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Car parking charges at Wakehurst Place

Later this spring we will be introducing charges for car parking at Wakehurst. The charges are likely to commence from mid to late April, but the exact timing will depend on the completion of the installation works.

Photo of the Mansion House at Wakehurst Place
The Mansion at Wakehurst

Joint statement between National Trust and Kew

In a joint statement Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman, National Trust, and Marcus Agius, Chairman, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:

'The National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have been working together to find a sustainable future for Kew at Wakehurst Place.

'The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew currently maintains the gardens, woodlands and the Mansion at Wakehurst Place, in accordance with a lease from the National Trust. Despite being run efficiently and effectively, the net cost to Kew of running Wakehurst Place is such that we have reached a point where greater income is needed if we are to continue our outstanding horticultural standards and the wonderful visitor experience that have made Wakehurst one of the Trust’s most popular properties.

'We have agreed that the best way to raise this much needed income is through the introduction of car parking charges in April 2014.'

Additional parking fee

Wakehurst Place Season Ticket holders, Friends of Kew and those who purchase a day ticket to enter Wakehurst will not need to pay the additional fee for car parking.

National Trust members will retain their free entry to Wakehurst Place, but will pay to park. Cars will cost annually from £25, £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day

Group visits in minibuses and coaches will either pay the current discounted group entry rate for each passenger, or an agreed fee based on the number of paying visitors in the coach.

As well as allowing Kew to maintain the current high standards at Wakehurst Place, the charging model allows Kew to link directly its income to the number of visitors. This, in turn, opens the door to investing in the landscape and visitor offer.

Find out more in our Visit Information section.

Why we are doing this

Kew absorbs the majority of the costs of running Wakehurst Place and, despite doing so efficiently and effectively, we have a net deficit of £1.4m.

80% of visitors to Wakehurst Place are National Trust members, who access the gardens without payment to Kew. An endowment provided to the National Trust by Wakehurst’s last private owner, Sir Henry Price, contributes approximately £80,000 a year to the management of the house and gardens. Consequently, Kew needs to find opportunities to raise the required income to support the gardens at Wakehurst.

For the past five years we have been working together with the National Trust to identify and evaluate different options to ensure a sustainable future for Wakehurst Place. We want to invest in Wakehurst and continue to offer a world class garden and nature reserve, and programme of events for our visitors. The introduction of car parking charges will help us to do this.

You can download the full business plan which sets out the reasons for the introduction of parking charges - Business plan for car parking charges.

  • free entry to the gardens and Millennium Seed Bank all year round
  • free car parking
  • one free ticket to Kew Gardens (worth £14.50)
  • two free exclusive open evenings, 10% off purchases in the Visitor Centre Shop and Plant Centre (some exclusions apply)

Your chance to ask questions

The support of our visitors is vital to our long term future and we are grateful to the huge number of people who visit the Gardens every year. That’s why we want to explain the reasons for our decision and give you a chance to have your say on the change.

Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Andy Jackson, Director, Wakehurst Place, and Andy Semple, National Trust Director for London and South East, will be hosting public consultation meetings for any visitors to Wakehurst who would like to ask questions or find out any further information.

They will be taking place on the following dates and times:

Monday 17 March
Morning session: 10.30–11.30am
Afternoon session: 1–2pm

Monday 24 March
Morning session: 10.30am - fully booked
Afternoon session: 1pm - fully booked
Evening session: 7pm - very few spaces remaining

Please contact wakehurst@kew.org or telephone 01444 894067 to register your interest, stating clearly which session you wish to attend.

All sessions will take place in the Dining Room in the Mansion.

