Issue 106 is out now
Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

22nd June 2016

Our pick of the best places in the UK for discovery and adventure

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

22nd June 2016

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

22nd June 2016

1 HILTON COURT GARDENS, PEMBROKESHIRE
Hidden in the heart of Pembrokeshire’s National Park with coastal views over St. Bride’s Bay, Hilton Court is a special place for a family day out. ‘As a small family run business we have put a lot of thought, time and effort into creating a very natural but fun environment for people of all ages to enjoy and engage with nature,’ says Rachael. ‘I was lucky enough to be brought up in and around woodlands, ponds and nature and now we are able to share and encourage more people and children that nature can be fun, interesting and generally are good for your health.’ There is a small fee to enter the gardens but this money is put back into the gardens; creating more paths, seating areas, educational and informative equipment to improve the experience for visitors. Local schools, play school and charitable organisations use the gardens for free to also encourage teaching children about the importance of living alongside nature. Through the summer, there are free pond dipping events, open days, weekly children’s yoga and more. Find out more at hiltoncourt.co.uk.

2 PENSTHORPE NATURAL PARK, NORFOLK
Set in the heart of the Norfolk countryside, in the beautiful and tranquil Wensum Valley, Pensthorpe Natural Park is an award-winning mix of meandering nature trails, beguiling woodland walks, and a showcase for British wildlife and nature conservation. Discover beautiful gardens, wildlife and magnificent adventure play, nature’s way! Whether you choose to try your hand at pond-dipping, wander around the lakes and trails, investigate the numerous projects helping to protect endangered and vulnerable species, or simply enjoy the delights of some superb home-cooked food and the amazingly well-stocked gift shop, Pensthorpe Natural Park is a great way to spend your day. More at pensthorpe.com

3 COTON MANOR, NORTHHANTS
This peaceful ten acre garden occupies a hillside position extending down from the 17th century manor house, constructed of mellow Northamptonshire stone. Landscaped on different levels, it comprises a series of distinctive smaller gardens, providing variety and interest throughout the season, and enhanced by flowing streams, fountains and ponds. Beyond the confines of the garden, there is a magical five acre bluebell wood and a colourful wildflower meadow at its best in June and July. As well as enjoying the garden, many visitors will want to explore the extensive nursery, enjoy lunch in the Stableyard Café, or visit the garden shop. See cotonmanor.co.uk

4 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RURAL LIFE, EAST KILBRIDE
At this working farm you can get up close, feed the animals and watch the cows being milked. Enjoy tractor rides and walks through the meadows rich with wildflowers. Meet pigs, sheep, cows, horses and hens, explore the historic farmhouse and award-winning Museum. We love the sound of the annual Woolly Weekend for sheep shearing and woolly crafts from 13-14 June. Visitors will be able to watch sheep shearing, enjoy woolly craft activities and have a go at spinning, felting and knitting. Full details at nms.ac.uk.

5 BABY MOON CAMP, YORKSHIRE
Beautiful peaceful Baby Moon is the heart of a cluster of creativity, this includes an amazing place to sleep over in yurts and circus caravans, a vintage gift emporium, a myriad of classes and courses including kids yoga and bushcraft skills and a tranquil place to retreat and celebrate. Wander in the Magic Herb Garden or meditating in the White Picket Fence garden. Renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and recycling are a crucial part of the workings of the site.
Supporting local suppliers, growers, designer/makers and others who share their values are key to this project. One of the exciting activities on offer is a horse-drawn carriage experience – four people can share this activity for fun or learning. At Field Good Farm Shop, choose from a delicious range of wholefoods, confectionary and gifts, locally sourced produce and free range eggs. More info at babymooncamp.com.

6 DUTCH HOUSE WILDLIFE GARDEN, YORKSHIRE
The Dutch House Wildlife Garden in Crayke, North Yorkshire is an ecological and sustainable garden focussed on attracting wildlife. The garden contains a collection of native trees, herbaceous borders, a wild flower meadow, kid’s nature zone and a display of sculptures. The gardens are developed by Sjaak Kastelijn, former gardens manager of York Museum Gardens. In the art café, Dutch specialities such as sweet and savoury pancakes and Poffertjes are served. There are Kid’s Activity Trails in the Wildlife Garden, you can enjoy the ‘circular walk of Crayke’ or take part in art activities they offer during the school holidays. See dutchhouseyorkshire.com.

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