As part of our role as ambassadors for #MyStokeStory with Visit Stoke we were invited to Trentham Gardens, one of our favourite places to visit for a family day out in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
AD – We were gifted day tickets for the purpose of this review
About Trentham Gardens
Those who live in Stoke and surrounding areas will already be very familiar with Trentham Gardens, one of the main tourist spots for the area. But….for those of you not so familiar, let me tell you more! The Trentham Estate was originally a royal manor; occupied by a priory and then a convent, until the dissolution of the monasteries in the time of Henry VIII. A house was then built on the land, which was then extended to a larger Elizabethan house and then probably demolished and replaced in Georgian times. The relatively small remains that we can see today served as the Staffordshire seat for the Duke of Sutherland and were described as a magnificent “elegant mansion.” The gardens and parkland at Trentham were designed by Capability Brown between 1768 and 1778 and Charles Barry designed a beautiful Italianate flower garden. Unfortunately, the house was demolished in the early 1900s but many older residents of the city have fond memories of the open-air swimming pool and both my father and father-in-law reminisce about nights out at the Trentham Ballroom, watching bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones Pink Floyd, The Who and Led Zepplin strut their stuff!
Before World War I, the Trentham Estate was used as a military training camp between 1909 and 1914, and during World War II it was used as a military regroupment camp for French soldiers, some Polish soldiers and a few German officers as prisoners of war.
The estate was sold in 1979 and fell into serious decline and disrepair. However, it was bought by St Modwen in 1996 and an £100 million transformation brought listed buildings back to life, reinstated the extensive flower gardens and restored the historic parkland to the beautiful landscape we can see today. Trentham Gardens, the Shopping Village, Treetop Adventures and the Trentham Monkey Forest are now the perfect place for a family day-out for those from the area and from further afield!
Our Top 5 Things To Do at Trentham Gardens
1. Find The Trentham Fairies
We love searching for the 21 Trentham Fairies and it’s a fabulous way to keep the children entertained whilst exploring the gardens, lake and woodlands. The beautiful sculptures are created by local artist Robin Wight of FantasyWire and are created from galvanised and stainless steel wire. They really are stunning!
2. Take A Ride on the Miniature Train
My children really enjoy chugging along on Trentham’s Miniature train which runs every day along the lakeside, throughout the Summer months. (There is a small charge for train tickets.)
3. Brave the Barefoot Walk
No visit to Trentham Gardens is complete without taking off your shoes, rolling up your trousers and braving the Barefoot Walk, whatever the weather! It’s great fun to walk through squelchy mud, bark, a babbling stream, pebbles and more and it’s also good for your health too, based on the historic principles of Sebastian Kneipp and the naturopathic medicine movement!
4. Enjoy the Adventure Playground
Trentham Gardens has a fabulous Adventure Playground with activities for all ages to enjoy! My children’s favourite is the Altitude Tower and slide but they also love the Assault Course, the Climbing Web and the Zip Wire. There are also large sandpits, swings, a smaller slide and more – we love the new addition of a Slackline walking rope which we all had a go on!
You can spend hours exploring at Trentham and every time you visit you will find something new! Take a walk along Capability Brown’s mile-long lake and see what wildlife you can spot along the way; bask in the beauty of the Italian Gardens and view the stunning Butterflies art installation; meander through the meadows, planted by Professor Nigel Dunnett; run through the Rivers of Grass; have a look at the Show Gardens; or get lost in the Hide and Speak Maze.
Trentham Gardens Opening Hours:
|Day Tickets:||Open/Close Times|
|1 August – 1 September||Open 9am until 7pm, exit by 8pm|
Except Saturdays when it is exit by 7pm.
|2 September – 27 September||Open 9am until 6pm, exit by 7pm|
|28 – 29 September||Open 9am until 3pm, exit by 4pm|
|30 September – 27 October||Open 9am until 5pm, exit by 6pm|
|28 October – 14 February 2020||Open 10am until 3pm, exit by 4pm|
Trentham Gardens Entrance Prices:
|Garden Day Tickets|
(Seniors 60+ and Students)
|Child (Age 3-15 years must be with a person age 16+)||£9.00|
| Disabled Persons|
+ accompanying Carer
(Age 2 and under up to a max 3 per transaction)
|Group Day Ticket (12 or more)||£9.00|
|Evening Ticket (after 5pm, Sunday-Friday)||£6.00|
Eating at Trentham Gardens
Trentham Gardens is the perfect setting for a family picnic. There are plenty of places to park your picnic blanket and picnic tables are available by the lakeside and around the gardens. There are also two eateries within the gardens: the Lakeside Cafe and The Italian Garden Tearoom, or you can sample one of the many restaurants or cafes in the Shopping Village.
Are Dogs Allowed at Trentham Gardens?
Dogs on short leads are allowed although you are asked to avoid the playground, maze and Barefoot Walk.
Can You Cycle Around Trentham Gardens?
Scooters and bike are only allowed for children aged 4 and under.
Are the Gardens Accessible for Wheelchair Users and Buggies/Pushchairs?
Most areas of the gardens are accessible for all – a suggested route map for wheelchair users is available.
How To Get to Trentham Gardens
By car: Situated to the south of Stoke-on-Trent, on the A34 between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stone, Trentham Gardens can easily be accessed from both the M6 motorway and A50 dual carriageway. Parking is free.
By train: The nearest station is Stoke-on-Trent, approximately 4 miles from Trentham. Stafford Station is approximately 12 miles from Trentham. Buses and Taxis are readily available at both stations.
By bus: The 101 bus runs regularly from Hanley Bus Station and Stafford town centre.
Are There Hotels near Trentham Gardens?
There is a Premier Inn on the Trentham Estate which is perfect for visitors from further afield. For information and prices visit the Premier Inn website.
For more information about Trentham Gardens visit their website, here.
What Else Is There To Do in Stoke-on-Trent?
Here are some of our top things to do in Stoke-on-Trent:
- Trentham Monkey Forest
- World of Wedgwood
- Ninja Warrior UK Adventure Park
- Peak Wildlife Park
- Gladstone Pottery Museum
- Emma Bridgewater
- Middleport Pottery
- Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
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