Winter At Trentham Gardens: A Garden For All Seasons

Back in half term at the end of February, the girls and I spent a winter afternoon together at Trentham Gardens.  It’s one of our favourite places to visit and we hadn’t been for absolutely ages.  In fact, we hadn’t really been anywhere for months thanks to weekends being taken up with other activities (such as football training and birthday parties) and the weather not being all that great.  We all had some serious cabin fever from being indoors so much throughout the first two months of the year and the lack of light was starting to significantly impact on my mood.  As half term finally rolled around I was absolutely determined that we’d get out of the house, breathe in some fresh air, move our bodies and spend some time unplugged and away from screens.  Trentham Gardens was our first port of call.

The Italian Gardens are a bit quieter during the winter months, meaning the girls can run around to their hearts content. I love this photo of them all holding hands together

The view across the lake from the statue of Perseus is pretty special

Thankfully we were lucky with the weather – the rain from the previous week dried up and it would be another week or so before the Beast From The East and Storm Emma descended with their below-zero temperatures, arctic winds and impressive snow drifts.

The great thing about Trentham Gardens is that it’s a brilliant place to visit no matter what the season.  It is, of course, absolutely beautiful in the springtime as the leaves begin to unfurl, the flowers start to stretch themselves up through the soil towards the sun and the gardens prepare to wake up after their long winter sleep.

The girls love looking for ‘treasure’ in the numerous fountains dotted throughout the gardens and would happily spend hours running backwards and forwards between them all

More fountains!

Summertime at Trentham Gardens is a riot of colour and activity: the wildflowers and Italian Gardens are in full bloom; bees are buzzing; and butterflies are flittering through the warm air.  Visitors are picnicking on the grass, ice creams are dripping stickily down fingers and chins, families wander leisurely around the lake and the music from summer concerts fills the atmosphere of a night-time.

Autumn at Trentham Gardens is glorious.  There’s simply no other word for it.  The jewel-like colours of the foliage and the magical light of that time of year bathes everything in a golden glow.  There is still a little bit of warmth hanging in the air and you can tell that everything is winding itself down in readiness for the long slumber ahead.

But Winter at Trentham Gardens is special in a very different way.  Whilst the plants are hibernating and the trees are bare there is a quiet sense of peacefulness, despite the gentle bustle of people meandering through the shopping village, wrapped in coats and sipping hot coffee, and the several brave little souls determinedly playing on the adventure playground.  It feels different too – there is a serene energy to the place, almost like a pause in the busyness of life, a refuge of stillness where we all inhale deeply and wait for the new season to arrive.

My girls and I 🙂 I love doing shadow photos with them.

We didn’t make it to a ‘proper’ snowdrop walk this year and it turns out we didn’t need to as there were plenty of snowdrops at Trentham Gardens

These dandelion sculptures are just beautiful.

We love trying to spot all the fairies on the lakeside walk too – I still don’t think we’ve found them all even after multiple visits over the years!

There are moody clouds and darkened skies interspersed with pockets of winter sunlight; new adventures to be had exploring the areas that have been exposed to the elements without their usual thick foliage there to protect them.  Fallen tree trunks become crocodiles’ rough backs and my girls ride them through the Floridian swamps.  Heavy branches morph into the spears of Roman gladiators.  Streams turn into raging torrents that need to be crossed to escape the enemy on spy missions.  And tiny, delicate flowers are treasures that must be protected from thieves.  It’s a place where imaginations can run wild and creativity stretches exponentially.

Exploring the undergrowth and going off the beaten track is always a good idea

Wherever we go, she ALWAYS finds a stick!

I love this photo. Ella in fits of laughter as Mimi tries to give her a boost up onto the log, and Lola looking like an explorer surveying the land she has just conquered.


This photo always makes me smile – I love the expressions on their faces!

Lakeside viewpoint (an excellent place to watch the ducks)

We use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for our entry fees, though I’m very tempted to invest in an annual family pass – it really is somewhere you can visit all year round throughout each and every season, and still have an entirely different experience each time you visit.

I’m not in very many photos. I am trying to get in the frame more with my girls, even if it’s just a silly selfie, to show them that I was there too. I kind of love this one 🙂

Trentham Gardens is definitely one of our favourite places to visit and we’ll definitely be back again throughout the different seasons of 2018.  Now all we need is for Spring to arrive… 🙂

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  • Reply March 8, 2018

    Sarah Chistie

    Such gorgeous photos, I love long family walks and sometimes as a family it is just what you need when you all have cabin fever x

    • Reply March 12, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      I couldn’t agree more – a good long walk blows away the cobwebs left behind from almost anything.

  • You definitely need to get in front of that camera more Chloe, it lovely to see you with your beautiful girls. We haven’t had a family day like this in ages, we must make time for it soon. Gorgeous pictures xx
    Heledd – Running in Lavender recently posted…8/3: Five Things I Love This WeekMy Profile

    • Reply March 13, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Heledd, that’s a lovely thing for you to say. I feel like we’re not having enough family days out together at the moment either – as soon as the weather is better we’ll be rectifying it for sure. It’s just hard when it’s so wet/snowy and cold isn’t it?

  • Reply March 12, 2018


    Oh I do love your pictures, looks like a great adventure during half term. You know we love Trentham!
    Kerri-Ann recently posted…A trip to Manchester, Red Boots & Mother’s Day Assembly #LittleLovesMy Profile

    • Reply March 13, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Kerri-Ann. We’ll have to arrange to meet up there again soon 🙂

  • Reply March 12, 2018

    Jess Soothill

    Oh wow. Once again I feel as though I am with you 🙂 Gorgeous and it looks a fab place to visit xx
    Jess Soothill recently posted…Packing for sun, sea and sangriaMy Profile

    • Reply March 13, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Jess! Trentham is such a lovely place to explore. If you’re ever up this way I can highly recommend you pay it a visit – I bet your two would love it there!

  • Reply March 13, 2018


    As you know this is one of my favorite places to visit. I can’t wait to go back again. I am hoping to do a few photoshoots here soon hopefully we can schedule something when it’s nice out and catch up. We need to get KA and all the kids together again soon too plus one baby in tow too. hahaha #wrc
    Jenny recently posted…My Last Mother’s Day with Two kidsMy Profile

    • Reply March 15, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Yes! I can’t wait to have some newborn baby snuggles in the sunshine 🙂

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