A Day Out at RHS Bridgewater

  • Jul 25, 2022
RHS Bridgewater Welcome Building in Summer

If you know me you’ll know I head to RHS Bridgewater at any given opportunity. It’s slightly sunny? Off to Bridgewater. Ottie needs a nap but won’t settle? Off to Bridgewater. We have friends coming to visit? Off to Bridgewater. It’s our go to for a day out with the kids and we always find something new.

We went to RHS Bridgewater this weekend and it was one of my favourite visits ever, all of us were in good moods the whole time (very rare with two small children!) and spent hours exploring. The weather was warm but a little drizzly, very on brand for the great British summer time.

I thought I’d share our favourite areas to visit and explore at RHS Bridgewater in case you fancy visiting over the summer holiday.

There is 25% off RHS memberships at the moment so it’s a great time to join, you can find out more here. An individual membership gets you unlimited entry to all the RHS gardens for you and a friend or up to 2 children so it’s perfect for a family of four like ours. The joint membership gets you unlimited entry for 2 members, a friend and up to 4 children so ideal for larger families.

The Worsley Welcome Garden

As you head through the Welcome Building into RHS Bridgewater you walk into a sprawling garden anchored by amazing red steel structures. We usually head left into The Walled Garden area but you can walk straight ahead to go into the woods and play area or head to the right to The Chinese Streamside Garden.

This area is perfect for wandering around, finding a puddle to jump in and to take in everything around you.

The Walled Garden

I love the walled garden area, it’s always filled with ever changing flowers and vegetables. This weekend it was full of sunflowers! There are so many beautiful flowers to look at, everything is planted very naturally so flows beautifully.

Eva loves making a wish in the raised water features and writing her name on the side with a wet finger!

The Paradise Garden

Next to The Walled Garden is The Paradise Garden, one of the most beautiful areas of RHS Bridgewater. The walls surrounding the garden create a microclimate so plants that usually wouldn’t like the Salford weather can flourish! The garden is based on early gardens in the Mediterranean, Asia and America, there is so much to see.

In the centre there’s a glassy pond surrounded by giant Agapantha flowers, keep an eye out for newts at the bottom of the pond. Eva’s favourite thing to do here is splashing in the little stream that travels on either side of the pond, we have to drag here away from it!

There are also amazing greenhouses in The Paradise Garden where a huge array of fruit and veg is growing, we spotted heirloom tomatoes, peaches, figs, grapes and cucamelons this weekend!

The Kitchen Garden

This is always one of the first areas of RHS Bridgewater we visit. It’s near the entrance and instantly gets everyone excited about gardening as we spot different veg growing, smell flowers and walk along the edges of the honeycomb beds.

This area also gives me so much inspiration for what to grow in our garden!

The Woodland Play Area

This is hands down our favourite play areas in Manchester, it’s amazing! Hidden away in the woods, there is a play area specifically made for RHS Bridgewater. It has areas for all ages from a tiny toddler obstacle course and underground tunnels to wooden climbing built into the trees and swings.

Around the play area there is plenty to explore, if you go on a mini adventure you’ll find secret doors, a mud kitchen, fairy houses and a story area in the Yew circle. Make sure you look up when you’re in the Yew circle! Eva loves running around finding all the hidden treasures.

The Activities

There is always something going on at RHS Bridgewater. Over the summer holiday they have The Great Garden Adventure, a range of activities on throughout the week from welly walks and toddler Tuesdays to story time and the big bug hunt. There is also a trail to follow around the garden too, great for keeping little legs moving!

The Great Garden Adventure can be found at all of the RHS garden locations too.

We’ve also been to the Easter Egg hunt trail which Eva is still talking about now! As well as the light trail at Christmas, we’ve always had such a good time.

The Meadow

If you walk around Ellesmere Lake at RHS Bridgewater you find the meadow. You can also access it through the Chinese Streamside Garden too! But if you walk around the lake you can also see remains of an ornate bridge that used to head to an island in the lake.

You can walk through the meadow all the way back to the Welcome Building, spotting as many bugs as you can! Oddly I rarely ever see butterflies in the main gardens but the meadow was full of Meadow Brown butterflies. See if you can spot one in the photos above!

The Stables Cafe

The Stables Cafe and Restaurant is a brand new addition to RHS Bridgewater. It’s only opened in the past couple of weeks so we had to try it out. It’s located at the back of Bridgewater past The Paradise Garden (near the chickens!) and has a restaurant area with table service and a cafe. The food at Bridgewater is so good, I’d really recommend it.

There’s also an area next to the cafe that’s great for little legs to run around. There are also beehives to spot here too!

And I thought I’d also answer a few FAQs too!

How much does it cost to get into RHS Bridgewater?

Without an RHS membership it’s ¬£12.65 for an adult and ¬£6.35 for a child aged 5-16, children under 5 are free. There are also a 35% discount off your ticket if you don’t take your car to Bridgewater! Find more details here.

There is 25% off RHS memberships at the moment so it’s a great time to join, you can find out more here. An individual membership gets you unlimited entry to all the RHS gardens for you and a friend or up to 2 children so it’s perfect for a family of four like ours. The joint membership gets you unlimited entry for 2 members, a friend and up to 4 children so ideal for larger families.

When is The Great Garden Adventure running until at RHS Bridgewater?

The Great Garden Adventure started on the 23rd of July and runs throughout the summer holiday until the 4th of September. All the activities are included in the price of the ticket and free to members and children under 5. There are story times, welly walks and toddler Tuesdays so there’s something for all ages!

When is RHS Bridgewater open?

It’s open every day apart from Christmas Day from 10-6pm (last entry 5pm).

If you want to explore RHS Bridgewater you can plan your visit here. I’ll see you there!

28th June 2022

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