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Nature Views in Dublin

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St Stephen's Green Park
St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden, located in the centre of Dublin city. Cared for by the Office of Public Works, the park is an important public resource in the area, and provides an oasis of green calm in the middle of a bustling city. Its four centuries of history are eventful and complex, involving such important figures as Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun, and Countess Constance Markievicz. The park itself hosts a large number of important sculptural monuments to Irish history. Many species of birds and plants also call the park their home. Public facilities at St Stephen’s Green Park include a playground and a garden for the visually impaired.
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Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast is one of the city's most popular parks. The park is home to the City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which attracts thousands of visitors to Rose Week celebrations which take place in July each year. Covering more than 128 acres, the park is made up of rolling meadows, copses, woodland and gardens and is home to a wide range of plants and animals. An ideal base for exploring nearby Lagan Valley Regional Park, it contains international camellia trials, a walled garden, a Japanese-style garden with water features for quiet contemplation, children's playground and orienteering and eco trails. There is also a bottle bank, barbecue area, picnic tables and full car parking facilities.
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Belfast Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists. Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to the public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park. Today, the park is popular with residents, students and visitors and is an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events. It is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.
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Scrabo Tower
At the top of Scrabo Hill, overlooking Strangford Lough and the whole of North Down, is Scrabo Tower. The tower, which was built in 1857, is one of Northern Ireland’s best known landmarks and the views from the top are spectacular.
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Welsh Highland Railway- Rheilffordd Eryri
Take a 12-mile ride, from the coast to the slopes of Snowdon, on North Wales' newest railway. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while our massive locomotives take you past lakes, mountains and forest as they twist and turn on their way to the very heart of Snowdonia itself.
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The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
The Pembrokeshire coast is wild, gorgeous and beautifully looked after. For family activity holidays, it’s a nature lab one minute and an adventure playground the next. It’s heaven for wildlife-watching, watersports and walking, and lovely for romantic escapes, too. When you’re ready to chill out after all that fresh air, there are cosy pubs, spa treatments and fabulous sunsets to enjoy.
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Mersey Ferries
See the best views of the Liverpool Waterfront on the world famous Mersey Ferry with our 50-minute River Explorer Cruise. Guided by expert commentary throughout the cruise you can sit back, relax and take in the captivating views of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront. River Explorer Cruise tickets also include admission to U-boat Story at Woodside terminal. Plus, when you buy a combined River Explorer Cruise and Spaceport ticket you can hop off the ferry at Seacombe Ferry Terminal and visit Spaceport. Here you can enjoy our Sci-Fi Icons exhibition- a private collection of Star Wars memorabilia from one of the UK's biggest collectors and experience our amazing 360° dome show. Following your visit to Spaceport, a short hop back on the River Explorer Cruise takes you to Woodside Ferry Terminal to visit the fantastic U-boat Story. Discover an amazing and unique insight into life on-board U-534 through the exhibition's interactive and audio-visual exhibits.
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Blackpool Beach
There’s nothing quite like a day at the seaside, and Blackpool is one of the best beach resorts you will find in the UK. It was even recently awarded its first ever Blue Flag, putting it on par with other world renowned sites including the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific coastline.
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Blackpool Stanley Park
The 390-acre Stanley Park is a landmark in its own right, with a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation. Stanley Park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in elegant surroundings. Delightful horticultural displays can be found throughout the park. Don’t miss the Italian gardens, water fountains, statues, rose gardens and Remembrance Garden. Admire the impressive Cocker Tower - a memorial to Blackpool’s first Mayor Dr William Cocker, the bandstand and ornamental bridges over the lake. Stanley Park has a long sporting history and offers the best facilities in resort from a game of pitch and putt to a round of golf, a trim trail, athletic arena and a sports club for all keep-fit enthusiasts, plus play facilities for the children.
