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Plantasia and Maze World

Atherstone, Warwickshire

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This is a fascinating and enjoyable facility for people of all ages, from children through to adults. It has activities that the children will enjoy including investigating each of six mazes and getting their reward at the end, finding out what part plants play in our eco system through the hands-on exhibitions in Plantasia, and in the wild walk with a tree top trail and many paths they can run about on and see animals in the animal pens and deer park. Adults will enjoy the serene atmosphere of the wild walking gently strolling and exploring all parts as well as across the car park on the other side visiting the shopping complex and garden centre of Dobbies. 

I have visited Plantasia a number of times and each time have both seen something different and photographed different things, it is a good place for photography not just with it's fixed displays, but also the visitors of wildfowl, dragonflies, damselflies, snails, butterflies, water features and a vast array of plants. So what is here to explore.

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Plantasia brings the world of plants to life by using an interactive exhibition centre to explore what happens to a plant both below and above ground. There are four different zones broken down into the:
  • Land of the Living - where a single shovel of soil contains more living things and without them tress and plants would not survive.
  • The Hothouse - shows how plants turn the suns energy into food.
  • The Aqua Chamber - show what part water plays, as water is everywhere it plays an important role in both plant, animal and human survival. Plus uncovers some of the creatures under threat.
  • The Ozone - informs us that without plants there wouldn't be any oxygen, but also find out what plants can live in ice or hot springs.

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The also have a outside Wild Walk where children can roam freely, no dogs allowed, and picnic tables are provided for your lunch. You can take a leisurely stroll around the meadows, lakes, woodland and orchard and explore nature and discover wildlife such as insects, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, damselflies and sometimes swans and other waterfowl on the ponds and stream that runs along the edge of the area. The carp lake and other ponds have water lilies and other aquatic plants in them, as well as ducks and other wildlife in or on them. You can also take a treetop trail which gives views of the trees from a different perspective and build your very own den in our den enclosure. For the real explorers young and old, there is also a fun stamper card trail with a special gift for every child who returns a completed trail card.
Wild Walk. Within this area you can take a leisurely stroll around the meadows, lakes and woodland, explore nature and the wildlife and have picnics. Children can have fun by collecting a card at the entrance that whilst exploring the many avenues and pathways can spot stampers which they collect on the card. Once the card is full they can return to the entrance and receive a small prize, or can let off steam the in children's play area. It keeps them occupied, while you get enjoy the surroundings. Within the wild walk there is also:

treetop trail - allows you to walk up amongst the trees and wildlife, but also gives views across the site with lakes etc below.

meadows - following the paths around the meadows you get to see the various wild flowers, small insects such as snails, butterflies and at the water you may also see dragonflies and damselflies.

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woodland - strolling or sitting in the woodland area you can hear the music of wind chimes, look at the natural art show and take in the scents of the woodland plantlife. The orchard is also a good spot, with seats provided to allow you to take a rest whilst in autumn you can sample the traditional apple varieties, plums, damsons and pears.

carp lake - with its waterlillies and fish as well of course all the tinier insects you can identify.

animals - on view are Alpacas, Gloucestershire Old Spot and Kune Kune Pigs, goats, guinea pigs, sheep, shetland ponies, muscovy ducks and of course the deer. You will also see a variety of ducks on the 2 large ponds near the entrance.


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Deer Park. Explore the deer park and be sure not to miss out on feeding time! They have three types of deer Fallow, Japanese Sika and Red. The Red's are easily recognised as they are the largest and during the 'rut' end of September to November the males will have large antlers, the Fallow deer have white spots and the Sika who also have spotty coats during the summer but a recognised from the black stripe that runs along their back. There is a hide provided where you can stand and view the deer at a distance, but you can also get up close the fence. At feeding time they are encouraged by the keepers to get closer to the fence and so that they come closer for the visitors to see, and usually the keepers will answer any questions that you may have about them.


The wild walk is a great place to visit when dry however there are no shelters, except the hide by the deer park, around the site so on very hot sunny days it is wise to cool off in the woodland area. On wet days with the grass paths as well it could be a little tricky, however Dobbies Garden Centre is nearby!

Maze World. This is a collection of permanent mazes with six mazes themed around the continents. They are created entirely from plants and materials that you can use in your garden and more than 6,000 plants have been used to create them. Each maze hides a reward stamp at its centre which can be used as a game with children, collect them all and the children can claim a small prize. Not all the mazes are like the tradition high hedge English maze, some are constructed out of stone but are still just as challenging to get round.

The mazes include:

  • Canadian Hedge Maze shaped like a maple leaf out of Western Cedar and Western Cedar yellow ribbon hedging. Its feature is a tipi. It's the only maze that has a set of rules, which state you have to follow the coloured arrows.

  • a traditional English Hedge Maze - this is the longest maze at 866 metres and has 3 feature gardens within it the main on includes a magical tree fountain. It is constructed of various hedges including yes, hornbeam, copper beech, beech, privet and golden privet.

  • Antarctic Labyrinth made out of  white stones with a penguin at it's centre

  • Japanese Trellis Maze created from 400 panels and climbing plants of clematis, honeysuckle, passion fruit and Winter Jasmine, there are also water features and an area to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

  • African Reed Fence Maze shaped like a rhino’s horn, constructed from rhino reed and bamboo fencing. The main feature of this garden is the jungle land rover and African style paintings at its entrance.

  • Australian Wooden Pole Maze that features eucalyptus plants, wonga wonga vine and bluebell creepers.

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Other Facilities available include:
  • Children's play area

  • BBQ & Picnic area

  • Disabled access

  • Refreshments

  • Toilets

  • Classroom

  • Gift Shop

A great day out and I really enjoy visiting you get to see different things each time you visit and there are a wide variety of things to photograph.

Location: Plantasia and Maze World, Atherstone, Warwickshire

Grid Reference: SP327960 Ceremonial County: Warwickshire

Map Link: StreetMap 

Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: Located off the A5 between Atherstone and Nuneaton on the site of Dobbies Garden Centre.

Access: off of Free car park
Website: Visit Plantasia
Other Useful Websites:
Address: Nuneaton Road, Mancetter, Nr Atherstone, Warwickshire
Postcode: CV9 1RF Telephone: 01827 713 438
Opening Times: Apr-Oct Daily 9.30am-5pm on Sunday 9.30am-4pm

Charges: Adult £5.95; Child £4.95; Concession £3.95; Family (2+2) £19.95

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Deer Topic Index     Where to Photograph Deer in the UK 

Notes: Great place for all the family and photographers, nearby Dobbies is a good shopping environment too.








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By: Tracey Park Section: Gardens Section Key:  
Page Ref: plantasia Topic:  Deer   Gardens Last Updated: 03/2011

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