I saw a photo of this place on Instagram and wanted to see it. It reminded me so much of places I had visited in Asia while I lived there. Plus it had blue poppies, which I had never seen. As with most places these days, you need to book tickets in advance if you want to visit. This is to keep the numbers down and keep people safe.
I found booking tickets very easy, I have had trouble with other organisations. Their tickets sell out quickly. This place had plenty of tickets and they were cheap, just £9 each for adults. I bought two and intended to take my father. I should have checked first, but after the purchase I wrote to them and asked if it was disabled friendly. The answer was no. When I got there I could see why. The garden is situated in a kind of valley, with steep sides. There are is no paths where steps are not present.
I ended up not using the second ticket. I would have taken a friend, but then I realised we would have to travel in two cars so it wasn’t appropriate. After the trip, I didn’t feel like I had wasted my money, which is an issue at the moment.
Getting to the garden requires a car or a bike if you are staying nearby, they really are out in the boonies.
There was a one way system around the garden. You enter near a cafe and toilet block. Be warned, after this there are NO toilets throughout the rest of the garden so make sure you use them. That was disappointing, but understandable.
Here is an interactive map of the actual garden.
When I arrived, the park had just opened and I was probably the first or second visitor that day. The weather report wasn’t great, but that was when I had my tickets so I was going anyway. I took my time and wandered as much as I could. There was lots to see, beautifully landscaped paths, gardens, pagodas, sculptures, and water features. It is a photographers dream…except…the direction signs and species labels were quite obtrusive. They were everywhere and they don’t blend in at all. Again, I understand why, but surely they could have been a little less in your face.
I stayed for a while, well, as long as my bladder would allow. Then I made my way back to the entrance where I bought some plants from the small nursery. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and will return either in summer, but definitely in autumn.
Here are some of my photos from the day. I did photoshop some signs out of them, plus I used trees and plants to hide others.
For me the drive was just over an hour and well worth it. But there are lots of other things nearby so why not spend a couple of days near Ripon.