Fairy-spotting at Trentham Gardens

Trentham Gardens is one of our favourite local places to visit and we usually go at least once in each season – it’s beautiful there year-round, with the ever-changing landscape and garden displays and there is plenty to keep family members of all generations entertained.

Summertime shows off glorious bursts of colour (the wildflower meadows are my particular favourite) and the warm sunshine means it’s the ideal spot for picnicking, ice cream eating and playing in the adventure playground.  Autumn heralds a dip in temperature but the floral displays are no less spectacular and a brisk walk around the lake soon warms up chilly fingers and toes.  Winter brings a completely different kind of beauty – the flower beds are bare and thick frosts carpet the gardens with sparkling diamonds.  Whenever we’ve visited when it’s like that I feel like I need to tiptoe and whisper because the whole place seems to be deep in hibernation.

And then in Springtime it slowly starts to come to life again.  Daffodils reach upwards and nod their bobbing yellow heads as if stretching after a long sleep and saying “good morning” to one another.  Leaves begin to uncurl from their tight buds and you’ll see ducklings and gosling galore if you time it right.

We hadn’t visited yet in 2017, so when Sophie last visited a few weekends ago I suggested we head up there on the Sunday.  It turns out she’d never been – I can’t believe we’d never taken her before!

Normally, the girls love going to Trentham.  It was ok weather on the day we visited so we said we’d get an ice cream and make sure we’d give them plenty of time to play at the Adventure Playground.  First we wanted to walk around the lake spotting the stunning wire-sculpture fairies as we went and getting some much needed vitamin D on our skin.  But apparently this was not what the girls wanted to do AT ALL and so a big battle commenced.  Usually when this happens they’re fine once we get going – they forget about their grumbles, get distracted with having fun and all is forgiven.  Not on this occasion though.  We walked around the lake but they complained and whinged and moaned the entire time and, in the spirit of honest motherhood because I do my very best to be authentic and capture the reality of parenting three incredibly willful, independent and spirited girls, by the time we’d got three quarters of the way round I’d lost my patience and went to the car on my own to try and calm down from being both upset and angry (mainly with myself for not being able to handle it better).

So, all in all, not the best family adventure or day out we’ve ever had, but in between the stroppiness (from me and the girls!) there were moments where the grumpy-cloud lifted and we enjoyed ourselves, as you’ll hopefully see from the photos below.  Thankfully none of it fazed Sophie at all – she loved it there and said she’d had a brilliant time!

Looking back at it now it probably wasn’t really all that bad.  I can just about see the funny side of things and I’m sure the girls probably won’t remember the tantrums and will only see the fun they had exploring if they ever look at this post I the future.  We’ll definitely be back at Trentham in a month or two (and hopefully the girls and I will all be in better moods next time!)

Exploring…as far away from me as possible!

The ‘Fairy Trail’ map

Sophie is getting quite into taking photos with her iPhone so she loved snapping away as we walked around

Lola presenting me with a peace offering 🙂

Ever since we gave Ella a camera for her birthday she’s been enjoying taking photos of things she finds interesting. I love looking through her images – it’s so interesting seeing things through a ten year old’s eyes!

Sophie admiring the view of the Monument across the lake. We’ve never done the walk up to it but I’m sure we will someday soon.

Having a quick rest halfway round

What is it about poking sticks in mud that is so endlessly appealing to kids?!

As well as being good for poking in mud, sticks also make excellent magic wands 😉

Obligatory group shot

I love these dandelion sculptures at the end of the lake (or the start, depending on which direction you walk round it I suppose!)

Joining up with #MyFamilyAdventures with Life As Our Little Family

life as our little family

Please note: No-one has asked (or paid!) me to write this post.  All thoughts, ideas, opinions, words and images are my own.

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  • Reply March 30, 2017


    I have family in Staffordshire but was unaware of this lovely place. #MyFamilyAdventures

    • Reply April 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Trentham Gardens is absolutely gorgeous and these photos only show a teeny tiny portion of it – it’s definitely worth a visit next time you’re up visiting your family!

  • This is so cute!! I took my girls hunting for fairy doors last summer in Wales and we had so much fun. This is even better though, as you actually got to see some fairies. I was thinking of getting my eldest a camera for her next birthday, I think this post has convinced me to do it!! Great pictures. #MyFamilyAdventures xx

    • Reply April 1, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Heledd! Definitely go for it with getting your eldest a camera – it’s so fun seeing the world through their eyes. Hunting fairy doors sounds like fun 🙂

  • Reply April 1, 2017


    Well, I’m sure you know already that I LOVE Trentham. Your photos capture it beautifully and it truly is the best place to explore and the perfect #MyFamilyAdventures even if a little grumpy at times. Thank you so much for joining in lovely, I adore your photography x
    Kerri-Ann recently posted…Me and Mine – A Family Portrait Project {March}My Profile

    • Reply April 16, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Oh Kerri-Ann thank you!:) We’ll have to meet up at Trentham one day – it’s daft that we’re so close to each other geographically and haven’t managed to do it yet!

  • Reply April 3, 2017


    Such lovely photos. We adore Trentham too, and I love that everyone who visits always shows photos from a different perspective. Your photos are really stunning, and I am glad you enjoyed it, even with the strops! Thanks for sharing xx

    • Reply April 16, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you 🙂 I didn’t know you were near to us – perhaps we could meet up one day?

  • Reply April 4, 2017


    Lovely photos. We visited for the first time in February. I loved it and really want to go back in the summer. How lovely that your girls are getting into photography too.

    • Reply April 16, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Claire 🙂 Trentham is utterly gorgeous in the summer and the perfect place to take a picnic and make a full day of it.

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