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Best Botanical Gardens in the UK to Visit with Kids

Don’t you love spring when mother nature awakes, and the first flowers and bushes of the season begin to bloom? But why is it that we need to reach a certain age to appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors? Studies have shown that you are not born with an affinity for nature, but that it develops gradually in life. This might explain why many children are hard to convince to join their parents on outings that involve nature walks and pretty flowers! If you are a single parent who wants to instil a love of nature in your kids, or someone who already shares that passion for flowers with their children, you will love our article about some of the best botanical gardens in the UK to visit with kids:

#1 Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey is a world-renowned park and arboretum best known for its outstanding plant collection and beautiful design. It’s one of the best botanical gardens in the UK to visit with kids, not only because of its comprehensive collection of plants and beautiful views, but because of the wide variety of gardens visitors can explore here. These include the Acer valley, the Centenary Border, the Winter Garden, the Gurkha Memorial Garden, and many more.

Kids will particularly enjoy the Boardwalk, the big treehouse, the “Hilltop Adventures” playground, the bog garden, the wobbly bridge, and the bog garden. Last but not least, there is the Children’s Education Garden, with its six dipping ponds filled with aquatic life and dragonflies, bird boxes with cameras, Chinese Spouting Bowl, musical Bamboo classroom, etc.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, one of the best botanical gardens in the UK to visit with kids
Photo: Jermym’s House at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

#2 Ness Botanic Garden, Cheshire

Ness Botanic Gardens, part of the University of Liverpool, spans 64 acres of land and offers stunning views of North Wales and the River Dee. With a wide range of plants and environments, including a rock garden, water garden, and Mediterranean garden, you can anticipate year-round colour and exceptional collections of rhododendrons, camellias, snowdrops, and Sorbus. If the weather is good, you may be able to witness the earliest spring  blooms of azaleas and magnolias in Ness Botanic Gardens.

If you have pre-schoolers, you can book to join the Little Acorn sessions and enjoy educator led activities in the wonderful gardens with your kids. Alternatively, there is the Ness Explorers Kids Club for 7 to 10 year olds which is a drop off club on designated days. You can also join a Forest bathing experience or brush up your gardening skills here. If you love flowers, then a floral design workshop might interest you. Here you can learn how to make beautiful flower arrangements, such as flowers in a box.

#3 Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of the best botanical gardens in the UK to visit with kids. The historic garden has over 7,000 plants, four Victorian glasshouses, a new butterfly house, and a Japanese Garden, which features the National Bonsai Collection amongst other plants. Expect to see spring-flowering cherries, such as Autumnalis Rosea, as well as the early flowering delicate pink blossoms of Prunus Hirtipes.

Needless to say, you will find a café, playground, and children’s trails here. The trails are themed, and you can choose between brilliant butterflies, dangerous plants, garden minibeasts, fabulous foods, magical plants, and plant record breaker trails. If those don’t entire your kids to join you on a tour of the gardens, then I don’t know what will! If you have little ones, it’s worth downloading the activity sheets that can be used as you walk around the gardens together.

peacock in Birmingham botanical gardens
Photo: Peacock at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

#4 Botanical Gardens at Royal Victoria Park, Bath

The nine-acre Botanical Gardens are one of the Royal Victoria Park’s most beautiful features. It is a wonderful springtime paradise, and guess what? It’s completely free. Take the kids through the pretty walkways, over little bridges, past small streams and onto a pond full of fish, sitting next to a cute moorhen house. There is also an aerial walkway here, providing stunning views across the area.

Once you have visited the botanical gardens, you can move on to find the park’s children’s play area, which includes, amongst others, a café, picnic tables, a bouncy castle, climbing wall, fort, swings combing net dome, sand play area with excavators, table tennis, and sometimes even a carousel. It’s the perfect place for single parents to relax whilst their kids are busy playing after a day out together. There are also tennis courts and a skateboard park here.

#5 Brodie Castle Gardens, Moray, Scotland

Whether you live in the Highlands or happen to be on holiday in the North of Scotland, Brodie Castle Gardens in Moray is a must visit with kids. The ancestral home of the Brodie family has beautiful grounds, which are covered in more than 100 varieties of daffodils in spring and include a “Playful Garden”. The play area has a sensory outdoor space and can be accessed separately or as part of a combined ticket with the castle. The castle grounds also include a woodland adventure playground, a charming walled garden, a nature trail, a spot for wildlife observation, and a fascinating Pictish monument named the “Rodneys Stone”.little boy playing with leaves in autumn garden


Botanical gardens not only make for fun family days out, they also provide excellent opportunities for children to explore, use their imagination, and enhance their physical skills through running, climbing, and more. Go on an, pack a picnic, jump on the train, and visit some one of the many excellent botanical gardens or parks in the UK. If you want to make a day of it, choose a garden on the grounds of a noble mansion, such as Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, or one with fascinating greenhouses, like Kew Gardens in Richmond. Don’t forget to look at each botanical garden’s event page to check if there are any outdoor theatre shows, bands playing, or kids experiences scheduled. Have fun and make memories together in some of the best botanical gardens in the UK to visit with kids!

About Single Parents on Holiday:

Single Parents on Holiday is a niche tour operator for single parent family holidays: We provide group holidays for widows and widowers, separated and divorced parents, solo-mums-by choice, single foster parents, single grandparents, parents whose partner is unable to travel due to sickness, etc. – in essence anyone who travels solo with their children and is looking for company on holiday and a hassle- free  experience.

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