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tried & tested

With so many local attractions both in and around Southend, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do! 

Our Tried and Tested reviews are a way for us to share some of the places on offer and give you more information on the individual attractions or venues, helping you make your decision that little easier!

If you would like to arrange a Tried & Tested blog at your attraction by Mum's guide to Southend,  please contact us at [email protected]

An 'egg'citing trip to RHS Hyde Hall


We went for a trip to Hyde Hall during the Easter holidays for their Giant Easter egg hunt. Despite it being the holidays, it wasn't too busy and still kept the calm, tranquil feel as we walked around the gardens.

Before we went in, we popped into the Cafe to the right of the entrance for an early lunch. The Cafe is really spacious, has lots of room for buggies and wheelchairs and also sell children's lunchboxes with quite a good selection you can choose from, including crisps, yoghurts and fruit pots. There is also a shop and plant centre that you can access from the cafe.

After lunch, we entered the grounds and spoke to one of the guides who were really helpful and gave us a few tips as to some good buggy-friendly routes to take and a some hints on the first clue for their Easter hunt. We started off on the left hand side, walking through the Woodland walk, up to the Queen Mother's garden. It is quite hilly, so although its buggy friendly, it was quite a workout walking up the hill! Louie is 4 and was quite happy to walk around the gardens but I would say any younger, they would need a few breaks in between! 

In the middle of the gardens, there is the 'gardeners rest restaurant'. There are also toilets and baby changing facilities in the same area, as well as places to buy ice-creams and plenty of outside seating and picnic areas.

If you haven't been before, the clues for the egg hunt may be a little tricky and I'm not quite sure we actually found them in the right order! The hunt itself is good fun, with bright coloured large eggs, easy enough to find for the children and a great way to keep them walking!

Around the gardens, we particularly enjoyed walking through the Robinson Garden and found some beautiful flowers around the Lower Pond area. Louie enjoyed finding out the different names for the vegetables in the Vegetable garden and running down the Clover Hill.

There is a children's play area to the right of the entrance called the Higgledy Hyde Play tower. It is definitely aimed at children 3 and up, or maybe with help from an adult. Within the play area there is a tower, slide and lots of wooden balancing beams.


The gardens are open every day of the year besides Christmas, with opening hours differing between summer and winter seasons. Picnics are allowed in designated areas of the park and there are no ball games or ride on toys allowed. 

Admission prices for adults is £15.30 however under 5's are free! They also offer various discounts for those on benefits.

Overall, a lovely day out, particularly if you get some good weather, is well worth a wander around the gardens!

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