Planning a visit

to The Beth Chatto Gardens

Planning your visit

WINTER CLOSURE: The Gardens and Nursery are now closed. We are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday 9th February 2021.

The online nursery and click and collect will remain open. 


THE FOLLOWING IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY and will apply for our scheduled reopening on 9th February 2021


To help plan your visit to the Gardens, please read the information below and ensure you book a ticket prior to arrival. If you are visiting the nursery, then there is no need to pre-book.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm 


You must pre-book your tickets for every member of your party before visiting (apart from children under 5). You may stay as long as you wish. Please note there are no new admissions to the garden after 4pm (November 3pm)

To visit the Gardens, you can book hourly arrival slots for ... 



Adult Entry: £7.95 + 50p booking fee until March 31st 2021.

Children (Under 16s, over 5s): £2 each + 50p booking fee


For access to the Nursery only

No booking necessary. 

Please be aware that we are required to monitor the amount of people on the nursery, and that access may be restricted with a queing system in very busy periods.


facemask must be worn in enclosed areas: Garden Entrance, Visitor Information Centre, Gift Shop and when paying at the tills


Friends of the Garden & Friend of Beth Chatto’s are not required to book in advance. You can turn up with your membership card on the day 


The Tearoom remains closed. Teas, coffee and cold drinks are available from the Gift shop and Visitor Centre, as are delicious, locally made ice creams


Picnic benches are available in our overflow car park


For NHS Staff, Key Workers and Blue Card Holders 

Book your FREE* ticket to visit from 1pm only Tuesday to Friday inclusive, from 1st September 2020.

To validate your FREE Entry, please bring along with you: -

A copy of your FREE ticket, which you will need to scan in our Visitor Information Centre

A copy of your NHS ID CARD, Key Worker ID or Blue Card ID which you will need to show to a member of our Welcome Team in the Visitor Information Centre


For Gardeners World 2 for 1 entry

FREE access to the gardens between 7th September 2020 to 4th November, and 9th February to 30th April 2021 (Please Note: We are closed from 5th November 2020 to Tuesday 9th February 2021)

Simply book one adult ticket and present this along with your Gardeners World voucher at the Garden Entrance to claim FREE access for a second person


For RHS members 

FREE access to the gardens between 1st October 2020 and 4th November, and 9th February to 31st March 2021

(Please Note: Winter closure from 5th November 2020 to Monday 8th February 2021. Reopening 9th February 2021)

To validate your FREE Entry, please bring along with you: -

A copy of your FREE ticket, which you will need to scan in our Visitor Information Centre

A copy of your RHS Membership Card which you will need to show to a member of our Welcome Team in the Visitor Information Centre

This offer is for one free entry only per RHS membership card (individual or joint)


Visiting throughout the year?


Save on garden entry throughout the year and get exclusive member benefits by becoming a Friend of Beth Chatto’s from just £30 a year




For the safety and wellbeing of all visitors and staff, we will not be able to admit anyone to the Garden who arrives without a pre-booked ticket (Friends of the Garden excluded).

Please note that social distancing restrictions are in place throughout. 


Covid-19 updated 1st October 2020

Social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households wherever possible. This means a distance of 2m between people from different households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible.

For ALL Pre-booked Ticket Holders


  1. Please remember to bring your ticket with you (either on your phone or a printed copy – so that the barcode can be scanned)

For the safety and wellbeing of Visitors and Staff, we sadly we won’t be able to admit anyone to the Gardens, who arrives without a pre-booked Garden ticket.

  1. Please note due to social distancing measures in place, we are restricting and monitoring the number of visitors on site.



Card Transactions only, no cash

We are restricting purchases to card transactions only.

Our own gift vouchers can be used on-site, but not online or to buy a pre-booked ticket for the Garden


Assistance dogs only

We recommend leaving dogs at home as our car park is very open with no shaded areas. 


Avoid queues with ‘Click & Collect’ or ‘Home-Delivery’

You may know that we have been sending out our much-loved quality plants all over the UK during this time, and continue to do so. If you are unable or feel uncomfortable about paying us a visit, you may wish to order online and choose either  ‘Home-Delivery’  or 'Click and Collect'. 


Covid19 response

Our foremost priority remains the well-being of all of our Visitors and Staff and we will do everything possible to ensure all Government social distancing measures are followed. 

