Top Garden Centres to Visit in the West Midlands This Christmas

Uncover the top Christmas garden centres in the West Midlands with our specially curated Midsmas guide. Offering no-charge entrance to spectacular Lemax villages and lavish Christmas décor, these spots are a must-visit for all ages. Don't miss these seasonal wonders!

Top Garden Centres to Visit in the West Midlands This Christmas
Our top recommendation for a festive garden centre visit in the West Midlands is Bridgnorth Garden Centre, located near Wolverhampton in the hamlet of Shipley on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border. As Alex's family live nearby, we're frequent visitors each Christmas season. Our past experiences of their Breakfast with Santa and Santa's Grotto were delightful. The garden centre's significant expansion last year added even more affordable festive activities, including an ice-skating rink and the pictured train ride!

Getting a Head Start on the Festivities 📆

Max and Haris standing in front of a Pikachu mascot, the iconic yellow character from the popular Japanese TV show and gaming phenomenon, Pokemon. Both are grinning broadly.
Max and his cousin enjoying a moment with Pikachu during the opening weekend celebrations of Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria's Christmas department, situated near Cannock, a few years ago.

In our house, we start getting excited about Christmas really early, usually as soon as September or October hits. One of our favourite ways to get in the festive mood is to pop over to garden centres that have gone all out with their Christmas displays. So why garden centres, you ask? Well, they're a budget-friendly and absolutely magical way to get a dose of Christmas cheer. And apart from what you spend on petrol, it's a FREE day out—pretty handy when we're all trying to watch our pennies.

Choosing Your Own Festive Adventure at Garden Centres 🌟

A traditional red Royal Mail-style post box, creatively modified with eyes and a mouth at the letter slot. The initials 'SC' are displayed further down, adorned with bells and holly above, and featuring a 'Reindeer Express' logo below.
A whimsical festive post box during a family Christmas trip to Bridgnorth Garden Centre, located on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border near Wolverhampton. Mia was so taken with it, she didn't want to leave! :)

What's great about garden centres is the freedom they give you. You can enjoy the festive atmosphere without the mandatory Santa visit—unless that's your thing, of course. You wouldn't believe it, but some of our most unforgettable Santa experiences have actually been at garden centres! However, if you'd rather avoid that part, garden centres offer a laid-back environment where you're less likely to face a barrage of curious questions from the kiddos. It makes the magic feel both accessible and fuss-free.

Unveiling Our Top Christmas Garden Centres in the West Midlands 🎅

A meticulously crafted Lemax Christmas Village display at Trentham Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, blanketed in artificial snow, creating a miniature winter wonderland that captivates all who see it.
A captivating Lemax Christmas Village display at Trentham Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, dubbed the 'UK's largest indoor and outdoor garden centre' by the Blue Diamond Group. A recommended destination if you're within an hour's radius, as the expansive Trentham Estate provides ample activities for a full family day out.

We've spent years travelling around the Midlands and even heading up North, all to find the most magical Christmas garden centres. We've already spilled the beans on our faves in the East Midlands, and now we're shifting the spotlight to share our top choices in the West Midlands. Ready, set, let's do this!

Bridgnorth Garden Centre

Shipley, Staffordshire - Between Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton

Max and Mia sitting beside a towering 7ft-tall polar bear statue at Bridgnorth Garden Centre. Max is seated on the statue's left hand, while Mia is on its right hand. The statue also features a badge displaying the name 'Bridgnorth Garden Centre', emphasising its role as a Christmas fixture at this location on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border.
Max and Mia snuggled next to the famed polar bear statue, a recurring Christmas feature at Bridgnorth Garden Centre on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border.

📍 Where Is It?

  • Bridgnorth Rd, Shipley, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, WV6 7EJ

🙌 Why Do We Love It?

