Archerfield Walled Garden, East Lothian: A family friendly day out

Archerfield Walled Garden, East Lothian: A family friendly day out

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.

Archerfield Estate

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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Country Kids
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  1. April 15, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    What a delightful discovery this place is and so perfect for your imaginative fairy seeking girls. That little fairy garden is just delightful and I know from our own one at Coombe Mill how magical they are for children. Our fairies will meet the Easter bunny on our Easter Egg hunt tomorrow with a little help from my triplets to run ahead and hide things! The wishing tree is a lovely idea, I’m already thinking which would be the best tree to create one here. I can see why this is a day that has stayed with your from your lovely holiday.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • otisandus
      April 16, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      Aw Fiona I love that all these wonderful blogs inspire us daily. I am so happy that you might create a wishing tree over at Coombemill – it was such a lovely idea and the girls loved it, plus it looked beautiful from a far with all those bright ribbons blowing in the wind! Thanks for hosting – I missed you all last week! Happy Easter.

  2. Judy b
    April 16, 2017 / 6:29 am

    This looks like a perfect family day out!! Beautiful

    • otisandus
      April 16, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      It was such a magical day hunting for the fairies and elves and eating cake and drinking coffee 🙂 and the sun even made an appearance too! Thanks for stopping by xx

  3. April 16, 2017 / 8:33 am

    What a lovely place to spend a day with your family. Love your girls’ fairy wings! I can see why you loved it, those fairy houses on the trail are beautiful. It’s always great when you come across somewhere like this, so enchanting and a great opportunity to let children use their imaginations. Thank you for linking up with #adventurecalling

    • otisandus
      April 16, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you for hosting this lovely linky! Hoping I have many more posts to link up over time. It was such a lovely magical place, we love to explore, find new places and enjoy the great outdoors – there is nothing better. Have a wonderful Easter !

  4. April 16, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Oh wow! That looks just magical. My youngest would love it. There is so many lovely things about it. It sounds like you had a great day xx

  5. April 17, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    What a fantastic place to go, so magical. I love walled gardens so I’d be in my element here. #countrykids

    • otisandus
      April 18, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      It was a really lovely place, to visit – I just wished we had this on our doorstep! Thanks for stopping by !

  6. April 18, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    This looks gorgeous! I do love a wishing tree – but it’s just so pretty. Hope to take my kids to Scotland one day, I’ve not been since 1990! Sarah

    • otisandus
      April 18, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      I love Scotland it is so beautiful – we have been so lucky with the weather though. And that wishing tree – so beautiful, I might create one in my garden 🙂

  7. April 18, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    This looks amazing. What a wonderful place to visit and so many things to do. Must go and visit here soon xx

    • otisandus
      April 18, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      It really is – and the cake is pretty special too 🙂

  8. April 19, 2017 / 6:58 am

    Oh it looks gorgeous there! We will definitely have to make a trip there next time we’re in that part of Scotland. I hadn’t heard about the fairy trail before, but saving the post for another month. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous pictures! 🙂 x

  9. April 19, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    This looks like a fabulous place to explore – my girls would be in their element here. I love the wishing tree and the fairy trail looks wonderful. The perfect place for a magical day out 🙂 #countrykids

  10. April 19, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    The whole Archerfield estate and particularly the walled garden looks like a great day out. We’re huge advocates of imaginative play and fairies and elves are an awesome part of it. I love the wishing tree too – what a great concept! Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling I hope you can again.

  11. April 20, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Having seen the fairy lipstick marks on daisies and thinking the girls would love to hear about the fairies when they are older. I think this would be a great place to visit. #CountryKids

  12. April 20, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    How wonderfully charming! My daughters would have loved this when they were younger. The wishing tree is fabulous they should be everywhere. What a lovely day out! #countrykids

  13. April 23, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Oh this looks magical! Great that the food is good too! I love the wishing tree, so colourful. Definitely somewhere I’d take my girls if we were passing, what little girl doesn’t love fairies? Thanks so much for joining in with #FamilyTravelTips

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