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Comments

26 May 2014
Was looking forward to a visit but alas on hearing of these parking charges this is now being reconsidered. Indeed I am so incensed that the small amount that I was considering as a legacy will now go elsewhere
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 May 2014
I have heard that car parking charges were being introduced but £10 is a disgrace. I was going to visit May BH but I wont now. Sad really, organisations grasping greedily for as much as they can wring out of people. Should be ashamed of yourselves.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 May 2014
We were about to make our first ever visit to Wakehurst Place this coming weekend, but when going through the website started to read the controversy over car parking charges we decided like so many others that there is a principle at stake here so will not be going to Wakehurst but to somewhere else instead. What we haven’t seen we won’t miss.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
21 May 2014
I've read most comments left here. It seems most unreasonable to charge so much for parking. As said, little can be done in 2 hours, so the £10 charge applies to everybody. The point of taking a lifetime membership was not only to help fund the NT in a positive way, but to enjoy the benefits that membership provided....and free car parking is one of those. I'm sure we'd all pay a token amount. However, starting with such an outrageously high amount will surely do the opposite of what its trying to achieve, ie enhance the income generated from visitors. In fact, this charge will surely deter visitors. Importantly, a dangerous precedent is set - how long will it be before greed raises its ugly head, and other NT houses start raising fees through car park charges. Definitely a need for a serious re-think.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
18 May 2014
Dear Kew, Thank you for deleting my previous post. I assume you didn't like the points I made. Therefore I am posting the key ones again. Thank you, though, for now adding the note to your web page about being able to get an annual £25 car parking season ticket and for including the link to your business plan for the introduction of charges. I see from the press that Kew is planning to make 125 of their 750 permanent staff (40 at Wakehurst) redundant on the pretext that government aid is being reduced, probably as a result of the general belt tightening that we are all suffering. I feel that Kew should really try to do more to encourage more revenue from both visitors and the commercial side. IMHO the catering is now very good, but it looks as if Kew has outsourced this to another company, so may be receiving less income. The shop by the entrance never seems to be that busy and I never see anyone in the garden centre. The old house seems to be much underused and only ever see a few pictures on show or groups of school children having lectures. Wakehurst is a wonderful location in the south-east, close to Gatwick, and I could see it easily being used for corporate venues. The meadow could similarly be used for concerts. Why can't Kew start looking at more creative ways of raising revenues rather than penalising regular visitors and using 'blackmail' techniques to get more income?
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
16 May 2014
Really ridiculous parking charges. I received the survey last year and replied that £1 parking charge for NT members might be OK but these charges are akin to financial suicide. No more Wakehurst for us until someone sees sense and reduces or removes them. Whoever thought this was a good idea needs to get sacked!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
15 May 2014
The idiot, or idiots, who dreamed up this car parking charge should be sacked. This will lose revenue for Wakehurst Place, not gain it. I am a NT member and Blue Badge holder, my husband and I have been regular visitors for over 30 years, but we will not be going again.
15 May 2014
Emma couldn't agree more Kew don't want us they have made that very plain in the public meetings at Wakehurst. Many of us have emailed,tweeted and used all the Facebook pages relating to both organisations,but no response to questions put up. Even the Kew website has standard questions and answers from the first public meeting, and even other questions asked during the morning meeting were not even mentioned. Since the first meeting there have been four other meetings and no updates. Both organisations should feel ashamed of theirselves by the way they have treated members.
14 May 2014
Please make sure your comments are forwarded to the National Trust as Kew Gardens will not give a damn that National Trust members are not visiting.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
14 May 2014
What an own goal. My husband and I are, or rather, were regular visitors to wakehurst and have never understood the Kew charges for their annual season ticket. It is £12.50 per adult per non member so how is it economic sense to only charge £25.00 for the year. As National Trust members we are now being asked to pay a exorbitant amount to park but Kew season ticket holders are exempt.Where is the logic in all of this or the financial common sense. Who on earth dreamed this up. We will not be visiting again.
12 May 2014
I have visited nearby Wakehurst Place for over thirty years, at least ten times a year. I have taken my elderly parents for tea and a short walk around part of the garden. I've visited with youngsters for a couple of hours to feed the ducks and taken friends interested in the seed bank. I've done much of my Christmas and birthday gift shopping there. I won't be going again until the parking fee is reconsidered. I will go to Nymans instead.
12 May 2014
