Newest Review: ... been erected outside and we were really amazed at the size and shape of some of them. I was approached by a salesman, but he was very fr... more
The tropics on your doorstep!!
Stapeley Water Gardens (Nantwich)
Member Name: stebiz
Stapeley Water Gardens (Nantwich)
Advantages: Lots of things to see
Disadvantages: Bring your purse
I live in the North West and am always looking for something interesting for the children to do of a weekend. Quite often it involves jumping in the car and travelling to a nearby attraction, hopefully not spending to much at the same time.
Last Sunday it was wifes birthday and she didn't fancy lolling around the house all day, and suggested we all took a ride out. She'd been looking on the net and had found this cool looking garden attraction in Nantwich. It would be about 50 minutes drive away, and as I'm one who always does as he's told, I agreed to take us.
We left mid morning on the Sunday (we'd already lost an hour, because the clock had gone forward) and we travelled down the M6, having typed in the postcode that they had on their website, into our trusty Sat Nav. Within the hour we had arrived and the sign saying Stapeley Water Gardens was looking straight at us.
We travelled down the drive and was surprised at just how much car parking space there was. There was also extra parking for coaches, although there were no coaches there, but I guess they must have them in full season.
First thing we did was pop over and look at a display of Tents. They had all been erected outside and we were really amazed at the size and shape of some of them. I was approached by a salesman, but he was very friendly, and certainly no hard sell.
After we had seen the tents, and my 4 year old having hidden in every place possible, we went inside the large shop. The shop is very mis matched. It looks like all kinds of buildings and greenhouses had been added together, and we both commented how it would be nice if the place was rebuilt. Don't get me wrong, the products they were selling were endless. There really couldn't me much they didn't sell. It just looked untidy.
The first part of the shop we looked at was the camping section. It was amazing the amount of stuff you could buy. Anything from toilets, tent pegs, barbeque's. There was lots of choice too.
Then we moved on to the garden section. This was great too. Everything had been thought of including benches, tables, ornaments. It was amazing to see how much they could squeeze in one place.
Before we went outside, we checked out the aquarium section. They had thousands of fish. Cold and Tropical fish, Inside and Out. The kids were really keen to check out the karp.
Outside we looked at the plants and trees. Unfortunately it was still a bit scruffy, compared with some Garden Centres we've been too, but you couldn't question the choice. So if locals were looking to buy something, it was highly likely they'd find it.
Another nice extra outside was the pond/lake, which was separate. It was accessed through an arch. There was a little bridge and the water was full of large karp.
By this stage we were all getting a bit peckish, so we called into the cafe. The prices were 'okay' but the choice wasn't good, and there wasn't a lot of places to sit, so we decided we'd go over to the other side of the car park, were there was another cafe and an attraction called The Palms, Tropical Oasis. The cafe was larger but the choice and prices were pretty similar. I decided to have a baked potato with tuna, whilst the rest of my family had a mixture of sandwiches and pies. In all, including the drinks, it cost me just short of £25.00.
I must admit I wasn't that keen to go inside the The Palms, as I had spoken to friends who had been previously, and weren't impressed. However my wife and kids wanted to go in and so I duly obliged in paying the entrance fee.
The entrance fees are as following:
Standard Admission Prices
Child (3-15 years) £2.95
Family Ticket Prices
2 Adults & 2 Children £13.60
2 Adults & 3 Children £15.00
Group Admission Prices (for groups of 15 or more)
Child (3-15 years) £2.35
So what was it like when inside. Well it was okay. I'm certainly not going to say it was brilliant. We saw the Piranhas getting fed and heard a brief talk from a keeper (he was really interesting and obviously enjoyed his job). Then we went to see the Meerkats, Poison Dart Frogs, Tarantula, Piranhas, our Coati brothers and a Caiman Crocodile.
We decided at this stage to have a walk outside but there was little to see. The outside of the building and the meeting room which we had to walk through to get out looked tired, and in need of a lick of paint. We had a sit down outside whilst the kids had a run around.
We didn't bother going to the shop, to buy any souvenirs. We had enjoyed our day, but not overly enjoyed it. We would go back there again, if we were down that way. But we wouldn't travel there to visit it again.
Recommended ...................... just!!
Summary: An okay day out for the family!!
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