The Social Distancing measures on-site include:

  • Facemasks must be worn in any enclosed areas including the Visitor Centre and the Giftshop
  • Limited numbers of pre-booked tickets available for each day
  • Ground & floor markings to encourage social distancing where we anticipate some queueing at the entrances to both the Gardens and Nursery 
  • One-way system or restricted access around some areas of the Gardens and the Nursery
  • Monitoring access to the Nursery. During busy periods, visitors may be asked to form a socially distanced queue which we will closely monitor, allowing controlled entrance to the Nursery, when numbers permit.
  • Screens at the Welcome desks and Checkouts to protect both Visitors & Staff


Personal Comfort and Wellbeing 

Customer toilets are open for use. Please wear a mask in this area, be mindful and exercise social distancing. 

Hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities are available for Visitor & Staff use on-site


If you are feeling at all unwell or you or someone close to you is showing any symptoms please self-isolate and do not come to the gardens.


Shared Best Practice, Advice and Guidance

In order to comply with the Governments advice on social distancing, we have calculated the number of visitors we can welcome from the Horticultural Trade Association Guidelines. Thanks to the generosity of the RHS, in sharing best practice with their partner gardens (of which we are one) we are also following measures adopted by the RHS at their gardens which opened on 1st June 2020.

We fully support the Government’s plans to control the spread of the virus and if official guidance changes, we will adjust practices immediately. 



How long can I stay?

You can arrive at any time within your given time slot and are free to stay as long as you wish – although please be mindful of others' enjoyment. 

Can I get plant advice at the Nursery?

We will be respecting social distancing measures and so advice based on phone pictures of plants sadly won't be possible at this time.

Will there be any refreshments available?

Our Tearoom remains closed for the time being. Teas, coffee and cold drinks are available from the Giftshop and Visitor Centre, as are our delicious, locally made ice creams.

Picnic benches are sited in the adjacent field near the overspill car park for our visitors to use; all we ask is that you take any litter away with you to help protect our environment. 

Is free car parking available?


Do you have car parking for the disabled?

Yes, we have a limited number of Car Park spaces designated for those less abled.  Please make us aware of your Blue Badge at the time of your booking. 

Are customer toilets open? 

Yes, customer toilets are available on site.  Our toilets are regularly cleaned and monitored. Please be aware that you may need to queue in this area.  

Will you accept cash?

No, sorry, we will only be accepting card payments for any purchases you wish to make during your visit. 



April - 14th November 2020

£8.95 per adult

£2.00 per child (5 - 16 yr old) Under 5's free.



£4.95 per adult

£1.00 per child (5 - 16 yr old) Under 5's free



£6.95 per adult

£1.50 per child (5 - 16 yr old) Under 5's free


1 carer goes free with a disabled badge holder.

Sorry, no other concessions. 






A Friend of Beth Chatto's membership (from just £30) allows you unlimited access to the Gardens during opening hours and free entry for up to 3 children.


Car parking is FREE for blue badge holders.


Coach Parking – Booking required in advance 

Garden entrance
Opening Hours
March-October The Gardens and Nursery are currently closed to visitors. (Sunday )
Tearoom Opening Hours
March-October Currently closed (Sunday Currently closed)
How to find us Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB
By Bus

Colchester Bus Station is to the east of Colchester in Osborne Street and Stanwell Street. From the High Street turn right down Queen Street opposite Colchester Castle, then bear right at the bottom of Queen Street into Osborne Street. The bus station is on the left.          

There are a number of travel companies operating buses that stop at Elmstead Market so we recommend checking the 'Bus Times' website before travelling.  Please see the links below for each service: 

By Train

Colchester has two train stations, North Station and Colchester Town.  Colchester Town station is in the centre of town and near the bus station.  North Station is over a mile north of the town centre and would require another bus to reach the town centre but does have a taxi rank just outside if you would prefer to continue your journey by car. Regular trains to North  Station run from London Liverpool Street, Ipswich, Clacton on Sea and Norwich. Trains to Colchester Town are less frequent and may require you to change at North Station. Journey time to Colchester Town from London Liverpool Street is approximately 90 minutes.

By Bike

The Beth Chatto Gardens can be reached from several bicycles routes. The closest is a route published by Visit Essex and can be viewed here. Route 4 "Cultural Sites and Constable Country" is the map that has our location. The route takes you around some of the countryside encircling Colchester and is roughly ten miles long. We can be found in the bottom right hand side of the map marked as attraction 14. If you would like to hire a bike for your visit to the area, whether you are a resident or a holiday maker, bikes can be hired from The Outdoor Hire Centre including tandems, childrens bikes and bikes with picnic equipment!

By Taxi

There is a taxi rank outside North Station (please note not outside Colchester Town station) and one on Colchester High Street. Local taxi companies include:

  • Five Sevens: 01206 577777
  • Hawaii 5-0: 01206 543210
  • Panther Cabs: 01206 525525

Please note we do not endorse these companies and cannot guarantee their cost or level of service. For your return journey staff in the shop will be happy to call a taxi company for you.