The names Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy aren’t yet familiar to my daughter but, like the Famous Five, she has a nose for adventure and a love of solving puzzles. Armed with a map, camera and tick list, we set off on a Famous Five garden adventure at Wisley Gardens in Surrey.


The themed event is to celebrate 75 years since Enid Blyton’s first Famous Five book was published (Five on a Treasure Island). At each of the four Royal Horticultural Society gardens are self-guided adventure trails, crafts and various Famous Five related activities. As a fan of the books, I jumped at the chance to introduce my daughter to the child sleuths as well as visit the beautiful Wisley Gardens in Surrey.

We decided to focus on the ‘picnic basket trail’, designed for younger children, and dipped in and out of the other trail aimed at children over 5. The latter leads you to various clues where you have to solve the mystery of the missing Uncle Quentin who has disappeared from Wisley Gardens. The storyline and clues are based around nature and the environment (as you’d expect from the surroundings) so a good bit of education going on too.


The picnic trail proved to be a very fun way to explore Wisley Gardens and engaged Mrs T (aged 4) far more than I’d expected. We were tasked with finding different signs showing items such ginger beer, sandwiches, a boat and compass, which were scattered around the grounds.

Famous Five Adventure trail at Wisley Gardens

Mrs T loved going on an ‘adventure’ and looking for the various objects, getting very excited when they were located. I must say, she was very good at finding them!


The trail took us through various parts of the gardens from the viewing mount to the outdoor play area where we lingered a while. It gave my youngest, Cheeky, the chance to practise her standing skills and model her new LittleLite Gruffalo day pack.


Then it was through the glass house to find more clues as well as stare at its tumbling waterfall and onto the Clare Learning Centre. Inside, we found the treasure chest sign and Mrs T made her own as part of the special Famous Five craft activity which varies daily.


Following the simple origami instructions (with a little help from me), she made and decorated her treasure chest before filling it with ‘bracelets’ and ‘coins’ from the materials provided. She was delighted with the end result.

Famous Five Adventure trail at Wisley Gardens
A quick stop for lunch and we were soon on the last part of the trail where the adventure hat was located.


There was time for a short browse around the extensive gift shop (and some purchases) before heading home. It stocks the new editions of the Famous Five books with their new covers to mark the 75th anniversary.

Afterwards Mrs T proclaimed she’d had a “really fun day”. I did too! My mission to introduce her to the books was a success. Although still too young to read them herself, she’s now taking an interest in the adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy. On this occasion, she assigned herself as Anne, I was George and her younger sister was Timmy the dog! Perhaps she’ll get to be another character next time as its well worth another trip.

The Famous Five trail and events are on throughout the summer holidays until September 3 at the four RHS Gardens: Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Wisley Gardens.

On August 11th, Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday, a special picnic with face painting and music will be taking place. No need to book. Just bring a picnic and join in the fun! 

Admission: Free to RHS members. Non-members Adults: £15.40, Children 5-16 years old: £7.70. The self-guided trails and activities are no extra cost.

Baby-change facilities and soft play on site as well as cafes and restaurants. 

Wisley Gardens is located in Wisely Lane, Surrey, GU23 6QB. Visit the website for more information. 

Country Kids

CulturedKids

34 Comments on The Famous Five Adventure Trail at Wisley Gardens

  1. Emma Hip2trek
    August 12, 2017 at 11:07 am (4 months ago)

    I loved the Famous Five books, you’ve reminded me that I must introduce my children to them. The trail looks fun, love your pictures, RHS Harlow Carr isn’t too far away so I’ll have to look into a visit. #CountryKids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 12, 2017 at 10:31 pm (4 months ago)

      Definitely. A great way to keep them entertained and interested in exploring!

      Reply
  2. Coombe Mill
    August 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm (4 months ago)

    What a fab trail for you all to take part in, Mrs T looks like she loved every moment. It’s great that it inspired adventure in Mrs T and brought in elements from the books, I’m sure Mrs T is interested in the books now! It’s lovely that Mrs T loved her day out, I bet you’ll be off exploring other trails soon!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 8:50 pm (4 months ago)

      It was a fantastic day out and I was so impressed at how she took to it. Thanks for hosting #countrykids

      Reply
  3. Baby Isabella
    August 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm (4 months ago)

    We love fact finding trails especially when they are based on the Famous Five. We haven’t visited Wisley Gardens in Surrey for years but must make visit soon. Popping over from #countrykids
    Baby Isabella recently posted…Jimmy’s Festival 2017 ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
  4. Maz Hopwood
    August 12, 2017 at 8:12 pm (4 months ago)

    I’ve wanted to visit Wisley for years, but your lovely post is spurring me on to do it sooner rather than later 🙂 #countrykids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm (4 months ago)

      That’s lovely to hear! It’s well worth a visit.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm (4 months ago)

      It’s beautiful! Love it there.

