Gnome Reserve: An unusual day out with the kids
The Gnome Reserve is, to put it politely, a slightly unusual place for a day out with the kids. There’s no theme park rides to zoom about on, no animals to pet, no castles to climb. Just lots and lots of, well, gnomes. And whilst that might not sound like the most enthusiastic start to a blog post, I can guarantee that it makes for a really fun day out!
We set off on our visit on a bit of a wing and a prayer, not helped by the fact that between our backdoor and the car I had somehow managed to lose the sat nav. The Gnome Reserve is fairly well signposted but it’s in Devon which is pretty rural so finding attractions isn’t exactly the same as following the signs from J13 on the M25. I can’t remember the last time I was so happy to see the 3G symbol finally light up on my phone while I desperately worked out if we were going in the right direction.
The Gnome Reserve is a cheap destination for families at £3.75 for adults and £3.25 for kids. They often have vouchers on their website too so you don’t have the worry that your day out will cost you the best part of £100 and then one of your kids will have an off day, believe me, I’ve been there too so a cheap day out is always welcome! The food is really reasonably priced too - £2.50 for most of the sandwiches, £1.20 for a tea or a coffee and £1.50 for a small tub of ice cream, which again was much appreciated.
Once you’ve paid to enter you are free to go and help yourself to the most important accessory you’ll need for your adventures - a gnome hat. Yes, really. You will feel a bit stupid because I’m fairly certain gnome hats aren’t the kind of thing Beyonce rocks on a regular occasion but they’re great for putting you in the right mood for the gnome reserve, this isn’t a place that takes itself too seriously. Family selfies are probably obligatory at this point, my husband has one of all of us in our hats now as the screensaver on his phone though I must admit I’m kinda hoping it doesn’t make its way onto Facebook!
With hats on, you're ready to roam around the gnome reserve, there’s over a thousand gnomes there so plenty of room for more photo opportunities. My kids loved seeing what the gnomes were up to with a gnome airport, beach and a ‘lake’ where you could fish for your lottery numbers. The reserve isn’t massive but it feels like the right kind of size to walk around with kids, big enough to keep them interested, small enough that they don’t start getting bored before you’ve reached the end.
Once you’ve tired of your gnome hunting there’s also a wildflower garden with a quiz to do while you explore, looking for herbs, fruit trees and fairies. We failed at the quiz, but had a great time trying to find everything and there’s nothing like a bit of paper and a clipboard to get my kids more interested in having a bit of a walk.
The Gnome Reserve might be a strange destination for a day out with the kids but it’s a great fun one too - perfect if you’re after something a little different and the photos you take of your gnomed-up family will continue to put a smile on all your faces for a long time to come.