The truth regarding the charges has still not come out. As far as I can see out free entry as National Trust members has gone. We are expected to pay £10 for entry it's not a car park charge it's the entrance fee. Those buying daily tickets for entrance only pay £12.50. So I suppose you could say we get discounted entry due to being NT members. Kew don't want us and we are being stitched up. If you buy a Wakehurst season ticket,the staff will give you a smile and speak to you. If like myself I walk in having parked in the local village,all you get if a wave through. More members should try walking in it only takes 8-10 minutes and if you are prepared to walk round the gardens what's an extra few minutes. Since the start of the car park barriers I've been going 3 to 4 times a week and have never seen it so empty. Wakehurst expected small numbers and believe we will get fed up trying to get into other local NT premises which are now getting packed at weekends and return there next year once the dust settles. Personally I can't see that happening as both organisations have upset and annoyed their members to such a degree that many will make a stand against them. The directors need to wake up we as members will not pay an additional entrance fee nor take out two memberships for one location.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
11 May 2014
We visited Wakehurst Place today. Normally at a weekend the car park is full. Today it was half empty. We are National Trust members. I am at complete loss as to why Wakehurst deem it acceptable that, as NT members, we should wish to retain paying for our annual membership of that organisation and pay £25 to gain access to Wakehurst and then have the ability to have 'free' parking annually so we can park as many times as we like. I don't know who sits on these Committees or Board Meetings to decide these charges but they are incompetent. If they need to charge for car parking then surely a reasonable amount would have been better. £10 if you want to park for two hours or more? You don't pay that to park in a station car park all day! 15 minutes free? Well ok then I suppose at Christmas I could do a very quick browse about the shop for gifts but it's a bit unrealistic. Stay for a coffee after shopping? Well plainly not, as I won't pay £5 for that. If they had thought it through, had more realistic parking charges, then people might have continued to come along, enjoy the outdoors, stay for something to eat and drink and browse the shop. I cannot see anybody making money out of this silly idea. Anyway the barriers/ticket machines must have cost a lot to install. As others have pointed out, it is Nymans/Sheffield Park/Standen for us for now on.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
11 May 2014
I've now put my novel aside in favour of reading the comments, both on your website and TripAdvisor, from disgruntled visitors who are rightly upset by the newly introduced car parking charges at Wakehurst Place. I can't remember the last time that I saw such self inflicted bad publicity towards two world renowned charitable organisations. Pure greed by Kew, but Like others I am a member of the National Trust, and feel they have broken the contract that came with membership which stated free car parking at NT sites. They even had the cheek to recently send me two books of raffle tickets in the hope that I would buy/sell them. Instead I returned them in their pre-paid envelope. Sorry, but I will now be boycotting both Wakehurst Place and Kew Gardens.
10 May 2014
I am a NT member and was not aware of the newly introduced parking charges until mentioned by my neighbour (a non NT member). However my neighbour wasn’t too bothered by the charges because he said that he had visited Wakehurst, and when confronted by the prospect of paying £10 decided instead to park in a nearby village. From there he used a footpath to walk to Wakehurst, and in doing so bypassed the reception area and actually got in for free. Whilst I don’t condone such actions, I’m sure he will not be the last to take this route.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
10 May 2014
You might get better value for your money by taking out NT membership rather than being a Kew member.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
10 May 2014
We also drove in then out. We have been NT members for over 30 years. Why should we pay car parking to subsidise Kew. We only went to the seed bank once and found it boring. It was completely empty whereas the gardens were full. Perhaps it is educational, but have always seen schools walking round or going into the house for tutorials. I agree that when the lease runs out get rid of Kew and let NT run it like other gardens and houses with their wonderful gardeners and volunteers. We will not be going back until the charges are removed. As everyone else says the cafés and shops will suffer. Someone on trip advisor has posted a photo of the empty cafe at 1.30pm. Lunchtime!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
10 May 2014
National Trust / KEW Board members, My wife and I who have been members of the Nation Trust for over ten years were most upset when we arrived for lunch at Wakehurst followed by a walk around the wonderful gardens today, only to find car parking charges have been introduced. We took the parking ticket (free for first 15 minutes) and drove straight out. I suspect we will not be alone in this action and the loss of so many NT members entering Wakehurst and spending their money in the restaurant and shop will outstrip any financial gains made from the introduction of parking charges. We would have thought that the introduction of an entrance fee to enter the KEW site would be a fairer way to raise funding for KEW and the valuable work they do and not upset so many people who want to enjoy Wakehurst, or are the KEW board afraid of how many few visitors they would get when not being ‘carried’ by the National Trust? Sadly, we will not enjoy Wakehurst again until the parking fees are removed…..!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
