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Trentham Gardens (Stoke-on-Trent)
Member Name: lubyloo
Trentham Gardens (Stoke-on-Trent)
Advantages: Lots to see and do
Disadvantages: March/April a bit cold as it blows across the lake
We decided to go to Trentham Gardens at Easter so it was March April time.
Trentham Gardens is part of a very old estate dating back hundreds of years. It's in Stoke on Trent and is very close to junction 15 of the M6 motorway, you then follow the A500 towards Stoke on Trent for about 1mile take the right on the roundabout and follow the A34 towards Stone. Trentham's main entrance is about 1 mile on the right.
What it has to offer
Trentham Gardens is still part of an Estate so there is the gardens which I will explain later but there is also;
- A Monkey Forest, which is full of monkeys although we've not been to visit this so can't report.
- There's a shopping village with lots of named shops such as Whittards, Edinburgh Wollen Mill, Moshulu, Animal, Bench, Cotton Traders, Hallmark, One more bear, Tresspass and much much more including places to eat.
- A Garden Centre selling all the usual items at Garden centres - again we didn't have time to go in but looked big.
- And an Aerial Extreme which again we didn't have time to go in but looks great fun on the website.
This is the only snag, each area except for the Garden Centre and Shopping Village costs. Fortunatly the car park is free!
The Gardens are £7.75 per Adult, £6.50 per child, £26.50 for a family (2adults 3children), Disabled Persons and Carers £3.85.
Monkey Forest £7.00 per Adult, £5.00 per child (under 3 free). No family ticket.
Aerial Extreme £24.00 per adult and £19.00 per child (under 16).
The openings of the gardens are 10am to 6pm. The other parts are all different on different days, the best way to find out is to check the website before visiting.
Back to the Gardens, we went in March/April so I guess it wasn't the best time of year for flowers but I have to say the formal gardens still looked beautiful with tulips all colour co-ordinated and looking really pretty. The design of the formal garden is beautiful. I'm sure as the year progressed and during the summer months it will look even more beautiful and if I was to choose when to go another time I would think about the time of year.
As you walk along you have the lake on your left and the formal gardens on the right. There is a little train ride for the children which costs £2 per person it runs along by the lake. There is also a boat ride which can take you up to a cafe near the monkey forest section - we didn't do this boat ride and it was another ? each.
From the formal gardens you can walk up to the children's play area which I have to say is fantastic, we could have spent hours there and the children loved it, there were lots of unusal play items for the children to play on and a particular favourite of our 8 year old was jumping off a high tower onto play mats, children had to be 8 or over to play on this. Unfortunately when we went it was very cold and we couldn't stay outside for too long.
There is also a children's maize with a hill at the end so you can view others getting lost and stuck!! there is also a muddy river bit where children can take off their shoes and socks and squelch in all kinds of muck!!! remember to take a towel and spare socks as we didn't realise this was there! there is an area to wash feet clean!
Right by the children's play area is a cafe which is fairly expensive but very nice food and drinks and friendly staff which makes a difference.
From the cafe they were creating a new garden area with lots of mini gardens with different themes, there was one we particularly liked which was a musical garden, it had a curved wall in it and within that were buttons to push which made beautiful music depending on which you pressed. We could've stayed in there for ages. There was a guides and brownies garden, a willow garden and a japanese garden with many more to come.
We didn't have time to walk all around the lake and I think it would have been quite far for the little people's legs! I would have loved to have done it though as it looked beautiful.
There are plans apparently to re-build the original house which I think would really finish the gardens off.
I have to say there was plenty to see and do my only concern was the added costs all the time but I guess that's the way it is these days.
We also went round the shopping village which was nice, it was well kept and spread out well. There were also rides at the far side of this and they too cost more money. They had a water walker which our daughter hadn't had a go on before, she was only allowed to go on this because of the cost it was £4 for 5mins!!! There was also a helter skelter, a bungie thing and a carosel.
These gardens are a work in progress, you can see how much they've done to renovate them over the years and I'm sure there's more to come. The most amazing this is that through my research I also found out that one of my relatives (a gr gr gr gr grandparent) worked at these very gardens so I felt like I was walking in his footsteps!
Also we used our Tesco club card vouchers to go as they've started accepting them now and we were able to use it on the family ticket too.
Summary: A great day out.
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