February 2018 and the resurfacing of the main driveway marks the completion of our year-long Car park works, through which we have increased the number of spaces available, improved the flow, created better surfaces for year-round parking and introduced new planting.
Why we improved the car parks
The Country Park is open every day of the year and enjoyed by over 600,000 visitors annually. In 2015, nearly 275,000 cars entered the estate to use the 260 spaces available. On busy days, surrounding overflow areas were used, such as the Front Lawn, however these areas are only available when ground conditions permit.
The estate now provides parking for around 400 vehicles across four different car parks. The overflow fields remain available for use for our popular events and activity days. Read about all the changes below, including the new Car Parking charges introduced in April 2017.
Car Parking Tariff
|Length of stay||Weekday||Weekend*|
|WINTER 01 November - 28/29 February|
|Up to 1 hour||£0.50||£1.00|
|Up to 2 hours||£0.80||£2.00|
|Up to 4 hours||£1.00||£3.00|
|Over 4 hours||£3.00||£4.00|
|SUMMER 01 March - 31 October|
|Up to 1 hour||£0.80||£1.00|
|Up to 2 hours||£1.50||£2.00|
|Up to 4 hours||£2.00||£3.00|
|Over 4 hours||£4.00||£4.00|
|Pay & Display machines accept cash and car payments, including contactless.
*Weekend Earlybird Parking available, park until 10.30am for £1 - please see the machine for details.
Why does Upton Country Park charge for parking?
The Country Park is increasingly popular with a marked upturn in visitor numbers and incomes, however the estate still requires a significant subsidy. In the context of its Medium Term Financial Plan, the Council aims to make the park self-sustaining and if this cannot be achieved, the quality and range of facilities or services may be directly impacted.
All money raised through car parking charges does directly towards supporting the Country Park, enabling us to continue to maintain and improve it.
How do I purchase a Season Ticket?
For just £40 a year you will have the freedom of unlimited access at all times through the seasons (during normal opening hours).
Tickets are available to purchase via our easy online application and you can even add two vehicles per household:
What has changed …
at the Entrance Car Park?
The gravel surface has been regraded and the pot holes filled. Over the winter our Conservation Volunteers carry out coppice works as part of our Woodland Management Programme. These works happen every seven years to help retain important wildlife habitats.
at the Front Lawn / Pétanque Car park?
The Pétanque terrain has been relocated to the adjacent Front Lawn and additional parking bays created. A new planting scheme has been introduced that enhances the view towards Upton House. We’ve laid some new connecting footpaths which has also improved the access to Upton House.
at the Main Car park?
The car park has been re-aligned & improved to increase the number of all-weather gravel spaces and surfaced access tracks. The work includes more disabled parking bays, a designated motorbike area and four spaces for longer vehicles.
There have also been improvements made to footpaths and cycle facilities. The landscape design is sympathetic to the rural and historic setting and supports the specimen trees that we are fortunate to have within the Country Park.
at the Poole Road Car park?
Six extra car parking spaces have been added and the central driveway has been tarmacked.
How was the project funded?
The Borough of Poole agreed an expenditure of up to £500,000 capital works to implement additional capacity, improve the visitor experience and introduce a system of charging for car parking. This funding has been allocated from the Council’s Capital Reserve.
Will there be an entry fee for the Park?
No. Unlike many other estates and attractions of Upton’s size and grandeur, we don’t charge an entry fee but pride ourselves on maintaining over 140 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands for visitors to freely explore throughout the year. From the shoreline, woodland and meadows to the more formal gardens we have something for everyone to enjoy.