Staffordshire’s Trentham Estate, one of England’s most popular paid-forgardens, is increasing the number of day tickets available as it emerges from lockdown – and adding a sprinkling of extra fairy magic to welcome visitors back.
A limited re-opening with social distancing and safety measures in place has proved so successful that Trentham – on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent – is now increasing the number of day tickets and slowly opening up more of the attraction.
As well as online tickets bookable in advance, a new visitor centre has opened within the Shopping Village for ‘on the day’ tickets for less busy periods, and to offer help with buying and renewing annual passes, enquiries and for more guidance on new safety measures. Guests are still advised to pre-book tickets.
Trentham, which now proudly displays the new industry standard ‘Good To Go’ safety mark, has also updated its COVID-19 secure measures designed to keep guests and staff safe and ensure visitors have an enjoyable visit.
While a one-way system remains in place around the mile-long Capability Brown designed lake, visitors can now go around the lakeside walk as many times as they like. One-way systems in the gardens have also been improved, giving visitors more freedom to enjoy the summer floral displays and celebrated landscapes.
As an outdoor attraction with plenty of open space within a 725-acre historic estate, Trentham naturally offers a chance to socially distance, but as lockdown rules slowly ease, estate managers have also been able to now open up more of the attraction, such as the children’s playground, although activities like the Barefoot Walk and Maze remain closed for the time being.
To put an extra smile on visitors’ faces, the hugely popular Fairy Trail of magical wire sculptures dotted around the gardens and lakeside has expanded too – with three new fairies flying in.
There’s a chance to meet Rio – named after the 2016 Olympics, and originally aimed at celebrating this summer’s event, now postponed until 2021 – perched on top of the signpost next to Trentham Hall, while Zwara stands opposite the existing ‘Wishes’ fairy sculpture, and peers out over the lake.
Last, but certainly not least, Fern will arrive this week in her new home in the Rivers of Grass. But be quick because she’ll soon be flying off again, although landing not too far away – taking pride of place adorning the fountain of Trentham’s picturesque Upper Flower Garden. Once installed there, she’ll likely leave visitors all in a spin, thanks to her special rotating design.
A global hit with visitors, photographers and social media fans since first taking-up residency in the award-winning gardens in 2012, the trail was even named as one of “20 of the world’s most amazing sculptures” just five years later in 2017. Last year more fairies were added and the two new arrivals take the tally to 23 wire sculptures, all created by artist Robin Wight.
Trentham has also worked with refreshment outlets to provide as many food and drink options as possible, while staying within current restrictions. Opposite the main garden entrance Cadwalader’sis offering takeaway drinks and snacks. Within the garden attraction, Totally Delicious has now re-opened the Tearoomsfor full table service and Lakeside Caféis selling hot and cold drinks, scoop ice cream, snacks and cakes. All payments must be made by card.
This former showpiece country estate, which was bought in 1996 bySt. Modwen Properties PLC – the expert developer and regeneration specialist – was transformed in a £100 million regeneration project, and last year saw the 15th anniversary of the former Dukes of Sutherland gardens and parkland re-opening to the public.
Over the last 16 years, Trentham’s landscapes created by two of the county’s finest historic garden designers, Capability Brown and Charles Barry, have been restored and given contemporary twists by some of today’s top garden designers, including Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf, as well as more recently Nigel Dunnett, perhaps best-known for the stunning wildflower plantings at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
During normal times, the Estate attracts more than three million visitors a year,with 837,500 paid visits to Trentham Gardens alone, an impressive accolade for a once abandoned garden.
Summer day visit tickets cost £12 adults and £9 for children.
For the latest details and more information about visiting, see www.trentham.co.uk