10 May 2014
Charging the disabled to park is disgraceful. Victimising the majority of your visitors (National Trust members) by singling them out for these exorbitant parking charges is a further disgrace. And then trying to convince people to sign-up for a Wakehurst season ticket, indicating it’s a good deal, is yet a further disgrace. I have had by last visit to Wakehurst Place, and as a protest will also boycott Kew Gardens in favour of nearby royal parks (Richmond and Bushy) which also offer free parking. The anger this has ignited has been phenomenal, understandable, and probably unprecedented for a public attraction.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
9 May 2014
Regarding your charging National Trust Members to park a car, such a high charge does not take into account the fact that many if not all NT Members will purchase lunches, teas, gifts, plants etc., thereby contributing to Wakehurst's coffers. It has long been considered that the charge to enter Kew itself is exorbitant and sadly the experience is being ported over to Wakehurst. Shame on you! At least at Kew public transport will deposit you at the gates regularly.
8 May 2014
Parking charges at Wakehurst for disabled people is discriminatory. I am able bodied person but I have two friends with mobility impairments and they have disabled badges. Able bodied people now have the choice of going by public transport, parking in Ardingly or cycling to Wakehurst if they don't want to pay for parking. My friends clearly cannot cycle and do not have the public transport option, because they cannot walk from the road to the garden entrance, see some of the gardens and walk back to the return bus stop. Now the charges are in they have no choice but to pay if they want to visit the gardens. I asked Kew what plans they have for people with blue badges, and how they can meet the needs of those less physically able in a way that is not discriminatory if the charges are not waivered.
8 May 2014
Ludicrous parking fees at Wakehurst will not result in any profit. People are refusing to pay it and just not going there. I presume the cafe and the restaurant are both leased out to catering people who, sooner or later, are going to just give up as their businesses will fail dismally. As Wakehurst is on lease to Kew, I suggest that as soon as the lease expires, NT boots Kew out and treats Wakehurst just the same as all the other National Trust properties where their own members are welcome and not fleeced.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
8 May 2014
From someone who has enjoyed Wakehurst Place for many years, I am astonished that such an exorbitant charge has been introduced. Good bye Wakehurst, they say all good things come to an end.
8 May 2014
As a long standing member of the National Trust I also wish to add my concern at the extremely unreasonable car parking charges recently introduced. The Trust must be obliged to publish the attendance figures and I feel sure that these will show a very negative response. Just as there is a national outcry about payment of huge bonuses to failing bank directors, there is certainly going to be a demand for heads to roll over this matter in the near future. The most greedy of local authorities would not dream of introducing charges for parking on this scale. WHO within the National Trust organisation could have conceived that such an outrageous set of charges would be acceptable?
8 May 2014
It's taken me a few days to get to grips with the ridiculous charges for parking at Wakehurst. They make no sense. Do you get 15 minutes free whether you remain there or not, I wonder? I was grateful for my 15 minutes. It gave me enough time to make the decision to drive straight out again. If there must be a charge, change to something sensible (£2-£3 per car regardless of time?). Then I will come back.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
8 May 2014
Having just visited Wakehurst i was astonished at the parking charges, £2 for 1 hr £5 for 2hr where is the logic in that , i was relieved to see the 15 minute free sign, i drove straight in & straight out so Wakehurst has lost a regular visitor. How can you enjoy the gardens etc in one or two hours, you can not. so you would end up paying £10 pounds which i consider outrageous.Some one needs to have a serious re-think about these charges if you want to retain your visitors.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
7 May 2014
I do not understand why the members of one organisation (the National Trust) can be charged more to relieve the financial difficulties of another organisation (Kew)? Since when did belonging to an organisation such as The National Trust, subject its' members to financial penalties at a National Trust venue? When was the consultation on this issue? alternatives? a vote?? The emphasis on charges versus time spent in the garden directly affects the less able bodied and elderly ... isn't this discrimination?? National Trust membership is not exactly cheap ... adding a parking fee will make Wakehurst Place unaffordable for many ... there are precious few places in the South East, which are accessible and safe for everyone, where you can relax and get away from it all ... don't take Wakehurst off this list ... Wakehurst with barriers ... just not the same is it?
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
5 May 2014
A parking charge of 2.00 is acceptable for everyone who holds any type of season ticket - 10.00 is an unrealistic price obviously decided by people who are on London style wages who are showing they have no common or business sense. To Kew management you should be ashamed and maybe start to support your wakehurst staff/concessions/users and stop taking your inability to run your business efficiently out on the largest users of your facilities who will be going elsewhere if the price does not change.
5 May 2014
