|Gardens & railway||£18.75||£17.50|
|Child (3-15 years)|
|Gardens & railway||£9.40||£9.00|
|Gardens & railway||£56.90||£49.00|
*Family tickets are for 2 adults and up to 3 children.
Note: If you book online you get 10% discount.
Length of time spent here:
Approximately four hours.
I went with my husband, Phil, (who was a little down after the European Cup Final match the night before, yes, he’s a Tottenham supporter!) and our first stop was the coffee shop where we both had a cappuccino and discussed our plan of action, as it did look like a very big place.
I do consider myself a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to toilets, and I have to say that the toilets here were very well maintained, even the ones inside the park, I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and modern they were.
We checked in at Reception with our online tickets and we received a map and two tickets for the train (hubby was a little excited at the prospect of a train ride).
The map was very detailed and we decided to walk around the left of the Visitor Entrance in the morning and after lunch, take the train and then explore the right hand side.
As we started to walk around, we realised that we were probably a couple of weeks too late to enjoy the complete splendour of the rhododendrons and azaleas but the smells and the colours of those that were on display were amazing. We noticed that there was a place called Five Arrows Gallery and being lovers of paintings, decided to have a look inside. It wasn’t the art that we were expecting, they had had a competition the day before and there was different types of rhododendrons and azaleas that had been judged and awarded places. We had an interesting talk with one of the ladies who belonged to the RHS who explained the different categories and showed us the best in show.
We left there feeling that we really should nurture our rhododendron plants in our garden a bit more.
From there we did a tour around the left hand side of the map, seeing gems such as the Burmese Bell, the Arromanches Plaque (to commemorate D-Day landings), the Sun Dial Garden and the Japanese Bridge.
Along the way we took some pictures of flowers that were in bloom, absolutely gorgeous!
After lunch, (we didn’t use the cafeteria, we brought a picnic lunch), we headed for the train station, to catch the steam train for a railway trip around the grounds. The journey lasted for approximately 25 minutes, with a stop halfway round while they tended to the engine (I’m not quite sure what they did but it seemed to involve oil and water), but during the stop we were entertained by the conductor who told us some of the history of Exbury Gardens. It was a very pleasant trip, where we had a good view of The Rock Garden, which is the biggest man-made rock garden in Europe.
We finished off the day with a walk around the right hand side of the map, taking in the Jubilee pond, the Domesday Yew and the Rock Garden.
This was a lovely day out, it was very tranquil and it was good to get away from the hustle and bustle of normal life and just walk through the woods, hand in hand, enjoying nature at its best.