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Whiteford Bay Leisure Park
Whiteford is a quiet, family orientated leisure park with a large children’s adventure playground, site shop and a laundrette. There is no ‘club-house’ or bar on the premises in keeping with the charm and grace of the area
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Rhossili Bay Beach
Rhossili Bay is the first beach to be awarded Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for the second year running, not to mention the 3rd best beach in Europe and 9th best in the world! Rhossili has also been described as ‘The supermodel of British beaches’ by The Independent and has also won accolades from UK Travel Writers and awards for being the best spot to have a picnic! And The Times nominated Rhossili as ‘The UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’. At low tide, there is a huge expanse of beach. It is possible to walk across the bay to Llangennith or even cross onto the Worms Head. When crossing over to Worm's Head, please report to the Coastwatch Centre before you go. If your return journey is cut off by the high tide, it is very important that you do not attempt to swim back to shore. There is always some sand, even at high tide. It is very popular with surfers. Many different birds nest on the cliffs, so don't forget your binoculars.
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Penllergare Valley Woods
Penllergare Valley Woods is a picturesque landscape hidden away in a steep valley just a stone's throw, yet a world away, from the M4 in north Swansea. With its lakes and waterfalls, terraces, panoramic views, and exotic trees and shrubs, this forgotten Victorian paradise is being slowly restored and brought back to life by The Penllergare Trust. The car park and visitor centre are located just off J47 of the M4. Visitors can enjoy a drink at our Woodland Coffee Shop, with views from the terrace over our Woodland Garden and towards the Upper Lake. From here, visitors can enjoy over 12km of walks, including a stroll along the old Carriage Drive, and also down into the Llan valley where the Dillwyn Llewlyn family, who lived on the estate in the 19th century, created the Upper Lake and the stunning man-made waterfall. Paths and tracks lead on down alongside the afon Llan as it meanders its way to Fforestfach.
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The Quarry
The Quarry is Shrewsbury's beautiful, 29-acre parkland, encircled by the majestic loop of the River Severn. The Quarry has been Shrewsbury's most important site for recreation since the 16th Century. It still provides the perfect place to relax, enjoy walks, picnic, fish along the banks of the River Severn, or just let off steam. At the heart of the Quarry lies the Dingle, a floral masterpiece cultivated by world-renowned gardener Percy Thrower, who served as Parks Superintendent for 28 years. It's a delightful sunken garden landscaped with alpine borders, brilliant bedding plants, shrubbery and charming water features. For two days each August The Quarry comes alive with more than 3 million blooms, as the park hosts Shrewsbury Flower Show. There is also show jumping, arena entertainment and top military bands, as well as a spectacular firework display.
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Swansea Botanical Gardens
There is something to see throughout the year in the Botanical Gardens. The herbaceous borders are a fantastic sight from late March until mid-October and the variety of glasshouses offer shelter in inclement weather. So even during the harsh winter months, the garden has lots to offer. In 1919 the private estate of the wealthy Vivian family was bought by the Swansea Corporation for use as a public park. In 1926 the Educational Gardens were officially opened as a “collection of economic plants and British flora”. Renamed in 1991 as the Botanical Gardens they contain a renowned double herbaceous border and many mature trees of national importance. In addition, there are fine specimens of rare and exotic plants from around the world as well as a rock garden, herb garden, and the new wildflower garden which opened in 2017. The 40 metre double herbaceous borders were part of the original Educational Gardens created in the 1920’s and their layout is little changed since those times. It is entirely possible that some of the plants found here are divisions of those originally planted. The large aluminium glasshouses were constructed in the early 1990s on the site of the original wooden Tropical and Show glasshouses which had become unsafe. They include a Cactus House with succulents from the desert regions, a Temperate House with plants from Mediterranean-like areas of the world, an Economic House containing plants from around world with various economic uses, and finally a Tropical House with plants from the jungles and rainforests of the world, planted to give a naturalistic setting and kept warm at temperatures above 12° C.
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Clyne Gardens
The Gardens at Clyne were established by Admiral Algernon Walker-Heneage-Vivian who owned Clyne from 1921 until his death in 1952. He sponsored plant collecting expeditions overseas, and many of Clynes rhododendrons still bear their original collector's numbers. The Admiral's influence can also be seen in the landscaping, which includes a Japanese Bridge, the Admirals Tower and the Gazebo.
