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Exbury is more than just a garden. The Exbury Estate has been a centre for local employment and a community for hundreds of years.

Lionel de RothschildLionel de Rothschild moved to Exbury in 1912, purchasing Inchmery House with plans to create his gardens in the land surrounding this house. Unfortunately this didn’t prove to be possible and so in 1919 he purchased the Exbury Estate, neighbouring his Inchmery home, and set about creating the world famous Gardens.

Exbury village and Estate owe their appearance to the Mitford’s and Rothschild’s, who created the mix of architectural designs seen today. The Rothschilds of all the owners have probably had the greatest impact on the appearance of this quintessential Hampshire village and Estate.

The Estate is made up of about 2,000 acres of land bordering the Beaulieu River to the west and the Solent to the south. It has always been and continues to be a predominantly agricultural and woodland estate with both livestock and arable farms and a variety of other commercial and non-commercial activities.

Exbury village, situated next to the Gardens and on the edge of the New Forest a mile from Lepe Beach, is the heart of the Estate.

All the houses in the village were at one time owned by the Estate and though a number have been sold Exbury is still at its heart an Estate village with the majority of houses still being occupied by Gardens or Estate staff or retired staff.  A large number of gardeners and labourers were employed when the gardens were being built

Exbury Water TowerThe village shop that once stood on the T junction and which (along with a village club and an old post office) were built by the Rothschilds, has now been closed and turned into a dwelling, but has retained its distinctive bow windows. The Rothschilds also constructed 25 plus other properties on the Estate, all in distinctive red brick and built in the 1920s along with the water tower and glasshouses. The yellow brick also seen is from earlier developments supplied from the old brickworks located at Exbury; these also produced the brick for Winchester’s Guildhall.

The Estate still includes a post office (located in the Estate Yard and open Tuesday and Thursday mornings) and the village Club. The Club was originally built to give somewhere for the many staff who were employed to construct the gardens to have as a social club. Today Exbury Club is still a successful members club incorporating a successful cricket team.

The Estate has a strong ethos of community and environmental management, running a 200 acre habitat scheme across the Estate, having numerous SSSI’s and the RAMSAR designated mudflats of the Beaulieu River under its management.  It is a tranquil and beautiful place and the village is very peaceful despite the thousands of visitors that descend here during the spring and summer months to see the world-famous display of rhododendrons and azaleas.


Camellias provide the first floral treats of the year, with over 250 different varieties and whole trees covered top to bottom with bloom. Exbury’s original Camellia Walk, planted in the 1930s, includes many Exbury hybrids such as C. 'Inchmery’, C. ‘Inspiration’ and C. ‘Charlotte de Rothschild’. A new walk was created in 1996 using lots of showy American hybrids including Extravaganza, Kickoff, Freedom Bell and Bob Hope.

Website: Exbury


Visitor information

Opening Times

open daily

15th March - 2nd November 2014
10am - 5pm

Entry Fees:
See web for details.

Best Time to Visit



Exbury Gardens
SO45 1AZ
023 8089 1203


Disabled access
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