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“Mid week visit”

Whitchurch Silk Mill
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A gem of industrial heritage in beautiful, rural Hampshire, Whitchurch Silk Mill is a 19th century water mill that weaves British silk fabrics using Victorian machinery. The Mill is the oldest working silk mill in Britain, still weaving in its original building. An historic silk mill. Whether you're machine-mad, an admirer of silk fabrics, a child learning about the Victorians, or just looking for a delightful day out in Hampshire, Whitchurch Silk Mill has something for you:> the original mill wheel and Victorian machinery;> fabulous fabrics on the looms;> a shop to indulge in silk products from the Mill, and much more;> peaceful setting by the River Test, with tearoom for lunch and refreshments.
Gillingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Mid week visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

Although there were some videos to watch and you could have a go at some weaving, we were a little disappointed there were no live demos. Maybe at weekends and peak holiday time there might be. The stream alongside has ducks and is pretty.
In the shop they have leaflets showing walks around the town and along the river which would be nice to finish off with and make it more worthwhile. Sadly our journey there took longer than expected and we didn't have time to enjoy the surrounding area..

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Michelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Southern England
Level Contributor
315 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Silk Weaving and Lovely Building”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

The SIlk Mill is located in a lovely Hampshire village. Easy of parking and fabulous setting. The mill is a working mill with good attempts to inform visitors. When we were there were some ladies demonstrating bobbin ace making and professional on one of the looms. Children needed careful explanation as it is hard for them to relate - lots of hands on and touching opportunities, range of children worksheets too. For adults fascinating process and display of products and shop. Tea room is almost DIY, with free Wi-Fi range of cakes and hot and cold drinks. Grounds fabulous as directly on the River Test, chance of a picnic were spoilt by all the benches having been painted(oiled) and grass being cut. We went on a Groupon deal so were happy with the price. Disable and buggy access is still limiting experience for the less mobile.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank travell_a_lot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Almost a rip off”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

What a waste of time and money! True, this is lovely, well restored building, easy to find and with a convenient car park - but that's where the good points end. Essentially, there are three rooms full of big, silent bits of machinery with nothing happening at all. In the first room - the carpenter's workshop, there were just piles of old tools and bits of wood covered in dust. There was a sign saying something like 'this exhibit is being renewed' - but the sign was also covered in dust. Up a flight of stairs and some reasonably informative posters and a quite good DVD - but it was just another room full of big metal bits, none of which were working and all were cordoned off so you could not even inspect them from close up. There was a staff member sitting listlessly at a work top but she did not even turn round to welcome or even acknowledge us. So, down some more stairs to the loom room which you can see through some glass panels - and still absolutely nothing happening in this 'working' mill! A sign told us that one weaver works part time - but absolutely not to be talked to, photographed or disturbed! Wherever she was that day, she was not visible, unless she was one of a pair of people chatting at the far end of the room.
Feeling very let down, out via the gift shop which was, unsurprisingly, well staffed, bright and full of ways to part with your hard earned cash. Needless to say, we did not do so.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Petherton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
129 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“As smooth as silk”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014

Turn off the always busy A34 and visit Whitchurch, a charming village by the River Test, and you will wonder why you have not done so before. Its silk mill strides across the river teaming with trout, and is well worth a visit. It's where the costumes of many of the historical dramas seen on the screen and on television are still made, and where the fascinating story of silk production is simply and practically told. Its cafe over the river is very pleasant (the ginger beer especially good) and its shop filled with silk scarves and ties to buy.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank 576davidjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gosport
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Really Good Value for Money”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

This restored mill is in a gorgeous location, right on the Hampshire river Test. When I say 'right on' I mean it, too. You cross the river at a couple of points when accessing parts of the site. Plenty of what we knowledgeable types call 'ducky things' around as well, giving plenty of photo opportunities. The silk mill itself is one of the most reasonably priced attractions I've ever visited. Adult admission is £4.50, with concessions for children and seniors. We visited on a Sunday, so no work was going on, but what was there was enough to make us decide that we will have to pay a return visit before long. (I'm kicking myself for not getting a 12 month family ticket for very little more than the cost of two visits). Around the mill, there are looms and other machines, with a clear description of what each one does. In the tea room there is even a loom set up for visitors to try their hands at. Stairs have to be negotiated when moving from floor to floor, which probably rules out wheelchair access. There are several video screens with a short film on a particular aspect of silk manufacture. A tea room is on the second floor, offering drinks and cakes, etc on an honour basis, you write your purchases on a sheet and pay at the shop when leaving. One thing should be pointed out; there are no silkworms to be seen. British climate is too cold for them, so the silk is initially manufactured in China, but that still leave Whitchurch silk mill with plenty to do and for visitors to see.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Seejay101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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