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

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 prisoner 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

You can book your visit online or by telephone.

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


Grendon visiting times:

  • Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

Visitors must not arrive before 1:30pm.

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 2pm to 4pm

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.

Refreshments are available to purchase 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

The Visits Centre is open from 1pm on visiting days.

4 visits are available per month.

Refreshments are available to purchase during your visit.

Telephone: 01296 445 243
Find out about call charges

Family days

There are two Family days per wing per year.

3 Children’s Days take place during the year at Easter, Summer and Christmas.

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

To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:

  • Download the Prison Video app
  • Create an account
  • Register all visitors
  • Add the prisoner to your contact list.

How to book a secure video call

Secure video calls at this prison can be requested by prisoners only.

You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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 prisoner 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.

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 prisoners live at Grendon across 6 residential units. All prisoners get their own cells.

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.

To contact the Head of Reducing Reoffending and Families and Significant Others lead call: 01296 445000.

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.

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01296 445000 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 01296 445026 Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening or complete a safer custody contact form on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline website.
Staff Integrity Hotline 0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
Prisoners’ Families Helpline 0808 808 2003 The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
Unwanted Prisoner Contact 0300 060 6699 If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.

You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email or contact by phone.

Problems and complaints

If you have any other problem contact Grendon.

Contact Grendon

Governor: Olivia Phelps

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

Follow Grendon on Twitter/X


HMP Grendon
Grendon Underwood
HP18 0TL

See map

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Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 2 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Secure video calls update.

  2. Added Sunday to visiting times for social visits.

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

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

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

  6. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  7. Updated physical contact guidance

  8. Revised visiting times added.

  9. New visiting times and booking information added.

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

  11. 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.

  12. Updated visit info

  13. Updated visit info

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

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

  16. Updated video call info

  17. added springhill covid times

  18. updated COVID visit times

  19. added survey link

  20. First published.