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Claggain Bay
This is a very sheltered part of Islay's east coast. The road towards Claggain Bay is wonderful and offers a wide variety of landscapes, views and great distilleries to visit. Here 3 major distilleries offer tours and a dram and are not to be missed when visiting Islay. After you pass the distillery of Ardbeg the road becomes smaller and passes some sheltered bays on the right where lots of seals bask in the sun. I have counted as much as 27 seals one time. A little further down the road, one of the most interesting historical sites on Islay can be visited. Kildalton church and Cross. The Kildalton cross is well preserved and of great detail and is one of the few remaining in Scotland. Built in the Iona tradition with Pictish, Irish, Northumbrian and Celtic motives. The cross is 2.7 metres tall and can be dated back as far as 800AD. A few miles down the road the most beautiful bay on Islay reveals itself: Claggain Bay. An idyllic and totally unspoilt sandy beach with colourful pebbles waits to be discovered. Lovely birds seek shelter here and the views towards Kintyre are stunning. Claggain Bay is probably one of the most beautiful bays in the whole of Scotland, at least in my opinion. If you park the car on a sunny day without wind and just sit around and watch the views and enjoy the wildlife in this quiet and remote part of islay you never want to leave Islay.
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Fletcher Moss Park
This 21-acre park was acquired as a gift from Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1914. Renowned for their botanical beauty, the gardens contain many antiquated and unusual plants and flowers. The park has retained many of its original features such as the rock and heather gardens, and there is an Alpine house in the gardens adjacent to Fletcher Moss. Together they form a picturesque, tranquil haven for visitors. The park also provides an excellent setting for the annual summer Park Play Performance.
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Saligo Bay
Nine Kilometres south of Sanaigmore Bay is Islay's most beautiful bay, according to many, called Saligo Bay. The bay is accessible through a gate halfway between Machir and Ballinaby farm west of Loch Gorm. For access cross the dunes with numerous rabbits and descend to reach the breathtaking beach. Saligo Bay offers one of the most beautiful light conditions according to some photographers and is a favourite spot for people to watch and photograph an Atlantic Sunset. North of Saligo Bay is a distinctive rock formation, locally known as the "Sleeping Giant". Cross the gate and from here it is only a short walk over the dunes directly west towards the sea to get access to Saligo Bay. Here wonderful sunsets and stunning light awaits you or just a memorable beach walk. The light on this part of Islay is exceptional and by some considered to be the best in the whole of Scotland! This beach is not safe for swimming due to strong currents!
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Loch Gruinart
Loch Gruinart is perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of Islay offering stunning views combined with unique wildlife, rare birds and thousands of geese in the wintertime. From the parking close to the bird hide a track takes the visitor through some sheltered woodland offering nice views over the loch, good birding opportunities and viewing platform. RSPB Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve lies to the north-west of Islay and covers some 1600ha. It is a special kind of nature reserve because it includes a working farm - in fact, the biggest in-hand farming operation on a nature reserve anywhere in the UK, and possibly in Europe. There is something to see year-round at the reserve. Some say the most spectacular time to visit is in October when internationally important numbers of barnacle and white-fronted geese return from Greenland for the winter. At the same time, brent geese and whooper swans fly in from Iceland and stop for a day or two's rest before heading onwards to Ireland. This is also a good time to see birds of prey - hen harriers, sparrow-hawks, merlin, peregrine and golden eagles. Redwings strip bare the berries on the rowan trees, flocks of small birds feed in the autumn stubbles, and choughs pull apart cowpats for dung-beetle larvae.
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Dyffryn Gardens
Considered by Cadw to be the best Edwardian gardens in Wales, the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens comprises of intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and a glasshouse showcasing impressive cacti and orchid collection. Standing at the heart of the estate is the magnificent Dyffryn House, where everyone can play the pianos, enjoy a game of billiards or sit down and admire the breath-taking views. The property has been a popular filming location for Casualty and Dr Who and was featured in the BBC’s 2017 production of ‘Decline and Fall’ starring Eva Longoria and Jack Whitehall. Dyffryn’s arboretum on the east side of the garden is a wild and exotic area, holding one of the most significant collections of trees in the National Trust. Covering 22 acres, there is plenty to discover, with all year round colour and 17 Champion Trees, the largest of their kind in the British Isles.
