‘Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale’, and this summer The Trentham Estate is the perfect setting for families to explore, awaken their senses and make their own fairy tale memories together.
Where else can you discover fairies in the garden, lose yourselves in the maze and get naked from the knees down…before taking a stroll with free-roaming monkeys or swinging from tree-tops on a high-rope adventure?
The Trentham Estate, on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, is living up to its reputation as offering one of the UK’s most diverse days out with a whole host of family fun to be had this summer.
Float away with the fairies
The Fairies at Trentham Trail begins in the Shopping Village, where Titania, ‘Queen of the Fairies’ points the way towards 14 of her fairy friends along the lakeside walk, and on to the fringes of the world-famous Italian Garden.
Carefully crafted out of galvanised and stainless steel wire, the metre-tall fairies have quietly turned Trentham’s lakeside walk into an enchanted fairy forest.
Each fairy is different. Amongst them, “Posers” sits on the back of a bench so visitors can have their photos taken with her; “Dip” flies over the face of the lake stroking the water with one hand; and “Bridget” dangles high above the bridge welcoming visitors into the gardens. Others swing under an oak tree in the Maze; strike a Spiderman-like pose at the end of the Trellis walk, and pose gracefully in the Japanese garden pond.
At the end of the trail is a circle of yew trees that have been at Trentham for at least one hundred and fifty years. Some say that if you step inside the circle of yews, and make a wish, the fairies will come to collect it, use it to sleep on – and if you’re very lucky – they’ll make your wish come true!
Enjoy life’s simple pleasures
Fairies aside, the circular walk around the mile-long Capability Brown designed, Trentham Lake, is a two-mile delight, taking visitors alongside the River Trent, by a bird hide, through the cascading weir, past the Lakeside Cafe, and along atmospheric woodland trails.
There’s wildlife all around at Trentham, so creature encounters can range from hunting for bugs to taking a stroll with the Barbary macaques at Trentham Monkey Forest.
Monkey around in the woodlands
Trentham Monkey Forest stands just across the lake and invites visitors to get up close with 140 free roaming Barbary macaques in the ancient Staffordshire woodland with no bars or cages to hinder your view.
Those looking for a really wild celebration should join wildlife TV presenter, Michaela Strachan, at Trentham Monkey Forest on 19th July as part of its 10th Birthday Fun Day.
Have an adventure in the playground
And if your little monkeys want to burn off some energy, a visit to the adventure playground is a must. Not only can young adventurers conquer the climbing wall, tackle the assault course, zoom down zip wires and fly on swings, but now the truly fearless can scale The Altitude Tower, a nine metre tall pyramid slide built exclusively for Trentham and guaranteed to deliver an adrenalin rush.
Hide and speak
he Hide and Speak Maze has special talking pipes through which visitors can shout to others to help find their way through. A picturesque hornbeam hedge maze, designed to be child friendly, journey’s end is a tall grass mound from which successful visitors can then shout instructions to others still lost in the maze!
Take on a tree top challenge
For thrill-seekers who fancy a bit more of a summer buzz, Aerial Extreme offers a tree based high ropes adventure course for novice adventurers or serial adrenalin junkies, all set within the tranquil 725 acre grounds of the Trentham Estate.
Get naked from the knees down!
The Barefoot Walk itself – over testing textures including mud, bark, mulch, pebbles, wood and babbling streams – doffs its cap to the teaching principles of German Pastor, Sebastian Kneipp, who believed that walking barefoot offers many positive medial benefits, and who devoted his life to the well being of his parishioners in the Bavarian village of Stephansreid.
Tantalise your tastebuds
Trentham Shopping Village is a real foodie destination for family feasts, sumptuous snacks, ladies who lunch, and romantic dinners.
With 14 cafes and restaurants to choose from, there’s something to suit every appetite.
Create a perfect picnic with ingredients from resident artisan food store Brown and Green, tuck in to a tasty treat at Pieminister, dine out at David’s Brasserie, or cool off with a delicious ice-cream from Cadwaladers.
Shop ‘til you drop
With over 50 enticing shops housed in timber cabins, Trentham Shopping Village provides a unique shopping experience and offers everything from cookware to contemporary art, gardening goodies to gifts galore.
Dance the night away
Every Saturday evening until 5 September the sweeping grassed banks of the lakeside at Trentham host a summer spectacle with outdoor concerts as part of the Hot Summer Saturday Dates staged at the Garden’s lakeside amphitheatre.
And the Red Hot Chili Peppers & Foo Fighters Tributes (5 September) will offer a chance for partygoers to ‘Breakout’ the air guitars to bring the Hot Summer Saturday Dates to a close.
Annual Tickets are the best value way to visit the gardens and also offer discounts at participating shops and restaurants, 20% off day tickets for friends and even discounts on special events.
For full details of all events, opening times, discounts, restaurants and shops visit www.trentham.co.uk.