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“Not worth a visit”

Gilbert White's House & The Oates Museum
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Alton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Gilbert White & The Oates Collections explores the lives of three explorers of the natural world. The historic house was the home of the 18th century naturalist Gilbert White, and is surrounded by 25 acres of restored garden and parkland. The Oates Collections celebrates the lives of 19th century explorer Frank Oates, and Captain Lawrence Oates who travelled with Scott on the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition. The Museum also boasts an award-winning Tea Parlour, gift shop and plant sales.
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Some friends of ours told us how lovely the museum was and how friendly and welcoming the staff were so we decided to go with them on a return visit. Unfortunately this was not the case and our friends said it has really gone downhill. The person on the desk as you go in was very offhand and acted in a very bored manner as if we were bothering her by our visit. We decided to have a coffee before we looked around so went into the tea room.The tables were sticky and dirty and the cups were not very clean either. The young woman serving could not be bothered with us. The cake we had was dry and stale and did not taste "homemade"; none of us ate it.It was also very expensive. Our friends said it was not a patch on their last visit. The museum is tired and unloved. The gardens are nice but it is not worth the entrance fee. The shop was sparse and overpriced. There is another shop up near the car park which had a much better selection and also another tea room which had gorgeous fresh cakes and coffee and friendly staff. We wouldn't recommend Gilbert White's house but the village is very pretty so will go back there for a wander.

5  Thank Lana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"captain oates"
in 21 reviews
"natural history"
in 20 reviews
"tea room"
in 33 reviews
"tea parlour"
in 15 reviews
"interesting house"
in 10 reviews
"zig zag"
in 11 reviews
"oats"
in 4 reviews
"antarctic expedition"
in 7 reviews
"picturesque village"
in 6 reviews
"gift aid"
in 8 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 15 reviews
"extensive gardens"
in 4 reviews
"lovely garden"
in 5 reviews
"selborne arms"
in 4 reviews
"sunny day"
in 7 reviews
"interesting exhibits"
in 4 reviews
"interesting place"
in 4 reviews
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126 - 130 of 211 reviews

Reviewed 28 July 2014

We came here for the first time with a French friend, despite having lived in the area for many years.
The house is interesting, and informatively laid out.
For us however the garden with the nicer part, no doubt helped by glorious weather.
The gift shop is worthwhile including a range of books relating to both Gilbert White and Oates.
As the house is not that we'll known, visitor numbers are not high, allowing one to go round the property and gardens at one's own pace.
There is a tea room, and reductions for over 60's.

Thank Ducati50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Interesting museum of the live and work of naturalist Gilbert White .The house is set up with various rooms furnished how they would have looked in 18th century when Gilbert White lived there study, kitchen, bedroom and so on. The garden comprises of 25 acres which in the main is pasture but fascinating veg garden and lovely area with herbaceous borders. Plants found in the garden can be purchased for garden only. Only complaint is the entrance price of £9 for house and garden, and £7 for garden only is a bit steep for what you get but I suppose upkeep for independent museums like this is costly.

Thank Locard42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

The house and setting are beautiful, but with less than two weeks to go before our marriage we are seriously regretting having chosen Gilbert White's House as a venue. The venue have raised unhelpful, bloody-minded burocracy to a whole new level. Just what you want for your happiest day!
I don't plan on getting married again, but if I do it certainly won't be here.

6  Thank AMassie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 July 2014

Prompted to visit by Amazon Local offer of family ticket for £11. Good value at this price but not a "whole day" activity.
The best feature of the house is the garden full of interesting features and lovely old-fashioned planting. Plants from the garden are sold at pretty reasonable prices.
The house contains a museum about Gilbert White, the naturalist who lived there and designed the gardens, and Captain Oates who died on Scott's ill-fated mission to the Antarctic,whose family owned the house in later years. The museum is not large but it's really well thought through with excellent information on all the exhibits, and trails and hands-on items for younger children.
I would have been disapponted if the weather was bad and we had only been able to enjoy the museum at not the beautiful outside space.
Nice things in the shop, and a very traditional "tea parlour" selling sandwiches, home made cakes and an excellent pot of tea. There looked to be a good pub and a coffee shop in the village of Selbourne and an art/craft gallery which might be worth a visit.
We walked from the car park up the zigzag path to Selbourne Common which is owned by the National Trust - a lovely short (but steep!) walk with stunning views.

3  Thank Jo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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