Huntercombe Prison

Huntercombe is a prison near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, for foreign national men.

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Book and plan your visit to Huntercombe

To visit someone in Huntercombe you must:

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

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

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Huntercombe.

Contact Huntercombe 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 Huntercombe
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

For enquiries only, you can email:

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

You should aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of your visit. In order to gain admission visitors are required to arrive at the visitors centre no later than 2:30pm. Following this, entry into the establishment will not be authorised, unless for exceptional circumstances.

Legal visits are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and can be booked by email:

Getting to Huntercombe

Find Huntercombe on a map

The closest railway station is Henley-on-Thames which is about 7 miles from the prison. You can take a bus or taxi from the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Huntercombe

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, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Huntercombe has a family-friendly dress code which means visitors should dress appropriately. You must not wear: hats, scarves, gloves or head coverings (religious head wear only), quilted/puffer coats and hoodies, damaged or distressed clothing, ripped trousers/jeans, see-through / revealing clothing, short skirts / dresses, shorts shorter than mid-thigh length, visible or exposed underwear, clothing with offensive words or gestures, smart watches / fit bits, sunglasses, steel toe capped shoes / boots, motorcycle boots, flip flops, sliders and summer shoes without a heel strap or sports team clothing.

This list is not exhaustive, it is up to prison staff to make decisions. You may be asked to adjust clothing or find an alternative. As a last resort your visit may be cancelled if the dress code is not followed accordingly.

Ask in the visitors centre if you have questions about the dress code.

Refreshments are available, visitors can bring in £30 in pound coins only (no notes).

There are strict controls on what you can take into Huntercombe. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. 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 where family and friends can relax before they enter the visiting hall. Hot and cold drinks are available along with a small selection of snacks.

The visiting hall includes a baby changing facility. All areas are wheelchair friendly.

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) offers practical advice and emotional support to friends and family of prisoners.

Telephone: 01491 643 132
Find out about call charges

Keep in touch with someone at Huntercombe

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

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 now have phone facilities within their rooms.

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 Huntercombe using the Email a Prisoner service.

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


You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name, date of birth and prisoner number on the envelope.

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

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel. They 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.

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.

Life at Huntercombe

Huntercombe is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

It accommodates foreign national men with between 3 and 36 months left to serve and provides liaison and forums with Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Huntercombe 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.

Huntercombe also works with the Samaritans to train prisoners to be Listeners for those who need support during difficult times.

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Huntercombe, contact the safer custody hotline. Leave as much information as possible and a telephone number for staff to call you back.

Telephone: 01491 643 225
Find out about call charges

If it is not urgent, leave a message with your telephone number on the safer communities line on:

Telephone: 0345 039 0015

In an emergency, call the main prison telephone number and ask to speak to the orderly officer.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Huntercombe, 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.


Each person who arrives at Huntercombe 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

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


Around 480 men live at Huntercombe in a mixture of single and shared rooms.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, ranging from basic skills, such as English and maths, to higher learning and qualifications. Vocational training is available in bricklaying, painting and decorating, industrial cleaning and kitchen work.

The gym offers a range of activities for prisoners of all physical abilities.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Our establishment Family and Significant Other (FaSO) Pathway Lead is Governor Jagdeep Bhatti. The Families and Significant Others Champion is the Operations Custodial Manager.

Family Days are held on the last Wednesday of each month. Each day is based around a theme and runs from 10am to 3pm. It includes lunch and various activities for the families.

Support at Huntercombe

Family Engagement support for Huntercombe is provided by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT).


Problems and complaints

If you have a problem, please write to the Governor.

Contact Huntercombe

Governor: David Redhouse

Telephone: 01491 643 100
Fax: 01491 643 101
Find out about call charges

Follow Huntercombe on Twitter


HMP Huntercombe

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Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 18 April 2023 + show all updates
  1. New contact phone number for the visitors centre - 01491 643 132

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

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

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

  5. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  6. New visiting times and booking information added.

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  9. Changes to visiting times.

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

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

  12. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  13. Updated visiting info and removed booking email

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  16. First published.