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“£6 to visit a messy overgrown 8 acre garden-no thanks”

Gooderstone Water Gardens & Nature Trails
Ranked #6 of 57 things to do in King's Lynn
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 4, 2012

I was advised by the locals not to go here as it is a rip-off. I proceeded to the Village of Gooderstone and arriving at the Water Gardens was met by a gardener. The entry fee was to be by cash only. The gardens are overgrown and the wildnerness state of the layout made it impossible to walk in certain areas. We brought the dog and whilst the walk around the lake took only 20mins there were no refreshments on offer. The Coffee Shop is shut now that it is out of season.

It is hard to understand why the family have allowed this to go so wild and neglected. Billy Knights, a retired farmer began designing and creating the Water Gardens in 1970 in his 70th year. The site was a damp meadow which became too wet for cattle to graze. Mr Knights' son jokingly suggested he should have a water garden, which prompted him to draw out plans (on the back of a piece of wallpaper) and he soon had machines digging out the ponds and waterways. He worked on his garden with love and enthusiasm until he died aged 93. For over 20 years the gardens had been open to the public.

Both Billy and his wife Florence loved their gardens and sharing them with others. With this in mind and as a tribute to her parents Coral Hoyos began restoration in April 2002. Having been unattended and closed for five years, the Gardens had become quite derelict. However they were re-opened again in June 2003, with a new car park, refurbished tea-room / gallery, a toilet for disabled people and an 8 acre nature trail. There has since been the addition of a bird hide and a new plant sales area, bamboo grove, scented arbour and rustic roundhouse.

The area needs some serious TLC. I have been to a Water Garden before but this is a rip off at £6. There is a full time gardener on site but sadly it does not show. Billy and Florence would be sad to see the levels of neglect here.

Thank Denise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 - 236 of 239 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2012

We visited in low season so no one was on the gate. We went straight to the tearoom to pay our entry fee. Strolled around the garden with my 4 young children and returned to the tearoom for drinks and cake. The counter staff had changed over in the period of time and the lady serving tried to charge us entrance again. Was exceptionally rude because our stickers werent immediatley visible. Could easily have queried if we had been paid in a courteous manner but was rude and arrogant. There is no way I would return here again

1  Thank jenny e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

A Peaceful retreat, perfect to unwind for a few hours. Well set out and the flowers were beautiful. 13 bridges to cross and to use for wonderful photo opportunities. In fact, as we arrived, we saw a bride and groom posing for their wedding photos. How idylic a setting.

A quaint little cafe, selling delicious home made cakes, tea and coffee. The lady who was working the day we went, was very chatty and friendly. They also sell plants and flowers at a very reasonable cost. I bought a wooden ornamental heron which is wind activated and now graces my pond.

The toilets were very clean and plenty of facilities for wheelchairs and motorised scooter access.

We had a wonderful picnic amongst glorious flowers. Had a fantastic couple of hours destress.

Thank you so much. Will definitely return

1  Thank northantshelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Visited on a very hot, sunny July day. Very well-kept gardens with lots of seating - both in and out of the blazing sun - on which to sit and relax amongst the plants and the bubbling streams. Not overly large: you could, if you wanted, march round it in somewhat less than an hour without missing much; but the peaceful atmosphere here is one you feel inclined to sit down and drink in rather than rush round, and the entrance fee well worth it for half a day of unwinding in the natural surroundings. Tea room is worth a visit - and don't miss the walnut cake.....

1  Thank rickenbacker_al
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Visited with my elderly parents on a lovely summers day. Can highly recommend Gooderstone Water Gardens. Very pretty no matter what time of year. Great place just to quietly potter around. Plenty of seats to take advantage of the views of the plants and wildlife. Lots of meandering paths along the water ways. Ideal place for all ages. There's a small refreshment cabin selling teas, coffees, sandwiches (These tend to sell out early on busy days) home made cakes (Try the walnut and coffee - one piece is not enough!)
So nice to visit somewhere that is obviously loved and well cared for and is not commercialised.

2  Thank hattiee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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