Gilbert White & The Oates Collections

Gilbert White's House & Garden, The Wakes, High Street, Selborne, Hampshire, GU34 3JH
01420 511275

Discover three fascinating stories of explorers of the Natural World… Gilbert White, 18th century naturalist. Explore his house and 25 acres of grounds. Captain Lawrence Oates, who travelled the epic journey to the South Pole in 1911-12 with Captain Scott. Frank Oates, 19th century explorer of Africa and the Americas.

In beautiful Selborne you can discover three fascinating stories about explorers of the Natural World at Gilbert White & The Oates Collections.

Gilbert White was one of England’s earliest and most famous naturalists, and in his house in Selborne you can see where he lived and wrote his famous book, The Natural History of Selborne, and the garden and estate where he made many of his discoveries.     He is admired by naturalists and lovers of the English countryside the world over and at his house you can see the manuscript of his book, a collection of letters, written in his immaculate and very readable writing.   He lived in this house for almost all his life and you can wander through the rooms that he knew, see our fabulous book collection and read about the story of Gilbert White in his own words, from his diaries and letters.   You could try out your knowledge in our bird call exhibit, and appreciate the tremendous achievement of classifying different birds by their songs, as Gilbert did, see how he predicted the route of one of the earliest balloon flights,  and see why Gilbert was one of the first to record the weather and how it differs from what we experience today.

Upstairs you can discover the moving story of Captain Oates, who undertook the epic journey of discovery to the South Pole with Captain Scott in 1911 – 12.    See our fascinating exhibition to the Captain, including his sledge, the photographs and film taken on the exhibition, what they ate and wore, and the poignant letters written home.      You can find out about Frank Oates, who explored in central America and Africa and the moving story of the dog who wouldn’t leave his master’s grave.   See our amazing collections, including birds, animals and African weapons.

Gilbert White’s 18th century garden has been beautifully restored and you can see how he made his discoveries  in the wonderful landscape of Selborne, with its famous ‘hanger’ hill and its walks on the common and down the valley of the Lythe stream.     The village of Selborne is waiting to be explored, with its pubs, church and shops, and you can browse in our own shop and eat in our awarding-winning Tea Parlour.

Getting married? Find out about receptions and parties at Gilbert White’s House, both in the house, in the beautiful garden and in our 16th century Hampshire Barn.

For information on group visits to Gilbert White’s House visit the group bookings page on the website.

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Visitor Information

Location, Contact and Booking
Gilbert White's House & Garden
The Wakes
High Street
GU34 3JH

Transport Information

By car: From SW London (1 hr) take the A3 to Petersfield, exit onto the B3006 south of the Hindhead Tunnel, to Selborne. The house will be found in the High Street on the left. There is ample parking behind the Selborne Arms. From S/W, follow the same instructions from the A3. From Chawton, follow the B3006 to Selborne.

By train: Trains run regularly from Waterloo and Portsmouth to Petersfield or Waterloo to Alton and taxis can be found at both stations.

Booking Information

For booking details visit our website.