  • A Family Favourite: Alex's family is based around South Staffordshire and Shropshire, so Bridgnorth Garden Centre has become a regular haunt for us over the years. Ever since it joined the British Garden Centres family in 2019, each visit has gotten better and better.
  • Memorable Santa Encounters: We've had some unforgettable Santa experiences here, including a delightful Breakfast with Santa. The team at Bridgnorth really know how to pick 'em—they consistently feature some of the loveliest Santas you could meet, who have all been fantastic with the kids.
  • Christmas Department Highlights: The Christmas department is not to be missed. It's full of themed displays and features a remarkable Lemax Christmas Village display that always captivates us. The 2022 season was particularly special as we witnessed the garden centre's expanded festive offerings.
  • New Ice Skating Rink: Last year, the centre introduced a synthetic ice-skating rink, open on select days throughout December. It cost £6.95 per person or £25 for a family, with skate hire and a 30-minute session included. Lockers were available for a £2 refundable deposit, and skate aid Penguins help the less confident.
  • VR Sleigh Rides and Food Vendors: Besides the rink, there were a whole range of new attractions in 2022, including what seemed like an intriguing Magical VR Sleigh Ride experience. The centre had a selection of food truck vendors, adding more layers to the festive experience.
  • Bridgnorth Town: Just 15 minutes away from the garden centre, the charming town of Bridgnorth offers spectacular views of the Severn Valley and a chance to spot a steam train if you wander over to the train station. It evokes the feel of Matlock Bath in Derbyshire, but has its own distinct charm and identity.
  • A Visit to RAF Museum Midlands: Another local treasure is the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Midlands - often referred to as, "RAF Cosford". Entry is FREE; you only have to cover the cost of parking. It ranks among the top family attractions in the Midlands and is particularly delightful to visit during the less crowded Autumn and Winter seasons.
  • Other Nearby Garden Centres to Consider: If you're travelling around the area, also check out Albrighton Garden Centre (also part of British Garden Centres) and Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria. Both are just a short drive away and also feature as top picks in this article.
  • Our Top Pick for a Festive Visit: All in all, Bridgnorth Garden Centre is our top choice for festive outings in the West Midlands. The Christmas department will open its doors on September 23rd, 2023—mark your calendars for an early seasonal visit!
Fun Fact: When she was 16, Alex, Midsmas' very own Mrs Claus, was employed at Bridgnorth Garden Centre back when they had a pet department. She relished the opportunity to don an Elf costume in their Grotto and would make a grand entrance each year in a horse-drawn carriage alongside Santa to signify his official arrival at the centre. Consequently, the garden centre has its own set of cherished memories for her as well.

Webbs, Wychbold

Wychbold (Near Droitwich Spa), Worcestershire

Kelly's daughter kneeling in front of a candy cane-themed festive display at Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold, Worcestershire. The display is abundant with red and white sweets, candy canes, nutcrackers, and a similarly decorated Christmas tree.
A huge shout-out to Kelly, a treasured member of our Midsmas Facebook community, for sharing this delightful photo. It features her daughter captivated by a wonderfully festive display at Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold, Worcestershire, conveniently located just off J5 of the M5 in Droitwich Spa. Don't miss Kelly's blog, Small House, Big Trips, where she's amassed over 1,000 reviews of her family's adventures across the Midlands. Check it out here:

📍 Where Is It?

  • Worcester Road, Wychbold, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, WR9 0DG

🙌 Why Do We Love It?