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Cardiff Bay Barrage
Perfect for a relaxing stroll or bike ride, the Barrage embankment is situated in a stunning maritime setting and offers spectacular views over Cardiff Bay and the Severn Estuary. Thanks to its flat gradient and lack of steps, it’s accessible for all visitors. A variety of leisure activities take place along the Barrage embankment at the children’s play area, Skate Plaza and adiZone outdoor gym. Visitors can also peruse the free exhibitions, have a sit-down and selfie with The Enormous Crocodile, and take a pit-stop at the RSPB-run Hafren Café.
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Flat Holm Island
Not strictly in Cardiff, but just five miles off the coast, the stunning island of Flat Holm is a different world with a wealth of history and wildlife. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to discover… Since the Dark Ages, Flat Holm has been a retreat for monks and acted as a sanctuary for Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, silver miners and smugglers. Fortified in Victorian times and again in World War II, it’s perhaps most famous for receiving the first-ever radio message across the water by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897. A day visit by a boat provides you with three to six hours on the island, where you can purchase a self-guided tour pack or go on a free guided tour on certain dates. You can relax and soak up the island’s tranquil atmosphere and spectacular views, and also enjoy a drink at The Gull and Leek, Wales’ most southerly pub. There will also be an opportunity to visit the gift shop, where you can buy postcards, Fairtrade snacks, and a range of souvenirs as a memento of your island experience.
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Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The gardens cover 15 acres. The Tropical House has a lily pool and lush tropical vegetation. Palms, tree ferns and orchids are displayed in the Sub-tropical House. Outside there is colourful bedding on the Terrace and a tour of the Gardens includes: Rhododendron walks, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, a collection of over 200 trees, Herb and Cottage Gardens, Museum, children's adventure playground, children's discovery garden, aviaries and National Bonsai collection. Sculpture Trail, plant centre, gift shop and refreshment pavilion.
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Strathclyde Country Park
Strathclyde Country Park is an iconic North Lanarkshire Country park which lies in 400 hectares of countryside in the valley of the River Clyde. Set within beautiful surroundings the park is one of the most popular family attractions in the central belt of Scotland, with thousands of visitors coming each year to the park in order to enjoy the vast range of activities and events on offer.
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Golden Acre Park
This popular park in North Leeds is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular tea rooms and circular lakeside walk. At 136 acres, this is a large park and is near to two of Leeds' most treasured nature reserves: Breary Marsh and Adel Dam. It's also on the route of the Leeds Country Way and the Meanwood Valley Trail.
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Almscliffe Crag
Overlooking the road between Otley and Harrogate, Almscliffe Crag is a millstone grit outcrop which is popular with rock climbers. From Almscliffe Crag there are extensive views over the lower end of Wharfedale and eastwards across to the plains of the Vale of York. The crag is one of the best climbing locations in the area. Some classic climbs include Parsons' Chimney, Black Wall Eliminate, and Wall of Horrors.
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Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park in Leeds, is one of the biggest city parks in Europe. It has over 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens which are owned by Leeds City Council. The park is one of the most popular in Europe. In the park you can find an abundance of wildlife including woodpeckers, common warblers in spring and summer, mute swans, visiting whooper swans, great-crested grebes and herons. Mammals include foxes, roe deer, voles, moles, rabbits and grey squirrels. There are good crops of crocus in spring, followed by daffodils and bluebells and gorse is present in the northern side of the park.
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National Trust Killerton House & Gardens
A family home and a great estate. Glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland with fine 18th-century house Would you give away your family home for your political beliefs? Sir Richard Acland did just that with his Killerton Estate when he gave it to the National Trust in 1944. Today, you'll find a friendly Georgian house set in 2,600 hectares (6,400 acres) of working farmland, woods, parkland, cottages and orchards. There's plenty of calm space in the glorious garden, beautiful year-round with rhododendrons, magnolias, champion trees and formal lawns. You can explore winding paths, climb an extinct volcano, discover an Iron Age hill fort and take in distant views towards Dartmoor. Off the beaten track, you can discover three of Killerton's hidden gems. Nestled by the River Clyst sits Clyston Mill, a working watermill. In the heart of Broadclyst you'll find Marker's, a medieval house steeped in history, and just a stone's throw away from Killerton House is a 1950's post office with a charming cottage garden.
