopy of leaves.
This offer is running from the beginning of January till the end of February. This is an opportunity to explore Gilbert White & the Oates Collections at a wonderful time of year, without the noisy crowds of the summer months for a reduced rate. Click here for more Group Information.