My parents visited for the weekend so we all went out to visit Cliveden Gardens. Cliveden is a National Trust property and is actually a house and gardens but the house is only open on Thursdays and Sundays. Even without being able to see the house there is plenty to do at Cliveden, loads of stuff for the kids to enjoy and absolutely beautiful gardens for us adults.
Entry is £13 per adult and £7 per child over 5. Or you can buy a family ticket for £33. Entry is cheaper if you are a National Trust member. There is plenty of parking and it is free.
Since we had kids with us and it had been at least 5 minutes since they had had a snack our first stop was The Orangery Cafe for lunch. It was reasonably priced, fairly fast and good quality. They have some children’s options like cheesy pasta.
Our next stop was the Water Garden. The beautiful garden has a stepping stones to jump across the water to it’s different parts my 4 year old absolutely loved it. There are lots of fountains, rocks to climb and Koi Carp to be spotted. There are loads of benches to sit on if you want to take some time and relax in this peaceful place.
Obviously there was no stopping to relax for us. Very close to the Water Garden is the Cliveden Maze which is a re-creation of a Maze designed and built for Lord Astor, the former owner of Cliveden, in 1894. ‘I’ll take a photo of you in case you don’t come out!’ I joked with my daughter. Erm.. you know what? It’s actually really hard and I am ashamed to admit that after about half an hour of aimless wondering and numerous dead ends we actually had to give up and try to find our way back out again! The kids were none the wiser since they didn’t really know what a maze was and both thought it was loads of fun even if we didn’t make it to the middle!
If you manage to escape the maze walk to your left past the Water Garden and you will come to the Story Book play den. A really lovely playground aimed at kids under 10. It is themed around various story books including Charlotte’s Webb and Wind in the Willows. It’s really fun and the kids loved it. There are benches to sit on with a clear view of the play area for those of you that need a rest. There is also the Doll’s House Cafe which was the perfect spot to grab some ice-cream.
The kids were pretty tired out from a serious amount of running about so we decided to head back towards the car park. Just past the car park is the Fountain of Love, it’s absolutely huge and definitely worth a look. Our last stop is just past this and i’m so glad we dragged the now slightly whiny kids there. The Long Garden. The Long Garden is gated and as we approached the gate there was a chorus of WOW! An immaculately manicured garden with rows and rows of beautiful flowers and bushes cut into the shapes of different animals. It feels like something out of Alice in Wonderland! I think this was my favourite place at Cliveden.
There is actually so much more to do at Cliveden that we didn’t manage. We could easily have gone for another whole day. There is boating on the Thames, woodland rambles, a Woodland Play Trail with wooden obstacles to climb over, and Clive’s Den which is a play den big enough for the whole family! There are also loads more amazing gardens including the Rose Garden and The Parterre.
If you have been to Cliveden please feel free to tell me about your favourite parts in the comments.
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