Dear Member,


I do hope that you and all your family and friends are staying well and safe.


As many of you already know, after the change in the Government Guidance, where some of the lockdown restrictions were lifted, we were able to open to members on Monday 8 June.  I have to say personally how wonderful it is to see so many of you back enjoying the beautiful Gardens; thank you for your support throughout.


The team have worked hard to ensure the Gardens are safe, for both our visitors and our staff.  We have adopted a multi-phase re-opening plan, initially we opened with restrictions onsite, as Government restrictions ease further we can increase capacity and open more of our amenities


After a successful two weeks open (with a few tweaks here and there) I am delighted to say that during phase 2 of our reopening we will be making more changes: 


Key things to note for phase two of re-opening.


  • From Monday 22 June 2020 SHHG members, Non-members and Partner Gardens members will be able to pre-book entry tickets
  • NB All children and guests must be accompanied by a member and have a valid ticket.

  • There will now be limited takeaway catering facilities open 10am – 5pm at the Tilia Tree Café and the Munch Buggy which will be located near to the main entrance inside the Gardens.
  • Payment for food and drinks is by card/contactless only (where possible). Card only sales at the Munch Buggy
  • Picnic benches and benches around the Gardens – please note these are not cleaned by us.
  • Opening hours until Oct will be 10am - 6pm 
  • Reduced toilet facilities including accessible, open at the main visitor entrance and (Portable) toilet facilities including accessible toilet, at the Tilia Tree Café
  • We are now pleased to be able to offer the facility to hire our wheelchairs here at the Gardens. If you would like to use one of our wheelchairs for your visit, then please contact our Visitor Services Team on by emailing or call 01794 369318 to make a reservation. Reservations will need to be made in advance and will be taken on a first come, first served basis. The wheelchairs will be sanitised before and after use by the Visitor Services team.                                                                  
Members - Click to book in advance
Non-members - Click to book in advance

If you need to cancel your pre-booked ticket, please contact us so that we can release this ticket to someone else.


Please note 

  • Social distancing and staff/customer safety measures.
  • Pre-booked entry system is in place to avoid long queues. 
  • To reduce contact, maps will not be given out but are available for downloading from our website
  • The Gift Shop will remain closed.
  • Reduced accessible parking.
  • No mobility scooters.
  • Children’s play areas and equipment will remain closed.
  • Temporary one-way system in and out of the Gardens.  

Your membership

As you know, we have extended your membership by the period of time we were closed. So, all our members will receive a 3-month extension to their membership.


If you pay by Direct Debit, we will take your payment (on or around the 15 of the month) in the month of your current renewal date (the date printed on your current membership card). We will then send you a new membership card which will be valid for 15 months (your 12 months membership plus 3 months extension for our closure).  We will then also move your Direct Debit renewal date to match your new expiry date (see chart below). 


So there is no need for any action from yourselves.


Before you visit

Please remember you need to pre-book your tickets before you visit us. Tickets will be available 14 days in advance and can be booked up until 3pm the day before the visit.


As we have reduced capacity, we ask you to not to ‘block’ book or over book tickets, so all our visitors can visit if they wish to. As the government restrictions lift, we can move to the next phase of our reopening with increased numbers of visitors and more facilities. 

Book your timed entry online using the buttons below.

Click to book in advance
Non-members - Click to book in advance

Entry between: 10am-10.30am / 11am-11.30am / 12pm-12.30pm

1pm-1.30pm / 2pm-2.30pm / 3pm-3.30pm /4pm-4.30pm

You can stay at the Gardens for as long as you wish, up until shortly before 6pm when the car park gates will be locked.


The booking system ensures we can restrict and control numbers on site, for this reason we cannot allow entry without a pre booked ticket. Tickets are on a first come first served basis. All children under 17 will need a ticket and must be from your household only. Please remember to maintain social distancing.


On the day of your visit you will need to bring your online booking confirmation and your current valid membership card.


If you do not have your membership card, please contact us on 01794 369318 to arrange a new card. There is a fee for this, and we will process your ticket over the phone.

What to expect when you visit

If you are driving, please remember to social distance when you get in or out of your car.


As you walk to the main entrance you will see a queuing system in place; please join the queue.  Please only arrive at your pre-booked time to avoid unnecessary queuing and please keep 2m apart from other visitors.


Please have your tickets and membership cards ready for checking.


Please be aware the Visitor Pavilion will be closed. Toilets in the main courtyard are open for your use. Please follow the ‘one-in, one-out’ queuing system for the toilets.

In line with government guidance, the children’s play features remain closed. There will currently be no guided tours available and no mobility scooters hire or borrow.


What to bring with you?

Please remember to bring:

  • Your online ticket – a digital version is acceptable.
  • Your current membership card and valid guest pass

Questions & Answers

Questions and Answers:

  1. What if I want to cancel my Direct Debit, do I still get my 3 months extension? Yes you do, if you contact us we will be able to amend the expiry date on your current card by 3 months. Please remember to contact your bank and close your Direct Debit.
  2. Can I still visit Partner Gardens? We are writing to our partner gardens to let them know the extension to  our memberships, We would recommend that you contact them in advance to check what their policies are for accepting visitors other than their own members at the current time.
  3. How long can I stay on site? You can stay on site until we close our gates – please check on the day of your visit as closing times may vary.
  4. What if I miss my allotted time slot? Please try not to, but yes, please come as soon as you can. Tickets are only valid on the day you have booked for.
  5. Can I use my guest pass? Yes, if you have guest passes, but you must book a ticket for all your guests including children 
  6. Can I bring my children? Yes, but please warn them that our play features will be closed, and they will need to take extra care around other people. While the more manicured areas may be popular, find space to play in the woods or meadows or download an I Spy sheet from our website.
  7. Can I buy a coffee/ ice cream? Yes, we are now opening for takeaway only (until the Government change the guidelines). We care about the environment so whenever possible you will be given food or drinks in VegWare which is plant-based compostable packaging. – please try and pay by card if possible
  8. Can I sit and eat and drink outside at tables?  Picnic benches will still be available outside but there will not be additional tables and chairs.
  9. Can I bring a reusable cup? We are sorry but to reduce any health risks, will not accept reusable cups.

We will keep posting updates on our website and social media. Follow us here.


Thank you once again for your patience and support over these past challenging months and we look forward to seeing you again soon.


With very best wishes,



Clare Goddard, Director



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