Group visits to Shirley Windmill

The outside of Shirley Windmill is freely accessible so that visitors can view this interesting local landmark, but visitors who wish to see inside must be accompanied by an official Guide, provided by The Friends of Shirley Windmill, who will give a guided tour covering its history and principal features.

A group of Girl Guides enjoy their visit to the mill

There are several Open Days each year, but The Friends of Shirley Windmill are pleased to arrange visits to the mill for groups unable to attend these. The following should be helpful in arranging your visit:

  • Weekday visits can prove difficult to arrange, as sometimes a Guide may have to take time off work to take a tour, so weekends or evenings are to be preferred, if possible.
  • At present, The Friends of Shirley Windmill does not charge a fee for group visits, but as all running expenses must be met from our own resources, a donation would be appreciated. It is suggested that £1 per adult and 50p per child is a reasonable minimum, but this is left to the group organiser.
  • There are many steep stairs to climb inside the mill, so visitors must be able to manage these without undue difficulty. “Sensible” shoes are best, and long skirts are not recommended. It is recommended that the group organiser visit us beforehand, on an Open Day, so as to be aware of the access arrangements and assess the suitability of their group.
  • A guided tour takes between 45–60 minutes to complete, though this can vary, depending largely on the agility of the group. A more leisurely approach is normally taken on a specially arranged visit than on a normal Open Day.
  • A range of attractive, inexpensive souvenirs can be purchased at the Visitor Centre.

Adult group visits

Wherever possible, these should be arranged for a normal Open Day, and for groups larger than 15 it would be helpful if prior notice is given, including approximate time of arrival. This will help us make suitable preparations for the visit.

If visiting on a normal Open Day is really not possible, a weekend or evening is ideal, as it is easier to arrange for Guides to be available. If a weekday visit is the only option, the maximum number in a group that can be effectively catered for is about 30, and even this will involve arranging for two Guides to be present. It is regretted that we cannot arrange group visits for fewer than 12 people.

A group of Brownies outside the mill

School group visits

These are of course rarely possible except on weekdays, and we are very keen to accommodate school parties whenever we can. Groups may be of up to about 30 children, with sufficient adults to control and supervise. Experience has shown that the minimum age of a class of children in a group visit should be about seven years.


To arrange a group visit or for further information, please ring Frank Paine, Guided Tour Coordinator, on 020 8651 0064 (home) with a selection of possible dates, or go to our Contacting Us page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the mill!

Children’s letters

We receive lots of letters from our younger visitors — here are a few:

Letter from a child Letter from a child Letter from a child