      Reply
  5. Annette, Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne
    August 14, 2017 at 11:07 am (4 months ago)

    My daughter, now aged 9, is a big fan of treasure hunts in any shape or form, and of the Famous Five too! She would love this place! It looks so much fun. Love the photo of your daughter with the hat on! x
    #CountryKids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 8:58 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you. It was a fantastic day out. I can’t wait to start reading the books with her.

      Reply
  6. Becky Day
    August 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm (4 months ago)

    I used to LOVE reading the famous five books! What a lovely post! #countrykids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you so much Becky!

      Reply
  7. Megan - Truly Madly Kids
    August 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm (4 months ago)

    This is such a sweet idea, and anythign to get kids interesting in reading! #countrykids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 23, 2017 at 8:02 pm (4 months ago)

      Exactly! It was really fun.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you! Hope you get to go! Enjoy the rest of the summer!

      Reply
  8. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)
    August 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm (4 months ago)

    That sounds like a fun trail and I love the origami treasure chest. Your little one is adorable in her Gruffalo backpack. Having a trail to follow always makes a walk a little more fun 🙂 #countrykids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 23, 2017 at 8:02 pm (4 months ago)

      Aww thank you. Yes, the trail made it at lot more interesting. Was really fun!

      Reply
  9. mudpie fridays
    August 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm (4 months ago)

    We love Wisley but I had no idea they had this trail on. I am wondering when Monkey would be old enough to read these stories to him? I can’t wait as they remind me of my own childhood. Looks like they both had a lovely time x #CountryKids
    mudpie fridays recently posted…Seventh Generation GiveawayMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 24, 2017 at 9:35 pm (4 months ago)

      I know, same, looking forward to sharing the stories and getting nostalgic.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm (4 months ago)

      Me too! I love that they are still so popular!

      Reply
  10. Jenni
    September 1, 2017 at 9:37 am (4 months ago)

    I would love to do this trail! I was absolutely addicted to the Famous Five as a kid. Can’t wait till my eldest is old enough to read them to him.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      September 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm (4 months ago)

      Me too! Absolutely loved them. Looking forward to re-reading them!

      Reply
  11. Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me)
    September 1, 2017 at 9:55 am (4 months ago)

    What a way to re-live my childhood fantasies! I was a huge fan of these books. They can seem a bit dated now, but D read one to our daughter the other day, and she loved it. I guess the spirit of adventure never grows old! Thanks for sharing with #CulturedKids
    Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) recently posted…#CulturedKids September 2017My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      September 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm (4 months ago)

      You’re right, adventure stories where the kids come out on top will always be popular even if the writing is pretty dated!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      September 4, 2017 at 9:30 am (3 months ago)

      Hehe! Surely that’s compulsory!

      Reply
  12. tots2travel
    September 4, 2017 at 3:24 pm (3 months ago)

    I loved, adored, loved Enid Blighton. The Faraway Tree and Mallory Towers were my total favourites. Somehow didn’t quite get into the Famous Five but anything to do with jolly ol Enid gets my vote. Ginger beer all round!
    #culturedkids
    tots2travel recently posted…The Faroes: A Wild ParadiseMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      September 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm (3 months ago)

      I loved all her books too. Malory Towers and St Claire’s made me want to go to boarding school – although never did. I’m sure you’d live the Famous Five so will have to read them when your son is old enough!

      Reply
  13. Tara
    September 27, 2017 at 6:39 am (3 months ago)

    This sounds like it was fabulous! I loved the Famous Five (in fact all her books). I’m looking forward to introducing my daughter to them – and this would have been an amazing way to ease her in. It looks like so much fun (for everyone). #CulturedKids

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      October 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm (2 months ago)

      It was really fun thanks! I loved all Enid Blyton’s books too. Looking forward to sharing them with my daughters too.

      Reply

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