Grendon Prison

Grendon is a men’s prison in the village of Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire. It is jointly managed with Spring Hill Prison, which is on the same site.

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Book and plan your visit to Grendon

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 Grendon you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 3 working days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There are limits to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with the prisoner.

Contact Grendon 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 Grendon
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Grendon is running a limited visits schedule, allowing 1 visit per month at the moment with immediate family only. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 01296 445 243 The booking line is open Monday to Friday: 10am to 12pm. Find out about call charges


Grendon visiting times:

  • Wednesday and Saturday 1:45pm to 3:15pm
  • Visitors must not arrive before 1:30pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Grendon

Find Grendon on a map

The closest railway stations are Bicester Village and Bicester North which are about 8 miles from Grendon. There are no buses from Bicester so you will need to get a taxi.

Aylesbury station is 13 miles from Grendon where you can catch a local bus on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a car park outside the main gate, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Grendon

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 need to be given a pat-down search. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be asked to cover up if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Grendon. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker 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 the prison. There will be no rereshments available during your visit.

The centre is open from 12:30pm on visiting days.

Telephone: 01296 445 243
Find out about call charges

Family days

There are currently no family days being held.

Keep in touch with someone at Grendon

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

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 do not have phones in their rooms 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.

They can make calls between 8:15am and 7:10pm Monday to Friday and between 8:15am and 5:10pm on weekends.

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 Grendon using the Email a Prisoner service.

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


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 Grendon.

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

Friends and family can send books to prisoners. Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel. They will be opened and checked by officers.

It’s not possible to send any other items or property. You can send prisoners money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

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 Grendon

Life at Grendon is organised around a programme of group therapy called a ‘democratic therapeutic community’.

Prisoners take part in regular group meetings and activities designed to help them develop more positive relationships, take an active role within their wing, reduce their risk of re-offending and improve their psychological wellbeing.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Grendon 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.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoners first arrives at Grendon, 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 get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.


During a prisoner’s first week at Grendon they will meet a range of staff 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

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


Around 200 men live at Grendon across 6 residential units. All men get their own rooms.

Prisoners have access to a college, library, gym and chaplaincy.

Education and work

All prisoners are expected to engage in either education or employment alongside their commitment to therapy.

Learning opportunities are provided by Milton Keynes College. Qualifications are available in:

  • functional skills, including IT
  • mentoring
  • business studies
  • customer service
  • horticulture

There is a range of work throughout the prison, including cleaning duties, orderly roles, laundry, pan wash, cooking and painting.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Grendon

Grendon’s visits coordinator can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners. Ask in the visitors centre to learn more.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Grendon.

Contact Grendon

Governor: Becky Hayward

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 000
Fax: 01296 445 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Grendon on Twitter


HMP Grendon
Grendon Underwood
HP18 0TL

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Grendon, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 026
Find out about call charges

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

Published 7 April 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 rules for sending in money and gifts.

  5. Updated physical contact guidance

  6. Revised visiting times added.

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

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

  9. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  10. Updated visit info

  11. Updated visit info

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

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

  14. Updated video call info

  15. added springhill covid times

  16. updated COVID visit times

  17. added survey link

  18. First published.