Days Out Family Reviews

Family Time at Bicton Park

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This weekend we took a family trip to Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, and when I say family, we had the whole clan with us. Bicton Park is beautifully landscaped grade 1 listed gardens combined with modern fun family amenities. My parents took our girls there for a day out just a few weeks ago whilst I was away in London for BML16, after they had a wonderful day and whilst my Grandma was down for a visit Bicton Park sounded like the perfect place for a family day.

After entry through the gift shop we were greeted by an amazing and incredibly detailed elephant fountain and a giant deckchair (blogger mistake- totally forgot to take a photo of the deckchair!!!). One of Willow’s favourite spots, and one I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to leave was ‘The Farmyard,’ an undercover, straw covered area with a selection of cars and tractors for little ones to ride on. I think we could have easily spent a long while here, but we were all getting hungry so we decided to head on for our epic picnic (my Mum has developed a reputation for preparing the best picnics…ever!!).

The park is simply stunning to walk around, the gardens have their roots in the early 18th century and there are five gardens to explore. I think the trees stole the day for me, Bicton is famous for its magnificent trees, there are over 1000 trees in the park of over 300 different species, some of which are endangered in the wild. Bicton is home to 25 champion trees (meaning they are the tallest and/or largest of their kind in Britain), I was in completely amazed by the trees. I couldn’t get over the sheer size of some of them, it was rather magical, I could almost imagine what it would be like as a fairy in a forest surrounded by trees a hundred times the size of yourself.

The Outdoor Play area was probably Willow (and Hubby’s) top part of the day. There was so much to play on, I think the biggest hit was the giant slide and pedal roundabout. They have toilets at the park (ideal with a newly potty trained toddler) with both disabled and baby changing facilities. There is a plenty of seating around the park and a little kiosk where you can purchase the all important and essential ice cream. To the back of the park is a large ‘ship’ play area, beyond that a grassed picnic area with a smaller play park and a collection of wooden play houses for the littles to run around in. It is the type of park you could easily and very happily spend the entire day playing in, luckily we had somewhere fun to head next which made for an easy escape from the park- the train ride.

Picton Railway was added in the 1960’s as an additional attraction the gardens, and what a wonderful addition it was. The train ride is roughly 25 minutes long and takes you around the whole park, giving you the opportunity to look at all five gardens if you don’t have the time or energy to walk around the full park. Its completely accessible to all (including dogs) and in my opinion well worth the extra £1.90 for Adults, £1.70 for Concessions and £1.50 for Children (2-16 years). The train does run daily but the amount of rides they have on does vary, its worth checking the times on the train timetable on the way through to avoid missing out.

Before boarding the train you are given a numbered list of everything you will see whilst on the train, we enjoyed shouting out the numbers as we went around and matching to the list. I also loved the small touches at the train station including a vintage set of luggage scales and a pile of luggage (beautifully modelled by my Grandma- she was pretending she was off on her holibobs).

After the train ride we all enjoyed a cuppa and a cheeky cake at the Bicton Restaurant (I would say its more of a cafe) whilst enjoying the view across the stunning Italian Garden, Bicton’s world renowned centrepiece. It is almost 300 years old (and looking pretty darn good for it), its main focal point being a gorgeous tiered fountain that sits directly in line with a stone obelisk in the distance.

‘The stone obelisk, framed by a sunken avenue excavated by French prisoners of war, was built on a hill outside the park in 1743 to form a focal point for the gardens central axis. In the foreground, smaller fountains are ringed with flowerbeds. Specimen trees, planted urns and elegant statues complete a memorable panorama.’

I wish I had spent longer walking around The Italian Garden but Allana was getting a little tired so instead I sat back, had some wonderful sleepy cuddles with Tot and a lovely chat with my Grandma and Nicola whilst everyone else took a wander amongst the pretty flower beds and across the perfectly mown lawns.

Once Tot had drifted off into a land of slumber I took a walk down to one of the magnificent trees which Willow had named as ‘her’ tree. Looking at photos above you would think we were in a small woods, but no, this was all the inside of one tree!! I’m going to say this was my favourite find of the day, and if it wasn’t for the fact we had an hours drive home I would have happily stayed to climb and sit on the branches a lot longer.

Bicton Park is definitely a place we’ll be revisiting, so much so that we decided to upgrade our one day ticket to a years membership, also giving us entrance to Morwellham Quay and 5% off in both the restaurant and gift shop. We had a full fun packed day and didn’t even see everything Bicton Park had to offer, next time I hope we have the chance to explore more of the Lake, Mini Golf, Nature Trail, Museum and the Indoor Children’s Play Area. I think the admission prices are really reasonable considering how much there is to do at Bicton Park.

Daily Admission prices:

  • Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) £32.95
  • Adults £9.95
  • Children 2-16 £7.95 Children under 2 years free
  • Concessions £8.95
  • Dogs £1.00 (Dogs must be kept on a short lead at all times, they are not allowed in the Restaurant area, Orangeries and Childrens Play Areas. However, there is outside undercover seating).

