Gilbert White and The Oates Collections

  • View of Gilbert White's House and Garden
  • View of Gilbert White's House and Garden

Gilbert White and The Oates Collections

High Street, Selbourne

GU34 3JH

Explore this charming country home set in 25 acres of gardens...

Located in the picturesque Hampshire village of Selborne, in a charming country house, discover three fascinating stories about explorers of the Natural World.

Rev. Gilbert White, the pioneering 18th century naturalist, is remembered as the first ecologist and 'the man who started us all bird watching'. His world famous book "The Natural History of Selborne" was published in 1789, just four years before his death, and is reputed to be the fourth most published book in the English language and has never been out of print. Explore his atmospheric home, which is set in 25 acres of restored gardens and ancient parkland, situated beneath the beech-clad 'Hanger'.

Learn about the fascinating life and travels of Frank Oates, a 19th century explorer who was one of the first Europeans to journey to Africa and the Americas. Marvel at the fabulous collection of birds, animals and African weapons that he sent back to his family in England. Meet Rail, his devoted dog. Rail sat on Frank's grave and refused to journey on without him following his death after an expedition to see the Victoria Falls.

Interactive galleries tell the moving story of Antarctic Hero Captain Lawrence Oates, who travelled the epic journey of discovery to the South Pole in 1911-12 with Captain Scott. He is remembered for his tremendous courage when sacrificing his life in the hope of saving his comrades when he walked out into a severe blizzard uttering the famous last words "I am just going outside and may be some time". Thanks to a 'Your Heritage' National Lottery Grant in 2012, the Lawrence Oates galleries were re-developed - see the wonderful new interactive displays complete with expedition sledge, original expedition clothing, penguins and much more. In 2014 we welcomed a new arrival! An Emperor is has joined our collection of Antarctic penguins. The penguin died from natural causes and was found by scientists of the British Antarctic Survey who have arranged preservation and transportation to enable us to complete our collection of Antarctic penguins..

Delight in the wonderful garden with plant sales too. Free entry to our award winning tea parlour and charming gift shop.

  • Level and ramped access to ground floor and Tea Parlour
  • The garden is accessible on well-kept grass and paths specially laid with very shallow gravel
  • Guide Dogs welcome
2 January-15 February Friday-Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm
17 February-31 March Tuesday-Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm
1 April-31 October Tuesday-Sunday 10.30am-5.15pm
1 November-20 December Tuesday-Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm

They are open on Bank Holidays, and Mondays in July & August


Adult £9.50
Concession £8.50
Under 16 £4.00
Under 5 Free
Family Ticket (2A + 3C) £24.00
Pre-booked group of 10 or more £7.50
Garden Only £7.50


Nearest major road is A3. Selborne is on the B3006 from Alton to the A3. The village car park is behind the Selborne Arms and to reach the house and museum, turn left on leaving the car park and continue along the High Street. The house is on the left-hand side.

Public transport

Nearest station is Alton or Liss. Limited bus service or taxi, book return journey.

2 adults for the price of 1 on presentation of Explorer Map voucher*

Gilbert White and The Oates Collections - Discount Voucher

Voucher download*

You can also download the Winchester Explorer Map to get this special offer and many more:

Winchester Explorer Map 2014-15.pdf

To request a hard copy of the Explorer Map with more special offers inside please request your brochure here.

*Excludes special event days, concessions and children do not apply. Valid until 30 April 2015.

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