Days out in Harrogate #1

It was with some trepidation that I agreed to meet a friend and her kids at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Harlow Carr Garden in Harrogate a couple of weeks ago. I imagined a fraught day trying to keep our toddlers from trampling the pretty flowers and disturbing the peace for the bus-loads of pensioners that had come to spend a tranquil afternoon admiring the beautiful gardens. To be honest there could have been bus-loads of pensioners in the gardens but we didn’t see them as our entire day was spent exploring the excellent areas specifically aimed at families. I was really impressed by the efforts that had gone into making the gardens a place for everyone, especially those with young children.

On arriving we were kitted out with explorers backpacks and a list of things to find and tick off during the day. Our boys spent the first few hours with their tape measures out measuring everything and practically everyone they encountered. Equipped with said tape measure, binoculars, a felt tip pen and a badge they were very happy boys.

During our time there we went to the playground which was fairly small but provided lots of opportunities for climbing and jumping, we played terrible loud music on the giant instruments, got lost in the log maze, had our picnic in the woods and spent a good hour or so just wandering in the woods pretending to be explorers.

It was the rain that drove us away in the end but we could happily have spent another couple of hours exploring the rest of the gardens and having an ice-cream.

It’s definitely somewhere I would visit again both with the kids and maybe even with a willing pensioner so I can spend a quiet afternoon contemplating the magnificent gardens.

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