- Related link RHS Garden Wisley Glasshouse.
- Related link RHS Garden Wisley Library.
- The Royal Horticultural Society was given Wisley in 1903, although at that time only a small part of the 24ha (60 acres) estate was actually cultivated as a garden, the remainder being wooded farmland. The original garden was the creation of George Fergusson Wilson - businessman, scientist, inventor and keen gardener and a former Treasurer of the Society.
- In 1878 he purchased the site and established the 'Oakwood experimental garden', with the idea of making 'difficult plants grow successfully'. The garden acquired a reputation for its collections of lilies, gentians, Japanese irises, primulas and water plants. Oakwood (formerly known as the Wild Garden) is the direct descendant of that original garden and despite changes is still true to the original concept.
- After Wilson's death in 1902, Oakwood and the adjoining Glebe Farm were bought by Sir Thomas Hanbury, a wealthy Quaker who had founded the celebrated garden of La Mortola, on the Italian Riviera. In 1903, Sir Thomas presented the Wisley estate in trust to the Society for its perpetual use.
- Nothing could have been more providential in the circumstances. For at least 30 years, the Society had been seeking a larger garden 'beyond the radius of the London smoke', to replace the garden at Chiswick which it had leased since 1822. It was also committed to building a new exhibition hall and offices in Vincent Square (and the construction work had already started). Both projects were seen as a fitting way to celebrate the Society's forthcoming centenary in 1904 but there were heated arguments among the Fellows over which should have priority for the available funds.
- Sir Thomas' generous donation solved both these problems at a stroke. By May 1904, the move from Chiswick to Wisley was complete and, in July, the new headquarters at Vincent Square was officially opened by King Edward VII - both in time to mark the centenary.
- While Wisley was taking shape as an ornamental garden, its educational and scientific roles were never forgotten. A small laboratory was opened and the School of Horticulture founded to instruct young people in the principles of horticulture and prepare them for careers as professional gardeners.
- Following the move to Wisley the trials of flowers, vegetables and fruit - an important part of the Society's work since 1860 - were resumed and expanded. The trials 'epitomise...the Society's endeavour to show to the public the best kinds of plants to grow' and remain one of the principal objects of the garden. That combination of learning with pleasure is the essence of Wisley.
- Monday 10:00 - 18:00.
- Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00.
- Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00.
- Thursday 10:00 - 18:00.
- Friday 10:00 - 18:00.
- Saturday 09:00 - 18:00.
- Sunday 09:00 - 18:00.
- There is not a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
- The nearest National Rail station is West Byfleet.
- The venue does have its own car park.
- Parking is free for all users.
Venue Car Park
- The car park is located at the front of the venue.
- The car park type is open air/surface.
- Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do not need to be booked in advance.
- There is/are 10+ Blue Badge parking bay(s) within the car park.
- The dimensions of the Blue Badge parking bay(s) are 380cm x 400cm (12ft 6in x 13ft 1in).
- The nearest Blue Badge bay is 25m (27yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
- The furthest Blue Badge bay is 90m (98yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
- The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
- Assistance may be required because there is / are slopes/ramps.
- The car park surface is tarmac.
- There is not a road to cross between the car park and the entrance.
- The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
On Street Parking and Drop-off Details.
- There is not a designated drop off point.
Outside Access (Main Entrance)
- This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
- There is not level access into the venue.
- There are no doors at this entrance.
- The width of the entrance is 250cm.
Reception (Ticket Office)
- The desk/counter is 2m (2yd 7in) from the main entrance.
- There is level access to the desk/counter from the entrance.
- The desk/counter is high (110cm+).
- The desk/counter has a low (76cm or lower) section.
- The lighting levels are bright.
- There is not a hearing assistance system.
- The entrance has a wide access ticket barrier available.
Eating and Drinking (Food Court)
- The following information is for the cafe.
- The cafe is located to the right after you enter from the main entrance.
- Full table service is not available.
- Food or drinks are ordered from the service counter.
- Food or drinks cannot be brought to the table.
- There is not a lowered section at the counter.
- No tables are permanently fixed.
- No chairs are permanently fixed.
- No chairs have armrests.
- The nearest table is approximately 70m (76yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
- The standard height for tables is 70cm.
- There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
- Plastic / takeaway cups are available.
- Plastic / takeaway cutlery is available.
- Drinking straws are available.
- Menus are wall only.
- Menus are not available in Braille.
- Menus are not available in large print.
- Picture menus are not available.
- Menus are clearly written.
- Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
- The type of food served here is hot and cold meals and snacks.
RHS Garden Wisley
- Wisley is the historic home of the RHS and houses one of the largest plant collections in the world. The gardens delight through every season: enjoy swathes of bulbs and blossom in spring, unforgettable mixed borders and roses in summer, autumn’s bountiful colours, and frost-sparkled walks in winter. And don't miss the stunning Glasshouse, set to transport you to far-flung shores.
- The gardens are set over 240 acres and have a variety of features including a glasshouse, learning centre, lakes, plant information centre, fruit fields, vegetable gardens and more.
Parks and Gardens
- The park or garden does have footpaths.
- The path(s) has a / have compact earth, loose wood chippings, tarmac, concrete and gravel surface(s).
- The majority of the path(s) is / are wide enough for wheelchair users.
- There are easy and moderate slopes on the paths.
- There are bench seats situated along the paths for people to rest.
- Accessible toilet facilities are available.
Location and Access
- The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
- There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
- This accessible toilet is approximately 25m (27yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
- This accessible toilet is located to the right as you face the main entrance.
- There is not level access to this accessible toilet.
Features and Dimensions
- This is a unisex toilet.
- A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
- The door opens outwards.
- The door is locked by a sliding bolt.
- The width of the accessible toilet door is 87cm (2ft 10in).
- The door is light.
- The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 320cm x 220cm (10ft 6in x 7ft 3in).
- There is sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
- There is a lateral transfer space.
- As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
- The lateral transfer space is 130cm (4ft 3in).
- There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
- There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
- The tap type is lever.
- There is a mixer tap.
- There is an emergency alarm.
- The emergency pull cord alarm is fully functional.
- Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
- There is a/are sanitary, general domestic waste and clinical waste disposal units.
- There is a/are coat hook(s).
Position of Fixtures
- Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
- As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
- There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
- There is a mirror.
- Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
- The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 45cm (1ft 6in).
- There is a hand dryer.
- The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
- The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
- The height of the hand dryer is 110cm (3ft 7in).
- There is not a towel dispenser.
- There is a toilet roll holder.
- The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
- The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
- There is a wash basin.
- The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
- The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
Colour Contrast and Lighting
- The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
- The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
- The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
- The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
- The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
- The lighting levels are bright.
Baby Change Facilities
- Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
- Baby change facilities are located within the accessible toilet.
- The height of the baby change table once extended is 100cm (3ft 3in).
- An additional accessible toilet is located within The Glasshouse.
Level Change (Main Entrance)
- There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
- The ramp or slope is located to the right as you face the entrance.
- The ramp/slope is moderate.
- The ramp/slope is permanent.
- There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
- The ramp does have handrails.
- The handrails are on both sides.
- There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
- The step(s) is/are located to the right as you face the entrance.
- There is/are 5 step(s) to the area/service.
- There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
- The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
- The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
- There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
- The handrail(s) is/are on the left going up.
- The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
Availability and Location of Standard Toilets
- Standard toilet facilities are available.
Access to Standard Female Toilet(s)
- The female toilet facilities that were surveyed are located to the right as you enter.
- The female toilet(s) is/are approximately 30m (32yd 2ft) from the main entrance.
- Inside the venue, there is level access to the female toilet(s).
- Lighting levels are bright.
Access to Standard Male Toilet(s)
- The male toilet facilities that were surveyed are located to the right as you enter.
- The male toilet(s) is/are approximately 40m (43yd 2ft) from the main entrance.
- Inside the venue, there is level access to the male toilet(s).
- Lighting levels are bright.
- Additional facilities are located within The Glasshouse and library.
- Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
- Documents are not available in Braille.
- Documents are not available in large print.
- A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.
- An assistance dog toilet area can be provided onsite.
- The assistance dog toilet area is located throughout the venue.
- A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not normally on duty.
- There are 26 manual wheelchairs available to borrow at the garden entrance.
- Three powered mobility scooters are available to borrow at the garden entrance. Please call in advance on 0845 260 9000* to reserve a scooter for your visit.
- There is a electric mobility vehicle available to use. This is free of charge and runs from 10.00 to 16.00 (10.00 to 15.00 in winter) each day. It starts from the edge of the conifer lawn and runs continuously around the garden, taking approximately 30 minutes to complete a circuit. There is a pause in service at lunchtime.
- While on the vehicle, for your own safety, you must wear the seatbelts provided and keep your hands and head inside the vehicle at all times. Children under 16 years must be accompanied on the vehicle. In adverse weather conditions, the vehicle may not run.