Newest Review: ... a lovely free exhibit! The staff are friendly and knowledgable and can answer all your questions. Pushchairs are welcome, and we often see ... more
Bored on a Sunday? Here's an idea!
Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria
Member Name: pinkprincess24
Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria
Date: 21/10/11, updated on 30/10/11 (80 review reads)
Advantages: a lovely day out, free, animals
Disadvantages: usually busy
Hollybush Garden centre is just off junction 11 of the M6 in Shareshill (Staffordshire). It boasts a large garden centre, aquatics, pet centre, gift shop and even it's own mini railway!
The car park is large but be warned, the spaces are narrow! If you have babies, toddlers or a pushchair to get out then it is a nightmare! There are quite a few disabled spaces if you have a badge, they're right at the front of the centre so easy access.
In front of the entrance are a variety of temptations - hot sugared donuts, ice-cream van, hot dogs and the like. Not cheap, but very tasty!
The aquaria is fairly large and sells a good selection of tropical, marine and coldwater fish. The fish are not crowded, there aren't a lot of floating dead ones like you normally see, and there is always a good selection. There are a few large fish on show and my 23 month old daughter loves to look at these! The floor is wet so be careful, but it is a lovely free exhibit! The staff are friendly and knowledgable and can answer all your questions. Pushchairs are welcome, and we often see a lot of families there having a look. There is also a large pool of koi carp and several pools of pond fish. They have just about every accessory for fish keeping and pond fish! Everything you would ever need.
Just beyond the aquaria is the pet centre. It features small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs. They also have a small room that features spiders, snakes, lizards etc. which is quite a small room and you''d struggle to get a pushchair round if people were about - however it is a good display if you like that type of thing! There is a bird section (very noisy!) which features a few types of bird and some talking parrots, always a hit with kids! There is an absolutely massive section of pet supplies from hutches and outdoor cages, to indoor cages, foods and every type of accessory.
Outside is a dedicated area to conservatories and outdoor landscaping which you can browse, pushchair friendly and well spaced out and maintained. There is another area for shrubs and plants, trees etc. which is vast and easy to browse, just about every variety you can imagine. In a greenhouse area they have a dedicated area to houseplants and even bonsai trees, orchids and other trees. Inside the centre they have a huge area dedicated to all your gardening equipment and needs, including tools for kids and stuff to help encourage wild birds etc. into your garden. Everything from gloves onwards!
They have a traditional sweet shop which sells jars of sweets and sweets from big jars. They have a shop that sells lovely scented candles and soaps. There's a jewellery shop that sells unique and bespoke items, a bespoke furniture shop and a shop that prints t-shirts. All the shops are expensive but that's to be expected.
I don't often go to the cafe but it is usually very full and the staff are very friendly. The prices are expensive but you can buy the usual items such as sandwiches, cakes and even a selection of hot meals.
The mini railway is £1 a ride but it is a very long ride and you get to spot wildlife and birds. It loops around the big pond and really is a lovely ride.
At the exit is a small section offering books, and other little tokens like bookmarks. There are also silk flowers and ribbons for sale.
Just inside the exit is a food market, selling fruit and vegetables at quite cheap prices. There's usually always grapes and strawberries which are fresh and delicious.
Hollybush really is a great free day out, ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon when you're bored. It's fantastic for children, my toddler loves to see the fish and animals. It's free, which means you can go as many times as you want, and it really is a lovely day out.
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Summary: a great day out!