Bowood Playground And Gardens
Over the autumn half term we packed in a few visits to Cardiff Bay, this time to visit the Doctor Who Experience, Pokémon hunting around London and then the kids did a 5k run over inflatables with Go GungHo at Ashton Court Bristol last Saturday.To kick off the week on the Sunday we a visit to Bowood gardens.This is just on the outskirts of Chippenham, a short bus journey from the train station on the Swindon bus to Studley Crossroads stop.Cross the road and keep right until you come to a turning left, where you can see the Bowood Entrance.
Bowood adventure playground
Bowood is not only a country house with expansive grounds and formal gardens but it has a huge children’s adventure park for under 12’s.Listsed as one of the best adventure playgrounds in the U.K. it is full of large slides, over head walk ways and the infamous ‘Death Slide’, that has a drop many kids gear themselves to defeat but often fail.I never did it as a kid, and only Kieran (14) and Mia (8) have done it.I’m sure Caitlin (11), will do it one day I’m sure.There is a small drinks shed open in the adventure park, selling ice cream and hot and cold drinks.There is also the Treehouse café which opens at 10:30am every day for freshly prepared hot and cold food, situated as you enter the grounds.
Tractor Ted Tractor Park
The Tractor Ted kiddy park, which is just off the entrance is suited for younger children.It has ride on tractor track, a large animal shed with a pig with piglets, lambs, guinea pigs, rabbits, a pony and chicks in the spring.Behind this are fenced in goats, alpacas and several varieties of caged chickens.
As you leave the adventure playground to head off to the lake, you pass a soft play area building that’s available for hire.Toilets are situated just behind and are always clean.
Bowood gardens, cascades and The Temple
The landscaped grounds were designed by Capability Brown back in the 1790’s, who also designed Prior Park, in Bath.The Grade II listed house, doesn’t allow filming and photography inside but I can vouch how stunning it is.The Juliet style balcony over looking the front foyer, is one of my favourite parts of the house.
The Temple is a folly that over looks the expansive lake that is the main focus after leaving the house and formal gardens.Canadian geese over winter her, so the grass was covered not only in geese but in their poo.Something to note when visiting in the autumn.
The Temple that overlooks the lake makes a picturesque place to picnic.The grotto with it’s fossil ammonite (I presume these are fake) ceiling also offers a nice seating area to eat if The Temple is occupied.Just behind the grotto are the cascades, with a steep climb down (I recommend sturdy shoes for walking the grounds, even in the summer).Little caves bring you out onto an almost Jurassic habitat, with large gunnera, palms and ferns, it’s a very tranquil setting.
The gardens are always beautiful, no matter which season you visit but I’ve always love October for visiting Bowood gardens.In March the Rhododendron walk is highly recommended and also is the walled garden tour, which opens from April.Situated within Bowood house is The Stables Restaurant, which look out onto the formal gardens. The Bowood estate has, but not included in the house and gardens ticket price, a hotel and lodge, a health spa and golf course (as seen on Made In Chelsea).
There just two Pokestops, which are in the children’s adventure playground with Bowood House being a gym.Pokemon to catch are Bellsprout, Drowsee and Eevee.
Bowood house and gardens are closed from 1st of November and will not open until the 1st of April 2017.
Bowood House & Gardens Admission Prices for 2017
Family day ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult 3 children £37.50
Adult (over 13 years) £12.50
Senior Citizen (60 years+) £10.50
Junior (5-12 years) £9.50
Infant (2-4 years) £7.50
More prices on the Bowood website for guided tours.Only working assistant dogs are allowed on site but allowed on the Rhododendron tour, as long as they are kept on a lead.No tricycles, bicycles or skateboards are allowed on the grounds.
11 am -6 pm.
How to get to Bowood Gardens
Linking up to Coombe Mill for Country Kids