  • Award-Winning Excellence: Webbs, Wychbold isn't just any garden centre; it's an award-winner. This summer, it clinched the esteemed "Garden Centre of the Year" award in the Destination Garden Centre (DCG) category for the Midlands region, presented by the Garden Centre Association (GCA). It shared this top honour with Fairways Garden Centre in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, in the Garden Centre (GC) category.
  • A Luxurious One-Stop Destination: It's enormous! Webbs, Wychbold offers everything from plants and home decor to gifts and delectable food. As a first-time visitor, you can easily find yourself immersed for over an hour exploring its expansive offerings. To enhance your festive cooking and baking, the Lakeland store next door offers a fantastic range of seasonal kitchenware.
  • Christmas Ambience Galore: This garden centre pulls out all the stops when it comes to Christmas decorations. From the sparkle of twinkling lights to the intricate details of festive ornaments, it transforms into a breathtaking winter wonderland for visitors of all ages.
  • The Magical Light Trail - Enchanted Gardens: One of the highlights of the Christmas season at Webbs is the Enchanted Gardens light trail. Hosted in their exquisite Riverside Gardens, the 2023 theme revolves around Neverland—think mermaids, fairies, pirates, and perhaps even the fearsome Captain Hook. For ticket information and to book (pre-booking is essential), visit Webbs' website.
  • Family-Friendly Attractions: Parents, listen up! The large-sized pets and aquatics department is a guaranteed hit with the little ones. For crafting enthusiasts, there's an in-store Hobbycraft concession, perfect for stocking up on festive craft supplies.
  • A Culinary Delight - The On-Site Restaurant: Webbs doesn't skimp on quality when it comes to food. Their on-site restaurant is top-notch, serving a variety of breakfast dishes and a mouth-watering Sunday roast. Though not the most budget-friendly option, the food quality, particularly meat sourced from their in-house master butchers, is worth every penny. And for those moments when your kids dash off in different directions, the food is conveniently served right to your table.
  • The Gourmet Food Hall: Adjacent to the restaurant is a food hall bursting with local and international culinary treasures. From Whoopie Pies (go for the Peanut Butter and Jelly!) to artisan beers, ciders, chutneys, and chocolates, it's an ideal place to find Christmas gifts for the foodie in your life. Just be mindful of the expenses, as costs can quickly add up.
  • Budget-Friendly Food Options Nearby: For those watching their wallets, there's a McDonald's just a minute's drive away. It might have tricky parking, but it's a less expensive dining alternative, especially for families with picky eaters.
  • Ample Parking Space: Say goodbye to parking woes! Webbs offers one of the most generous parking spaces among garden centres, so you shouldn't find yourself jostling for a spot even during the busy Christmas season.

Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria

Shareshill (Near Cannock), Staffordshire

A heartwarming moment where tiny Mia is pointing at the mouth of an Elf mascot at Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria's Christmas Department opening weekend. The Elf, resembling the popular shelf-based Elf design, is adorned in a red suit with a white frill at the neck, a pointed red hat, and big blue eyes. He is kneeling and gently holding Mia around her back.
A touching throwback to tiny Mia, radiant with joy as she dances with an exceptionally attentive Elf mascot during the Christmas Department's opening weekend at Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria. Unaware that Mia is non-verbal and severely autistic, the Elf went above and beyond to ensure she had an unforgettable experience, filling our hearts with immeasurable happiness as a SEN family.

📍 Where Is It?

  • Warstone Road, Shareshill, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, WV10 7LX

🙌 Why Do We Love It?

