Kew Gardens glass greenhouse

If you’re a plant parent, it may seem like a struggle to get your kids excited about your interests. After all, neat, manicured gardens that sprawl on for acres is probably the last thing a child wants to traipse around. However, there are actually plenty of fun public gardens for families around the UK.

Some have exciting, hands-on activities for youngsters, some have awesome adventure play areas – and one even has a 120-strong water jet feature. Read on for some family-friendly garden inspiration…

1. Bicton Park Gardens, Devon


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Based in beautiful South Devon, Bicton Park Gardens is a gem in the countryside which dates back 300 years. Not only is the Palm House, a glass greenhouse made of 18,000 panes of glass, a reason to visit, but the gardens are also full of fun activities for kids.

The main family attraction is the railway which runs around the garden. Named the Bicton Woodland Railway, this is a great way to see the many different plants and trees at this stunning location. There are also indoor and outdoor play areas, a nature trail, mini golf and more.

Find out more about Bicton Park Gardens here.

2. The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland


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Situated next to a 900-year-old castle, The Alnwick Garden is not only picturesque, but also child-friendly. Little ones can enjoy the garden’s must-see ‘Cascade’ which features 120 water jets creating beautiful aquatic art all day. There is also an adventure golf course in the fairytale-like Forgotten Garden, as well as an amazing treehouse restaurant accessible by ropebridges and sky walkways.

Alnwick is famed for its Poison Garden, too. Here, you and the family can learn about the dangerous side of plants, like belladonna, hemlock and tobacco. There are guided tours for the Poison Garden, which will keep curious kids in check and avoid any mishaps! The vast Bamboo Labyrinth is also a super fun part of the gardens, with plenty of way to get lost amongst the golden stalks.

Find out more about The Alnwick Garden here.

3. Finlaystone Country Estate, Renfrewshire


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If you’re in Scotland and you love to walk or hike, there are 140 acres of woodlands at Finlaystone Country Estate, with several walking trails of varying difficulties. See the many trees throughout the forest, some being over 400 years old, as well as native wildlife including deer, foxes, squirrels and herons.

Specifically for children, there is an extensive play area with a huge wooden pirate ship, a tram, and play equipment. Kids can also join in on ranger-led activities – check the calendar on the website to find out when they are!

Find out more about Finlaystone Country Estate here.

4. The Eden Project, Cornwall


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A well-known attraction in Cornwall, the Eden Project consists of massive biomes with exotic plants and even wildlife. There are so many activities here – some would say that one day isn’t enough to see and do everything.

First off, the biomes are a great place to visually learn about plants and nature in other climates. Then there’s the breathtaking zip line ride which takes you across the whole facility, a rainforest canopy walk high up in the rainforest biome, indoor and outdoor play areas, and a permanent interactive exhibition which explores ‘invisible worlds’. There are also many other exhibitions and events, so make sure you check what’s on before you visit so that you don’t miss out on something special!

Find out more about the Eden Project here.

5. Kew Gardens, London


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One of the most popular gardens in London, Kew Gardens isn’t just for adults. With their self-dubbed ‘Kids’ Kew’ initiative, children and their families or carers can enjoy activities throughout the gardens.

For kids, there is a log trail, woodland walk with the chance to see minibeasts and other wildlife, a giant badger sett with huge tunnels, a treetop walkway and an oversized interactive beehive. You can also take part in 90 minute learning sessions for smaller children, aged two to five.

Find out more about Kew Gardens here.

What are your favourite family-friendly gardens? Let me know in the comments section below!

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