What to do at the Weekend:
Biddulph Grange Garden
A quiet and sunny Saturday led us to the beautiful National Trust location Biddulph Grange Garden on the border of Staffordshire and Cheshire.
This is what we found.
We don’t always do really big full-on adventures such as nipping over to Europe for the weekend or going to theme parks etc.
Sometimes, (particularly towards the end of the month before pay day) we just like going for a walk around a quiet country garden.
This weekend was one of those weekends.
Our Experience of Biddulph Grange Garden
Biddulph Grange Garden is handily only about 10 minutes from where Ben lives, so in theory, it should be a consistent go-to place of ours.
However, this isn’t actually the case – this was Ben’s first visit in 18 months (since all covid restrictions were lifted) and only second ever, and Tanith’s first visit.
We’ll definitely start incorporating it more into our regular haunts though.
As readers of our blog will know, we are card-carrying National Trust members and like to make use of our membership whenever we are stuck on what to do at the weekend.
Compared to other National Trust locations, I think this one gets a little less crowded (admittedly based on our own limited experience).
This is obviously great for people who want to avoid other people and just have a nice quiet time.
There are also quite a few narrow spots, particularly near the China Garden that definitely couldn’t stand up to large numbers of visitors.
Visiting in the Spring
As we visited in spring-time, the place was awash with colour and sweet fragrance from newly blooming flowers.
The gardeners had clearly been hard at work and it most certainly paid off.
As you enter from in front of the stately home manor, you are greeted with the most magnificent sight of pink and white rhododendrons and lilies (we think…but don’t quote us on that!) that line the walk-way down to the coy pond – a beautiful sight to behold*.
You walk down to the large pond, you’ll notice the very cool koi carp of various colours and sizes (some are massive) bobbing around the surface of the water – hungrily catching insects from the foliage around the pond’s surface.
Decent photo op, if that’s your thing!
Grab a Map
If you like your trip to be a bit more organised, our advice is to grab a map.
The Gardens are a bit of a maze and perhaps deliberately so! We didn’t think to get one and we ended up wandering / looping around a few times, but that’s okay, we like surprises.
There are hidden delights around most corners and randomly placed steps up to higher places to explore.
*We understand that the flowers regularly change, so it may look a little different on your visit. More of a reason to go back again though we think!
The China Garden
In particular, the water elements at Biddulph Grange Garden are really cool and for half of the time, you can hear the relaxing soft trickling of running water as you walk round.
Eventually your path will lead you to the China Garden.
If you pass the big golden bull, you’re heading in the right direction. The China Garden really is a view on what Victorian people envisaged the orient to look like.
With its red bridge-like area overlooking another pond and swooping maple tree, it’s a wonderfully serene place and extremely photogenic.
It’s the real jewel in the crown of Biddulph Grange Garden and you can’t leave without seeing it.
The HA HA Walk
Along the outskirts, is the Ha-Ha Wall Walk (didn’t seem that funny upon reflection).
It’s a little (about) 1km walk that will lead you back towards the higher part of the garden, through a forested area quite close to Biddulph Country Park, located next door.
Incidentally, Biddulph Country Park is free to access and is actually a really great place for a walk. Definitely check it out some time.
Along the Ha-Ha Walk, we made friends with some newly pastured and very friendly young cows, who came over for a chat.
For the history buffs among you, the eye-catching Geological Gallery is a pretty interesting stop off while exploring and it tells you a little about the archaeological history of the area.
The highlight is a 300 million year old Lepidodendron fossil has been in the wall there for around 150 years – pretty cool.
In total, we probably spent about two hours there.
I think that’s the upper limit really if you don’t include stopping for lunch or a snack in the tea room, which of course we did. Black coffee for me, tea and cake for Tanith, a really nice way to end a peaceful afternoon at Biddulph Grange Garden.
Biddulph Grange Garden Entrance Fees
For National Trust members, Biddulph Grange Garden is free and you’ll need to have your membership card at the ready when you enter.
Otherwise, the cost is 11 quid each for an adult and £5.50 for a child (£12.10 and £6.05 with gift aid), for those without a membership.
There are however quite a few other options available on their website here.
Parking is free regardless of which category you fall into – so happy days.
When you consider the value for money here, we think that the entrance fee is a little high but by no means extortionate.
The real value would be getting a membership and we suppose that’s why they price entry fees on the upper side.
Having said that, it’s a pretty place and you can easily spend a couple of hours here.
What we liked about Biddulph Grange Garden
1. The ‘secret’ places – as we said in the experience bit, there are lots of random twists, turns, and steps that lead to different areas and perspectives.
2. The chilled vibe – the last two times I’ve visited, it’s been pretty quiet. It’s well kept, plenty of places to sit and chill, and just a great place to walk if you fancy an uncomplicated wander. Plus it’s close to home for me, so that’s definitely a bonus!
1. The plants & flowers – Now, I don’t know much about plants I’ll be honest…but everywhere we looked there was something beautiful to see. According to the website, the garden features collections of rhododendrons and summer bedding displays which are absolutely gorgeous to look at. I particularly loved the beds of colourful tulips (my favourite flowers) with a bright mix of pinks, purples, yellows, reds and whites. When we got to the end of one gravelled pathway, we came across a side of the main building draped in wisteria – it looked like something straight out of Bridgerton!
2. The sounds of nature – I know I’m not the only one who finds the sounds of nature so utterly relaxing! I’m quite an anxious person, and I find that being outside, taking in fresh air and enjoying amazing scenery always helps to ground me! Walking around the gardens was a treat to the ears, with birds tweeting and the calming sound of running water from a number of streams as you wind your way around the paths.
More places to see in Staffordshire
Interested in finding out more places to visit in Staffordshire?
We’ve put together a “Things to do in Staffordshire” post. Check it out here.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and we helped give you a few ideas for the weekend.