Situated on the Jurassic Coast, on the edge of Chickerell Village, is Bennetts Water Gardens. This third generation family run business is on an eight acre site of tranquil lakes and a world famous lily collection. The gardens hold the National Plant Collection© of Water Lilies with a Monet style Bridge as the centrepiece. If you have never seen over 140 different varieties of water lilies producing thousands of flowers spread across acres of water, then Bennetts Water Gardens in Weymouth is worth a few hours of your time.
In 1959 the founder, Norman Bennett, planted the very first water lilies here in the disused clay pits that was once the site of a brick works. This provided an ideal growing area for water lilies, which have been propagated over the years for sale to public and trade alike. Initially most of our stock was sent to other aquatic suppliers and plant nurseries in Britain, this means that it is quite likely that many water Lilies around the country are descendants of Weymouth stock. Bennett's Water Lilies have also been exported in large quantities all over the world. In 1990 Bennetts’ produced several seedlings, and one turned out to be quite special and was named Nymphaea ‘Weymouth Red’. This delightful small growing water lily was sent to the USA to enter the International Trials of New Varieties Arboretum in Washington. In August 1988 it was awarded Best Small Water Lily.
The site has changed considerably since 1959, Norman retired in 1988 and his son Jonathan has guided the gradual transformation into the landscaped gardens of today. Jonathan strives to continue the work started in the mid 1970’s to evolve and improve the gardens for future generations. Grass pathways lead you through the series of ponds and lakes surrounded by wetland plants, native trees, palms, wild plants and flowers. The 8 ponds are home to over 140 water lilies that flower from May to September (with June, July and August producing the maximum number of blooms). The gardens are a registered 'Site of Nature Conservation' and home to abundant wildlife, including Deer, Badgers, Foxes, Water Voles, Coots, Mallards, Moorhens, visiting Herons, Kingfishers and other birds. Most species of British Dragon flies have been identified here in the summer months. There are amphibians such as Newts and frogs to be seen if you look closely enough. There are scenic places to sit and unwind, with shaded woodlands walks to explore. The tropical house contains exotic plants including a cacti collection and of course Water Lilies in the fish pond. There is also a family nature trail to help keep younger visitors interested. Jonathan’s son, James, has bought new skills to the business by developing the online sales which continues to send lilies all over the world. He also manages the gardens and has bought in many new and exciting ideas. His largest role is as head gardener, with his green fingers potting up new plants to keep the gardens and plant nursery well stocked.
Claude Monet’s painting of his Japanese Bridge entitled Water Lily Pond (1899) inspired the construction of a replica bridge here in the gardens. It was officially opened in July 1999, the centenary of the painting. The picturesque setting here is now very similar to Monet’s Giverny Garden, with a mature weeping willow falling onto the water met by ‘hundreds’ of water lilies which the Bennetts’ bought from Marliac’s nursery in Bordeaux, France in 1959. Monet also bought his own water lilies from the same Marliac’s nursery. Visitors and artists alike can now enjoy...
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Adult||£8.50 per ticket|
|Child (5-16)||£4.25 per ticket|
|Family (2 adults & 2 children)||£22.50 per ticket|
Displaying High Season Prices.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good49
- zendra1Wellington, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesoverpricedMonday, 24th April 2017we went to the gardens on Sunday 24/04/17 we were charged nearly £10 per person, we thought was very overpriced for this time of year as none of the flowers/lilies or anything was out so was very... Read full review
- dinobeanomaidstone kent ukTrip Type:FamilyOverpricedWednesday, 12th April 2017We went here in April and didn't expect to see all the lilies etc but for £8 per adult and taking less than an hour to walk around with a six year old I think that a lower price should be in place... Read full review
- Robert WLondon, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyThe PERFECT surpriseTuesday, 14th March 2017We stood in a cottage near by and decided to see the Water Gardens - what a stunning place. So many different water lilies nicely arranged over many ponds. The bridge over one pond is surely the... Read full review
Map & Directions
Nearest major road is A354. The gardens are two miles west of Weymouth near Chickerell on the B3157 coast road between Weymouth and Bridport. Follow brown signs.
Public Transport Directions
Nearest station is Weymouth station. By taxi from station. By bus: Take the Chickerell bus (8) from Weymouth Town Centre or Jurassic Coast (X53) between Bournemouth and Exeter. Get off at Chickerell Army Camp and we are a short walk down the road.
- Gift Shop
- No Dogs
- Plant Sales
- Groups Accepted
- Outdoor Attraction
- Guide Dogs Permitted - Registered Assistance Dogs must wear their Identifying Jackets and their Environmental Health and Identification Cards must be shown.
- Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
- Ramp/Level Access
- Toilets for Disabled Visitors
Parking & Transport
- Coach Parking
- On site parking
- Parking (free)
- On-Site café/restaurant - New lakeside café overlooking the water gardens serving local home-cooked food. Seating for 60.
- Picnic Site
- Approx length of visit - 02:00
- Blue Badge Guides admitted free
- Delta accepted
- Maestro accepted
- MasterCard accepted
- Max group size - 70
- Min group size - 15
- Special group rates
- TIC Staff Admitted Free
- Visa accepted
- Available for wedding receptions
- Cater for groups
- Conference facilities
- Event venue
- Printed Material in Foreign Languages
- Tea / Coffee Shop
- Wedding Venue
- Marketed towards families
- Marketed towards senior citizens
Printed Material in Foreign Languages
- Dutch printed material
- French printed material
- German printed material
Tours and Demonstrations
- Educational Visits Accepted
- Guided Tours Available for Groups
Travel & Trade
- Group discounts available
- Wi-fi available
|Gardens (2 Apr 2017 - 29 Sept 2017)|
|Monday - Friday||10:00||- 17:00*|
* Closed on Saturdays.Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
ACCESS TO PUBLIC AREAS (Displays, exhibits, rides etc)
CAFETERIA / RESTAURANT
This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.