Exbury Gardens are located in the south-eastern corner of the New Forest National Park, just a few miles from the well known centre of Beaulieu and close to Lepe Country Park.
The gardens are big and are the realisation of a dream of the late Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, from the famous family of banking and wealth.
Created over many years (and continued long after his death) and then restored after much wartime damage, Exbury Gardens were primarily made so that Rothschild could grow his vast collection of exotic shrubs, particularly the rhododendron and azalea bushes that were being discovered and brought to England at the time.
The gardens, once overgrown woodland, hug the eastern bank of the Beaulieu River and feature several large ponds and impressively landscaped areas and walking tracks.
A narrow gauge steam railway is also a major feature of the attraction, the 20 minute journey takes you through some of the best spots of Exbury and is a very relaxing and fun way to see the huge diversity of plants.
Located within the car park area is the Exbury Plant Sales. Here you can purchase from a wide selection of flowers and shrubs found in the gardens, including some of the hybrid rhododendrons that are unique to Exbury.
A licensed restaurant and tearoom are located at the garden entrance, along with a well stocked gift shop.
Exbury Gardens, officially open March - November, hosts events throughout the year and as you can imagine each season brings a completely different feel and atmosphere. In December, for example, children will love the 'Santa Special' train ride but without doubt late May / early June when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in flower is the time to visit. Of course, given the recent changes in climatic trends, there are no guarantees when the flowering shrubbery will be at its best, but a phone call to Exbury Gardens a few months in advance might give you a good idea of whether the season will be early, late or normal.
Exbury Gardens Visitor Information
- Saturday 15th March to Sunday 2nd Nov, daily 10am - 5.00pm (last admission).
- Adults £11.00
- Children under 3 yrs free
- Children 3-15 yrs £2.75
- Family £24.75 (2 adults + 3 children)
- Groups £9.00 (15+ people)
- Additional charge for Exbury Railway
- Combination tickets (gardens + buggy or rail) available.
Location: Exbury, south-eastern corner of the National Park, 3 miles south-east of Beaulieu towards Lepe Country Park.
Telephone: 02380 891203
Exbury Gardens location map
GPS / SatNav information:
Lat/long: 50.803,-1.399. OS grid ref: SU425006