Discover the beautifully restored house and gardens of natural history pioneer Gilbert White. Regarded as the ‘Father of Ecology’, White’s book ‘The Natural History of Selborne’ is the fourth most published book in the English language. The book is a series of letters and observations between White and his fellow naturalists, Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, exploring wildlife in their local areas and how the species responded to changing seasons (phenological observations).
A testament to White’s legacy, ‘The Natural History of Selborne’ has never been out of print since its first publication in 1789. White is also renowned for major discoveries, including identifying the harvest mouse, chiff chaff and noctule bat.
Located in Selborne, a stunning corner of the South Downs National Park, Gilbert White’s 17th century home is now a museum open to visitors. Museum highlights include, the original manuscript of ‘The Natural History of Selborne’, White’s 18th century floral embroidered bed covers and White’s taxidermy hawfinch.
The museum also hosts collections belonging to Lawrence Oates, who was part of the fateful Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole, and the collection of Lawrence’s uncle, Frank Oates, who was a naturalist. There are interactives, original footage and children’s activities throughout the museum.
The extensive 18th century gardens have also been restored to their former glory for visitors to explore, with cottage, herb and kitchen gardens, as well as sweeping lawns and a wildflower meadow.
Visitors can enjoy brunch, lunch and afternoon tea at the café. The original 1765 brewhouse has been reopened and craft beer is brewed onsite and sold in the café. There are also beehives and our beekeepers producing honey for sale.
Events are held throughout the year, from outdoor theatre, to talks to children’s trails. Our biggest annual events include the family friendly Nature Day and the Unusual Plants Fair. The museum also takes part in the annual Jane Austen Regency Week, as both White and Austen had shared connections to places and people in the area.
|Open (1 Apr 2022 - 31 Oct 2022)|
|Tuesday - Sunday||10:30||- 16:30|
|Open (1 Nov 2022 - 31 Mar 2023)|
|Tuesday - Sunday||10:30||- 17:00|
* Open on Bank Holidays, and Easter Monday.
Map & Directions
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Nearest major road is A3. Selborne is on the B3006 from Alton to the A3. Postcode for the car park is GU34 3BN. To access the car park (when travelling from Alton), just after the Selborne Arms pub take the first right, then travel through the pub car park and up to the museum car park. Remember to hand in your registration at reception to access free parking.
Public Transport Directions
The nearest stations are Alton, Petersfield and Liss. The 38 bus between Alton and Petersfield runs through Selborne, the nearest bus stop is the Selborne Arms. Remember to check bus and train times before you travel.