Arriving with few expectations, the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, turned out to be an absolute delight. I love a walk and I’ve come to understand that gardens allow adults a walk whilst providing enough variety to interest an energetic child. A good garden gives my son the space to run and explore and me the opportunity to walk, admire and relax. Together we take in the details and chatter about what we see. I like a garden and I seek them out.
The Sir Harold Hillier gardens are 180 acres of wonder in Hampshire. We began at the gorgeous pond, which had there not been so much else to explore, I could have spent the day just there, we spotted fish and dragon flies but there is and so much more besides; hidden sculptures, abundant plants, trees, long-legged birds nipping across lily pads, it is magical.
On from the pond, we searched the woodland until we found the resident pigs. The garden has manyand we strolled amongst magnificent trees, before resting a while at the tree house, while my boy climbed up the outside and slid down the slide. We ate our picnic lunch before we making music in educational section and peering into a variety of small ponds. The Sir Harold Hillier Garden is a collection of wonderful spaces, each with an individual character and yet they slip seamlessly one into the other.
The icing on the cake was the glorious centenary border, long beautiful borders bursting with plants and flowers, utter food for the soul. My six year old chased butterflies and pointed out colours and shapes that appealed to him. I smiled, a lot. I defy anyone to walk that space and not feel utterly uplifted.
The garden contrasts colours and foliage to display plants to their best, it made us all appreciate the detail. I was inspired, I want to be a gardener, I just need a garden. We would definitely visit the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens again, mother nature continually gives and I can imagine that a return to the gardens at anytime of the year would offer fresh wonders.
The gardens are pushchair and wheelchair friendly. There is a cafe, a gift shop and garden centre. Entrance for adults is (at time of writing) £9.30. Under 16s free.
Disclosure: We were given two adult entrance tickets to the gardens for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are my own.
Hampshire’s Top Attractions offers a comprehensive guide to over 35 attractions in Hampshire, including discounts and ideas for itineraries click here.