Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway: Hours, Address, Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway Reviews: 4.5/5

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Now celebrating more than 100 years, Exbury Gardens is a spectacular collection of woodland, herbaceous, contemporary, formal and wildflower gardens. At over 200 acres, these impressive gardens (created and managed by the Rothschild family) border the Beaulieu River and boast a narrow-gauge steam railway, plus a newly refurbished restaurant and an outdoor cafe. For garden lovers: Capture Exbury’s hidden beauty and escape the cares of the world as you explore a myriad of pathways lined with rare trees and shrubs at your own pace. Seasonal highlights include rhododendrons and azaleas in spring, herbaceous borders and hydrangeas in summer and acers and nyssa in autumn. For families: Feed giant koi carp and golden orfe fish at Top Pond, complete a range of free activity sheets for children aged 3-11 and let off steam in the adventure play area. Visiting during the school holidays? Check out our brilliant events tailored to children and families.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,300 reviews
Excellent
668
Very good
417
Average
125
Poor
59
Terrible
31

deta21
35 contributions
Avoid lunch at Mr Eddy's tea room at Exbury Gardens, its a rip-off.
Oct 2021
We ordered the chicken, bacon and mushroom pie and got a dried out, very tough pastry - the filling had a little chicken in a white sauce but we didnt see or taste any bacon or mushroom. At £9.95 this was the worst pie I'd ever been served On the positive side, the coffee was really nice. The cakes looked tasty but after the lunch experience we skipped afternoon tea.
Written 22 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve6244
Chatham, UK624 contributions
beautiful gardens
Oct 2021
Beautiful gardens with a mix of garden and woodland. Spent hours walking round everything and exploring. We loved that you were free to keep to the main paths or explore on minor grass paths. We were blessed with great weather which helped. We found the map good but the signage at certain points to help orientate yourself could be better.

The Sundial garden was a riot of colour even in October and the Centenary Garden was superb. I plan to return to see the daffodil meadow in the Spring.

Refreshments (we only had coffees) were good and in the Old Tennis courts set at just the right place when walking around.
Written 21 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elcbee
262 contributions
Beautiful gardens - really should go if you haven't already.
Oct 2021
Explored a new walk down by the river which wasn't previously accessible. The visit was enhanced by glorious weather. Surprised to see most of the acers still in summer foliage and flowers still in profusion in the sundial garden. A couple of the ponds looked murky and scummy perhaps due to lack of rain?

High spot - the nerene sarniensis exhibition - stunning plants beautifully displayed.

2 points to make. 1 The map and signage could be better.
2. given you can spend most of the day here and need some refreshment, the catering available is pretty poor. Searcy's sandwiches are 90% bread and miserly filling. Industrial cake. And the vegan wagon- awful food with helpings of smugness and self satisfaction. VGF - I don't think so.
Written 20 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Elcbee Thank you for your 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to the gardens and the nerine exhibition. Thank you for your feedback about our maps and signage. This is something we review every year, and we will continue to try to improve so that visitors can find their way around easily. We are very sorry to hear that you were not happy with the catering options at Exbury. We get many very positive reviews about the food and customer service at VGF, so I am sorry that you were disappointed. Thank you again for your review, and hope that you will visit again soon. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 21 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen G
Brackley, UK416 contributions
Still looking good in September
Sep 2021
We were surprised at how much colour there still was in September, the herbaceous borders and Sundial Garden were both looking good. The walk along the river is lovely. We had lunch from the cafe in the old tennis courts. We've been at different times of year and never been disappointed.
Written 2 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear D1251IWkareng Thank you so much for your 4* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Exbury and in particular the beautiful river walk. We hope that you will be able to visit again soon, perhaps to see the fabulous autumn colours which will soon be here! Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 8 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane J
Southampton, UK168 contributions
Lovely walk
Sep 2021
Visited with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed our walk. Although renowned for their rhododendrons and azaleas there was still plenty to admire and enjoy. There is lovely to walk down to the Beaulieu river and lots of water features from small streams to ponds to admire. There are a couple of places to get a drink and something to eat. We just had coffee.
Can’t comment on the steam railway as we didn’t go on it.
Written 30 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Jane J Thank you so much for your 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Exbury and exploring the river walks which are so beautiful and peaceful. We totally agree that although the spring flowers at Exbury are spectacular, the gardens have so much to offer all year round. Thank you again for your lovely feedback, and we hope that you will be able to visit again soon. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 3 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Helen
54 contributions
Still worth a visit at the end of season
Sep 2021 • Couples
We popped in during September as one person could get in free with our RHS card. It was very quiet and as it is such a huge place you felt like you had the place to yourself. Herbaceous borders still looked good although probably passed their best. Red hot pokers, some grasses, sedums and dahlias still made a splash of colour. The art gallery was shut and most of the nursery plants have been sold. The trees are absolute fantastic - you shouldn’t think of the garden solely in terms of its rhododendrons in the spring & summer. Some interesting acres, pines, firs and birches etc. Cafe is open for a good selection of very good cakes and other snacks with seating outside.
Written 23 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear HelenHelen123123 Thank you so much for your 4* review. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Exbury, and in particular the herbaceous gardens and our huge selection of trees. We totally agree that Exbury is beautiful all year round, and whilst spring is glorious here, summer and autumn are also spectacular in different ways, and we are so happy when our visitors come at different times in the year to enjoy the changing seasons. We hope that you will be able to visit again soon, and thank you again for your lovely review. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 25 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Graham D
Bury St. Edmunds, UK326 contributions
Fantastic gardens & lots of space
Sep 2021
We visited the gardens and whilst we saw the steam railway, we did not use it. This review is therefore solely about the grounds.

