Friday 30 June 2017

The Savill Garden at Windsor Great Park - Any Good for Families?

Last Saturday whilst the girls and I were staying with my parents in Surrey we headed to The Savill Garden, which is part of Windsor Great Park. I wasn't too sure what to expect, nor if it would be a suitable place for my near 10 year old twins to visit but I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised.

Created in the 1930's this 35 acre park is just beautiful with eight distinct interconnected gardens - the Hidden Gardens, Spring Wood, the Summer Gardens, the New Zealand Garden, Summer Wood, The Glades, Autumn Wood and the Winter Beds. Take a look at this short video to get a glimpse of what you might enjoy when you come to visit in the summer months.

Every season has its own gems and the real highlights from our visit were the Queen Elizabeth temperate house, the rose garden and the Royal Jubilee Garden. These were the places were we saw the best floral colour.

Now, I'll be honest with you I don't know a lot about gardening but I do know what I like, so this garden is good for amateurs with an eye for beauty like me and also those with a more focused interest on flora and fauna as there is a lot of information available if you are interested.

The girls really enjoyed the space and having lots of nooks and crannies to be able to run in and out of. There is a particularly fab tree by the rose garden that you can hide under the branches and the Hidden Gardens are great for a game of hide and seek or tag. Of course you have to remain respectful to the landscape but there are lots of corners to hide around.

Have a look at some of the gardens, places and views that we enjoyed on our visit. My Mum and the girls ha bought some duck and bird food for 50p a bag and were chuffed to bump into a friendly duck in the Jubilee Garden.

I also had a fabulous time using my macro filters. The Savill Garden is a paradise for keen photographers.

Summer: Power of Flowers - Family Friendly Activities
This summer at The Savill Garden we see the Power of Flowers summer campaign. From the 10th June to 30th September there will be a series of activities in the garden for families to enjoy as well as lovers of all things flora and fauna. The fun and games are spread out over various weekends in June and July and then in the summer holiday too. On the day we visited, the girls were able to watch a punch and Judy style 'Little Red Riding Hood' puppet show, follow a flower power activity trail, complete an activity sheet and take part in the creation station making butterflies and decorating cress pots. On other days there is free face painting too.

The girls enjoyed finding the 14 different plants that have super powers and ticking them off their list but I did get told off as we forgot to stop and get the sticker prize for completing the trail - whoops!

In answer to my initial question - is The Savill Garden any good for families?
I'd say a definite yes, there is so much open space for children of all ages to enjoy and the fact that they are free up to 16 years, makes this an affordable day out. Add to that the really nice additional activities laid on during school holidays and the fact that the rest of the Great Park can be easily accessed from the car park and I'd say The Savill Garden is ideal for families.

Eating and Drinking at The Savill Garden
We started our day with coffee and a pastry in The Gallery & Coffee Bar and the informal leather sofas and chairs at the far end of the Savill Building make a wonderful and relaxed way to enjoy a coffee. I feel prices are reasonable and a latte was £2.60, £1.50 for a kids juice and £2.00 for a pastry. They are served in paper cups n this cafe and I'm not sure why as they aren't in the main restaurant and the lady told me you are not supposed to take them into the gardens as there isn't any bins.

Talking of not taking things in to the gardens, there is no picnicing in The Savill Garden but just outside a few minutes walk from the car park is the Obelisk lawn where there are picnic benches and a nice tea van.

To be honest though if we went again we wouldn't be bothering with a picnic as the food we experienced in The Savill Garden Kitchen restaurant was excellent and I was salivating over literally everything I saw come out of the kitchen and delivered to other tables.

The restaurant is lovely and airy with all different sizes of tables to suit everyone. There is also a very spacious outside area for the nicer weather. We found it very comfortable and somewhere that was a treat to visit rather than just a place to have a quick bit to eat. If we lived closer we would happily come to visit often.

Our table of four had an amazing feast. Miss E went for a classic tomato and mozzarella pizza (£8.50), which is cooked in the enormous wood burning cooper pizza ovens. My Mum and Miss M opted for the beer-battered fish and chips with peas (£12.00) and I had an amazing pizza with spiced lamb, feta, humus, roquito peppers and mint yoghurt (£10.50). It tasted like the more gorgeous Greek kebab ever!

All the food we experienced was really good but I would highly recommend the pizzas as their taste is exceptional. I also kept eyeing up the homemade fishfinger baps with skin-on fries that kept going past us.

At the time of our lunch we didn't have room to enjoy a dessert, so we took another walk and explore and then went back a couple of hours later for a coffee and cake. We had a victoria sponge, raspberry tart and chocolate brownie and again they were all of a really good quality. They ranged from around £2.00 to £3.75.

We were pleased to see plenty of staff within the restaurant and they were all friendly and smartly dressed. You find a table and take note of the number and once you have decided what you would like to eat or drink you head over to the bar and tills. You place your order and pay and take cold drinks with you and hot ones are bought to the table. It all works quite smoothly and even ordering at lunch time when practically every table was full we only waited around 3 minutes to place our order and pay.

I then expected to have around a half hour wait as we knew the food was being cooked fresh but within around 15 minutes we had all our food on the table and were ready to tuck in. The staff came to check on us and cleared our table promptly too. It all made for a very enjoyable meal and I was able to box up and take half my pizza home for tea later!

Visitor Information
  • Address: The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, Surrey TW20 0UU
  • If following a Sat nav, use the postcode - TW20 0UJ and the car park entrance is on Wick Lane. We found it easy to find off the A30 as we followed The Savill Garden and brown flower signs.
  • It is £10.50 per adult to visit and this gives you unlimited access for a whole day. Children under 16 are free of charge and this is a real bonus for a large family.
  • Car parking is free when you pay for access to The Savill Garden and it is a large, well-kept hard-standing car park.
  • The only toilets and baby change are in the Savill building at the beginning of the gardens, so if you get caught whilst out and about you need to hurry back. The toilets were plentiful, clean and well stocked.
  • Dogs are allowed in Windsor Great Park and in the Visitor centre but not through to the actual Savill Gardens (of course except assistance dogs)
  • Visit The Savill Garden website for more information
  • There is an amazing gift and plants shop too

Many of the paths around the garden are flat and easy for wheelchair users or those with a buggy. There may be parts that are more challenging and those with a non-motorised chair can have a carer accompany them for free to help push the wheelchair at times. The accessible toilet is able to be accessed with a radar key and there is plenty of room to move about the shop and restaurant.

Windsor Great Park
The Savill Garden is part of the wider Windsor Great Park where there is something for everyone. At over 4,800 acres there are historical monuments, ancient forests and stunning horticultural displays, as well as rare wildlife, plants and fungi. the Royal history spans over 1000 years and it is really worth a visit.

Right next to The Savill Garden is the Obelisk green, play park and pond and then we walked down to the Totem pole and on to Virginia Water lake. My girls were on their skates and scooter and the path is perfect for these type of wheel activities, as well as biking. There are also tons of amazing trees and laurels all over that they can climb and play on.

We found the signage within the Great Park to be excellent and depending how far you want to walk you could head over to the Long Walk and Deer Park and even into Windsor town centre to see the castle.

Why not pin this post for later?

I'm linking this post up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Disclosure: We received entry to The Savill Garden and lunch for the four of us in return for completing this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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