Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Watts Gallery - Artists' Village is a unique Arts & Crafts gem nestled in the Surrey Hills. Discover Victorian paintings and sculpture in the historic Watts Gallery before treating yourself to lunch or a cream tea in the Tea Shop. Stroll to the nearby Grade-I listed Watts Chapel, taking in the beautiful woodlands and grounds, or find out more about the lives of our founders G F and Mary Watts on a tour of the artists' home, Limnerslease. Finally, discover art for sale in the Watts Contemporary exhibition in the Pottery Building along with a wide selection of gifts, books and homewares in the Shop.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Tina P
    26 contributions
    Fascinating day out
    The whole visit was excellent. It has been many years since I visited long before the Lottery money and redevelopment etc. The Chapel is really stunning and so unique and although you only see two rooms in the house where Watts and his wife, Mary, lived there is also an exhibition room with a focus on Mary Watts. The stewards are very welcoming and knowledgeable. I travelled by bus from Guildford which runs every hour. The tea room was extremely busy so had to have my tea and cake outside. Watts Gallery too is great. There was a free talk on and I was invited to join the other visitors. As another review states i's intimate yet expansive and it really does offer a truly interesting insight into Watts. If you don't know much about Watts you will come away having gained knowledge.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 6 March 2023
  • El Turista John
    New York City, New York2,821 contributions
    Exceptional Hidden Gem - Well Worth A Visit
    Certainly not your typical tourist destination but we’ll worth a visit. The gallery, though small, contains a good representation of George Frederic Watt’s art spanning some 70 years. But for us, the real hidden gem was the memorial chapel designed by his wife Mary. Truly a 19th century artistic power couple. Go early as it tends to get crowded; especially the small cafe.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 24 March 2023
  • Lynsey N
    3 contributions
    Beautiful Gallery - great for families
    Lovely art gallery which is surprisingly child-friendly. They have a lovely natural playground with rope swings which my active children really enjoy. Children are especially welcomed in the gallery and Limnerslease house, with boxes of books available for them to look at and a gallery trail with tactile objects. They loved the stereoscopy exhibition, peering through the viewers for quite a long time. The staff and volunteers address the children directly and engage them well. The cafe sells delicious cakes and the shop is full of beautiful things. Wish we had left more time for our visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 July 2023
  • rosebug
    3,291 contributions
    Arts and Crafts Treasure
    We were staying in Guildford for a few days and I was delighted to see that you could catch the 46 bus for a 10 minute journey that drops you off right outside. We visited the Chapel first which really is a visual feast, absolutely gorgeous. Then back to the village where we visited the gallery, the pottery studio and tea room. There is much to see and do and really we just scratched the surface so we will definitely go again. People working at the village are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and rightly proud of it. An arts and crafts lovers' paradise!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 August 2023
  • Paul H
    Surrey, United Kingdom43 contributions
    A grand day out
    I really like the Watts Gallery. It is very well maintained and the art is presented very well. When I went there was a talk by the curator which really added to the experience. As well as the works by Watts the main gallery also has a section devoted to Evelyn de Morgan, which I really liked. There's also a church designed by Mary Seaton Watts and the house where the couple lived, which is being brought back to its original condition. It's clear that a lot of love has gone into bringing the site back to it's best condition. I would very much recommend it as a day out, and particularly if you like GF Watts and Evelyn de Morgan's work.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 15 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
485 reviews
Excellent
298
Very good
142
Average
33
Poor
7
Terrible
5

Margaret C
Guildford, UK45 contributions
Sept 2023 • Family
Following my earlier review about the cafe which at the time of our last visit did not provided lunches apart from scones and jam (and sandwiches outside), a member of staff has now contacted me to say that the cafe is fully functioning again with their lovely homemade food such as jacket potatoes, Welsh Rarebit etc. and it is possible to have sandwiches in the cafe too.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul H
Surrey, UK43 contributions
Sept 2023 • Solo
I really like the Watts Gallery. It is very well maintained and the art is presented very well. When I went there was a talk by the curator which really added to the experience. As well as the works by Watts the main gallery also has a section devoted to Evelyn de Morgan, which I really liked. There's also a church designed by Mary Seaton Watts and the house where the couple lived, which is being brought back to its original condition. It's clear that a lot of love has gone into bringing the site back to it's best condition. I would very much recommend it as a day out, and particularly if you like GF Watts and Evelyn de Morgan's work.
Written 15 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adventurers049
Brisbane, Australia3,379 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
What a great collection of artists and their works.
The displays are set in a number of buildings.
Some fabulous paintings and sculptures.
Well worth a visit.
Written 9 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bes
Cornwall, UK740 contributions
Jun 2023
Watts is one of my least-favourite artists, so I was in two minds whether to visit here as I hiked the North Downs Way. Especially because my dislike of Watts had recently been renewed in Hyde Park when I came across his pretentious statue "Physical Energy", of a naked man on a horse, holding on with his hand between his legs.

But I was ahead of schedule, so I paid the £14.00 and went in, hoping the gallery would force me to reassess my opinion of Watts. Unfortunately, it didn't. Except that it does have some early paintings from the 1840s/50s that are fine and attractive, including a portrait of Swinburne and a landscape of Fiesole.

To be fair, Watts's draughtsmanship and painterly skills are not in doubt. It's just that, for my personal taste, he increasingly put these abilities at the service of gratingly wishy-washy ideas. One of the most famous of his paintings, for example, is "Hope", a version of which they hold here. It depicts a blindfold nymph sitting on a globe clutching a broken lyre. As symbolism goes, that feels to me like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer.

