Mottisfont | Kidadl

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  • Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire is known for its Rose Gardens set within a walled garden, offering a stunning picturesque escape from everyday life.  
  • Take a stroll in the beautiful gardens and see what you can discover, let the sound of the water stream transport you to a relaxing sanctuary. 
  • Be sure to check out the 20th century art collection in the upstairs gallery, and don't miss out on the workshops and events that are held there. 

Mottisfont is a romantic house and gallery that is accompanied by beautiful riverside gardens, bubbling brooks, ancient trees and stunning lawns that frame this picture-perfect 18th century house. There is even a medieval priory at its heart to discover. 

Mottisfont House honours its artistic traditions with a permanent 20th-century collection of art with major exhibitions in the top floor gallery. Mottisfont has, historically, been a place for artists to relax and create work, by Maud Russell who made Mottisfont her home in the 1930s and bringing these artists to the site. Be sure to check out the fabulous drawing-room painted by Rex Whistler. 

In Mottisfont Gardens, there are spring bulbs galore, the prettiest walled rose garden, autumnal leaves and a vibrant winter garden, with the sound of water never too far away, this is a multi-sensory experience for all to enjoy. There is plenty of space to explore as a family.

Children adore Mottisfont's wild play areas, and the wildlife that lives here. There is a climbing bog and water play, providing endless fun, especially in the 'Pump, Pool and Paddle' area. Be sure to explore the outdoor spotter trails; there are plenty of sheets to guide you, too. Don't miss out on the indoor exhibitions for younger audiences that are held every summer.

When you're feeling peckish, try out Mottisfont Abbey Café to recharge and grab a bite to eat, or bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens during Summer. 

From strolling through the gardens, Mottisfont walks which are free and guided, to exploring the autumnal paths, discovering Mottisfont events that are held annually like for Mottisfont Christmas festivities and exhibition led activities, there's something for all to enjoy.

What to know before you go

  • There are toilet facilities on site that are available, including accessible facilities, at the Welcome Centre, Stables and Kitchen Garden.
  • There are baby-changing facilities and units in all of the toilets.
  • Pushchairs are welcome around the grounds and site. Many areas are gently-sloping, and there are wide pathways suitable for pushchairs and tiny legs! The pathways can get muddy and uneven in some places, so sturdy tyres and sturdy shoes are advised.
  • Breastfeeding is also welcome anywhere in and around the property.
  • There are many places to grab a snack, like at the Old Kitchen Café and the walled garden kiosk which serve a range of food and drink. Plus, for those with a sweet tooth, there are ice cream kiosks open on weekends! 
  • Picnics are allowed outside on the paddocks and east lawn, which is situated just behind the house.
  • Sturdy footwear is advised when the weather is wet, or if you plan to explore the gardens. Plus the car park is built on a water meadow with firm gravel on the surface, and so it can flood in bad weather.
  • Some pathways, especially the ones by the river and streams,  are uneven, particularly following wet weather and high footfall last year.
  • Dogs are welcome provided they are kept on short leads outside, but this excludes rose gardens, formal lawns behind and in front of Mottisfont house.
  • There is no cloakroom or any storage facilities on site.

Getting there 

  • Mottisfont is located near Romsey, in Hampshire.
  • You can travel by road to Mottisfont, where you can go on the M27, and take junction 2 or 3, which leads to the M271 and follow the signs to Romsey. Once at Romsey, ensure to continue following the signs to Stockbridge on the A3057 and  3.5 miles down the A3057 you should turn left, and follow the tourist information signs (the brown ones) which will lead you to Mottisfont. 
  • If you are travelling via the M3, then take junction 8, which is the A303 towards Andover. From there, follow the road sign which is posted to Stockbridge and continue following the signs to Romsey on the A3057. Around 3 miles from Stockbridge you should then drive through Kings Somborne village. Continue driving through the village on the same road. Then, when you're around 2 miles further down, you should see a tourist information road sign situated on the right to Mottisfont.
  • It is advised you pre-book your parking space to avoid disappointment, especially on weekends when it is busier.
  • If travelling via train, there are train stations just over a mile away that are reachable via foot! Mottisfont and Dunbridge Station are reachable across fields and country roads. There is no taxi rank at the station (the nearest taxi companies are located in Romsey). If you're planning to get the train, then once you arrive, head north from the station on your walk and follow signage directing you to Mottisfont. There are signs which you should look out for, and these will direct you into a field on the right. Ensure you continue to follow the path upward through the field, and then you will come to a second via a gate at the top of the hill and cross into this one. Continue to walk along the path, and this will lead out of the field to a tarmacked lane, known as Hatt Lane. From there, head right until you meet a small junction which joins Hatt Lane up to Oakley Road. From here, ensure to head right along this road, and follow the signpost to Mottisfont. It is important to note this is a quiet country road, with narrow paths that have quite sharp turns in some spots and poor visibility, so please be careful as you walk. Continue to follow this road until you can turn into the visitor car park on your left.
  • You can also travel via bicycle, from The Test Way which runs from Romsey to Stockbridge. This is around two miles off the main route either via Lower Brook if you are travelling from Stockbridge or just past Awbridge and Kimbridge if travelling from Romsey. Make sure to follow the National Trust signs to the main entrance. Mottisfont is just off cycle route 24, running from Bath to Southampton and just  0.2 miles off the main route. There are bike racks provided for those cycling.
  • You can travel via foot, too, as Mottisfont is on the Test Way, a long-distance walking route that extends from Inkpen Beacon to Eling. Ensure to use either Stockbridge to the north or Romsey to the south as starting points for the long walk to Mottisfont!

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