Contact & FAQ

Planning a trip to Blithewold, but have a question
you can't find the answer to?

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page!

If you still can't find the answer, you can
call us (phones answered Mon-Fri: 10 am to 4 pm)
or contact us through our general questions form here.

Phone: (401) 253-2707
FAX: (401) 253-0412

Start clicking any of the categories below:

Hours

What are Blithewold’s hours?
You can find our current hours here.

When is Blithewold open?
We are open from April 1st until Columbus Day (Our hours vary with the season; please check the hours page for current information.)

Mon: Closed
Tues – Sat: 10 am to 4 pm
Sun: 10 am to 3 pm

We will be open again from the day after Thanksgiving until January 1 with the following hours:

Mon: Closed
Tues: 11 am to 5 pm
Wed: 11 am to 5 pm
Thurs: 11 am to 8 pm
Fri: 11 am to 8 pm
Sat and Sun: 11 am to 5 pm

Is Blithewold open on holidays?
We are open on most Monday holidays. We are closed July 4, December 24, and December 25

What is the Gift Shops hours?
The Gift Shop’s hours are the same as those of the Mansion.

Does Blithewold ever close early?
The Mansion will occasionally close early for special events, and closes for weddings on most weekends during the wedding season.

Tickets

Can I buy tickets before coming to Blithewold?
Yes, you can buy general admission tickets before you arrive here.

If I buy my tickets online, will I receive physical tickets?
No. You will be e-mailed a confirmation that you can print out or bring up on your phone.

Do I have to buy tickets online?
No, you can also buy tickets when you arrive at our Visitors Center next to the parking lot.

What is included with general admission?
With general admission, you can tour the Mansion and grounds.

Can I buy tickets for just the gardens/grounds?
Unfortunately no, please keep in mind that the admission revenue helps to maintain and preserve both the Mansion and the gardens.

Can general admission go towards a program or afternoon tea?
No, general admission tickets cannot be applied to the cost of programs or Afternoon Tea.

What age qualifies me for the senior admission rate?
Our senior rate is age 62 and up.

Directions

What is Blithewold’s address?
101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114), Bristol, Rhode Island, 02809

Click here for Google Map directions.

Can I get to Blithewold with public transportation?
Yes, Blithewold is accessible on the #60 RIPTA Bus

What is Blithewold near?
Blithewold is a half an hour or less from Providence, Newport, Southeastern Massachusetts, and is just minutes from Roger Williams University.

Handicap Accessibility

Is Blithewold handicap accessible?
The first floor of the Mansion and the grounds are handicap accessible, but please note the information below.

Is the whole Mansion handicap accessible?
No, only the first floor of the Mansion is wheelchair accessible.

Does Blithewold have an elevator?
No, there is no elevator in the Mansion.

Is there a way for people who can’t go upstairs to see the second floor?
Yes, we have a free audio tour, that covers both floors of the Mansion.

Does Blithewold have handicap parking?
Yes, the parking lot has handicap spots. For people who can’t travel that far, we also have handicap parking down our main drive, past the green staff door on the right. Please ring the doorbell at the staff entrance and a staff member will guide you through our kitchen into the Mansion.

Does Blithewold have handicap bathrooms?
We have a handicap bathrooms at the above-mentioned staff entrance and in our Visitors’ Center.

Are wheelchairs or crutches available to rent at Blithewold?
No, at this time we do not have wheelchairs or crutches at Blithewold.

What are the outdoor paths made of?
The paths at Blithewold are 80% semi-loose gravel. Wheelchairs with thicker tires seem to have an easier time on the paths than those with thinner wheels.

Are there spots to sit and take a rest if I can’t walk far?
Yes, there are benches to rest on throughout the property. They are marked on the map you will receive on arrival.

Tours

Does Blithewold offer guided tours?
We offer a few different guided tours; they cost a few extra dollars and must be booked in advance. They’re a great way to learn about the history of Blithewold in a more individualized way. All our tour guides are very friendly and well versed in everything about Blithewold.

You can find out more about guided tours here.

Does general admission include a guided tour?

No, general admission is self-guided; there are docents on each floor who are happy to answer your questions.

How long does it take to tour the Mansion and grounds?
Since it is a self-guided tour, it’s up to you! Generally, seeing both Mansion and grounds takes about 45 minutes. Our guided tours take about an hour and a half.

Is there a way to get a more guided experience with general admission?
You can pick up a free audio tour for a more in-depth experience. There is text to read in almost every room to learn more about Blithewold’s history. We also have great docents on each floor of the Mansion who are happy to answer your questions.

Afternoon Tea

Does Blithewold have Afternoon Tea all year round?
No, Afternoon Teas are only April to mid-May and during Christmas at Blithewold. (Dates are subject to change.)

Must tickets be purchased online?
Yes, teas are available by online pre-paid reservation only.

Do I receive a physical ticket after I order online?
No, You will be e-mailed a confirmation that you can print out or bring up on your phone. In addition, we will have your name at the door.

What’s the best way to find out when teas are posted online?
Blithewold Members recevie first notice on when our teas are ready for reservation.

Is there senior/child/ other rates for teas?
No, at this time we have only Member and Non-member pricing for our regular teas. We do not have senior or child pricing. We occasionally have children’s teas, but there are held at a different time and day from regular teas.

Do you have highchairs?
We have limited highchairs at this time.

Does Blithewold support food allergies/dietary restrictions?
The only dietary restrictions we can support are those for tree nut, peanuts, vegetarian and celiac disease. We can no longer accommodate any other dietary restrictions.

How late can I cancel my reservation and receive a full refund?
Receiving a refund for your tea, requires at least 24-hour’s notice.

Does Blithewold offer private teas?
Yes, we offer teas and luncheons for private groups of 15 or more. Please contact Allan Millora, [email protected] for more information.

Weddings

For all questions concerning weddings please see here.
Karen Bellavance, Director of Special Events is in charge of all weddings here at Blithewold.
She can be reached at
401-253-2707 ext. 11 or [email protected]

Pets

Are animals allowed on the grounds or in the Mansion?
Only service animals
 are allowed in the Mansion and on the ground at Blithewold.

You must have an ID or certificate showing they are a certified service animal.

Can I leave my pet in my car while I explore Blithewold?
Please do not leave your pet in your car. Although they are not allowed on the property, we don’t want them to come to harm from being left in the heat or cold during your visit. Please leave your pet at home.

Cancellations

How will I know if a program I am attending has been canceled?
If a program is canceled, everyone registered for it will be sent an e-mail at least 12 hours before the program starts.

Our website and Facebook are also updated reflect this change in status.

Can weather affect a program?
A program is canceled for threatened rain only when it cannot be moved inside or under our events tent. If there is a threat of lightning, our event tent cannot be used for safety reasons and the program will be canceled.

Photography

May I take photos of the Mansion and grounds at Blithewold?
Yes, everyone is encouraged to take photos at Blithewold for personal use only.

If you post these on social media, please tag Blithewold. We love to see them!

May I have professional photos taken at Blithewold?
Yes, but professional photo sessions with a professional photographer MUST be booked in advance and a small fee applies.

Why must my photo session be booked in advance?
We have many different events and programs at Blithewold. Therefore at times – for example, during a wedding the grounds aren’t fully open for use.

How do I book my photo session?
Contact Allan Millora, [email protected] to schedule your photo shoot.

We also offer a Professional Photographer membership option.
Click here for more information.

Food

May I picnic at Blithewold?
Yes, picnicking is welcome! There are plenty of tables and chairs around the property, and the Great Lawn is perfect for spreading out a blanket. We do ask that you please clean up and dispose of your own trash.

Does Blithewold have a cafe/restaurant?
No. Except for our scheduled Afternoon Teas, we do not serve food at Blithewold.

Are there places to eat nearby?
Yes, Blithewold is about five minutes from downtown Bristol, which has many different great dining experiences. If you retain your entrance sticker, you may also come back to Blithewold afterwards to finish your tour.

Can I buy water at Blithewold?
Yes, you can buy boxed water at our Visitors’ Center.

Does Blithewold offer private lunches/teas?
Yes, we hold private luncheons/teas for private groups of 15 or more. Contact Allan Millora at, [email protected] for more details.

Other

Does Blithewold have a parking lot?
Yes, Onsite parking is available as you go down our main driveway to the left.

Are there bathrooms on the property?
Yes, We have bathrooms in our Visitors’ Center and in the Mansion.

May I ride my bike to Blithewold?
Yes, you can park it right outside our Visitors Center. Bike racks will be coming soon!

May I ride my bike on the grounds?
No, it’s dangerous both to you and to people walking the grounds. Please leave your bike at the Visitors’ Center.

Do any products in the Gift Shop have Blithewold’s logo on them?
Yes, we carry several Blithewold logo products including mugs, magnets, tote bags, books by Margaret Whitehead, Ornaments, and natural-stone beaded bracelets with a coin of the rose from the fireplace mantel.