For Rebecca’s 12th Birthday, she chose a trip to Hilton Court Gardens for her weekend day out as she really loves the huge playhouses there. It very nearly all went wrong as we changed the day of our trip due to the bad weather forecast (personally I wouldn’t recommend the gardens on a very rainy day as they can get boggy). With our last minute change of timings we sadly lost some of our guests and the expected rain didn’t come in anyway- so typical! Thankfully even with our small party we managed to have a lovely day. Take a look at snapshots of our day at Hilton Court Gardens bellow:
Visiting Hilton Court Gardens
Hilton Court Gardens can be found on the A487 road towards St Davids (coming from Haverfordwest). The Sat Nav postcode is SA62 6AE but once on the A487 look out for the sign instead as it never seems to pick out the correct turning. After you turn off the main road there is a single track road with passing spaces which leads you to the car park. During winter visits we can usually find a space in the main car park but during peak times there is overflow parking available on the grass.
Price and Opening Times
Hilton Court is open all year around, seven days a week but the gardens and tearooms do close during the winter months (for the gardens this is weather dependent).
Entrance to the Hilton Court courtyard, which includes the shop, boules court, restaurant, gift shop, garden centre, pottery, gallery and tea room is free but there is a charge to enter the gardens, our favourite part of our day at Hilton Court.
The garden ticket prices are very reasonable:
Child under 4 are free
Season tickets are also available. Every year I plan to visit early on during the year so it’s worthwhile buying a season ticket but we haven’t yet- next year I’ll aim for a Spring or Summer Hilton Court post!
On arrival, the kids had fun playing boules before we went in and paid our entrance fee. The toilets are handily located in the court yard too!
In the Stocks
Danny put his head in the stocks. I only recently found out that the last times the stocks were used as punishment in the UK is thought to have been not far from us in Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, in 1872.
The Garden Centre
The gift shop is full of lovely unique gifts and also has a garden section. I love the plants, pots and garden sculptures for sale. They all look great quality and are reasonably priced too- I particularly loved the puffin ornaments!
Hilton Court Gardens
After paying in the shop and walking through the “garden centre”, entrance to Hilton Court Gardens is through the (now closed) tea room.
The Tree Swing
The gardens are absolutely gorgeous to enter. The beauty always takes me breath away. We take in the scene and then the kids always run to the tree swing.
We have lots of photos of the kids and their friends over the years on this swing.
The spring at Hilton Court still produces crystal clear drinking water. It was in use from 1323 – 1982.
The Pond and Waterside
We enjoy looking at the waterlilies, dragons flies and fish in the pond.
We also spotted a new shelter and I read on the Hilton Court Facebook Page that they were trying to think of a name. We thought of a few ideas- such as Dragonfly Den and Waterlily Lodge. Lexy suggested The Watering Hole. It has since been named as “Kingfisher Cwtch”.
Badger Hall is the biggest traditional playhouse at Hilton Court Gardens and the kids can invent games and play there for hours. There are living rooms, a kitchen, bedrooms and even an attic to play in. We played there for a while and then moved on to the next one (promising the kids that we could come back later as they really love it so much!).
Squirrel Lodge is the biggest of all the woodland houses. It’s often used for groups and educational events.The kids love playing in here. They like to pretend to make food in the kitchen- we get served all sorts of treats- then they play families or school upstairs.
One of their creations from the kitchen! Almost edible!
Outside there is a picnic table, swing and tree swing. The kids love to climb in the trees.
We stopped here a while and ate our picnic (with real food!) at the picnic table and then moved on. The woodland walk is enjoyable too so you can also come here without kids or an interest in the woodland houses (although they are for all ages to enjoy) and you can still have a great day. The walk always seems popular with dog walkers- although we were sad not to see the resident dog Willow on this visit.
Hoglet’s Hollow is a smaller hedgehog inspired woodland house which provides a lot of fun.
The kids love the “barn loft”- it’s so cosy!
Elfi Play House
Elfi House is a fun, small playhouse in a woodland play area. The kids love climbing trees and playing on the swings here.
Back to the Gardens
We returned to the gardens and picked up Rebecca’s cake.
The kids chose to return to Badger Hall to enjoy our cake and then play once more (I realise I cut the cake in a very random way! The kids wanted particular pieces!). Some little kids came along too so i reminded our “bigger kids” to be gentle. At first the younger kids were scared of the “big scary boys” in the house but they soon saw they were friendly and got used to them.
Lastly we walked past the water feature and into the Solar Dome to see the tropical flowers and plants.
Once more we were lured back to the swing- everyone wanted a go!
It was all good fun…
…but Ceri, Caitlyn and Izzy’s turn ended with a bump! We were all in stitches as they fell off the swing! Thankfully nobody came to any harm (apart from a muddy coat)!
Our day had come to an end so we walked back through the tearooms, the shop and car park.
I love all these tea sayings!
This antique phone is gorgeous too!
It was yet another lovely day at Hilton Court Gardens. It’s the perfect time of year to visit to pick up thoughtful Christmas gifts and we also look forward to returning next Spring to enjoy the awakening gardens.
Have you visited Hilton Court Gardens before? Visit http://www.hiltoncourt.co.uk/ to find out more.
Read about our previous visit to Hilton Court Gardens here: https://www.evans-crittens.com/2017/10/days-out-hilton-court-gardens-and.html
Watch our video of Badger Hall here (the kids look so young!):