Press Release - A winter walk: nature sparkles at Trentham Gardens
One of the England’s most-visited garden attractions provides a spectacular show for winter: a perfect natural wonderland for a seasonal walk complete with fragrant woodland trails, and even frosty fairies.
Staffordshire’s restored Trentham Gardens, which lie at the heart of The Trentham Estate on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, are open every day, apart from Christmas Day, offering ever-changing displays right through the year.
In winter months, the award-winning gardens and parkland provide a spectacular backdrop for a walk, whether a leisurely stroll around the mile-long lake, a garden amble, woodland wander or energetic trek up Monument Hill to enjoy views across Trentham and beyond.
While the 300 acres of landscaped parkland, gardens and woodland offer plenty to explore on a series of good footpaths, a stroll around Trentham Gardens rewards walkers with sparkling architectural displays of frosty elegance, along with winter wonder - and fragrance - in the woodland meadows. So, grab your woolly hat, wrap-up warm and head back to nature for a winter walk with plenty to see and enjoy.
Stroll through the famous Italian Garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, with its splashing fountains, as well as Piet Oudolf's acclaimed Rivers of Grass, which are stunning throughout the long winter months. Many of the thousands of perennials - more than 400 different varieties in 70 flowerbeds - are left standing from autumn until mid January. Combined with snow, or even a frost, they provide a picture-perfect winter scene.
Then how about enjoying the circular two-mile lakeside walk, beside Capability Brown’s mile-long lake, perhaps spotting swans and herons along the way? It takes you alongside the River Trent, past a cascading weir, beside the giant dandelion sculptures and culminates with the chance of a cup of hot chocolate in the glass-fronted tearoom.
The new Woodland Meadows - designed by Nigel Dunnett, who co-designed the Olympic Park's flower meadows - include Hellebores, sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose, which have elegant flowers during late winter and early spring.
Trentham’s ‘Zig Zag’ woodland walk area now offers a woodland walk wall of fragrance, thanks to 400 witch-hazels planted alongside richly scented flowers beneath a canopy of 250-year-old beech and oak, creating a new ‘perfumed walk’. Witch hazel is a superb winter-flowering shrub, with attractive, spidery flowers and a subtle, slightly spicy fragrance.
Nature may provide the starring role, but for even more winter wonder, follow Trentham’s ever-popular Fairy Trail, with sculptures of fairies and giant dandelions. Or, discover giant tree frogs emerging from the undergrowth as part of an installation of bronze wildlife sculptures by artist David Meredith dotted around the gardens. Also open as usual throughout winter is the children’s Adventure Playground, while visitors can warm up with food and drink in the glass-fronted Italian Garden Tearoom.
Car parking is free at Trentham, and the free-entry Shopping Village adds the chance for a seasonal shopping spree too.
Admission to the gardens from 5 November 2018 costs £9.45 for adults, £8.40 children (5-15 years) with under fours free.
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Notes to editors:
The Trentham Estate, on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, offers one of the UK’s most diverse days out with a range of leisure activities for all ages.
It is one of the country’s top leisure destinations, attracting more than 3.2m visitors per year and was awarded a Gold Accolade by VisitEngland in February 2018 in recognition of the quality visitor experience offered. The fabulous restored Trentham Gardens at the heart of the Estate attracted just over 725,000 visits in 2017 - making them one of the most visited gardens in the UK. They were also named the UK’s “Garden of the Year” in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2015. Owned and managed by St. Modwen, the expert developer and regeneration specialist, the 725-acre Estate, which was previously owned for over 400 years by the Dukes of Sutherland, has undergone a massive regeneration programme since 2003. The Estate boasts: The famous Trentham Gardens, including the very important Italianate Gardens designed by Charles Barry in the 1830s that have been lovingly restored using top landscape designers. The gardens feature the UK’s first ‘barefoot’ walk, a great children’s adventure play area and maze and a beautiful walk around the mile long lake, originally laid out by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the 18th Century. The Trentham Garden Centre and newly expanded Shopping Village, an eclectic mix of shops and eateries with a 119-bedroom Premier Inn Hotel. Trentham Monkey Forest - a unique opportunity to walk amongst 140 free roaming Barbary macaques, in a natural woodland environment for this endangered species. Extensive woodlands.