There are full details on their website of their membership prices and opening hours.

I can’t wait to go back again, being only a short distance from my parents and an hour from us it makes a perfect meeting place. There really is so much to explore and it is accessible for all, the paths are all pushchair and wheelchair friendly and there is plenty of seating throughout the park to rest tired feet. We were lucky that it was a pretty lovely day full of sunshine but there were plenty of sheltered areas had it decided to rain. There was also more than ample parking on site (including an overflow car park) meaning a space should always be easy to find.

What have you been doing so far this Summer? Have you found any new and exciting places to explore?

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  • Reply
    Sam - Travelling With Our Kids
    14th July 2016 at 8:25 pm

    What a great place for a day out. The train is a great extra to pay for. Our boys would love the train. The play area looks a lot of fun too #whatevertheweather

  • Reply
    Thelma Booth
    15th July 2016 at 8:38 am

    Had a super day,with you Hannah xxxx

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      16th July 2016 at 11:32 pm

      We had a wonderful time with you too Grandma 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    16th July 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Oh this looks like such a fab place to go for a day out. So much to see. Thanks for linking up to #PointShoot x

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      16th July 2016 at 11:32 pm

      Thank you, we really were very impressed with how much there was to do! Thanks for hosting 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Clare's Little Tots
    18th July 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Wow so much to do and play area looks great my two would love it shame we don’t live closer! #Whatevertheweather

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      18th July 2016 at 4:36 pm

      That is a shame, if you’re ever down this way its definitely worth a visit 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenny Eaves - Monkey and Mouse
    19th July 2016 at 10:12 pm

    It looks like a great place to visit! I love it when you can spend time enjoying nature together as a family as well as children’s play areas for the kids to go wild in! We have one of those bike circle things at a local park and it can be hard work pedalling it! Fortunately O can now pedal it himself and I get a bit of a break! Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      19th July 2016 at 10:14 pm

      It really is wonderful when places combine the two so well, especially as it means the kids can really let off steam!! That bike circle was so exhausting, Willow wasn’t too happy with me pedalling though as I couldn’t go as fast as Daddy haha!! Thanks for hosting lovely 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    14th August 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Looks like another place to add to my list! We are just back from an agricultural show…blog to follow!!

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    15th August 2016 at 7:39 am

    Amazing photographs, looks so lovely #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Nursery Whines
    15th August 2016 at 7:40 am

    It looks like it has everything for a family day out and such lovely pictures. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Mummy Muckups
    15th August 2016 at 8:15 am

    Looks like a great day out…especially with icy poles and equipment that the little one scan play on safely. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 9:13 am

    Wow Bicton Park looks stunning with so much to do. Amazing 🙂 #BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    Squirmy Popple
    15th August 2016 at 9:38 am

    It looks like you and your family had a lovely day out! My daughter would love a place like this – she’s happy anywhere that has lots of grass and big, open spaces for her to explore. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    The Mum Reviews
    15th August 2016 at 10:35 am

    Wow, Bicton Park sounds amazing. My kids would love that little train! I wish we lived closer. My brother-in-law lives near – I wonder if he’s been there. Definitely going to check it out if we’re ever near. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 10:46 am

    These days are a long distant memory for me but I was always pleased to find anywhere that was outside and exhausted them. Looks like you had a great day. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Laura @ 2 Travelling Tots
    15th August 2016 at 10:47 am

    This looks like so much fun! I love a family day out 🙂 and your daughters are adorable! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    15th August 2016 at 11:06 am

    This place to visit looks absolutely lovely! Your daughters are too cute! There, amongst the majesty of teh trees, they look so small and beautiful, like porcelain dolls! Thanks for sharing your outing! What fun! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Mimi Rose & Me
    15th August 2016 at 2:13 pm

    This looks amazing and it seems as if you all had a fabulous day out as a family!!! we need to venture out to more places like this…#BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    This Mum's Life
    15th August 2016 at 3:06 pm

    It looks absolutely stunning!! Your photos really do show it off beautifully. The champion trees sound brilliant-not just the boys, but also me and my husband, are always up for a good tree exploration! And anywhere with a train ride is a bonus, and 25 minutes is a nice long time too-sometimes the train rides at these places are over so quickly, that the children are disappointed, but that’s a nice long time!! The entry prices are reasonable too!! I will add it to my list of places to visit!! Thanks for cohostessing!!

  • Reply
    Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby
    15th August 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Looks like a fab place for family day out especially when both kids and adults alike enjoys. The railway looks fun too and a bonus ride as kids always love to go on them. Lovely photos!

