House, Gardens & Cafe Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.30 - 17.00

What’s on this Half Term

Could this be our busiest half term yet?

It's a definite maybe! Here is what we have got on!



Starting off strong on the 11th & 12th February with our annual Snowdrop Weekend. For one weekend only enjoy half price entry to enjoy the coming of Spring. Our gardeners will be giving tours of the garden at 12pm & 2pm each day.

We love our volunteers! So much so we dedicate a whole day to them! If you're interested in being a volunteer why not come along on the 13th Feb and find out more.

Valentine's Day is very soon and our event Sweet Valentine's will get you in the mood! Join us in the atmospheric Great Parlour for an alternative Valentines celebration, with Sweet Valentines, a dramatic and entertaining solo literary recital of poetry, prose and readings about love. Performed by actress and speaker Rowan Suart, this recital celebrates Valentine’s Day and its history. Suitable for adults and older children, there is a mixture of comedy and poignancy from writers such as Byron, Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare, Hardy and more!

We love a drop in craft session! On the 15th up at the barn you can make a beaded item inspired by the traditional beadwork of the Zulu people encountered by Frank Oates in his travels in Southern Africa, we have a selection of beading activities on offer. From simple beaded butterflies for younger children to creating a bead pin badge for older children and their adults. 


Other great drop in session is our handling session on the 15th Feb. Investigate a range of objects, both manmade and natural which come from the areas that Frank Oates explored on his travels. Find out more about the people, culture and creatures he encountered on his travels. 

We love a story and on the 15th we will have a wonderful one to listen to! Frank Oates has sent a collection of items home whilst trekking towards the Victoria Falls in Southern Africa, but his mother has no idea what they are or where they are from. Help her identify the mystery finds and use them to map out his journey! There will be two storytelling sessions, one beginning at 11.30am and one at 1.30pm. Each session is around 30 minutes.

Inspired by Frank Oates’ childhood sketches of some of our best loved garden birds; On the 16th Feb we will give you the chance to learn simple techniques for drawing birds, observe some birds first hand in our bird hide and make use of our taxidermy collection (including penguins and an albatross) to draw a variety of birds from ‘life’. 

Have you ever looked up on a clear night and wondered about the stars and night sky above you? Join us on the 16th for this fascinating evening talk as we discover more about astronomy and stargazing. Steve Broadbent BSc FRAS, Chairman of the Hampshire Astronomical Group, Member of the BAA and elected Fellow of theRoyal Astronomical Society will be using Stellarium planetarium software to guide us through a map of the night sky, constellations and planets.