Saturday, 20 October 2012

Byrkley Park, Rangemore, nr Burton upon Trent

Byrkley Park is one of those garden centres that has turned into a destination even for those of us not especially interested in plants!  The main attraction if you have small children is the play area, with climbing frames, slides and balance beams (no swings).  You can also have fun in the animal area with sheep, mini goats and a range of chickens and ducks and the aquarium area – my son particularly enjoys spotting the fish and the (plastic) crocodile in the fish tank which blows bubbles.

There are three ride-on machines – a lifeboat, car and tractor.  These cost 20p each ride, so you may want to have your excuses or your change ready!  Pre-Christmas there is a grotto (which we haven’t tried) and reindeer come to visit.
A large area of the shop is dedicated to toys and books, but it is possible to get out of the shop area without going through this if you need to.  There are also a lot of breakables (plant pots, Christmas decorations, china dinner sets) and small items (jewellery, crafts) so your busy toddler will need some supervising.

The café area is large, with inside and outside seating, They offer the full range of drinks, snacks, main meals and afternoon tea.  The service is not the most friendly and it isn't my favourite coffee in the area, but they are often busy, particularly for Sunday lunch, and I suspect many people are regular visitors.

Round up
Café Latte price:  £2.20
Favourite cake:  huge scones with butter for £1.95 (jam 25p extra)
Child friendly highlights:  high chairs, crayons and paper in the café area, lunchboxes at £3.95 for 6 items, trolleys that look like Little Tike cars (although these are really hard to steer)
Buggy friendly:  yes, all areas
Car parking:  Plenty of free parking including parent and child spaces
Not great coffee but a regular Sunday afternoon destination, particularly if we need to buy birthday cards or presents

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