Houghton Lodge Gardens has been described by visitors as ‘the jewel of the Test Valley’, and ‘A stately pleasure-dome on the most romantic river in England’.
The Grade II* listed formal and informal gardens surround the UK's best surviving example of an 18th-century Cottage Orné, idyllically set above the tranquil waters of the River Test.
Houghton Lodge is thought to have been designed in 1793 by John Plaw – one of the pioneers of the style – and was probably intended as a fishing lodge.
The walled garden boasts vast espalier fruit trees enclosed by a historical chalk cob wall. It provides protection to 32 different varieties of apple tree, many of which cannot be bought today.
The themed herb garden includes pharmaceutical, medicinal, natural dye, pot pourri herbs and tea beds providing wonderful scents and colours throughout the season.
In early summer the fragrant peonies line the stunning Rose Arbour path leading to hidden corners of the garden. Vegetables grow in raised beds plus wild flowers, sweet peas and dahlias providing a kaleidoscope of summer and autumn colour. Not to be missed is the magnificent espaliered pear tree growing on the eastern wall.
The magnificent 300 foot herbaceous border is an impressive sight with yearlong beauty, bursting with bulbs in the spring, a tapestry of colour in the summer, and dahlias to brighten the autumn.
Enjoy over 15 acres of meadows and walks along the picturesque River Test and meet the friendly Alpacas and resident ‘snorting’ Topiary dragon who enjoys puffing his welcome.
We also have woodland walks and lovely cream teas. The house is also occasionally open. Please check.
30 March to 30 September: Monday to Friday, 11am to 5pm; weekends and Bank Holidays, 10am to 5pm.
Houghton Lodge is in the heart of the Test Valley, only an hour and a half from Central London, a simple and usually fast journey straight down the M3 and the A30.
We are five minutes from the local town of Stockbridge. Follow the signs to Houghton Lodge Gardens.
Winchester (11 miles) and Andover (8 miles) are our nearest mainline stations (to/from London, Waterloo). Take a taxi from both stations.
Car park on site
Historic Houses members visit for free.
Children 3+: £3.00
Under 3s: free
- Accessible parking
- Accessible toilets
- Access statement available
For groups visiting the house, you will be guided by the owner’s family and learn of the history of this unique historic house and discover why it is one of the “must see” places of interest in Hampshire.
You will be regaled with stories of ancestors interwoven with social and family history, while you enjoy the exquisite woodwork, beautiful furniture and stunning architecture.
For groups visiting the gardens there is also lots to see!
We offer a range of packages, find out more here.
A word from the owner
We have recently discovered a number of lead encased sterile field dressings belonging to Daniel’s great grandfather who while serving in India was part of the army that invaded Afghanistan in 1878. The house is constantly surprising and amazing us and we hope you will love it as much as we do.
Houghton Lodge is a stunning location for weddings and is one of the most romantic Historic Houses in Hampshire.
Overlooking the famous chalk stream of The River Test, with panoramic views over the water meadows and along the Test Valley.
There is no other house in sight and nowhere else could offer such picturesque views and such tranquillity - a more magical position would be hard to find.
The house is a private family home where the owners offer a welcoming, friendly and amazingly special venue for couples who are looking for a unique and exclusive wedding ceremony and reception.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to us host our wedding at Houghton Lodge. It was honestly the most perfect day and much of this is down to the venue.
Overlooking the River Test, with tables on the lawn between the marquee and the river. Flowers adorning the entrance and festooning the pier, swans gently gliding by. A riverside marquee with floodlit paths and the river bathed in evening mists and moonlight have provided the venue for such glorious memories.
Entertaining in the walled garden
Imagine enjoying drinks al fresco in our magnificent walled garden, before a leisurely walk through the ancient gates, past the glorious herbaceous border, and down the steps to your marquee next to the river.
There are endless opportunities for the most memorable wedding photographs that you will want to treasure forever: perhaps on the terrace in front of this magical house, in the formality of the Topiary Garden, sitting on the pier next to the river, standing on the bridge, against the apple blossom, next to the peony walk and more.
With two exquisite ceremony rooms and a choice of outside structures including a woodland grotto and a riverside fishing hut, plus formal and informal gardens, acres of meadows and ample space for a marquee by the river, Houghton Lodge Gardens is suitable for all size weddings.
What were once calf sheds of the 18th-century historic family home, will now offer accommodation for those seeking an idyllic, luxury retreat in the Test Valley.
Each of the elegant bedrooms will be individually styled, with classic and contemporary sophistication. The rooms are named after heritage apple varieties from the garden’s ancient orchard.
The bedrooms will be for two people but a couple of the larger rooms have an interconnecting door between two of the rooms.
Each room will boast a small kitchenette with a microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge for guests convenience.