It is a historic garden center in Somerset which has been serving the local people for decades and it is still one of the best places to visit.
This gorgeous garden center is blooming at this time of year, it is where lots of people go to get helpful and personal advice about their gardens and it is also a place to buy great locally made foods, wines and ales and with a cafe to die for.
The legendary Prior Park Garden Centre, affectionately known as Fred Daw’s by locals, is a fantastic hub just on the outskirts of Bath.
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Set just off the road on Ralph Allen Drive in the great Widcombe there is ample parking and it somewhere great to visit at any time of the day.
There are always lovely friendly staff to help, most of them have been there for years and know their customers well.
The Secret Garden Cafe, which is closed for refurbishment at the moment, will re-open soon even better than ever and is a great meeting place for local people who can sit, eat, drink and chat among the greenery and flowers, with a lovely outside terrace in summer.
The farm shop is a great place to shop, the best country food not far from the city.
Here you can buy the very best bread from local Hobbs bakery, meat from Newton St Loe farm, cheese from The Fine Cheese Company and lots of gorgeous treats.
I like to go around mid morning, but you have to be early to get the freshly baked bread.
I usually pick up a few things for the garden and when the cafe is open grab a delicious toasted cheese sandwich and coffee before going to the lovely farm shop for my day’s shopping.
The meat counter is full of fresh meat, chicken and some fish and the fresh fruit and vegetables are delicious.
I also like the loose frozen berries and fruit which I use for breakfast when thawed, it is so handy.
There are also brilliant cakes and gifts to buy, lovely things for the house and their artificial flowers and plants are really great, I sometimes cheat and use them among my fresh ones.
Their vases and crockery are really gorgeous, brilliant presents and great comfort to browse.
The garden center was started by the legendary Fred Daw, a real character who did more than anyone else to bring to his adopted home of Bath its well earned title of ‘the floral city’.
As Bath’s parks director from 1952 until 1973, he put flowers onto the pavements, built ornamental gardens on bomb sites, and led the city to the finals of the Britain in Bloom contest every year that the competition was held while he was parks director, celebrating four outright victories.
If you have time when next in Bath take a detour to this great place, in one stop you can buy almost everything you need and when the cafe re-opens it is a really great place to have lunch.
Keep an eye on the website to find out when the Secret Garden Cafe will re-open, it is much missed by locals and regulars, it will be well worth the wait and is usually open daytime seven days a week including bank holidays.