Welbeck is one of the great traditional landed estates. It extends to some 15,000 acres, much of which sits within Sherwood Forest, with Welbeck Abbey at its heart. The Abbey was founded as a monastery in 1153. Bess of Hardwick’s youngest son, Sir Charles Cavendish, acquired Welbeck in 1607, and since then the estate has continued to be handed down through the family.
Welbeck Abbey’s State Room guided tours are open to the public for 33 days during the summer. Tickets are available to purchase in advance in The Harley Gallery or by calling 01909 501 700.
On arrival, please park in the main car park and check in for your tour at The Portland Collection or The Harley Gallery. Tour visitors will be collected from The Portland Collection by coach and taken, through the 5th Duke of Portland’s Victorian village, to Welbeck Abbey. The coach will depart promptly, please arrange to arrive in good time. Unfortunately, latecomers cannot join the tour.
The tour lasts approximately an hour and a half and we advise that visitors wear comfortable footwear. We kindly ask that stiletto shoes are not worn in the house. There are no toilet facilities at the Abbey. Toilets, refreshments, shopping and exhibitions can be found at The Harley Gallery and The Portland Collection. Please also be aware only small handbags are permitted but we do provide lockers for secure storage.
The tour takes in the grand State Rooms which have been host to royalty, aristocracy and statesmen. The State Rooms are decorated with objects and artworks from The Portland Collection; an internationally significant collection. Works on show at Welbeck Abbey include pieces by Sir Peter Lely, John Wootton and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Visitors can also enjoy Welbeck Abbey’s architecture which has evolved over the generations. The tour includes the Countess of Oxford’s soaring plasterwork ceiling in the Gothic Hall, and the Duchess of Portland’s State Rooms remodelled by Sir Ernest George, c. 1905.
The Welbeck Abbey State Room Tours are managed by The Harley Gallery, part of The Harley Foundation which was set up by Ivy, Duchess of Portland in 1977.
The extended tour lasts approximately two and a half hours and allows visitors extra time to explore each room and ask any further questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I receive confirmation of my booking?
Your confirmation and receipt will be emailed. Alternatively, you can pick up your receipt from The Portland Collection reception.
Will I see any of the underground rooms?
No, the State Room tour does not include any of Welbeck’s underground rooms or tunnels.
Can I drive directly to Welbeck Abbey?
Please do not drive directly to Welbeck Abbey. Visitors are asked to park in the main car park by The Harley Gallery and proceed to the Abbey by coach. The coach journey includes information from your guide to introduce the tour, and to discuss the Victorian buildings that you will see on your way to the Abbey.
Why is the house only open for a few days during the summer?
Welbeck Abbey is a private family home.
Can I take photographs of the Abbey and in the State Rooms?
No photography is permitted during the tour.
What do I do if I miss the coach?
We regret that tickets are not refundable or transferable. Please arrange to be at The Harley Gallery in good time for your tour.
Can I take my handbag on the tour?
You may take small handbags on the tour but we regret that large bags are not permitted. If in doubt, please ask your guide when you check in. We provide lockers for safe storage.
What time should I arrange my transport for?
The tour will last approximately an hour and a half. Please arrive a little early, as latecomers cannot join the tour after it has left The Portland Collection. We recommend booking your return travel at least 2 hours after the start time for your tour, in case of unforeseen delays.
I have booked tickets but now cannot attend?
Tickets are non-refundable. However, if you would like to give your tickets to a friend or family member, we are happy to change the names on your booking. Please call 01909 501700 to let us know.