So we have discovered the most wonderful new place to adventure…Trentham Gardens in Stoke. It’s literally amazing and I could go every sunny day we have. We are very lucky to only live 45 minutes away as I have visited twice this week and there will be many more times to come..
Trentham gardens isn’t somewhere I would have thought about going, but a couple of months ago we stumbled upon it after trying to visit The Monkey forest and it was closed. The main entrance is just before the turning for Monkey forest, if you’ve been there before and it looks like you might be pulling into the garden centre, but once you turn left and park there are a vast array of shops to suit everyone, we found some really gorgeous bits here and have bought a few presents too. There are also a few coffee type shops and little restaurants which all look nice to stop in. We’ve stopped at a fish & chip shop by the river and then most recently Joes kitchen which is by the carpark, this place we were pleasantly surprised by, the menu was great and there was loads to choose from and the food was delicious.
Anyway…onto the gardens. It’s £10.25 I think for an adults entry and children under 5 are free. You can also buy an annual pass for £60.75 so if you think you’ll visit more than 6 times in a year, it’s definitely worth buying that! They give you your information pack and in this they have the ‘fairy’ map. This is Betsies favourite thing to do…Around the mile long lake, they have hidden wire sculptured fairies, which they have given names to, so as you walk around the lake you have to tick them off on your map. I think there’s a total of 14 to find and the walk is about 2 1/2 miles long, which Betsie (who normally hates walking) walked without one complaint!!! Along the walk there is a little train you can take a ride on, either one way for £1 or a return for £2. It probably only takes about 10minutes but the kids love it! There is also a boat you can take a guided tour round the lake on. This is something we still have to do, and for only £2/adult it’s definitely something we’ll be doing next time we visit.
If you don’t fancy doing the fairy hunt, the walk around the lake is beautiful as it is, there are so many stunning wild flowers everywhere that it looks so colourful and pretty. It felt very tranquil and calming strolling around and the paths are very pushchair and wheel chair friendly. Wheel chairs can also be picked up upon entry to the gardens and we think somewhere within the park there is somewhere to hire motorised wheel chairs. There are two little cafes at each end of the lake. The one at the quieter end did jackets and paninis and a few other light bites, plus snuggberrys ice cream, which is super delish. The other is a little more of a restaurant with a menu and a wide selection of drinks and puddings etc. There is also another ice cream shop.
Walking around the back of the lake, you can see that it backs on to the monkey forest and if you’re lucky enough you might even see some monkeys playing close to the fencing. If not there are plenty of other fantastic sculptures to look at, hung in the trees and around the pathways. Everything has been so well thought out. Now when you get to the ‘busy’ end of the lake, the end where the childrens play park is you’ll see even more gorgeous wild flowers and the Italian styled gardens over looking the lake.
The gardens are stunning and a really lovely place to have a stroll. You could spend hours just sitting and watching everyone go by, looking at the lake and enjoying a picnic on the beautifully lawned areas. Although I’m sure there are thousands of people within the gardens it really doesn’t feel like it. You could be sat on a patch of grass without someone walking past for a good while. It’s lovely. We walked round the gardens the other day and Bets loved rolling down the hills and smelling all the gorgeous flowers, whilst Mum & I enjoyed the views and the sunshine. There are information boards all around to tell you about the history of the gardens and how they’ve recently been transformed into this gorgeous place. Unfortunately with my crazy lady I don’t really get to stop a read! ha
Now the play park, possibly the best play park I’ve been to. There’s something for everyone…including deck chairs to relax in whilst watching the kiddies play. They have two large sand pit areas full of lots of toys, they have swings, slides, pullies, obstacle courses, climbing ropes, swinging ropes, spinny things and much more! They also have this thing called the Bare foot walk, which is a trail along the top of the park with lots of different textured pathways which you have to brave to walk along/through. Some of it is hard as it’s pretty nasty walking over gravel, well for an adult it is…Then there’s muddy bits, cold water bits and clay to walk through. Luckily as it gets pretty messy they have placed foot taps and dryers at the end of the walk. There is also a really good maze to get lost in, Oh and a sensory garden…Goodness me I could go on!
Basically if you’re planning a trip out on the next sunny day, I would highly recommend it!
Here are some of the gorgeous photos I’ve taken on our trips there….