Back in July, I visited Easton Walled Gardens with my mum. It’s a place I’ve visited and enjoyed several times with my partner and as a fellow nature-lover, I hoped my mum would also see it as something of a hidden gem as I now do. In this blog I’ll talk about our visit, and how accessible I found the gardens to be as a mobility aid user.
The estate originally housed a grand hall in addition to the many cottages, farmhouses and extensive gardens that endure today. After sustaining considerable damage in WWII, during which time it was used as a barracks, the hall was demolished in 1951. While the hall no longer stands, the estate is still home to a sizeable and well-kept garden which is tended to with a focus on the environment and encouraging the area’s native wildlife.
The gardens themselves were lovely to visit during July, and we were lucky to catch the sweetpeas in their full glory. There were so many varieties and colours, some of which you can purchase seeds of from the gift shop. Unfortunately, due to a lot of fun but tiring travel between late May and June, the sweetpea seeds I had tenuously planted a bit too late in our garden at home have yet to flower, so it was a treat to enjoy them at Easton.
The gardens themselves are somewhat accessible, depending on your needs. As a walking stick user, the paths can be a bit tricky to navigate, built as they are on slanted ground. The main walkways are laid with bark chippings, so these can be a little difficult in damp conditions, and I wouldn’t want to attempt the gardens in my manual wheelchair. If you have a powerchair or ideally a mobility scooter, I think you would have a significantly easier time. The path meanders around a small sheltered wooded area and is quite hilly in places, so bear that in mind if you’re planning a visit!
We enjoyed a hot drink in the Applestore tearoom because although it was July, it was sadly still quite windy and not too warm. I managed to order the last slice of their gluten-free orange and poppy seed cake which was very tasty, and after a break we set off to enjoy the remainder of the gardens.
One thing I appreciated was the bird-watching area. As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of birds, so I enjoyed watching the wild birds visit Easton’s feeders through the wooden screen in the gardens. There were options for people to sit while still enjoying the view, and I appreciated that as I will always take the opportunity to sit and have a rest!
We had a wonderful day at Easton Walled Gardens, and I’m sure we will visit again before too long. As someone who is passionate about nature and loves being as immersed in it as possible, it can sometimes be difficult to find accessible spaces, particularly when it comes to large gardens or other wild areas. While it isn’t perfectly accessible, I’m pleased to be able to enjoy Easton on a good day with my walking stick, and would recommend it to anyone with similar levels of mobility or those with powered mobility aids.