  • A Must-Visit for Festive Displays: Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria stands as one of the UK's most expansive independent garden centres, showcasing a diverse array of products in gardening, aquatics, and pet care. Its ample size is a playground for their captivating themed displays, particularly during the festive season, where the staff go above and beyond to provide a sensational visual experience for visitors.
  • Grand Christmas Launch Weekend: A particular highlight that draws us back yearly is the grandiose welcome weekend that signals the inauguration of their Christmas department. During our visit in 2019, the event featured an array of character mascots including Elf on the Shelf, Pikachu, Forky, and Olaf, offering numerous photo opportunities and meet-and-greet sessions. However, it's worth noting that the experience changes each year, and the presence of these mascots is not guaranteed for future events. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates, as they typically launch the season between late September and early October.
  • Budget-Friendly Santa's Grotto Experience: Hollybush offers a charming and cost-effective Santa meet-and-greet. When we went in 2021, the experience included activities like decorating a paper wreath and creating Christmas scratch art. Visitors also get to meet and feed the resident reindeer, Casper and Barry. The cost was £14.95 per child in 2021, which we found reasonable given the overall experience and the quality of the toy gifts. Do bear in mind that the prices may have been updated since our visit, as the details for the 2023 event haven't been announced at the time this blog post was posted.
  • Culinary Experience at The Den: The centre has continually expanded its offerings over the years, adding 'The Den'—a ground-floor coffee shop ideal for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or afternoon tea. For the more adventurous, there's also the option for alfresco dining amid their stunning plant area, even in the colder months leading up to Christmas. They also offer freshly-baked Planet Doughnuts, made overnight in a bakery based in Shrewsbury.
  • Indoor Fun at 'Bee Wild' Soft Play Area: For families with young children, Hollybush houses 'Bee Wild,' a garden-themed soft play area segregated into baby, toddler, and junior zones. The centre provides meal deals and has comfortable seating for parents, grandparents, and carers. Due to its popularity, particularly in the autumn and winter, advance booking is highly recommended.
  • Open-Air Fun for Families: If you're in the mood for a free alternative, Hollybush features an open-air play area close to the Santa's Grotto, complete with a slide, swings, and an in-ground trampoline, making it tough for the kids to say goodbye!
  • Dining at The Hollybush Restaurant: The Hollybush Restaurant located upstairs is a culinary gem. Despite its popularity, which might result in some wait times and occasional food shortages, the dining experience is well worth it. However, if you're visiting with a pushchair, be prepared for a small lift and potentially tight spaces in the dining area, so perhaps consider using a baby carrier for convenience.
  • Aquatics and Pet Care Wonders: An added allure for families is the impressive aquatics section, offering a variety of fish for children to admire. It's an excellent, cost-free activity that adds an extra layer of fascination to the entire experience.
  • Arts and Crafts at Potsy Pamsy's Paint a Pot Studio: To make your visit even more memorable, why not engage in some creative expression at Potsy Pamsy's Paint a Pot Studio? It's suitable for all ages, with over 200 items to pick from for painting. Given the popularity of this activity, particularly during the festive period, advanced booking is strongly advised.
  • Convenient Parking Solutions: Parking at Hollybush is fairly straightforward, thanks to its sizeable car park. Even on busy weekends, the one-way system helps direct you to available spots. A little tip: veer right when entering the centre for better parking odds.
  • Strategic Location: Located just a minute or two away from both the M6 and M6 Toll, the garden centre is incredibly easy to access from most parts of the West and East Midlands, making it a prime choice for an engaging day out for the entire family.
  • Close Proximity to McArthurGlen West Midlands Designer Outlet for Extra Festive Fun: Hollybush Garden Centre is conveniently located just 10-15 minutes away from the McArthurGlen West Midlands Designer Outlet in nearby Cannock. Last year, the outlet offered a FREE Santa's Grotto, though you'll need to be swift to book your tickets as they go quickly. A fantastic HARIBO outlet store is available, providing excellent options for stocking fillers. The shopping complex also features a brilliant FREE play area towards the rear, making it a well-rounded destination for family entertainment. Parking is ample but tends to fill up fast, especially in the run-up to Christmas. So, if you're planning a weekend visit, it's advisable to head to the outlet early in the morning and then make your way to Hollybush Garden Centre afterwards.

Planters Garden Centre at Tamworth

Freasley (Near Tamworth), Warwickshire

A festive display at Planters at Tamworth, featuring an aqua green door framed by a custom-made, Christmas tree-shaped metal arch. The arch is embellished with Christmas foliage and enveloped in twinkling lights. Additional decorations include lanterns, a stuffed reindeer toy, and a large snowy owl.
A glimpse of a festive display at Planters at Tamworth, situated in the Freasley area of North Warwickshire on the Warwickshire/Staffordshire boundary - a stone's throw from J10 of the M42. Given its resounding popularity among our Midsmas members, we've included it in our list of the top five must-visit garden centres in the West Midlands this Christmas. Photo credit: Planters at Tamworth.

