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Calling all mini animal lovers! to the Van Hage Gardens in Great Amwell. A fantastic place for families and their young ones between 5-10, where you have the chance to meet chickens, , chinchillas, dwarf rabbits, chipmunks and many more. Hop on the miniature railway togo on a fantastic ride through landscape gardens, ponds and don't miss the Ventura Wildlife Park where you will discover over 45 species of animals from around the world, including reindeers, kangaroos and zebras!
If the thought of visiting a retail centre the size of an amazon depot with the added excitement of live animals, a miniature railway, zoo, toy store and a cafe makes you weak at the knees, then the Van Hage Gardens in Great Amwell could be just what the Doctor ordered!
Upon arrival, you are greeted by a large traditional fairground carousel which got yelps of excitement from my boys, who then decided the horses were scary and a swift refund was arranged by the sympathetic cashier!
Head through the extensive selection of plants and flowers out back to reach the animal gardens - an attraction set up for kids with lots on show including meerkats, tortoises, giant rabbits and pigs. There are informative signs about each breed and it takes a good half hour or more to get around the whole area. Same goes for the miniature railway, situated just by the terracotta pots, which the little ones love!
There is a new zoo onsite too with zebras etc but we didn't visit that as the (free!) animal gardens did the job perfectly well. Lunch at the cafe was hectic (if you want relaxed and serene go elsewhere during school holidays!) but had good kids options, nice coffee and helpful staff. Overall a great experience!
Born and raised in London, Hannah loves nothing more than seeking out the best in family fun for her three boys aged 6 and under, from outdoor adventures to all things transport, tech and time-travel! Hannah's passion to uncover the very best of family-friendly London led her to co-found Kidadl with fellow mum and family-explorer Sophie Orman.