Willowpool Garden Centre and Antiques, Cheshire
Click the picture to enlarge it.
The unimpressive entrance to this garden centre gives little
indication as to what you will find inside.
The site is a large 4� acres and contains a collection of plants, garden figures,
seats and much, much more.
This is a totally independent GardenAction opinion of the Willowpool Garden
Centre and Antiques in Lymm, Cheshire. Click any
picture to enlarge it.
There are some plants at Willowpool garden centre but they definitely
take back place to all the other garden items which are here. The quality of the plants
is good and the prices average but the selection is very small for such a large garden
Undeniably the plants are displayed in an amazingly attractive way but there's no
getting away from it, the "garden centre" in the name is a bit misleading. But that's
semantics, read on for what Willowpool does best.
THE ESSENCE OF WILLOWPOOL
Willowpool is a mixture of antiques, garden furniture, ornaments and
reclaimed metal and stonework. If you are looking for a few unusual ideas for your
garden or a centre piece then this is the place to visit. You will find statues here
that you haven't dreamed of; reclaimed and restored arches which are stunning; benches
and ornaments which will inspire your imagination. It's a fascinating afternoon out.
The best way to get a feel of what Willowpool has is by the use of pictures. The
stock is so varied and unusual that it is almost impossible to describe. The picture
gallery below hopefully illustrates our point.
Click on any picture to enlarge it, the smaller pictures don't tell the whole
picture. What we can say is that a stroll around will keep you interested for an
easy couple of hours.
To the left a small reclaimed statue which appears to be a gargoyle.
Bizarrely on the right is an almost life size statue of a pirate?
On the left is one of the centre pieces of the outside sales area.
On the right is a an amazingly varied collection of knick-knacks.
On the left and right are a couple of the unusual garden statues. Who knows, one may
inspire an idea for your garden.
A very interesting penny farthing pot planter on the left. To the
right, who knows? It appears to be a set of mediaeval doors.
Restored old baths, ideal for large plant schemes.
On the right is another collection of knick-knacks displayed in a fair stall.
The building on the left houses an interesting art gallery. On the
right is a spectacular display of topiary. A man driving a horse and carriage.
One of the more "eyecayching" features of the outside sales area is
a collection of decorations collected from the famous Blackpool fair.
Each one is accompanied by a description detailing what the piece is
and which artist created it. These pieces appear to be totally out of place.
Dotted around the outdoor area are various shops. One of those,
shown on the left, is Stewart's Garden and Hardware. It stocks a very small range of
Other shops include a hot tub centre and a sales area for
garden buildings and sheds. The apparently random selection only serves to add to
the charm of this "garden centre".
The layout of the cafe is unique, at least for a garden centre cafe.
There is a main cafe shop but a large outside area consists of a series of individually
decorated small covered rooms. Each seats from four to around sixteen people. They
really are very attractively designed, decorated and furnished.
To keep some of these
outdoor rooms warm in the winter, some have large patio heaters which serve their
purpose very well. I can't guarantee it, but the mesh surrounding them looked reasonably
"kid-proof". All in all, the atmosphere created is superb and you have to visit the cafe
to appreciate it.
The menu is extensive, much more so than the specials list on the left. It
includes main meals, bagels, sandwiches, toasties, salads and much more. The prices
range from �3 up to �10. A large cup of very tasty coffee will set you back �1.75.
Service is attentive and pleasant with more than enough staff to cope with the odd coach
load or two who turn up for a meal and a walk round the garden centre.
The quality of the food, both snacks and main meals is exceptionally high.
If you are planning a lunch at the Willowpool Tea Rooms then have a small breakfast. The
size of the meals is generous to say the least.
To sum up, this is the most unusual and attractively laid out garden centre
cafe we have ever had the pleasure to visit. The food and service are excellent. Our
recommendation goes to the cafe speciality, the savoury pancakes. Huge! Alternatively, we
can fully recommend the Willowpool Rarebit.
DISABLED ACCESSDIRECTIONS AND CONTACT
The access for a wheelchair is restricted in places, the outdoor area has cobbled paths and
gravel in several places. Having said that, we noted several wheelchair users getting round
The address is:
Cheshire WA13 0SH
A map can be found
Tel: 01925 757827
A superb afternoon out is the way to describe this garden centre. A completely different
format from other garden centres. Visit not for the plants but for the fascinating
collection of garden items. The cafe is worth a visit on its own count, serving good food at
good prices. This garden centre is well worth a visit and gets our top marks.
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