📍 Where Is It?

  • Woodlands Farm, Trinity Road, Freasley, Tamworth, Warwickshire, B78 2EY

🙌 Why Do We Love It?

  • Why the Midsmas Community Adores Planters at Tamworth: Our Midsmas community has a longstanding love for Planters at Tamworth. We've visited multiple times, but the Christmas we remember most fondly was when Max was still a toddler. Though it has been a long time and Christmas offerings may have evolved, it's the magical, animatronic festive displays that we vividly remember from our festive visit in 2019. Similar praise extends to their sister centre in Bretby, which we featured in our article about must-visit garden centres in the East Midlands for the festive season.
  • Elaborate Grotto Experiences Suited for All: Planters at Tamworth goes above and beyond in offering varied Grotto experiences that cater to all—babies, toddlers, and even pets. The 2023 event includes a 5-minute private meeting with Santa. Before this, children enter a TiPi to craft a plush reindeer toy with Elf assistance, receiving an adoption certificate for their new toy. They also make reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve. Be mindful, however, that reviews from last year were a mixed bag, so do your own research before committing.
  • Additional Attractions for the Family: To enhance your visit, the garden centre provides several additional activities. They have a mini adventure golf course, which is a paid attraction, and a free outdoor play area for children. A unique feature is the Sky Trail—a two-level rope and beam course perfect for adrenaline seekers. It's worth noting that Planters at Tamworth is the only UK garden centre with a Sky Trail. Given its popularity, advanced booking is often essential. Additionally, keep an eye on Groupon for potential discounts, as they often offer deals.
  • Relax and Dine with Local Flavours: For culinary delights, Planters at Tamworth offers a spacious, modern restaurant overlooking the plant area and the Sky Trail. All ingredients are locally sourced and priced reasonably. The dining experience is enhanced by their coffee shop, which serves a special blend of Planters Coffee, roasted by Beanworks of Brackley in Northamptonshire. Perfect for relaxing by the fire, perhaps while reading a newspaper, without the distractions of the digital world, although FREE Wi-Fi is available.
  • Convenient Location for Easy Access:
    Situated just a couple of minutes off Junction 10 of the M42, Planters at Tamworth provides easy connectivity to other major routes like the M6 Toll and the A5. Its strategic location makes it an accessible choice for a family day out, especially during the festive season.
  • Extend Your Visit to Grangewood Garden Centre for Exceptional Homecooked Meals: If you're planning on making a day of it, consider a brief jaunt to Grangewood Garden Centre, located just a 10-minute drive northwest up the A5 from Planters at Tamworth. While it's a smaller garden centre, its on-site restaurant—The Forest Restaurant—is an unmissable culinary experience. We visited midweek around lunchtime in the run-up to Christmas and the place was bustling. Despite its popularity, especially on weekends, it's well worth the wait. The food, specifically the breakfast and fish and chips, are some of the best homecooked meals we've encountered in any garden centre. The chefs, Cody & Luke, along with their superb team, have truly outdone themselves and deserve accolades for their culinary craftsmanship. So if you're a food aficionado, this is a side trip you won't want to miss.
  • Proximity to Other Attractions for a Full Day Out: Planters at Tamworth is strategically positioned, only a stone's throw from several other popular local attractions, allowing you to make the most of your day out. It's close to the bustling Ventura Retail Park, Tamworth Snowdome, and the charming Tamworth Castle Grounds (also known as the Pleasure Grounds). The latter is free to explore and offers paid parking next to the NAMCO Funscape bowling alley and arcade. This gives you ample options to extend your day with some outdoor leisure or indoor entertainment. Though we've not visited, Tamworth Castle also comes highly recommended. If you're considering a visit, especially in the run-up to Christmas, do check their admission prices and opening times to avoid disappointment.