I went to Wakehurst Place over the Bank Holiday weekend. I live locally, am retired, and use the facility for both exercise and stimulating my interest in and love of beauty. I left immediately and went to Nyman's. The queue to get into Nyman's extended back through the High Street at Handcross (bet they were pleased). I then went to Sheffield Park (the same problem existed there and actually presented considerable danger to passing traffic, (much faster than at Handcross). I gave up and went home. I didn't bother trying to get into Standen which is only a few hundred yards from where I live. Being retired, and with everything increasing in price and not in line with enhancements to my pension , I find managing difficult (as most do). However, I will be able to save a few pennies this year by cancelling my membership of the National Trust (I've had it for over 30 years). I suspect that many others will too. I wonder what percentage of people previously visiting Wakehurst during the week were pensioners, who have a sense of decency which will have been challenged seriously by this decision. Of course, the same will also apply to younger people and families. I am incensed by these draconian charges. A reasonable parking charges would have been accepted by most. These are and insult and are ridiculous in terms of a business model !!
5 May 2014
I went to Wakehurst over Bank Holiday and left immediately, incensed. I then went to Nyman's and could not get in (the queue to get into the car park was stretching all the way back through Handscross - they'll love that! I went to Sheffield Park (same thing happened). I gave up and didn't then travel to Standen. I am retired and live locally. I use all of these places frequently for both exercise and pleasure. On my pension, life is difficult enough already but, for the future, I shall be able to save a little money by cancelling my NT membership. I am disgusted at these exorbitant charges.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
4 May 2014
We have today visited Wakehurst Place and were shocked by the cost of the parking charges. This must be one of the most expensive places to park in the whole country. We would not object to paying a more reasonable charge but as things stand at the moment will not be visiting Wakehurst again. We are National Trust members and always use the cafes/restaurants when we visit properties so feel that we contribute quite well to the upkeep of the places we visit. I think we may reconsider renewing our membership next year.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
4 May 2014
i visited Wakehurst on 03/05/2014 and was disgusted at the parking charges. All the way around i was clock watching and did not even feel like a cup of tea as it would add an extra £5.00 to the cost. After our very quick walk it still cost us £5.00. Sorry Wakehurst you have lost another visitor.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
4 May 2014
I tend to visit for around 3 hours at a time. Nice walk around the gardens and then either a coffee or some lunch. Am not prepared to pay £10 car parking, they need more options to make it fairer eg £1 per hour and charge everyone. Will now have to think carefully before visiting or if we do then don't think we'll be stopping for refreshments as will have to be out within 1or 2 hours max. Such a shame as a lovely place for an afternoon out.
3 May 2014
We visited Wakehurst today 3/5/14 and considered purchasing the years parking until I was told my wife would' be able to use it if I wasn't with her. This is our favourite local NT site and enjoy walking right down to the sailing club on Ardingly reservoir. My family membership for 2 adults and 2 children is enough without paying to park!
3 May 2014
My husband and myself have been Wakehurst members for several years but will not be renewing membership until the parking fee is reduced. Although the charge does not apply to us we feel that that it is unfair to NT members and this is our way of protesting. We will probably become NT members ourselves and have more choice of places to visit. Come on Wakehurst, surely this decision is only self destructive??
2 May 2014
I think the car parking charges are draconian. A family NT memebreship is almost £100 and asking for an extra £25 for Wakehurst car parking entry is scandalous. Having been a member for over 30 years I will have to review my continued membership as I simply won't be going any more. I suspect NT membership will fall and visitor numbers to Wakehurst will also fall. This seems like a crazy situation. I suggest you scrap these charges immediately.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
1 May 2014
I can only agree with the majority of comments below. Introduce a car parking charge, if you must, but don't be so greedy - the cafes/shops are already overpriced. As a family we have, over the years, visited Wakehurst approx twice a month, including special occasions such as the tree lighting. I doubt very much that we will now go more than a couple of times a year, choosing Nymans (no wonder we couldn't get anywhere near their car park on Easter Monday!), Sheffield Park and Standen.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
29 April 2014
I think this is disgraceful and as a member of NT I will not be visiting here until the charges are dropped or drastically reduced - I will go to other NT gardens instead. To visit Wakehurst you need a whole day and charging £10 is far too much especially as you have already paid membership fees. £5 would have been more reasonable and would not have put so many people off. I will be interested to see how much revenue is made from these charges when you take into account reduced numbers of visitors and less expenditure in the cafes and shop. This was a bad decision - there must have been many better ways to raise money without penalising loyal NT members!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
