My other half and I visited once before a couple of years ago, but this time we were visiting with friends.
One of our friends required a wheelchair which are available from Car Park Apple 1 (the car park guides will try and put you in what ever car park they are filling at the time, so you just have to tell them you're needing a wheelchair). As we were using our car, we didn't have a blue badge so we could only drop off in that car park (there is a drop off point next to the wheelchairs). If you book well ahead there are also a small number of motorised wheelchairs available too. By the end of the day our friend said that she wished she'd brought a cushion for the wheelchair as it wasn't the most comfortable.
On arrival into the gardens/park itself we had a lovely relaxing stroll down towards the biomes looking at all the plants and sculptures on display. This was much better than last time we visited because then it was raining so we took the fastest route to get to an indoor area again.
The biomes (the large domed greenhouses) house plants indigenous to rainforest and Mediterranean zones. On the day we went the Mediterranean zone was actually cooler than the outside. There is a café in the Mediterranean zone too. I love Mediterranean food and I was disappointed last time that I didn't know about it until after lunch. This time I was disappointed that nothing on the menu actually appealed to me. The Paella, despite being called "authentic", did not resemble anything I'd ever conceive of as being available to order at an arrozaria in Spain - They seemed to decide to throw everything people might think of as being typical Spanish food into it and hope for the best.
There is a Pasty stand outside the biomes that you can eat at that also does baguettes. The baguettes are bought in so we were not able to ask for a plainer one to those that were available. My other half has IBS so has to be very careful about what he eats and one of my friends has to maintain a very bland diet - so basically the pasties and baguettes were completely out for them.
I've probably overly concentrated on the food options. But that's because since our last visit we now all had to be more careful about what we eat for medical reasons so it is a constant area of concern.
The biomes and "the core" exhibits were excellent. There was a new canopy walkway which wasn't there last time, which is excellent as it allows people in wheelchairs a view over the top of the rainforest zone they wouldn't have had last time. The steps up to the very top are still there, but were shut on the day we visited because the temperatures at the top were too high. I also notice that they have added a "cool room" since the last time too in case you find the humid heat overwhelming. There are water fountains provided on the upper levels of this biome now as well.
All in all, it was an excellent visit. I'm not going to score down on the food, because those are our issues. The food is of excellent quality and (if you can eat it) I highly recommend it.
If you book online you can get a discount on the ticket price and given the amount of time we spent there and overall how much we enjoyed the day it is well worth the money.
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