In Pictures: A Day Out At RHS Harlow Carr

RHS Harlow Carr

RHS Harlow Carr

A RHS garden and a toddler may not seem like an ideal combination, but the RHS have been making loads of effort recently to attract families to their spectacular gardens. As well as the breathtaking plants and flowers, they have introduced activities such as ‘Rocket Science’ spaced themed activities, I Spy trails and lots of playgrounds in order to keep all members of the family happy on a visit.

We visited RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate a couple of weeks ago, and it was a wonderful way to spend a summer’s afternoon. Here are a few photos of our visit.

A Day Out At RHS Harlow Carr

One of the main hightlights of a visit to RHS Harlow Carr is the breath taking gardens

One of the main highlights of a visit to RHS Harlow Carr is the breathtaking gardens

We spent a wonderful afternoon wandering round the spectacular gardens at Harlow Carr. Located just outside Harrogate in North Yorkshire, these gardens are a really special place to spend time in – even if you are an amateur gardener like myself. Each plant has been carefully planted, tendered, watered and fed to produce some breathtaking displays.

Whilst toddlers and little people might not notice these displays, they will love all the space to run around in, the woodland playgrounds, the Treehouse and the big hill to roll down!

flowers 900

This is just one of the displays at Harlow Carr – the sunflowers were just coming out when we visited.

We were lucky enough to see this little chap on the flowers. My boys were actually quiet and still enough for us to watch it for a bit.

butterfly final

lily pad 900

However as well as the gardens, there are plenty of things for children to do at Harlow Carr too.

camera 900

My toddler took his camera and took lots of photos of his favourite parts of the day.

face 900

There are lots of carved faces in the gardens and Harlow Carr, and this one was our favourite.

hedgehog street

The RHS is working with the Wildlife Trust to raise people’s awareness of the threats hedgehogs face in today’s gardens. As part of this, they have put together 3 hedgehog friendly gardens at Harlow Carr. Each garden is 5m x 5m and had holes in the boundaries to allow access to hedgehogs.

My boys were really engrossed in this part of the garden, and it was a great opportunity to talk to them about how hedgehogs lived and what we could do to improve the hedgehog friendliness of our garden at home.

Rolling down a hill!!

Rolling down a hill!!

We didn’t start this craze of rolling down the hill Harlow Carr – there were already plenty of people doing it by the time we arrived!! The main lawn at Harlow Carr is wide, long and on a slight slope downwards so all the children were loving rolling down it!!

Taking part in some rocket science!

Taking part in some rocket science!

When we visited, the RHS had a summer long Rocket Science event taking place, which was a trail around the gardens of space based questions and activities. Both my boys loved answering the questions on the Rocket Science boards, and loved seeing pictures of Tim Peake along the way!

Being a space man!

Being a space man!

There is a Treehouse in the middle of the woods at Harlow Carr – this was one of our boys favourite parts of the day.

The Treehouse at Harlow CArr

The Treehouse

Eating Options At Harlow Carr

There is a Betty’s restaurant and cafe onsite if you want to buy food whilst you are at Harlow Carr. However, this is quite expensive so you can take a picnic instead, and eat it in one of the picnic areas. Children’s lunch boxes at Bettys were £5.95 for a small sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and biscuit.

There is a Betty’s Ice Cream Parlour which served ice cream. I had a Brown Bread Ice Cream which tasted a lot better than it sounds!

We visited RHS Harlow Carr as part of the York Pass. The York Pass offers you a choice of free entry into over 30 attractions and tours as well as restaurant and shopping offers. You can buy 1,2 or 3 days pass – to buy a pass visit To find out more about other things to do in and around York click here

Ticket prices to visit Harlow Carr seperately are as follows;

Adults – £10
Children (5-15) – £5

Check out the Harlow Carr website for opening times, events etc.


About Jo Addison

Mother of 2 little boys. Passionate about holidays and days out with babies and toddlers.


  1. If only I’d known about the rocket trail because my son is space mad at the moment. We have all the CBeebies Stargazer episodes recorded and he loves to watch them over and over so he’d have loved seeing the Tim Peake stuff there too!
    The treehouse looks amazing, and I’m sure that’s there all the time so we should try to take a visit soon!

    Thanks for linking to #daysoutwithatoddler – see you next month!

  2. I think it is great that places are starting to accept that families make up a huge amount of the footfall through the door. The flowers will not appeal to the children but nice to see the play areas.
    Rolling down the hill is a brilliant pastime.

  3. Oh wow what a wonderful place to explore! I like the sound of the icecream you had! And that tree house looks amazing! #countrykids

  4. Well done to the RHS for taking time to make their gardens more family friendly. It really doesn’t take much to inspire kids, a good trail and some fun carvings are perfect. I do love the look of the gardens and that lovely well maintained grassy slope does look perfect for rolling down.

    Thank you for sharing with me at #CountryKids

  5. I’ve only been to a couple of RHS gardens over the years but without my kids.This does look like a great place for kids, as we’re members of our local Wildlife Trust we know how hedgehogs are in decline.Over from Country Kids

  6. What a lovely day out. Those gardens are so beautiful and I love the photo of the butterfly on the flowers with the bees on the flowers in the background. Love the sound of the hill rolling – my eldest would have been in her element! I love the look of the tree house and the carved face too 🙂 #countrykids

  7. My girls would adore it here. Pretty flowers, play areas and yummy ice cream sounds perfect

  8. Its so lovely of them to introduce garden to kids and show their importance to nature and the small creatures! #countrykids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *