Waterperry Gardens Guide

Waterperry Gardens Herbaceous Border, Oxfordshire
Waterperry Gardens Herbaceous Border - © Waterperry Gardens

Waterperry Gardens are located within the Waterperry estate, the acclaimed attraction here are the gardens however there are also other attractions including a historic church and museum for visitors to explore further. The estate is located close by to Wheatley in Oxfordshire on the banks of the River Thames, providing visitors with an idyllic setting and scenic environment. Visitors can see a range of gardens with a range of gardens to see in each season.


Waterperry Gardens are ornamental gardens that cover approx covering 8 acres of the 18th century Waterperry estate. The estate itself is a large one covering over 80 acres, within the estate visitors can visit the gardens, museum, a Saxon village church and art gallery.

The Gardens are the most famous tourist attraction at Waterperry and the spectacular gardens provide a feast for the senses. There are a wide range of trees, flowers, shrubs along with classical borders examples of modern planting, some secret corners and long vistas. Previously the site hosted the horticultural college from 1932 until 1971, when the primary focus was on food production as opposed to beautiful ornamental gardens. Over the past few decades the gardens have been developed with a number of new projects completed resulting in the fine gardens on show today for visitors to view.

The Gravel Garden contains a number of plants associated with the Mediterranean. These are difficult to grow elsewhere in the gardens, they grow well here due to the specially prepared gravely soil.

The River Walk provides visitors with a short walk on the banks of the River Thames and is set among snowdrops narcissus, primroses and summer flowers. Depending on the season the walk shows visitors with a range of plants native to the UK.

The Formal Garden is located in the nursery area, the garden is a relatively small garden and provides a contrast to other informal gardens. The garden was designed back in 1986 and the planting was chosen to reflect a number of historical periods from the Tudors up to and including the present day.

The Orange Tree House, has been subject to a recent renovation project. Here the Victorian building is where the Seville Orange Tree is located and is approx one hundred years old, which is around a hundred years old. With the building now renovated visitors can take a look at the historic tree.

The Museum of Rural Life houses a number of interesting collections that include a collection of tools and implements dating back to ancient times. The museum is contained in an 18th century building proving a great location in which to display a range of horticultural and agricultural tools helping to set the historical setting. There are collections of terrets, horse bells and brasses along with old veterinary equipment. There is an interesting 19th century clockwork crow scarer which used to fire blank cartridges.

The Church on the site is well worth a visit, the parish church of St Mary the Virgin at Waterperry is considered to be a wonderful example of great architecture. The church is located close by the manor house and whilst it may appear modest from the outside inside there is much to admire.

There are collections of ancient brasses, glass and plaques, history enthusiasts can see the rare floor tiles from the 12th century along with the Jacobean memorial wall tablet, there are lancet windows that have glass dating back to the 13th century. For visitors there is no extra charge to look around the church.

Waterperry also hosts a number of concerts and shows during the year such as classical summer concerts and Shakespeare’s Mid Summer Nights Dream. There are courses available in gardening and arts and crafts.

How to Get There

The gardens are most conveniently accessed by car, they can also be accessed by a combination of train & taxi:

By Car:

The site is located approx 50 miles from London and approx 6 miles from Oxford. Major roads in the area are signposted with the brown tourist board signs directing visitors to Waterperry.

From London: Take the M40 North up to junction 8 for Oxford Services and exit here. Follow the signs for the services, at the roundabout take the second exit towards Wheatley then after half a mile turn rights again for Wheatley and Waterperry and then follow the brown tourist signs.

From Oxford: Follow directions for the A40 East - London. Drive on the A40 for a few miles and after going past Thornhill Park and Ride take the third exit signposted for Wheatley and Waterperry Gardens and follow the brown tourist signs.

From Birmingham: Take the M40 South and exit at junction 8a for Oxford Services follow directions for the services. At the roundabout turn right at the towards Wheatley then after half a mile turn rights once more towards Wheatley and Waterperry and follow the brown tourist signs.

For those using Satellite Navigation systems the postcode is OX33 1JZ.

By Train:

From Paddington Station in central London trains are available to Oxford station that is approx 6 miles from the Gardens. From Oxford station visitors can get a taxi to the gardens.

Contact Details

Waterperry Gardens
Nr. Wheatley
OX33 1JZ
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1844 339254

Fax: +44 (0)1844 339883

Website: Waterperry Gardens

Facilities & Information

Opening Times:

Garden & Garden Shop:

From 10.00 until 17.30 (March to October) & From 10.00 until 17.00 (November to February)

Art in Action Gallery:

From 10.30 until 17.30 (March to October) & From 10.30 until 17.00 (November to February)

Note: Visitors should check exact opening times for the day they wish to visit.

Further Information:

Admission Prices:

March to October:

Adults: £6.00 approx, Children: £4.00 approx, Children under 10: Free entry, Concessions £4.30 approx

November to February:

Adults: £4.00 approx, Children (10 to 16 years): Free entry, Children under 10: Free entry, Concessions £4.00 approx


There is a Teashop that offers a range of snacks including salads, sandwiches and cakes.

Wheelchair users are able to access the buildings at the site.


View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Waterperry Gardens Map

Tips & Other Considerations

There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and other factors. It is recommended visitors double check before going to ensure the attraction you wish to see is open. Given gardens bloom at different times it is worth checking which gardens you can see when.

Follow sensible travel advice and remain alert, vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times. Ensure valuables such as your wallet/purse are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Waterperry in Oxfordshire ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the journey planner for door to door directions. Check the latest road and traffic news before you travel.

If you are travelling by train, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the train, and remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train stop well in time.

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