Wednesday, 25 July 2018

A Jurassic Discovery Trail at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens {Harrogate}

The holidays are finally here and thankfully the weather has held out so far...!
We had - or tried to - have a lazy weekend following the last week of the school routine but on Monday we were invited by RHS Harlow Carr Gardens to visit their Jurassic Discovery Trail running until 2nd September. We were lucky enough to visit the Glow illuminations last year which was lovely but I was looking forward to seeing the gardens in full bloom too! 
Throughout the summer there will be different Dino themed activities every day including craft workshops, a visiting safari, fossil digging and story telling. There are also giant wicker Dinosaurs to spot dotted around the gardens. 
We headed up into the garden and the boys got stuck in at the first activity station plating their own Dinosaur garden- neither of them need much encouragement to play with mud! They potted up mini ferns (little E had some help from a kind member of staff!) and added their own miniature Dinosaurs which looked very cute. Thankfully we were able to pick them up on the way home as I don't think they'd have survived otherwise! Close by was the learning centre where there were visiting reptiles and invertebrates from Sam's Safaris. We got to get a close look at a giant tortoise called Tilly and an Armadillo called Holiday which the boys were fascinated by. There were also some snakes, a bearded dragon and some other little creatures (I can't remember what they all were!) 
After that we headed on the trail around the garden where there's plenty to see and explore. 
The first part is a lovely walk through differently styled garden areas and the trail goes around the stream running through the middle which leads to the different children's play areas on the other side. The kids loved the big playgrounds where they could climb on everything, further up there is a big wooden tree-house to play in and plenty of areas to enjoy the view or have a little picnic. 
We ended up taking the long walk around, through the woodland- it was lovely but it was quite a hot day and there were a few complaints from two tired boys by then which rushed it big more than we'd have liked!  
Although we didn't stop there, there is a lovely mini Betty's within the garden for drinks, cakes and ice cream as well as the larger Betty's cafe by the entrance. 
Shockingly I have never been to actually sit in for tea at the famous cafe but we usually stop by for a treat now and then. There isn't much better than a Fat Rascal or Fondant Fancy from Betty's to go with your afternoon cup of tea!
We had to make a quick stop at the gift shop which I have to say is one of my favourites as they just stock so many beautiful things; lots of gorgeous home wares and an amazing books selection ( I often pop down just to wander in the shop) Obviously the boys were only interested in the large Dinosaur area but we made a sharp exit after little E had a meltdown over wanting the giant Dinosaur...
We had a lovely day at Harlow Carr; if you love being out in the garden and want somewhere that has a little something for everyone it's a great place. There's plenty of play areas for the kids and there's lovely scenery to enjoy while they run about. 
The gardens are looking so beautiful at the moment; if there was a good time to visit Harlow I would say this is it. The Jurassic Discovery trail has lots of little activities running over the summer so there's something something different for the kids to try every day.

Hope you're enjoying the start of the holidays!

The Jurassic Discovery Trail runs from 21st July to 2nd September 
More details are available on the RHS website

NB Post in collaboration with RHS Harlow Carr however all opinion are entirely our own


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