Gary Does: A trip to the Magic Garden

29.04.16 · Kids

Another bank holiday? Need a fresh idea on where to take your kids? Fear not harassed parents, for the Tudor inspired Magic Garden’s gates will be open to invite young princes and princesses into its fantastical playground of energy sapping wonders.

Time was, we’d be criss-crossing London chasing parties and pop-ups to enjoy on a bank holiday. Now, it’s chasing Jr around soft play centres, parks and pools. It’s damn fun, but if you've done the local circuit, you’ll be hankering for something new.

We’re lucky enough to live locally to Hampton Court, and when we found out about it, were there quicker than Henry VIII to a banquet.

It’s billed as a ‘garden of discovery and exploration’ and it really is. It was all shiny and brand new when we went on the opening weekend in March, and we (2 families with 3 children under 5) all had a ‘wow’ moment taking it all in.

It’s adjacent to the maze (you can get combined tickets for the maze and park), so, it’s semi-shrouded until you walk through the gates. You’re confronted by ‘mysterious mythical beasts, with battlements to storm, towers to besiege, and even a secret grotto to discover’.

It certainly helps if the weather is nice, but seriously? I reckon it wouldn’t bother the lil’uns at all if it’s not. Refreshments and facilities are on hand, and it was a bit of a buggy fest, but there’s enough room to mooch, monitor from a (safe) distance and watch their imaginations go wild.

There’s shields and swords dotted around for Tudor roleplay. Plenty to climb and investigate (including a water feature that our 2 year old was fascinated with) and a Teletubbiesesque fake grass bowl/hill built into the landscape for a quieter moment (or roll down).

The fire-breathing dragon is ideal for older children, but warning! If you’re not light on your feet, then tread very carefully when traversing the moat. It really did feel like a high-wire moment in a circus with everybody watching, except, ummm, closer to the ground with shallow water to the left and right. Gracious? Not me.

We can’t wait to get back, and if you fancy the whole day there (it's worth a travel), you have the castle and maze at your disposal. Just make sure you bring your awe and wonder face, a change of clothes for the young Henrys and Annes, and a mini first-aid kit. Those knockabout cuts and bruises will strangely, magically appear if they’re charging around all day.

Magic Garden – Hampton Court

A garden of discovery and exploration

Open 7 days a week

Fun for kids aged 2-13

Monday - Sunday10.00-18.00. Last entry 17.15


Magic Garden 1200 670 Magic Garden Hampton Court Magic Garden Hampton Court Palace Dragon