This bank holiday weekend the rain (and snow!) stopped and the sun came out briefly, so we made the most of it and headed for Furzey Gardens in the New Forest, a place we’ve been meaning to visit for a while.
Furzey Gardens is a beautiful and peaceful setting, a great place for exploring and letting the kids run free and get some fresh air. There’s lots to find here, fantastic play areas, tree houses and hidden fairy doors – it was the fairy doors we mainly came to see as Little H is a real girly girl and loves anything to do with princesses and fairies. So dressed up in fairy wings, tutu and clutching her wand off we went!
When you first enter the gardens you come to Furzey Cottage, a pretty 16th century thatched cottage that you can go inside and look around. Little H loved this little house and enjoyed learning about life in the “old days” – she couldn’t believe they all slept in one room and didn’t have a sofa!
In the cottage’s little vegetable garden are some brilliant scarecrows which really made Little H laugh.
There are pathways in all directions to follow, and you don’t know what you’re going to come across next, Little H said it was like a ‘secret garden’. We let her lead the way, smelling the flowers as she went and calling out “Wow look at this!” every time she found something new.
There are various little tree houses, huts and play areas dotted around, with ladders, bridges and tunnels to investigate and hide in. Little H had great fun exploring and waving to us out of the windows of her fairy houses. There are also plenty of benches for mum & dad to have a rest while the kids play.
The fairy doors are hidden far and wide and we had great fun searching for them. Each door is different, there’s even a fairy school and ferry boat to find. You can get a map from the gift shop which shows you where the doors are, or you can just have fun trying to find them yourselves. Some are quite well hidden and as they’re all so natural looking it’s easy to miss some, but it’s a great activity to keep little ones occupied.
Little H was so excited every time she found one, crouching down to knock on the doors and see the little trails of glitter that the fairies had left behind. It’s always nice to see them light up and really believe in the magic – it doesn’t last long after all.
Furzey Gardens are open all year round but I would highly recommend going in the spring or summer to see the flowers and blossoms in full bloom, the colours are just amazing as are the views.
Entrance prices to the gardens vary depending on the time of year. When we visited it cost £20 for a family of 3 which we initially thought was quote a lot, but after seeing the amount of work that goes into taking care of the gardens it’s definitely justified. Furzey Gardens also work closely with adults with learning disabilities who work within the gardens, so definitely a worthwhile cause.
Furzey Gardens is definitely a must visit whether you have children or not. I’d love to hear from you if you go, especially if you come down to the Bournemouth area in the holidays.