Exploring the gardens at Iver Environment Centre

Iver Environment Centre has been on my list of places to visit for some time. We frequently pass it on the way to Uxbridge. I’ve seen various activities advertised during school holidays but we never quite managed to do any of them. This week, they had an Open Gardens session which sounded like the perfect opportunity to finally pay a visit.


Sophie crossing the bridge over the pond at Iver Environment Centre - "Exploring the gardens at Iver Environment Centre"


Sophie immediately took charge of the map we were given and headed off to explore. I was quite happy to follow as she decided which way to go at every turn. There are various different areas at Iver Environment Centre to explore. Sophie took us across the bridge over the pond, through the vegetable gardens and into the Garden of Time.


Sophie exploring the vegetable garden at Iver Environment Centre


We stood for a moment to watch the water wheel turning next to the pond. I loved the sign on the wall – “walk softly and listen – Mother Nature is at work”. A beautiful reminder of the importance of just being still and enjoying a few moments outdoors.


Sophie looking at the water wheel in the Garden of Time at Iver Environment Centre


The path from the Garden of Time took us to the obstacle course where we also encountered a giant rhino! We were later told that there is a slide here although we didn’t notice it at the time – something to look out for next time.


Sophie standing next to a big model of a rhino


Sophie loved the log stepping stones. She was quite happy just walking back and forth over them for a while. I love how simple things like this can be so much fun for children.


Sophie crossing the log stepping stones


The bug hotel a little further along the path didn’t quite manage to hold her interest though.


Sophie passing the bug hotel


We couldn’t resist trying to find our way through the maze. I have to admit I’m always a bit nervous about getting lost in mazes. Thankfully this one was very small and although I think we did manage to turn down all the dead ends, we had no problem making our way through it!


Sophie making her way through the maze at Iver Environment Centre


Sophie loved the fairy houses that she spotted in one of the forest play areas.


Sophie looking at the fairy houses in one of the forest play areas


We headed back through the vegetable gardens and made our way to the outdoor cooking area. There were several dens set up around the cooking pot. Naturally Sophie had to explore each one in turn.


Sophie standing inside one of the dens


The rainforest polytunnel nearby was a big hit. There were pictures of various animals to look out for along the way and fish to watch in the pond. It was a wonderful place to spark a little adventurer’s imagination. “Watch out for that big spider, Mummy!” We tiptoed carefully through as we passed tarantulas, tree frogs and monkeys.


Sophie in the rainforest polytunnel at Iver Environment Centre


I think Sophie’s favourite place though was the orchard where there were some more children’s toys set up. She spent ages playing with the hula hoops there – trying to twirl them around her waist, spinning them across the grass, using them to skip through. Another simple activity that provides so much fun. I must get her one at some point.


Sophie spinning a hula hoop next to a giant connect-4 in the orchard


There were some metal pots near by which were great for making echoes with. Sophie had lots of fun shouting into them and listening to the echo.


Sophie listening for her echo in a metal pot


We finished off our visit with some tea and cake. Sophie thoroughly enjoyed her slice of chocolate cake!


Sophie enjoying a slice of chocolate cake


Iver Environment Centre are running various family activities on Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays in August. These need to be pre-booked and include pond dipping, bug hunts, den buildings and outdoor cooking sessions. Hopefully we’ll manage to make a return trip at some point over the summer as Sophie would love taking part in some of these.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

23 thoughts on “Exploring the gardens at Iver Environment Centre

  1. What a lovely looking place and so many good ideas in here I am squirreling away for Coombe Mill. I adore the Mother nature at work sign, I’m definitely copying that one for my kindness trail, it’s perfect! the little fairy houses look adorable too. That could be more of Farmer Nick’s logs in danger! Our bug hotel tends to get by passed too, the silly thing is the bugs much prefer to live under the fairy houses! Echo tubs is a wonderful idea. I’ve never heard of Iver Gardens before but what a delight they are. Massive congratulations on the safe arrival of Thomas, what a busy week ahead you have with Country Kids too, but ask me for help at any time. Off to vote for you in the BIBs, this is your year!

    Thank you for linking up to and taking on #CountryKids for me.

    Fiona xx

    1. Thank you Fiona – have loved joining in all these years and it is an honour to take it on. I’ve done so much more outdoors activities with the girls as a result of taking part x

  2. What a wonderful place to visit! There are so many different things to explore. I can’t get over how green everything is. I’d love a go at the maze. Sophie did an excellent job as trail blazer. #countrykids

  3. Yes simple things appeal to children of that age and their imagination adds a lot to a day out.
    Love how she took charge of the map. the joy of having only one child with you.
    EEEeewwww at the tarantula…I am sorry that would have been me put of there. #countrykids

  4. Sounds like Sophie navigated a great route. Shame she wasn’t interested in the bug hotel I think they’re amazing. There was plenty else there though by the sounds of things and I love the fairy garden. We are so busy over the summer but might be worth looking into a visit as it is right up our street (and I also hate getting lost in mazes)

    1. She usually quite likes bug hotels but I think there was so much else to look at that it didn’t hold her attention this time

  5. Sounds like she had a great time exploring and got up to lots. I would love a bug hotel in our garden but we have never got round to making one. I am not a maze fan either! #CountryKids

  6. I have not heard of this place for so thank you for telling me about it. Sorry to see that Sophie has her arm in plaster may it mend soon. #CountryKids

  7. Hi do you know if you can visit anytime during the week just to explore? There website isn’t really clear… I know there are certain activities that need to be booked but they don’t have any opening hours on their website and google just says open 10am to 3pm? But I’m not sure if thats just their offices or if that means they are open to the public? Was hoping to visit tomorrow so if you could shed any light that would be very helpful!

    1. Hi Victoria, I think you need to book to visit as there is limited car parking. Not sure if it is open Mondays but worth giving them a call to find out. Hope you have a nice time if you do manage to visit

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