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Great Central Railway
Here you will find the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway – and the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other! Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and selected week days in the summer months. There are four stations on the line, all of which have are wheelchair accessible: Loughborough Central Station (LE11 1RW), Quorn & Woodhouse Station (LE12 8AG), Rothley Station (LE7 7LD) and Leicester North Station (LE4 3BR). For a first class experience, why book onto the restaurant car service which provides a five course meal whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester? Or you can make your childhood dreams come true and try out the ‘Drive a Locomotive’ experience, where you can take the regulator on a mighty steam locomotive or notch up on a powerful diesel. With all this as well as special events, Great Central Railway is a great day out for all the family!
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Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago. It provides 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside close to Leicester City Centre. The Park offers a wild and rugged landscape with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. The landscape offers some of the finest views, and is rich in change throughout the seasons.
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Pinces Gardens
Pinces Gardens stands on the site of William Lucombe's nursery founded in 1720, most famous for his development of the Lucombe Oak. The nursery became Lucombe, Pince & Co. in the 1820s. By the 1880s the nurserymen had established the 45-yard long wisteria arch as the centrepiece of the garden, and a position that it retains today. Exeter City Council has managed the site since 1912. Today, the site is home to Pinces Gardens Bowling Club and the Pinces Gardens Croquet Club. The annual blossom of the wisteria arch attracts visitors every spring. The rose garden, planted in 2008, continues the Victorian theme of the garden.
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Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park is one of the last great wildernesses in the UK with an inspirational landscape of heather-clad moors and rugged tors. Dartmoor was designated as a National Park in 1951, a vast tract of the largely untamed countryside of huge richness and diversity stretching across 368 square miles. It's a landscape quite unlike any other, populated by lofty granite tors, mysterious hut circles and standing stones, ancient woodlands, sturdy clapper bridges, rushing streams, Dartmoor ponies, bustling stannary towns and secluded villages. This unique area has so much to see and do, but first of all, you must experience Dartmoor by actually getting out onto it, the National Park is most easily accessed by car, although there are options by bus if it’s a particular village you would like to see in general there is little public transport on to the moors. Walk, ride, cycle, canoe or even fish once you are on Dartmoor so that you can soak up its very special atmosphere. Another Dartmoor activity that has become very popular with families is letterboxing - you can find out more about this unique activity at the High Moorland Visitor Centre at Princetown. Dartmoor is also a wonderful landscape for you to enjoy Geocaching,
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Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a fine green space next to the University of Leicester campus. The centrepiece of the park is the magnificent memorial arch, built to commemorate the dead of the First World War. The arch was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, as were the beautiful wrought iron gates at the parks Peace Walk and London Road entrances. The area served as the city's racecourse until 1883; upon the racing find a new home at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby, the area was transformed and is now a peaceful retreat from the buzz of the city. The park has areas of formal flowerbeds as well as winding pathways shaded by avenues of trees– perfect for finding some shade and enjoying a picnic or a good book on a summer’s day. For more active visitors, the park is home to a bowling green, croquet area, 4 tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, a floodlit Astro pitch and an outdoor gym.
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Reg Taylor's Garden Centre
Walk into Reg Taylor's Garden Centre and you enter into a different world. It's not just a quality Garden Centre wonderfully set out over a 25-acre site, it's a place where there is the widest choice and most incredibly beautiful things for your garden and for your home. It's maintained and created each day by the Taylor Family themselves who have grown the business for well over 70 years and today are passionately dedicated to being assistance, advise and help in whatever you need to make your garden and home special. To visit Reg Taylor's is to have an amazing experience, you’ll want to come back again and again throughout the changing seasons and the year ahead. At the heart of the business, the hands-on approach and knowledge of the Taylor family is evident in the enormous choice and quality of Nursery Stock at very competitive prices. From Bedding Plants, Houseplants, Fruit Trees, Soft Fruit, Ornamental Trees to Roses, Alpines, Semi Mature Trees, Perennials, Climbers, Shrubs, Conifers, the list goes on!
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