Having visited Cockington Green Gardens myself as a child, I still held the memory of it as a magical and wondrous place. Prepared for the reality check of adulthood I returned with the Little But Oncers. To my great delight, two decades had not dimmed the appeal of the gardens. I adore Cockington Green, both for its uniqueness and for its attention to detail. The little worlds contained in the gardens are truly a marvel for children and adults alike.
On entering, you’re met with an exact miniature replica of the stunning Tudor house which fronts the gardens, a teaser of whats to come. Beautifully marked paths lined with flowers lead you through the miniature worlds. From tiny soccer matches to mini garbage trucks in teeny suburbs. There’s a working mini bullet train whizzing around a little lake and incredible bonsai trees are in perfect proportion to their elfin surroundings. There’s plenty of hidden treats for those with a keen eye and a good sense of humour. You’ll find recognisable figurines or events hiding in the tiny-scape, like ”The Stig” and his muscle car, the Loch Ness monster and even a teeny-weeny wedding. There is a tonne more to describe, but I’ll leave it up to you to discover when you visit.
If you’re on a time limit, make sure to make a beeline for the back where you’ll find the international exhibits. These miniatures take on average 1000 hours EACH to create, in astonishing detail. Cockington Green Gardens consulted with embassies of over 30 countries to select a national treasure to display in miniature form. Our oldest bub posed here with mini Petra (in Jordan), which is one of Mr LBO’s most admired real world destinations. Each building in the exhibit is meticulously detailed, some even have working elements which you can activate with buttons. The area is especially wonderful for its incredible diversity of cultural styles and architecture which are nestled so comfortably together. Any little geography enthusiasts are sure to be entranced.
Child centred attractions
For a small additional fee you can take a ride on the miniature “steam’ train which chugs above several sections of the gardens. We heard squeals of delight from the passengers when the whistle tooted.
A generous grassed area hosts a childrens’ playground and picnic tables, along with a cafe. The Rose Room shop is home to “The Waverly Dolls House”, among other smaller exhibits. The (mini) mega mansion with working electricity is created in Georgian style and contains 34 perfectly furnished and staged rooms.
We can honestly say in all our travels that nothing we have stumbled upon is quite like Cockington Green Gardens. It is a miniature wonderland which captivated both myself and my little ones. Especially appealing to those with an eye for detail, Cockington Green Gardens is a special and unique experience that you wont soon forget.
Tips for your visit
- Some may balk at the entry prices. We feel that it is a very worthwhile experience. In saying that, we HIGHLY recommend getting the “3 IN FUN” Canberra deal. Questacon is especially unmissable, and included in the pack which generally retails at a 25% discount.
- We had to be let in a side entry with our big ‘ole double pram. Staff were more than happy to accommodate but a smaller stroller would have helped us navigate the indoor exhibits.
- Open all year round, we LOVED our Spring visit and timed it to coincide with the annual Floriade festival. You can never have too many flowers, right?