We all love each other really...
So today we went to the Seaforde Butterfly Farm & Gardens which we've driven past hundreds of times and always wondered about visiting. It's a bit expensive for NI - it would have worked out at about £30 for all 5 of us to go and I wasn't sure if my son would really appreciate it or indeed if I would (wrong on both counts)
In the end, it was just myself and the 3 kids who went so it was £24 for access to both the butterfly house and the gardens. I'm not sure if it's worth it to just do one or the other - you would really need both to make a day out of it. We arrived just after it opened at 10am and there were only a couple of cars in the carpark so we had the place to ourselves.
This was what greeted us when we entered the hot and humid butterfly room....stunning!
My idea of HELL in a glass case
We spent over an hour moving between the three rooms - the kids kept wanting to go back into the butterfly room and I was happy to oblige. There were benches and places to sit and once you got used to the tropical temperature, it was quite pleasant...
Sandles - Next (via eBay)
Navy T-Shirt - Gap
Denim Jacket - Vero Moda
Backpack - Mipac ℅ Menarys (has been a GODSEND this summer - thank you Menarys!)
Then it was out to the gardens for a walk around the maze, which kept the kids entertained for ages. We enjoyed our picnic down near the pond in the pheasantry - which sadly had no pheasants that we could see. But it was all in the most gorgeous surroundings with the walled garden reminding me of The Secret Garden - with its big wooden doors and tunnels.
On the way home, I got the kids to rate the trip and the 12 year old said it was one of the best days of his life...now that's something for a 'too cool for school' tween boy to say! Naturally, the girls just adored it and wanted to go back again the next day. All 3 agreed, it was a 'core memory' (that's for those of you who've watched Inside Out)
I have been asked so many times since I posted about this on social media - 'is it worth a visit?' Hence this blog post - I wasn't planning to write about it - it's a bit off-piste for me but it's a good way to answer everyone's questions in one go.
I do think it's worth visiting. It's old fashioned....I would say it's the same as it was 10 years ago and I wasn't wowed by the shop and the ticket desk on arrival. But the playground and picnic area at the front are new and lovely and surrounded by opportunistic peacocks - which were completely unfazed by toddlers chasing them around the place!
So do visit...it's not somewhere you'll go to regularly - I reckon we'll go again next summer but it's probably a 'once a year' kind of trip. Try to go on a weekday, early on so you get the place to yourself. Bring a picnic and a full battery on your phone. And make sure your storage has plenty of room for the photos. And enjoy!
Note - there is a coffee shop but we didn't go into it. I'm sorry I didn't as I can't report back on what it's like but perhaps if you're reading this and you've been, you could leave a comment. Thank you!
Full details on opening hours and prices on this link: www.seafordegardens.com