28 April 2014
When I retired and took out life membership it was so that I could visit properties without draining my modest pension. This is one of the few properties near my home, Eastbourne, and now I cannot afford to visit it. The National Trust has certainly broken the spirit, if not the letter, of the agreement by which it extracted a considerable sum from me with a promise it has now flouted. Why not terminate the lease on the land used for the car park and charge members of Kew to park there? Perhaps NT negotiators should try managing to live on a tight income.
27 April 2014
Another pair of NT members who won't be going. Estimate about £10-15 average spend per vist. Nymans & Sheffield will now benefit from us more now. Very sad, but we know they don't care.
27 April 2014
We decided we would not visit again until the car parking amount has been reduced. It has always been the family's favourite National Trust property , two generations of children loving the out of doors experience
26 April 2014
So sad to see parking charges at Wakehurst, My family have very special memories here and sadly now we will not be returning! Why oh Why penalise N/T Members! You must have seen your takings come down by now!!!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 April 2014
Many visitors have complained that the parking charges are too high and they would consider visiting if charges are lower. I strongly suspect that the primary purpose of these extortionate parking charges is to act as an incentive for the many who make three or more visits per year to purchase £25 season tickets. They are prepared to sacrifice those who refuse to visit together with their catering / shop spending. Only time will tell whether they have taken the right choice.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 April 2014
It's quite obvious from the comments on this page, trip advisor and facebook that this decision is ridiculous. I can't think of anywhere else in the country where I'd have to pay £10 for 2 hours plus. The charge isn't £10 for the day, it's from 2hours onwards. Drove in on Bank Holiday Monday to find loads of spaces, where we'd have struggled to park in the past. Fortunately, the 15 minutes free gave us the chance to turn around and leave immediately. Went to Sheffield Park instead which was busier than I have ever seen it. The obvious solution is a reasonable parking fee, eg £3 regardless of time spent. At that price not many people would drive away. Always took the kids a couple of times in the summer hols, but we won't be back until the charges change.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 April 2014
Until Kew Gardens and the National Trust can find a more mature and reasonable response to this issue, my family will not be visiting Wakehurst Place ever again. And we are doubtful whether we will renew our Trust membership. Very sad it has to come to this but you lose people's support when your corporate bickering impacts on the ordinary people who's custom and support you rely on.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 April 2014
I visited on 19th April - it was a total shock to see the punitive parking charge of £10 for National Trust members (together with the rather pointedly worded signs making it clear that it was only National Trust members who had to pay). What I found most disturbing though was the information given by a gentleman in the visitor centre, employed to answer queries and concerns during this current change. My family and I arrived with no prior knowledge of the situation; we were informed about the situation in a way that clearly communicated the idea of the National Trust as the 'villains of the piece'. This decision on parking is apparently the outcome of 10 years of fruitless wrangling between the two organisations. The trust and respect that I felt for both Kew and the National Trust has been severely damaged. I was left with the impression of two warring organisations, who have allowed ordinary people to get caught in the cross-fire. We will not visit Wakehurst until the parking charge has been made more fair and reasonable. We are carefully considering whether to renew our NT membership. Very, very sad state of affairs.
21 April 2014
Visited Wakehurst today to see the bluebells. Refused to pay this extortionate car parking charge and went to Sheffield Oark instead. We have been regular visitors to Wakehurst as we are local and NT membership taken out there but unlikely to be returning. NT members may not be paying to get in but they do do spend in restaurant and shop. Might be prepared to pay a more reasonable charge for parking - can park in Brighton for less!!!!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
21 April 2014
Car Park charges ONLY for NT Members! £10.00 for the day! Why this discrimination? This is a bad business decision for Wakehurst. We visited today with the idea of including coffee, lunch and a garden centre purchase. That would have taken us into the £10.00 charge period so guess what - no spend and no future visits either whilst these extortionate charges are in place. One assumes from this discrimination against NT members that Kew want to take over the site and house for their use and remove NT visits. Will be interesting to see if this business model stands the test of time with reduced visitor numbers. Shame.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
21 April 2014
I think reading through the many comments below that it is clear many loyal NT members won't be visiting Wakehurst again £10 is a huge charge for the day. Like many people we were regular visitors spending money in the shop and cafe but will be spending our time and cash elsewhere. There does not seem to be any real listening going on. A small or reasonable charge would have been ok but we won't be returning or recommending this as a place to visit.

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