We are members of RHS Wisley which is just a short trip down the A3 (15 mins from New Malden) and a really beautiful place to go. (I know very little about gardening, plants and flowers so this is a Mum’s review rather than a gardeners review!!). Firstly membership is a real bargain – we got the reduced price of £39 per year (offer still on now I believe) which allows you and a guest in for free and kids under 5 go free too. (Normal adult price is almost £12 so it doesn’t take many trips to make it worth buying the pass). We usually stay for a couple of hours but have stayed longer and just popped along at 4pm for an hour too. It’s perfect for toddlers as you can roam around in so many different safe environments, there are ducks and giant fish to see in the ponds, a rustic playground, picnic area and their large cafe even has a very small soft play area in a separate room with tables for parents. We’ve even planted seeds on one of their activity days (don’t ask me if it grew into anything….)
We usually start off walking through the wild garden which has winding paths through it and we let our daughter take the lead and decide which way to go. Or we head up the steep hill to the big sculpture at the top and wind our way down the paths towards the lake. Then head across to the glasshouse if it’s chilly to warm up a bit before heading off to see the ducks and the fish. We usually end up in the Pinetum which is always quiet, particularly when there is an event on and has a long walk around the edge.
The gardens are obviously beautifully kept and looked after and I love to watch how they change through the seasons. They sometimes have free days here so keep a look out as it’s well worth a visit. There are lots of proper trails for older children or those of you with a keen interest in plants and they run lots of activities in school holidays for kids too. Here’s some images from our most recent visit.http://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley