Manor Garden Centre, Swindon
There was a very small range of indoor plants for sale. We asked the
manager why there were so few and the response was that there was
little demand for them at this garden centre.
The plants on show
attractively arranged and fairly priced.
The indoor sales area had everything you would expect from a
medium to large garden centre. There were gifts, cards, a good
range of outdoor furniture and barbecues. All your normal garden
accessories were stocked. Similar to the outside plant area, the
indoor area was attractively arranged, modern but still
retaining the feel of a garden centre.
Manor Garden Centre provided a wide range of bird feed and
accessories (click picture on the left) at competitive prices.
But it has no pet centre, aquatics centre or garden buildings /
greenhouse section. This is not a problem though, because on the
same industrial estate, just seconds walk away are shops that
specialise in those areas.
In many of the larger centres they have franchises which specialise in
aquatics, greenhouses etc. But on the Cheney Industrial estate these
companies operate independently.
Because the estate is so compact, they are literally a few
seconds walk away. This makes for an ideal situation. At the
heart of the estate is Manor Garden Centre. Other shops include
Maidenhead Aquatics which sells an extensive range of fish and
all related fish accessories.
We visited them and, as always, the fish are displayed very
well and they all look healthy.
Paradise Pets is also on the estate and they stock a wide range of pets and pet related items. For paving,
decking, bricks, stones etc. you have AWBS (Swindon Patio Centre) to
satisfy your needs. Hinders also have an excellent fishing shop.
Last, but definitely not least, you also have TWIGS on the
Cheney Industrial Estate. The aim is to help people improve
their mental well-being, primarily through gardening. We
wandered round their gardens (open to the public on Wednesdays
and Fridays) and they are an inspiration. We thoroughly
recommend that when you visit Manor Garden Centre you also take
a walk round the TWIGS gardens.
On the site is also
a set of beehives with honey bees. Honey is collected from the
hives (run by the Swindon Beekeepers) and sold at TWIGS Open Day (on
27th April in 2008). Finally at the far end of TWIGS
garden is a conservation area which is very interesting. It is run by an
organisation called Flowers and Butterflies (FaB for short).
We visited in March so our pictures (click here for
our photo gallery) do
not do justice to the gardens.
for the official TWIGS website to get a better idea of what is on offer.
Apologies to Manor garden centre for going on so much about what else
there is on the Industrial Estate! But we believe that these other
facilities enhance the attraction of the garden centre. Combine just
Manor Garden Centre and TWIGS and you have a very good afternoon out.
MANOR GARDEN CENTRE CAFE
We received an email in January 2010 from one our readers stating that the cafe was
dirty and generally in a mess. So we revisited the cafe and found that indeed it was a mess
but the reason, according to the clearly displayed sign, was that it was undergoing a
re-design. The expected reopening date is mid mid-February 2010. We will revisit the cafe
soon after to review it again.
This shows the importance of a website, which Manor Garden centre do not have. Without a
website they have no means of warning prospective visitors that the cafe is temporarily
Tubby's cafe and restaurant at Manor Garden Centre is a great
place to have a coffee / tea and biscuits, or even better a main
The cafe decor is very welcoming with attractive pine tables
and chairs. As well as an indoor seating area there is a good-sized
outdoor area for warm weather days.
The prices were very competitive with a choice of nine main
meals at around �5.95. Included was a massive full English
breakfast for �5.95 or a smaller version for �3.95, excellent
value. The quality of the food we had was excellent. It was well
prepared and well presented. All main meals are served to your
The cakes and snacks were equally good with fine tasting coffee
The garden centre has been designed with wheelchair access in mind. The
aisles inside and out were wide and flat. Wheelchairs were available for
free at the entrance.
The toilets were spotlessly clean with disabled and baby changing
The car park was fine with a flat surface and more than sufficient
car parking spaces.
DIRECTIONS AND CONTACT
The address is:
Manor Garden Centre,
Cheney industrial Estate,
Wiltshire SN2 2QJ