Yesterday was my birthday and we decided to go to an attraction that is a ten minute drive from our home, yet Ben and I had never been there despite living in Gloucestershire almost our whole lives!
In this blog post I am going to share my review of Painswick Rococo Garden. If you’re looking for things to do in Gloucestershire with kids then read on!
We didn’t have any idea of what to expect. We’d seen signs just past our home for Rococo Garden and always said we must go.
We had no idea that there was so much there to see and do. I imagined just a smallish pretty garden to look around. We were really surprised by what we found!
Their website said to allow two hours, so we’d only allowed from 2pm-4.30pm as we had to leave for a dinner booking at 5pm. This definitely wasn’t enough time with kids!
I think we needed four hours as we didn’t get to see the Pigeon House and they only had a very quick play in the rustic wooden play area where they could have spent much longer!
The kids also needed the toilet twice which meant going all the way back to the entrance and then going back to where we were in the garden to continue exploring.
Whilst we were there they had a sculpture exhibition on with lots of quirky sculptures dotted around the entire gardens. These definitely made the visit a lot more interesting and I wonder if the gardens would seem a lot plainer without these everywhere.
They should invest in them as they really did make the gardens so much more interesting! Though I haven’t seen the gardens without the sculptures so I don’t know what it’s usually like in comparison.
The gardens are very peaceful and tranquil. It would be good to stop and sit down to take them in, but with kids we kept moving and exploring. It would be a great spot for a picnic!
Even without kids I think you could easily spend more than two hours here. The two hour suggestion on their website must be more of an absolute minimum time to allow.
For the kids, and even adults, the gardens are really quite magical! The Rococo structures are very quirky and unexpected.
The kids loved exploring the tiny houses which were the perfect size for them!
It’s crazy to think this garden is 250 years old! It would be amazing to go back in time and experience a garden party. I can only imagine it was very fancy and flamboyant!
The garden has so much to see for the children: a huge pond with dragonflies and ducks, a very impressive vegetable patch, a garden maze created with twisting hedges, a rustic wooden play area, a woodland nature trail, wildflower patches and more.
Lots of beautiful photo opportunities!
Ben trying out the plunge pool!
If you like flowers and plants then there are plenty to admire.
Reuben’s favourite part was the maze and Bella’s was the play area. They also liked the gift shop!
There’s a cafe on site too, but we didn’t go here. I’ve heard good things though from a friend who regularly pops just to the cafe. You can visit the cafe without going into the gardens.
Entrance was reasonable at £22 for us as a family of four. You could have up to four children for the same price which is really good value.
As it’s the summer holidays they had a ‘time traveller’ trail for the kids. I thought they might need this to keep them entertained with my preconception of a garden being boring for them, but even without the trail they had an amazing time.
Reuben even forgot about the trail and Bella was also too occupied with everything surrounding her to see!
Painswick Rococo Garden is definitely a little hidden gem in Gloucestershire and really surprised us.
We knew it would be a well maintained and pretty garden to visit, but we didn’t expect it to be quite as good and as large as it was.
And, even better, it’s just behind our house!
If you’ve a spare afternoon with the kids and looking for somewhere fun to explore then I’d definitely say Rococo Garden is worth a visit.
Find out more on their website at http://www.rococogarden.org.uk
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