The gardens were much more extensive than we had initially thought. There are many pathways to choose, some surfaced, some gravel and it is easy to plan circular walks to suit you own interests and walking ability. There is much to see through trees, relatively enclosed areas with abundant rhododendrons and azaleas, open spaces, some stunning views to the rivers and some areas of surprising design or colour. It is a credit to the gardening staff (of whom we saw very few) that the gardens are so well maintained.

There are lots of seats available throughout and a substantial picnic area with many benches. We enjoyed a picnic in the grounds but for those desiring it there are a variety of food outlets on the site.

There are useful and interesting information boards at strategic locations, and each is interesting and informative without being overwhelming. A plan is provided on entry and the entire site is well signposted.

We were also lucky enough to catch the end of a very nice art summer exhibition held in one of the buildings.

There is adequate provision of public conveniences, which were well serviced and clean.

This garden was a delight to visit, and we spent much longer here than initially intended. When next visiting the area, we are very likely to make a return visit, hopefully in a different growing season.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear 524grahamd Thank you so much for your wonderful 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your day at Exbury, and found our map and signposting useful whilst exploring the gardens. Thank you for your kind comments about the gardening staff, who are a small team who work very hard, and will be delighted to hear how much you liked the gardens. Please do visit again soon. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 21 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lorraine H
Towcester, UK28 contributions
Great place to visit
Sep 2021
Wonderful place to go, beautiful gardens and a lovely ride on the steam train. Staff were welcoming. A great day out for all ages with plenty of parking.
Written 17 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Lorraine H Thank you so much for your 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your day at Exbury, and had fun exploring the gardens, and riding on our steam train. Thank you for your positive feedback about our staff, who all work very hard to provide our visitors with a warm welcome, and will really appreciate your comments. Please do visit us again soon. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 21 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lucy T
Isle of Wight, UK86 contributions
A full, fun day out!
Sep 2021 • Couples
I'd been wanting to go here for a while and it didn't disappoint! The gardens were so large, we got there 15 minutes after opening and left half an hour before closing, so this is definitely an all day visit! We particularly enjoyed the steam railway and the gorgeous flowers in the sundial garden. The new riverside walk with views of the Beaulieu River were also lovely. Be prepared for lots of walking! The only disappointing thing was there wasn't a gift shop, only a few items for sale at the visitor entrance.
Written 14 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Lucy Thank you so much for your lovely 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your day at Exbury, and it sounds as though you had a wonderful time exploring the gardens. Thank you for your feedback about the gift shop, unfortunately the rebuild of the gift shop had to be postponed due to COVID but we are hoping that over the winter build work can restart ready for next season. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 16 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andy R
4 contributions
Lovely day out in a beautiful gardens
Aug 2021 • Couples
The steam train was great fun but the Millenium Garden was stunning in full bloom and right next to a cafe with good selection of sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.
Each part of the gardens had something different and I recommend walking down to the river to spend a while watching the boats and birds, very tranquil.
We walked for about 4 hrs with benches everywhere to rest and take in the peaceful atmosphere.
Although the carpark was quite full it never seemed crowded with so much space to move around and explore.
Lots of people had pushchairs which seemed OK on the mostly gravelled paths and there were lots of green spaces to just sit and enjoy the surroundings.
Thank you for a lovely day.
Written 27 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Go777915 Thank you for your lovely 5* review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Exbury and in particular the Centenary Garden, and the beautiful river walks. We hope that you will be able to visit again soon, and thank you again for such a wonderful review, we do appreciate you taking the time to do this. Best wishes The Exbury team
Written 3 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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