RHS Bridgewater Gardens for Families Review

If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly day out in Greater Manchester, then RHS Bridgewater Gardens is the place to be. Last year, we received a Buyagift voucher and decided to use it to purchase a family membership for the RHS Gardens.

We’ve already visited Harlow Carr (see our write-up), and a day after celebrating our daughter Matilda’s 7th birthday, we headed to the Salford site called RHS Garden Bridgewater. It is a new addition to the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens, which aims to create a space that can inspire visitors to engage with gardening and appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us. 

Moreover, it’s one of the most significant gardening projects undertaken in Europe in recent years, boasting a 154-acre green space that’s still undergoing a massive transformation. This means that every visit offers something new to see and explore. This fantastic place blew us away, and we can’t wait to share our experience with you. 

Where is Bridgewater Gardens located?

The address of RHS Bridgewater Gardens is – RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Road, Off Leigh Road, Worsley, Salford, Greater Manchester, M28 2LJ. Although the thought of driving over the M62 and M60 may not be appealing, we can assure you that it is worth it. We travelled from Wakefield, and it took us an hour to get there, which is similar in distance to the Harrogate RHS gardens.

History of RHS Bridgewater Gardens

The Bridgewater Gardens is one of the largest gardening projects in Europe. It was initiated by the RHS and Worsley New Hall, which was owned by the Duke of Bridgewater in the 18th century. The estate has a rich history, and the gardens have been designed to pay homage to the area’s past. The site was bought by the RHS in 2017, and the gardens were opened to the public in May 2021.

RHS Bridgewater Gardens

What is there to do?

The garden is vast, with plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. There are a lot of things to do in RHS Bridgewater Gardens, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Here are some of the highlights of our visit:

  1. Car Parking and Cycle Racks
  2. Entry Building
  3. The Walled Garden
  4. The Orchard
  5. The Kitchen Garden
  6. Woodland Play Area
  7. The Lake

Let’s dive into each of these in more detail.

Car Parking and Cycle Racks

As soon as we arrived, we were impressed with the design of the car park. The car parking spaces are of a good size, and there are plenty of them. We were so pleased to see a long row of cycle racks, which is fantastic to see, and also, Barney and Matilda loved running underneath them! When we pulled up we noticed cycle routes alongside the gardens, and the infrastructure from the main road seemed really good for pedestrians and cyclists too, which is always great to see. We really hope to see this improving everywhere.

Entry Building

The building we entered to show our membership is quite spectacular. It is beautifully made with wood and lots of glass, letting the outside in. As you enter, there is a shop and a cafe, and toilets which are placed well for arriving. The gift shop offers a range of souvenirs, books, and gardening tools, and the cafe serves freshly prepared food and drinks.

The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden is undoubtedly the star attraction of RHS Bridgewater Gardens. If you’re interested in history, then you’ll love the Walled Garden. The garden has been carefully restored to its former glory, and it is one of the highlights of the site. Walking through the garden, we felt like we were walking into a dream garden. The garden has been divided into different sections, including a vegetable garden, a cut flower garden and an ornamental garden. We particularly enjoyed the colourful displays of flowers, which were a feast for the eyes

The Orchard

The Orchard is another must-visit attraction at RHS Bridgewater Gardens. The Orchard has been planted with over 1000 fruit trees, including apples, pears, and plums. We spent a good time here, taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying the fresh air.

The Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden is another highlight of RHS Bridgewater Gardens. This area is dedicated to growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. We enjoyed walking around the different sections of the garden, admiring the colourful displays of produce, and learning about the different varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Woodland Play Area

If you’re looking for something to keep the little ones entertained, then Woodland Play is the perfect place. This adventure playground is located in the woods and is designed to inspire children to explore and play in nature. 

Woodland Play was a highlight for our family. The area is designed for children to let loose and explore their surroundings. It was great to see Matilda having so much fun, climbing trees and balancing on logs. There were also lots of hiding spots, dens, and tunnels to explore. Barney also enjoyed joining in with the fun and running around with the other children.

The area is perfect for kids to burn off some energy and let their imaginations run wild. There were plenty of benches for parents to sit and watch their children play, or even join in with the fun! We spent a good hour in the Woodland Play area, and it was the perfect way to break up our walk around the gardens.

The Lake

The lake at RHS Bridgewater Gardens is a serene spot to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The lake is surrounded by beautiful trees and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including ducks and swans. We enjoyed sitting by the lake and watching the ducks swim by

Would You Recommend it?

Absolutely! RHS Bridgewater Gardens are an excellent destination for families, gardening enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a peaceful and immersive experience in nature. The gardens are massive, and there’s so much to explore and enjoy. 

Whether you’re interested in horticulture, history, or just want to relax and unwind, RHS Bridgewater Gardens have something for everyone. In total, we spent around 3 to 4 hours exploring the gardens, and we loved every moment. There was so much to see and explore, and we found ourselves constantly discovering new areas and features. We highly recommend it and can’t wait to go back and see what’s new!


Overall, our visit to RHS Bridgewater Gardens was a fantastic day out for the whole family. There is so much to see and do, and we would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a family day out. The gardens are still undergoing transformation, so there is always something new to see. The children’s play areas are fantastic, the Walled Kitchen Garden and the Orchard are also worth a visit.

And Yeah! We can’t wait to return and see what new developments have been made. If you are looking for a family-friendly day out in Greater Manchester, we highly recommend visiting RHS Bridgewater Gardens.

So why not pack a picnic, grab your sun hats and head on down to the gardens to explore all they have to offer?


Is there a cafe?

Yes, there is a cafe in the entrance building. The cafe serves hot and cold food and drinks.

What is your favourite part?

It’s tough to pick a favourite part since we enjoyed everything so much. The Walled Garden is definitely worth a visit. It has a charming and rustic feel, and our children loved exploring its nooks and crannies. We particularly enjoyed the Kitchen Garden, which showcases a diverse array of fruits and vegetables. It’s fantastic to see how these crops grow, and it’s a great opportunity to teach children about healthy eating and where our food comes from.

Is it suitable for dog walkers?

Yes, the gardens are suitable for dog walkers. However, dogs must be kept on at all times.

How much is it to park the car?

Parking is free for members, and non-members can pay for parking on the day.

Pros & Cons


  • Visually stunning gardens
  • Lovely natural play park
  • Plenty of cafes.


  • Expensive for non-members
  • Have to brave the M62 if coming from Yorkshire!

RHS enjoyment rating

Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by Ryan

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