Trentham Gardens and Monkey Forest

Back in the Easter holidays, I headed down the M6 to Junction 15 to visit the Trentham Estate. Home to Trentham Gardens and Monkey Forest as well as a brilliant shopping centre, The Trentham Estate is a great place to go for a family day out.

Our first stop in our day was Monkey Forest. We have been many times before but usually slightly later in the year when the grounds are full of newborn baby monkeys. It was nice to visit earlier in the year as it was not as busy so we were able to wander around and enjoy seeing all the monkeys without other people getting in the way.

Both of my girls love Monkey Forest which is home to 140 Barbary Macaque monkeys. They live in two groups and they feed the two groups regularly during the day. Feeding time is always our favourite part of a visit as the monkeys are extra fun to watch whilst they are stealing food from each other (and sometimes from the keepers as well).

After spending a few hours wandering the forest with all the monkeys we headed across to Trentham Gardens to have a wander and see what was on offer. We had never visited the gardens before so this was something new to us and we didn’t really know what to expect. To be honest, I thought my girls would be bored looking at manicured gardens with nothing to do but I was very wrong.

Trentham Gardens is not just about the beautiful gardens dotted around the estate, although they would definitely be an Instagrammers paradise when in full bloom. The first thing we noticed when we entered the gardens was a large metal fairy sculpture. At the moment there is a fairy trail at Trentham gardens which is included in the admission price. You can follow the trail map or explore by yourself and see if you can find the 14 Fairy sculptures as you wander the grounds.

The gardens themselves are very beautiful and my favourite has to be the Italian Garden where we wandered between the flower beds. They were not quite in full bloom when we were there but you could still see the care and attention that they were receiving.

Both of my girls loved looking at the different fountains and exploring the gardens and there were just enough fun elements for the kids that they really got into it without it spoiling the aesthetics of the garden. They loved the Floral Labyrinth and the River of Grass in the Eastern Pleasure Ground.

The Western Pleasure Ground was where we spent most of our day. Alison is always up for getting muddy so she jumped right into the barefoot walk, the longest of its type I have ever seen. There were so many different textures for her to walk in and she loved every minute of it. Don’t worry if you were not prepared, there is also some taps and even foot dryers situated at the front so they can get cleaned up after all the fun. This was definitely Alison’s favourite part of the day.

As well as the Barefoot walk the western pleasure grounds is home to lots of other exciting child-friendly activities such as the Hide and Speak Maze, the adventure playground and lots of open parklands to run around in.

We were lucky enough to visit during lambing season so we got to visit some of the newborn lambs and see the mums who were still waiting to give birth.

No day at Trentham Gardens would be complete without a visit to the shops on the Trentham Estate so before we headed home we went for a walk around the shops, bought candles, sweets and various other items. The shops were a great mix of outdoor brands, independents and well-known names and certainly catered for lots of different people. There were also lots of food outlets so we stopped for dinner before heading back up the M6.

We loved our time at Trentham Gardens and both of my girls have asked to go back. The weather when we were there was not the best but we still really enjoyed it so I can imagine a hot summers day with the flowers all in bloom would really be something magical.

Find out more about whats on offer here –