Trentham Home and Garden (A Blue Diamond Garden Centre)

Trentham (near Stoke-on-Trent), Staffordshire

A view through a Christmas fir arch at Trentham Garden Centre, revealing an extensive array of decorations and trinkets in luxurious Christmas hues like rose gold and navy blue.
Conveniently located near both the M6 and A50, Trentham Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent is a must-visit spot, appealing to people from both the West and East Midlands. Alongside its exquisitely decorated Christmas department, the wider Trentham Estate features a Shopping Village with a distinct Winter ambiance, thanks to its cabin-style designs that house a blend of high-street and independent shops. Add the stunning, paid-entry Trentham Gardens to the mix, and you've got an ideal family outing in the countdown to Christmas.

📍 Where Is It?

  • Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8JG

🙌 Why Do We Love It?

  • "The UK's Largest Indoor and Outdoor Garden Centre:" When you arrive at Trentham Home and Garden, you quickly realise it's not just another garden centre; it's a sprawling oasis that caters to every indoor and outdoor living need. What truly sets it apart is its enormity, offering something for everyone. It's a year-round treasure trove that undergoes an awe-inspiring transformation come autumn, making room for their elegant and vast Christmas department adorned with unique decorations from brands like Gisela Graham. A sense of meticulous planning is evident, and every corner is a festive discovery. Usually, by early/mid October, the centre orchestrates a staggering makeover. Summer essentials are marked down and make way for a festive extravaganza. Here, your Christmas dreams are realised, thanks to the diligent staff who have transformed the space into a yuletide utopia. From high-end to budget-friendly ornaments, Trentham offers a unique and tasteful selection that appeals to every kind of Christmas enthusiast. Special mention goes to their Lemax Christmas Village display which never fails to impress.
  • Indulge in a Culinary Christmas Journey: Dining options here are so diverse they'll leave you spoilt for choice. Among the three unique eateries, Six Arches Restaurant takes the cake—literally! Offering decadent, enormous slices, it promises a mouthwatering experience that's both satisfying and economical. Pair that with their 250+ seating capacity and you're in for a treat without the hassle of waiting. Meanwhile, Caffé Bello offers a laid-back coffee shop vibe, and Terrazzo del Giardino (inside Trentham Gardens; admission charges apply) entices with its high-end Italian appeal. Six Arches stands out as the best option for a delightful yet budget-friendly family outing.
  • Discover Alpine Charm at Trentham Shopping Village: Adjacent to the garden centre is Trentham Shopping Village, a hamlet of 80 Alpine-style timber chalets. Pieminster and Cadwaladers add to the Village's unique offerings. Pieminster is the go-to spot for a hearty pie and mash, particularly comforting in chilly December. Cadwaladers lets you hold onto the memories of sunny Welsh holidays with their delicious ice cream. With a myriad of shops, both independent and nationally renowned, it's the perfect spot for Christmas gift hunting or simply window shopping.
  • Trentham Gardens: The gardens themselves offer a different spectacle every season. In autumn and winter, the Italian Gardens may not be at their peak, but the sheer beauty of the landscape remains untouched. The fairy sculptures delight children, and the expansive adventure playground keeps them engaged. Take along wellies and bin liners; some paths near the lake turn into a muddy adventure after rainfall—perfect for those who don’t mind a bit of natural frolicking.
  • Other Top-Rated Attractions Right on Trentham’s Doorstep: Stoke-on-Trent has more than just Trentham to offer. From the highly-rated Santa experiences at World of Wedgwood to the intimate Emma Bridgewater Factory, each place adds a distinctive charm. Places like The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and restaurants like The Blockhouse expand the local offerings, transforming a trip to Trentham into a full-fledged, fun-filled day out.
  • Conveniently Location Next Near the M6: Trentham's convenient location near major motorways makes it accessible, whether you're coming from Birmingham/Wolverhampton via the M6 or heading from Derby across the A50. Its sister location, East Bridgford Garden & Home, offers a comparable experience for those based in the East Midlands, proving that wherever you are, Trentham is a must-visit.