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like a lovely day out! good to see the train prices are so reasonable! I have been to some that seem to want you to feel what it is like to fall victim to a train robbery than enjoy a little steam engine! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Looks like a great place for a day out – really family friendly! You got some lovely photos #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Nadia - ScandiMummy
    15th August 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Wow! Looks like you had a fab day. Love all the photos. Sounds like the ideal place to go as a family. Your mum looks really young btw 🙂 #bigpinklink

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  • Reply
    Emma Plus Three
    15th August 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Looks like a lovely family day out x #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Right Royal Mother
    15th August 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Looks like a really lovely place and like you had a ball. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    the frenchie mummy
    15th August 2016 at 6:38 pm

    It looks stunning! And you little family is so cute… We went to a similar place with a train as well while on holiday. Baba just loved it! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Topsy Turvy Tribe
    15th August 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Looks like there is loads to do and a fun, busy day out #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Sarah Howe
    15th August 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Love how your entire family went out!! I do like the sound of an epic picnic. My girlie would be asking for it though at 11am!! The pictures are lovely. I do think your hubby seemed to enjoy the park just as much though! Looks beautiful. Thanks for hosting lovely xx

  • Reply
    Rhyming with Wine
    15th August 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Wow this place looks stunning! Looks like you had a beautiful family day and there is so much to do there! I wish we lived closer 🙂 Thanks for hosting #big pink link x

  • Reply
    Happy Wawa
    15th August 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Looks like a wonderful day out! I especially love the picture of your daughter driving! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    five little doves
    15th August 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Oh what a gorgeous park!! Such a lovely family day out and your photos are just stunning! There’s nothing nicer than a day at the park, thanks for sharing! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Alison (MadHouseMum)
    15th August 2016 at 8:15 pm

    One to add to the list. Lovely photos. Thank you for sharing. Alison x #BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Lovely photos! I love places like that to go with the kids- beautiful! Xx #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    15th August 2016 at 9:20 pm

    That looks lovely, also so many great photos! Looks like a great time was had by all!


  • Reply
    heidi williams
    15th August 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Kids are adorable. Looked so fun, I love parks. Here in Atlanta (US) we have a playground that was built by a Japenese Sculptor. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    From Day Dot
    16th August 2016 at 8:28 am

    This place looks gorgeous! And loads of fun for the kids, the train is great! Your photos are really lovely. Glad you had a good day! #BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    Lucy at occupationL (m)other
    16th August 2016 at 9:11 am

    Wow this looks a fabulous park…and they’ve got everything right with the playarea and train. I can imagine loving it. What a find. I’ve just been looking up exactly where it is and I think it’s a little far from me, but if I’m ever in the area, I’ll be there! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    16th August 2016 at 9:36 am

    Looks a fantastic place to visit fab photos thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Coffee and Bubbles
    16th August 2016 at 10:11 am

    A colleague was telling me about this place just the other day. I’m in Exeter so not far away. It’s now firmly on my to do list. It looks fab! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    mummy here and there
    16th August 2016 at 11:51 am

    Fantastic selection of photos, can’t beat the park, a lolly and train in my eyes perfection X #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    The Tale of Mummyhood
    16th August 2016 at 1:17 pm

    What a fun packed day out. Those curls are so adorable!


  • Reply
    Mrs Lighty
    16th August 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Wow it looks lovely, so much to do there! Will definitely put it on my list for when we’re in that neck of the woods! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    One Messy Mama
    17th August 2016 at 12:07 am

    Ahhh. She is just PRECIOUS! Looks like a wonderful day was had by all! xx #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme)
    17th August 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Bickton Park looks like a great place to go for a day out! I can’t believe we are already half way through the summer holidays! #BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    17th August 2016 at 9:11 pm

    This sounds like a great family day out and good job you caught some of the good weather! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Petite Pudding
    18th August 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Looks like a fabulous family day out! Love that roundabout with the pedals what a fantastic idea #BigPinkLink

  • Reply
    19th August 2016 at 11:59 am

    Wow that looks like a really great day out got all the family. Certainly wish I lived closer. Glad you all had a lovely day xx #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine
    19th August 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Looks like a great place to go and lovely photos! #BigPinkLink x

  • Reply
    Siena Says
    21st August 2016 at 9:41 am

    That looks like a fab place to visit and your photos really give a great idea of what it must be like! Doesn’t look like it was too busy the day you were there either (too many people always puts me off visiting places!) and I love the train, I know my girls would love that too, even the 11 year old.
    How lovely to spend a day with the whole family xxx

  • Reply
    Silly Mummy
    21st August 2016 at 5:19 pm

    That sounds like a great day out! I love that elephant fountain – such a great idea! #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    Louise Pink Pear Bear
    27th August 2016 at 9:48 pm

    What a lovely day out! Your photos are just gorgeous. I think it’s really lovely that you got some special snuggle time with your little lady and a chat with your Nana. Thanks for being a fab host! #bigpinklink

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      27th August 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you lovely, I loved my snuggle time with my littlest I really enjoyed hosting- although I don’t think I’m as good at it as you xx

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