Frequently asked questions
Do we need to book?
Booking is not required. The exhibition is nearly all outdoors. It should be possible to give space to anyone who is nervous about distancing, as long as everyone is courteous and considerate, especially on narrow paths and at dead ends - and our visitors are always courteous and considerate.
Are picnics allowed?
Picnics are not allowed in the garden. Visitors are welcome to picnic in the car park field.
Do you serve tea?
Due to Covid-19 rules and sensitivities we have replaced our indoor tearoom with an outdoor self-service station, replaced our much loved cakes from Shropshire with individually wrapped muffins and biscuits, have disposable instead of china mugs, little uht milk pots rather than jugs, and additional ways to pay aside from our money tin. We prefer the old way but needs must.
Do you admit dogs?
Not in the garden. Dogs are welcome in the field where people park and on the sculpture walk through the trees. There are shady parking spaces.
Can I take away my purchase straight away?
Usually not, because the exhibits are part of the exhibition for others to enjoy and an advertisement for the artist. Purchases are collected at the end of the exhibition. There are always some smaller pieces and reproducible works that can be taken away at once, as can cards and pictures from the indoor gallery.
Would I be able to exhibit my work at Showborough?
Anyone is welcome to exhibit here, including students and beginners. There is no selection process - after entries are opened work is accepted until we are full. Obviously all submissions must be weatherproof and suitable for garden display.
Is Showborough suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs?
Gravel paths and steps make some parts of the garden difficult or impossible to access with chairs, but much of the exhibition is reached via grass lawns or paths and can be directly entered from the grass car park. The path round the field exhibits is short but bumpy grass. One toilet is cramped but the ladies' loo is spacious, although not disabled.
How Covid safe is it?
The exhibition is mostly outdoors. There are some bottlenecks and dead ends where people need to show consideration and patience in order to give other visitors space. The indoor gallery is large enough as long as too many people don't enter at the same time. The refreshment area is manageable with consideration, sense, disposable crockery and cutlery, and use of hand gels.
How long should we allow for a visit?
If you were to hurry past each exhibit you could be round in 30 minutes. Most people amble to take in the plants, have a good look at the art they like, and sit down with their friends for a drink and a chat. That takes about 2 hours. Some people have come for a short visit and ended up staying for 4 hours.
DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS
Dogs are welcome in the Wood and the car park field. (As are well-behaved pet pigs, rabbits or other animals.) Only Guide Dogs are permitted in the garden.
There are pictures, cards, books and small sculptures in the gallery that can be purchased and taken away on the day of your visit.
If you wander slowly round the garden, look at all the sculptures, and have a drink and a chat your visit may take about 2 hours.