Two More Cherished Midsmas Destinations for Festive Family Outings

Although these two garden centres didn't secure a spot in our elite top five, they each offer unique charms that make them well worth your visit. You're sure to leave either of these additional venues feeling festive and fulfilled.

Albrighton Garden Centre

Albrighton (Between Wolverhampton and Telford), Shropshire

A past Christmas display at Albrighton Garden Centre in Shropshire, featuring small tables adorned with Christmas gifts like gonks and festive sleighs. In the background, shoppers browse additional shelves stocked with seasonal treats.
A throwback to a festive display of Christmas gifts and treats at Albrighton Garden Centre in Shropshire, situated conveniently near the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Midlands and the M54.

Also part of the expansive British Garden Centres family, which boasts over 60 locations around the UK, Albrighton Garden Centre may be smaller in scale compared to the nearby Bridgnorth Garden Centre, but it punches well above its weight when it comes to festive magic. The skilled and dedicated staff turn limited space into a wonderland of seasonal decor, proving that size isn't everything when it comes to creating a Christmas spectacle.

Alex's Mum and Dad are frequent visitors to Albrighton Garden Centre and they're big fans of the centre's carvery, which is available every day of the week. Now, let me tell you—Alex's Mum herself is an expert when it comes to whipping up a mean roast dinner. So, if she's giving her seal of approval to Albrighton's carvery, you know it's got to be top-notch. This glowing endorsement alone makes the carvery an unmissable experience for anyone visiting the centre.

For younger visitors, Albrighton Garden Centre rolls out its much-loved Breakfast with Santa experience. And it doesn't stop there; the centre also has an extensive soft play area complete with tunnels, slides, and climbing frames. This is the ideal spot for children to use up that excess energy while parents can relax with a cup of tea and cake at a table conveniently located next to the play area.

If you're considering a trip, it's well worth pairing your visit with a stop at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Midlands, located at the RAF Cosford base. Highly touted as the best FREE family outing in the Midlands, this museum offers complimentary entry for all—just pay a nominal parking fee. It's conveniently a mere five-minute drive from the garden centre.

To round off your trip to Albrighton Garden Centre, if you're keen on exploring the area further, especially with the little ones in tow, Telford Town Park is just a 15-minute drive away and an absolute must-visit. The park hosts Wonderland, which puts on an incredibly popular Christmas event that comes highly recommended by our Midsmas Facebook community. It's the sort of magical experience that families cherish during the festive season. Do note that admission fees apply for Wonderland, so plan accordingly, and book online in advance of visiting.

Not too far away, you've also got the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust. Do check out their Christmas events, particularly the seasonal festivities at Blists Hill Victorian Town. It's a captivating step back in time that perfectly complements the festive season.

And, of course, we can't forget the stunning, historic market town of Bridgnorth, located on the banks of the River Severn. While it's a treat to explore in the summer months, there's something particularly charming about strolling through its quieter streets during the autumn and winter.

During the summer months, another attraction worth visiting is David Austin Roses. Located nearby, this garden showcases some of the most exquisite roses you'll ever see, adding yet another layer to an already fulfilling day out.

So, there's no shortage of wonderful activities to make your visit to the area an unforgettable experience.

📍 Newport Road, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, Shropshire, WV7 3EE


Percy Thrower's Garden Centre (A Blue Diamond Garden Centre)

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

A cone-shaped Christmas tree adorned with white and green lights at Percy Thrower's Garden Centre. The sun is setting in the distance, casting its glow towards Gay Meadow stadium.
For those based in Shrewsbury or attending a nearby festive event, Percy Thrower's is a worthwhile visit. Although its Christmas department is somewhat modest given the centre's size, the experience was enjoyable, making it one of the more commendable garden centre choices in Shropshire.

