Dartington Trust Gardens: FAQs

If you have a query that isn’t covered below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

How do I buy tickets?

You can purchase tickets easily online. You will receive an e-ticket to either print or show upon entry at the Welcome Centre, where you can pick up your map and entry. Alternatively you can pay on the day at the Welcome Centre. Tickets are valid all day so visitors can come and go in the garden and the rest of the estate.

Do you offer concessions?

The Gardens are free for anyone on low income. This includes Job Seekers Allowance, Disability benefits and Universal Credit (you may need to provide proof at point of entry). It is also free to anyone registered disabled, blind or partially sighed. We have also introduced a locals’ rate of £5 (TQ postal code area) and we are looking into running occasional community open days in the gardens where entry will be free for the day. Blue Light Card holders also have discounted access of £5 – this covers NHS, emergency workers, armed forces and social care workers (www.bluelightcard.co.uk). We offer Dartington parish / village membership at concession rate (£25).

Is it free for members?

Yes, members gain free access to the gardens as part of their membership – this also includes extended access to the gardens – from dawn till dusk. Members need to be logged in to enable the free gardens ticket to be purchased. If you’ve already bought your gardens ticket and want to become a member, we’ll refund the ticket cost on the day, or if you book tickets to the Gardens and buy Membership on arrival, we’ll refund the cost of your tickets. Along with free entry to the gardens, there are many other member benefits, including discounts on food, arts, entertainment, short courses, accommodation and shopping, plus exclusive early bird access to tickets and an opportunity to be part of shaping our future. You will also recoup your membership cost after just a few visits to the garden.  Find out more here.

I’m a member, can I bring a friend?

As a member you can enter the grounds for free and you can also bring a guest for free. This can be booked online, or again at the Welcome Centre.

I am eligible for free entry, how do I get my ticket?

If you are a Member, just add your tickets to the basket in the usual way and they will be automatically discounted to £0 when you log in during the checkout process.

If you qualify for free entry through another criteria, you cannot book online – come to the Welcome Centre on the day with your proof of eligibility and you will be given free entry.

I am a Blue Light Card holder, how do I get my ticket?

Blue light Card holders can book a concession rate online and will just need to present their Blue Light card at the Welcome Centre upon entry.

Why are you charging for the gardens now?

Our team of dedicated gardeners work hard to maintain the gardens, but this costs a great deal of money, which as a charity is challenging. We have been very lucky to be one of the only formal gardens in the country to offer free entry for so long, but in order to ensure the future of the gardens, we have had to put this change in place.

What if the Welcome Centre is closed and I want to pay to visit the Gardens?

If the Welcome Centre is closed at any point, you can text GARDENS (amount) to 70450 to enter. e.g. GARDENS 7 to donate the equivalent of an adult rate entry.

Can I still access the rest of the estate for free?

The 1200 acre estate remains free for all to use, which includes many miles of woodland walks, river paths and the Deer Park for everyone to enjoy all year round. The White Hart and the Green Table Café are both available to all and visitors do not need to have a garden ticket to access these. Both sell delicious food with a focus on seasonal and local produce. The Green Table have an excellent selection of home-made cakes and hot drinks, offering the perfect accompaniment to a visit to the gardens.

My family / friends ashes are in the gardens and / or I have a tree planted in memory within the gardens – can I still visit?

Yes you can continue to ensure your family / friends gain access to the tree planted / ashes scattered. You just need to advise the Welcome Centre upon arrival and they will permit free access for the day.

I have a wheelchair - where can I go in the gardens?

We have improved wheelchair accessibility around the gardens and you can follow the step-free access routes identified on the map. Certain areas, including the private garden immediately behind the Great Hall, have been made accessible for wheelchairs, scooters and buggies, and the much improved pathways mean that you can now access all the way around to the whispering circle.

How are you ensuring social distancing in the Gardens?

Unlike many smaller gardens, we have taken the decision not to limit the number of people or time allowed for visits, so one entry can last all day. We are operating directional signage around the gardens for the Children’s Trail, and the 26 acres of formal gardens allows ample area to safely ensure everyone has plenty of space to walk around freely.

Can I access the gardens if I am staying the hotel or campsite or if am a student?

All hotel guests and campsite guests are all permitted access to the gardens for free with a guest. As are Dartington staff (including their immediate family or a guest), Schumacher students on short or long-term courses, our base of regular volunteers and The Dartington Collaborative Network members. Please just book in at the Welcome Centre by showing your card (members can book online when logged in and can bring a guest) so that we can monitor the numbers going through the Garden.

Are you still running Garden Tours?

Our popular garden tours, run by volunteers are currently on hold due to Covid, but we do hope to resume tours again in the summer months, so keep a look out for when these tours return and you will be able to book them online or in person at the Welcome Centre.

do you allow dogs in the gardens?

Only guide dogs are allowed into the formal gardens.  The rest of our 1,200 acre estate is available to take your dog for a walk on a lead, and we have a special off-lead area available at Aller Park field, close to the main car park – more details here.

I’m a residential or commercial tenant on the estate – can I enter the gardens freely?

We would encourage all tenants to sign up to get their FREE Dartington membership here. You can book your free gardens admission online as a member. You can book any number of days all in one go, and access the Gardens freely from dawn until dusk. Booking enables us to manage numbers and gather footfall data, which will help us towards applying for any future awards for the Gardens. Otherwise simply pop by the Welcome Centre with proof of your tenancy to gain free admission on the day.

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