Anyone who knows our family will know that flower fairies.. tutus.. fairy wands…elves and imagination all play a huge part in our lives. Our two girls love anything fairies and elves, and I am sure our little boy will grow to love the land of make believe and imagination. During our recent road trip to Scotland in the camper van, we stumbled across Archerfield Walled garden. It is such a lovely day out for kids in East Lothian Scotland.
History of Archerfield Walled Garden
The Douglas-Hamilton family have lived, loved and farmed here since the 1960s and with the creation of Archerfield Walled Garden; the Garden Cafe and Gift Shop, Food Market and grounds including the Fairy Trail and outdoor trails, their legacy continues.
The ‘Walled Garden’ and Home Farm served Archerfield House from the 18th century into the early 20th century and grew a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. In addition there was a mushroom house and ice house which are both currently under restoration, and a gas works. The well in the centre which irrigates the gardens, was only recently discovered when work began on the grounds and is believed to be centuries old.
The Archerfield Walled Garden is set within the Archerfield Estate. Here you can explore the grounds, take the Willow Walk, stop and make a wish at the Wishing Tree, enjoy the Fairy Trail, and for the runners amongst you there is also a 5K route around the village of Dirleton.
Archerfield Wishing Tree
The Wishing Tree is a wonderful concept. It is beautiful and full of vibrant, colourful ribbons where visitors can stop by and make a wish. The girls chose a coloured ribbon and tied it on to the branches of the tree whilst making their special wish. They refused to share their wishes with us – ” if I tell you, they won’t come true, mummy!!”
The Fairy Trail at Archerfield Walled Garden
So we all know that fairies live at the bottom of our gardens right ?!
The story goes that the fairies were flying over East Lothian under the harvest moon, and they spotted the colours of the magical and bright wishing tree. They stopped to take a look and loved the woods so much that they decided to set up home.
At the bottom of the Archerfield walled garden, the Archerfield woods houses this magical fairy trail. It is such a lovely place where little ones can explore and let their imaginations run wild. I have to say it was so enchanting. We followed the trail to spot the fairies, all in their new homes hidden amongst the trees. For the older children there is a fairy quiz that you can pick up from the Archerfield foodhall before you take the trail. The fairy homes are all special and individual, and are hiding amongst the trees with the fairy signs, toadstools and little animals dotted about.
Amongst the trees, along the trail there are a number of toadstools where little ones can sit and rest their tired legs and quietly listen out for the whispers of the fairies and elves.
“It’s a happy little wood, quite the perfect place, all the little creatures, sharing natures space. With animals and fairies, all living here together, Looking after each other, always friends forever.”
-Archerfield Walled Garden
Archerfield Walled garden for kids
So you all know we love coffee and cake, and the food and coffee here is a real treat. We stopped off for a coffee and cake in the cafe while the little boy snoozed and the girls enjoyed a play in the Archerfield playground. There is a wonderful restaurant, and a food market and gift shop full of little gifts, toys, fairy tutus and fairy houses to take home.
Tips for Archerfield Walled Garden
The paths in the walled gardens and woods are all buggy friendly. I imagine if there is rainfall it can get a bit muddy, so pack the wellies just in case.
Most visitors will leave the gift shop and food market until the end, but if you pop in before the fairy trail you can purchase some fairy dust, a fairy quiz and a ribbon for the wishing tree – so head here first!
If you fancy the 5K run, there is a map that you can download on their website.
Please visit the website for more details
What is really wonderful is that it is totally free to visit the Archerfield walled gardens, and this means such a lot to families in search of days out. I just had to share this wonderful place – I only wish we lived closer!
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