FREE LONDON: Centenary Azaleas in full bloom at secret garden Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

It’s wrong to believe that only money can buy top entertainment. The best kind of fun is usually free. Chelsea Flower Show is surely amazing but it could be both challenging and expensive with kids without even taking into account that it is all set up and not a wild environment.

Simple activities without spending a fortune in London seem rare to find but in Spring the parks are amazing and free fun for everyone. My favourite outdoor entertainment this Spring has to be a visit to the most colourful and free flower show in town at Isabella Plantation right in the middle of Deer-paradise Richmond park.

Isabella Plantation London Mums & kids flower bath collage

A flower bath for everybody

I consider myself extremely lucky to live close enough to this incredible park. London Mums have taken some of kids club’s reporters to check out the centenary azaleas in full bloom which this month have created an explosion of colours rarely seen before in nature – even if you are a regular visitor to Isabella Plantation.

Ideally you should cycle through the park to fully enjoy the experience but remember to take your locks as bicycles are not allowed in the enclosed garden. Dogs are also not permitted so bear this in mind before heading there.

Isabella Plantation

Close encounters with deers, mandarin ducks and lots of cyclists too…

Picnics are fine but bring your own rubbish bags with you when you exit the garden as a sign of respect for this special little park.

Cameras are a must. Both myself and the London Mums’ child reporters could not stop taking pictures, as you can see in this photographic report and video review spontaneously recorded by Amelie and Diego.

If you are not familiar with Isabella Plantation, you should know that it is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830’s. It was opened to the public for the first time in 1953, and is famous for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May. I recommend you go this month as in June the plants return to green.

Isabella Plantation azaleas colours London Mums magazine collage

Along the little lakes which provides an incredible backdrop for colourful evocative selfies and group photos, is also a source of hours of entertainment for the children.

Isabella Plantation lake London Mums magazine collage

It’s worth checking the official Royal Parks website which has a monthly plant diaries to ensure you get the kids to learn a lot about plants and trees as well as animals.

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