Garth Prison

Garth is a men’s high security prison near Leyland, Lancashire.

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Book and plan your visit to Garth

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Garth you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 2 days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

Up to 2 adults and 2 children can visit at a time. At least one visitor must be 18 or older.

Contact Garth if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Garth
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Garth is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. You can also register to use the secure video calls service. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 01772 443 503
The booking line is open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Thursday: 2pm to 4pm

You should arrive early to allow time to get through security.

Legal visits booking line: 01772 443 503
The booking line is open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

  • Tuesday to Thursday: 2pm to 4pm

Getting to Garth

Find Garth on a map

Garth is about 5 miles from Leyland station. Local buses run towards Croston Park but you will need to walk the last 2 miles to Garth. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

If coming by car, use the postcode PR26 8LW for sat nav.

There is a visitors car park outside the prison, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Garth

All visitors, aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

All visitors will pass through a metal detector and be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Garth has a family-friendly dress code policy which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut skirts or dresses, shorts, see-through or ripped clothing, flip-flops or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons. Additionally, you cannot wear anything with offensive patterns or slogans, football shirts, cargo or combat trousers, uniforms (except school uniforms), hi-visibility clothing, steel toe-capped footwear or football boots. You will need to remove hats, scarves, sunglasses, gloves, large belt buckles, metal hair clips and excessive jewellery before you go in.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Garth. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need a £1 coin for this) in the visitors centre. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre run by Partners of Prisoners (POPS).

The centre is open on visiting days from 11:30am to 4:30pm.

Telephone: 01772 622 129
Find out about call charges

The visiting hall is on the ground floor and wheelchair accessible. There is a children’s play area with activities organised by a play worker. Parents and guardians remain responsible for their children at all times.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Garth

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Garth.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits app, create an account, register all visitors, and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners have phones in their rooms and are able to make calls every day between 6am and 10pm.

Phones do not accept incoming calls so they will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.


You can send emails to someone in Garth using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies, depending on the rules at Garth.


You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Garth.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.

If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

  • are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
  • do not have a debit card

This will allow you to send money by post.

Gifts and parcels

Prisoners can apply for permission to receive items from friends and family. The items can then be handed in at the visitors entrance before a visit between 1:05pm and 1:30pm.

There are limits to the number of parcels a prisoner can receive. Only specific items are allowed. Ask at the visitors centre for details.

Items are not normally accepted by post. However, a prisoner who is a foreign national or does not get visits can apply for permission for a family member or friend to send items in.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.

For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

Life at Garth

Garth is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men convicted of serious offences can make positive use of long sentences.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Garth has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

Garth works in partnership with relevant parties including the Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board to manage and support prisoners.

Arrival and first night

When someone first arrives at Garth, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will be seen by a member of the nursing team to talk about immediate health needs, including medication.

They will also get to speak with a member of the First Night team to discuss any concerns and learn about Samaritans phone access, the prison Listeners scheme, use of the emergency cell bell and unit rules.


Each person who arrives at Garth gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

They will also meet the chaplaincy team and get a gym induction.

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.


Around 800 men live at Garth. Most men get their own room.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities provided by Novus. These include literacy and numeracy, skills for life, personal and social development and distance learning. Garth is part of the Prisons ICT Academy (PICTA) which helps prepare prisoners for work in information and communications technology (ICT) roles.

Training is available in motor mechanics, light engineering, industrial cleaning and joinery.

Work is available throughout the prison, including the kitchens, PE department, farms and gardens and waste management. Prisoners are also employed by several industrial workshops, including:

  • plastic injection moulding
  • textiles
  • DHL
  • wheelchair and bike repair
  • print shop
  • light fittings and fire alarm assembly
  • industrial cleaning
  • braille book printing
  • tool hire
  • construction joinery manufacturing

Most roles include the opportunity to study for qualifications.

Garth runs a peer tutor scheme where prisoners support each other with employment opportunities.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Garth

Partners of Prisoners (POPs) can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners.

You can ask for more information in the visitors centre or contact them by email and telephone.

Telephone: 01772 622 129
Find out about call charges

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Garth.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Garth in response to independent inspections.

Contact Garth

Governor: Steve Pearson

Telephone: 01772 443 300
Fax: 01772 443 301
Find out about call charges

Follow Garth on Twitter


HMP Garth
Ulnes Walton
PR26 8NE

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Garth, call the safer custody hotline. Leave as much information as possible about the prisoner and your concerns, as well as your contact details. The answerphone is checked regularly.

Telephone: 01772 443 676
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the main telephone number.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minutes survey.

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  2. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  3. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  4. Updated physical contact guidance

  5. New visiting times and booking information added.

  6. Prison has resumed visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  7. Additional guidance about new COVID-19 variant in the Bolton and Blackburn areas.

  8. Updated visit info

  9. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  10. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  11. Updated visiting restrictions

  12. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Added confirmation of secure video calls being made available at this prison.

  15. First published.