I’m not a gardener. For that reason, I rarely visit gardens. If anything, the closest I get to garden stuff is popping into a garden centre for a bite to eat.
So, imagine my trepidation when we were invited to check out a new accessible path at The Garden House in Yelverton.
Of course, I wanted to check out the path, flowers and grass and stuff?
Have you heard the sayings?
“Never Judge a Book by Its Cover” and “Don’t Knock it Until You’ve Tried it.“
Both of these are relevant in this case, and never again will I say “I don’t do gardens” because The Garden House turned out to be one of the trip’s highlights.
I’d been forewarned that the garden is in a valley. And that the path isn’t flat, oh, and it’s made of gravel. Each one was enough to put me off pushing a wheelchair, collectively, enough to have me running for the hills.
But I know some of you guys like gardens, so off we went to The Garden House.
The Garden House is owned and run by the Fortescue Garden Trust, an independent registered charity. The trust has maintained the house and gardens since the 1980s whilst protecting the legacy of Lionel and Katharine Fortescue, the original owners.
Access to the House and Gardens
Parking is near the front entrance, there are a couple of accessible parking spaces, but the car park is quite big so parking shouldn’t be a problem if you can walk a bit or be pushed.
If you know that the garden walk will be too challenging, you can ask to be dropped off at the walled garden, which is flat and shouldn’t pose too many problems.
The Garden House Tea Rooms
We were met at the front gate, which is quite lovely and then taken down to the tea rooms. I could give you a long spiel about how excellent the food is etc. But I won’t; look at this food:
OK, I’m not going to cheat you out of a description. It was fresh, tasty, beautifully presented, and I want more – enough said!
Time For a Wheelchair Walk
We made our way back to the main entrance and the start of the accessible route around the garden.
There are wheelchair markers around the path. If you stick with them, you’ll be fine. Some of the inclines are tough but remember, it’s in a valley. I took my time and managed all of them.
If you need to be on the flat, then, as mentioned, I’d make my way to the walled garden as you might struggle in parts.
The widened gravelled path was wonderful. I found it relatively easy to push the chair around. I wish I knew something about flowers so I could tell you all about them, but I don’t, so let’s look at some pictures instead:
We were there early in the season, so the colours will only get better as they come into bloom.
The Walled Garden
OK, I admit it… I loved this section of the garden. I mean, look at it:
And I climbed the tower:
Look at the view:
The Final Push
As you exit the walled garden, you are presented with a pretty lake and mini waterfall, I’m sure there’ll be another name for this, but it’s a mini waterfall to the uneducated like me.
The route from the lake back up to the house looks a bit steep, don’t worry, it winds itself up the path, and again wasn’t too bad. If you don’t fancy it, walk back through the walled garden and get picked up.
We surprisingly enjoyed The Garden House, and it certainly motivated me to expand my mind and try new things.
As for the accessible path, well done to all involved. You’ve managed to incorporate it into otherwise tricky terrain. Electric scooters will have no problem with it, and even manual chair users with a bit of help in parts should manage it. I did!
We’re happy we visited, loved the beautiful gardens, and still talking about the food in the tea room some three weeks later.
Thank you so much for having us. If we are ever in the area again, we’ll be sure to visit.
Website: The Garden House
Facebook: The Garden House Facebook Page
If you’d like to know what else we got up to in Dartmoor with Dartmoor Accommodation, read: Our Accessible Dartmoor Road Trip