Many of his works have similar proto-hippy, naff, and simplistic meanings attached to them in that way. Clearly, Watts felt he was on fire with these ideas at the time; but these days they can seem dated and trite. For me, this is made worse in some of the pictures by an air of Victorian moral prudery, whereby Watts's obvious love for erotic nudes is compromised by coy details, such as the theorbo with which a naked woman decorously covers her private part.

However, I can't really mark the gallery down on account of my opinion of Watts. A rural gallery devoted (mainly) to a single artist is a rare and admirable enterprise. I'm glad it opened in 1904 when Watts was still alive. And the whole compound, not just the pretty gallery building, is interesting and atmospheric. There's also a teashop that served me an excellent coffee and piece of avocado cake, which I enjoyed in the garden surrounded by flowers.
Written 11 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane
Surrey, UK105 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Grandson is doing art at school and loved the gallery everyone was so kind .
Great exhibitions who highly recommend
Written 5 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rosebug
beds3,291 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
We were staying in Guildford for a few days and I was delighted to see that you could catch the 46 bus for a 10 minute journey that drops you off right outside. We visited the Chapel first which really is a visual feast, absolutely gorgeous. Then back to the village where we visited the gallery, the pottery studio and tea room. There is much to see and do and really we just scratched the surface so we will definitely go again. People working at the village are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and rightly proud of it. An arts and crafts lovers' paradise!
Written 4 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lynsey N
3 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
Lovely art gallery which is surprisingly child-friendly. They have a lovely natural playground with rope swings which my active children really enjoy. Children are especially welcomed in the gallery and Limnerslease house, with boxes of books available for them to look at and a gallery trail with tactile objects. They loved the stereoscopy exhibition, peering through the viewers for quite a long time. The staff and volunteers address the children directly and engage them well. The cafe sells delicious cakes and the shop is full of beautiful things. Wish we had left more time for our visit.
Written 24 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martin B
Crawley, UK72 contributions
May 2023
Our first visit to Watts Gallery which is tucked away in Compton and best reached by car due to its location. There is a bus service that stops outside but it is infrequent and you would have to ensure that you did not miss your times.
Upon arrival we collected our tickets from the Visitor Centre and were met by a friendly staff member who kindly gave us all the directions that we could possibly need. So it was Limnerlease house first, then the Chapel and then finally the Watts Gallery.
My wife is a wheelchair user but we managed to get about quite easily with our car driver dropping us off and picking us up at each location. Limnerlease is accessible by being approached at the rear of the house for the drop off point for the wheelchair and then parking back at the car park area which worked fine for us. Our car driver then walked up through the woods to approach the house and back with us.
Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers in the Artists residence who delighted in helping us during our visit and answering our questions.
Next the Chapel, not exactly wheelchair friendly, you need to be a physically fit carer to push the wheelchair uphill along the red brick path but it is well worth the effort. The Chapel also has a step up into it to consider for access but if you do manage to get there it is extraordinary what the Watts achieved. Such a special spiritual space, breath-takingly beautiful. We went on a Monday and even had the Chapel to ourselves for a while.
Back to the Watts gallery. We took a packed lunch but there is a lovely cafeteria although it does get very busy at lunch time. Plenty of places to sit outside. The gallery takes your breath away with George Watts amazingly imaginative works of art. I think the word "genius" would be a good fit here and not amiss. Artwork after artwork of superb design, imagination and quality and then some sculpture too if that wasn't enough! There's even a section of William De Morgan's ceramics - it just goes on and on - a real feast for the senses.
We visited the cafeteria and had some lovely coffee and fresh cake brought to our table by a cheerful young member of the staff. Everyone was so friendly and helpful - a real credit to the Watts Gallery. Finally we visited the Gift shop and whilst many of the items were expensive (though good quality) there was enough items that were affordable to take home as a special memory of the beautiful and spectacular Watts Gallery.
I would say one of our best day out visits ever!
Written 1 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Derek L
London, UK11 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
I love going to Watts Gallery.It's a magical place set over 2 areas...the gallery and Watts home.
At the time of our visit the Gallery also had a contemporary exhibition by Halima Cassel.Beautiful spheres and bowls made of clay .The staff are really friendly and helpful .
We also had some food...quiche, salad and potatoes and I had a Welsh rarebit with mushroom and tomatoes both very good .Again the staff were great. However why is it that the coffee was so bland.We live in a coffee renaissance so there is no excuse for supplying poor, tasteless drinks.Food is getting more and more expensive so paying for rubbish coffee is disappointing.
Anyway bring a flask of good coffee and have a great day here and I thoroughly recommend the artists village site and staff.
Written 2 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L R
1 contribution
Mar 2023
Charming Staff & Volunteers-

Outdated 'Galleries', inadequate lighting on Artwork and random displays of items using "Arts and Crafts" as an excuse for this very poorly conceived and executed exhibition.
Any sign of life representing a vibrant artists former working studio/s has long since been swept away leaving a very poor impression for visitors- the Director now needs to try harder to create a live and dynamic location, still in the Arts & Crafts
manner representing GF & M Watts Artworks.

Gift shop like a condensed, twee, overflowing and overpriced version of John Lewis.

Charming staff & volunteers who deserve so much better from the Director.
Written 29 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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WATTS GALLERY - ARTISTS' VILLAGE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00