This annual event sees families hunting down hidden tokens in the Jurassic undergrowth, which can be exchanged for a free chocolate egg. If they find the Golden Horseshoe, they can win a giant chocolate Easter Egg. There are two of these to be won each day.
Stephen Griffith, Curator of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, said: ‘It can be a bit of a headache storing 8,000 chocolate eggs but luckily it’s only a short-term problem for us, as they get gobbled up very quickly once we open our doors on Good Friday.
‘The gardeners walk round with pockets stuffed full of tokens and discreetly scatter them around. They have to be careful they’re not seen because otherwise they end up like the Pied Piper, with a procession of children following them!’
John Houston, General Manager of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, said: ‘Everyone here looks forward to Easter. Not only do we get to enjoy traditional Easter Egg hunts on a grand scale with hundreds of families, but there’s a real sense of rebirth and rejoicing in the Subtropical Gardens as the Spring blooms come out in earnest.’
Other free activities on offer are a children’s entertainer, bouncy castle and face painting. This event is taking place every day between 10am and 6pm over the Bank Holiday weekend from Good Friday 6 April to Easter Monday 9 April. Last admission is 5pm. Find out more at www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is winner of the 2012 HHA/Christie’s Garden of the Year award. They were established in 1765 by Elizabeth, the first Countess of Ilchester, as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. They are now among the best-known and best-loved gardens in Britain, Grade 1 Listed by English Heritage and filled with rare and exotic plants from across the world.
Stephen Griffith has been the curator of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens for the last 22 years. He has masterminded the garden’s renaissance following a great storm in 1990. It is divided into a series of zones, geographical (eg, Mediterranean, Himalayan) or time-based (eg, the new Jurassic swamp).
Facilities include The Colonial Restaurant, gift shop and plant centre where many of the flowers grown in the garden can be purchased. Entrance is free to the restaurant, shop and plant centre.
Regular events take place at the garden; it is floodlit from dusk to 8.30pm during the second half of October. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens are open every day except 21 December to 3 January inclusive.
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