Located in Shrewsbury and part of the esteemed Blue Diamond Group, Percy Thrower's Garden Centre is more than just a place to buy plants. It's a festive destination for the whole family, steeped in historical significance. The iconic British horticulturist Percy Thrower had significant connections to Derby, which happens to be both my birthplace and where I am still proud to call home. He devoted a substantial portion of his early career to the Derby Parks Department, before making the move to Shropshire on the first day of 1946.

Spanning a large area, Percy Thrower's Garden Centre is a veritable treasure trove of plants, gardening gear, and speciality foods, offering more than enough room for a relaxed family outing. During our visit last December, the Christmas section caught our eye with its delightful decorations, creating the perfect mood for some seasonal shopping. While the space certainly allows for an even more extensive Christmas area, what was on display was still inviting. The musical penguins stationed near the exit particularly captivated my two girls - Holly and Mia.

For those looking to grab a bite, the on-site café and restaurant is another highlight. Whether it's a quick cup of tea or a hearty meal, the menu often features locally-sourced ingredients. Adjacent to the café is a large soft-play area, perfect for young visitors. The garden centre's location, just a stone's throw from Gay Meadow where Shrewsbury Town play, adds a spirited community vibe, which we felt firsthand as we heard the crowd's roar celebrating a last-minute goal against Bolton Wanderers during our visit.

Accessibility is also a strong point. The garden centre is conveniently located about five minutes off the A5 and near Love2Stay, a high-end camping and outdoor resort, making it an excellent base for further exploration of Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

To round off your visit, especially if you're a National Trust member, we highly recommend combining a trip to Percy Thrower's with a visit to one of our all-time favourite National Trust locations in the Midlands—Attingham Park. Do check their festive schedule to maximise your seasonal outing. Pack your wellies, too!

Alternatively, should you be scheduling a morning trip to Percy Thrower's and you're travelling back east via the M54, you might want to consider a detour to the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Midlands in Cosford. While I won't rehash all the specifics, admission is free—you'll only need to pay a nominal parking fee. Conveniently, it's just a five-minute drive from Junction 3 of the M54.

All in all, Percy Thrower's Garden Centre is a must-visit if you're in or near Shrewsbury during the run-up to Christmas, or indeed, at any time of the year.

📍 Thrower Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6QW


Additional Local Garden Centres That Could Be Worth Exploring

We've had the pleasure of visiting roughly a third of the garden centres in the West Midlands that are featured on our list. The others have garnered recommendations from our Facebook community. Although we can't vouch for the holiday ambiance at the places we haven't explored, we can offer some thoughts on those we have. For instance, we've enjoyed the festive spirit at Byrkley Park and Codsall & Wergs, and just this week, we dropped by Stratford Garden Centre for the first time. Stratford proved to be a lovely spot for a local breakfast, but we don't anticipate making the journey from Derby specifically to revisit, unless we're already heading to Stratford-upon-Avon for other reasons. In short, we'd say these centres are worth your time if you're nearby, but they're not destinations we'd recommend travelling a long distance for.

Seeking Ideas for Top Garden Centres to Explore in the East Midlands?

An intricately designed Lemax Christmas village display at Gates Garden Centre on the Leicestershire/Rutland border. The meticulous attention to detail in this show-stopping festive arrangement is evident, capturing the essence of the festive season beautifully.
Last year's mesmerising Lemax Christmas village at Gates Garden Centre, situated on the Leicestershire/Rutland border, was nothing short of breathtaking. Gates is one of our standout recommendations in the East Midlands and is definitely worth the journey, even if you're driving from as far as an hour and a half away in the West Midlands.

If you've already explored most of our previous suggestions, why not take a trip to the East Midlands? Gates Garden Centre, located near Oakham on the Leicestershire/Rutland border, is absolutely worth a visit. Plus, we have a host of other fantastic garden centre recommendations in the East Midlands to consider for your festive excursions. Check them all out here!