Photo: Ray Bullen

A visit to Mottisfont Abbey is perfect for a picturesque day out in the country. From a medieval priory to a Tudor mansion to a country house, the abbey has an illustrious history with many stories to tell. Today, it is a museum that exhibits an impressive collection of 20th century paintings and furniture. A highlight is the interior painted walls, which speak to its place as a social gathering place throughout the centuries. Tour the house to see regular changing art exhibitions on the top floor, as well as a 13th century cellarium. The traditional kitchens have been converted into a restaurant, so you can step back in time while you dine!

The crowning glory is, without a doubt, Mottisfont’s walled rose gardens. With more than 300 varieties of roses, you can follow the garden’s paths through arches and admire walls hidden away under cascades of flowers. Home to the National Collection of Old Fashioned Roses, the rose garden will delight your senses with its exquisite beauty and fragrant perfume. The walled gardens also feature a lavender walk as well as herbaceous gardens that make your visit special all year around.

An outstanding feature of Mottisfont is the River Test, which runs throughout the estate. One of the best trout rivers in the world, follow the walking path along the river to see fish, ducks, swans, and more wildlife. See if you can find the basis of the natural spring that has gurgled from the earth for more than 1,100 years. Take a picnic and have a seat on the lawns or under the wooded area to enjoy the natural beauty of this magnificent estate.


Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP
Tel: + 44 1794 340757
Times: March – October
Garden, Café, & Shop: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Art Gallery & House: Daily, 11am – 5pm
November – February
Garden, Café, & Shop: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Art Gallery: Daily, 11am – 5pm