A sunny Sunday afternoon is the perfect day to discover Groombridge Place gardens – there is something for everyone, but especially so for families. You can start the journey by taking the an old diesel or steam train with Spa Valley Railway like we did [see the post here on Spa Valley trains]. The walk from the station is about 10 minutes, and also a really beautiful one through a little forest and a meadow.
The entrance to Groombridge in through a sweeping walkway with the moated main house with left your right after the gates (the house itself is not open to the public, but its walled gardens are).
The formal gardens are lovely, but the key attraction of this place is the Enchanted Forest, which can be accessed by taking a little boat or walking along the river under the leafy trees – this is already a very relaxing experience and it just keeps getting better. By the ticket office there is also a lovely little cafe and a shop for relaxation.
There are so many things to discover and see for the children – all hidden inside this Enchanted Forest in somewhat random manner – meaning that everyone gets a nice walk around and parents have some beautiful scenery to admire while the children are playing rather than just the ordinary playground…
It is good to check the website prior going to Groombridge for they have a lot of seasonal activities there: we came across a field full of bouncy castles, some kids theatre show and demonstration of birds of prey. And of course there are some animals too such as this unusual zeedonkey!
Fairy tales come true in the enchanted forest with pirate ships, dragons, little labyrinths, gypsy wagons, teepees, fortresses and more. The lion of Narnia also has made it here as well as by the pond the little houses from the Wind in the Willows – it’s time to let the imagination run wild and let the children run around!
There are giant swings past the bluebell woods (which bloom in April-May time) and they were the favourites of all our children (but I think that parents looked rather fearful with kids dangling few meters above the ground at times…)