A Day in Durham Botanic Garden

A day out at Durham botanic garden with a toddler walking through swishy swashy grass

We visited Durham Botanic Garden on a beautiful sunny day. The garden is in the heart of Durham City and is a gorgeous spot for relaxing and enjoying the greenery.
Entrance is £4 for adults, £1.50 for concessions and students, and free for those under 5. Durham University students can get in free if they show their campus card. If I was a Durham University student, I’d be in here all the time on sunny days, as it’s rather a romantic place to do some revision.
A day out with toddlers at Durham university botanic garden
Entrance is via the gift shop and café – you actually pay for entrance at the café till. We enjoyed a picnic on the lawn opposite the fountain. Older children were rolling up their trousers and paddling in the water, and James watched them, hoping to be given the nod to join in, I assume.

On the wall in the foyer as you leave the entrance building to head into the garden you can pick up activity sheets to complete on your way around the trails. There are three different trails – the Science trail, a Quiz trail, and the Nature trail. If you finish the Quiz trail you win a packet of seeds. image image
We selected the Nature trail for James to have a go at as we wandered the Botanic Garden, but honestly he was happier enjoying nature, and didn’t need “entertaining” on top. The nature trail guides younger visitors to keep an eye out for various animals on their way around – for example you can spot the squirrel in the nut tree, and the panda in the bamboo patch.
We enjoyed a picnic on the lawn opposite the fountain. Older children were rolling up their trousers and paddling in the water, and James watched them, hoping to be given the nod to join in, I assume.

The other two trails are signposted, and we followed the Science arrows around the gardens.
image image Water themed tower at Durham botanic gardens. This is a sculpture designed by his majesty maharajah of baroda image

The garden has different areas with a theme, such as the wild flower field, the children’s garden, and the Japanese space. There are sculptures at various points, and of course plenty of flowers!

Noah was able to walk the majority of the garden, with a few places where I carried him up or down stairs (though he really wanted to give the steps a try, they were quite deep steps for an 18 month-old).

A day out at Durham botanic garden with a toddler walking through swishy swashy grass

James absolutely loved the tall grass in the wild flower field, swishy-swashy-ing from one end to the next. The trail is a loop through the different themes of the garden, and it takes about an hour and a half with two little ones to round up from time to time.

If you wanted to make a day of it in Durham, of course there’s the cathedral, and the castle to visit as well, though I recommend a trip to the brilliant Oriental Museum.

Monkey and Mouse

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