Squires bought Badshot Lea Garden Centre from the Caffyn
Parsons family in 2006. The garden centre is probably best known
for its huge aquatics centre which was opened by Charlie Dimmock
in 1999. Amusingly Charlie was dressed up in a mermaid outfit
for the occasion and when turning round her tail knocked the
then managing director, Rory Caffyn Parsons, into the very, very cold
water of one large fish tank!
The Plants at Badshot Lea Garden Centre
Badshot Lea is one of the top 50 garden centres in the UK as
far as turnover goes and it's clearly one of the larger garden
centres. The plants area consists of a covered section and one
open to the elements. All the paths are paved, very wide and
free from clutter. The overall appearance is pleasant with small
plant bays, pergolas and centre pieces to provide interest.
Signs around the plant sales are are good and very clear, and
they have a large outside plant information centre.
There are lots of healthy plants for sale with all the common
varieties available including some more unusual plants. They
have a good choice of established plants and a particularly good
choice of medium sized acer trees (Japanese maples). The plants
are in good condition with many being grown at Squires plant
nurseries and hardy shrubs have a three year guarantee.
Aquatics and Pets
The aquatics section is rightly famous. One of the largest we
have seen, it stocks a very large range of fish of all types
including lots of very large Koi. All the pond equipment is
there including bases, liners, pond plants pumps, fish feeds and
lots more. It is also very attractively presented. The also have
a good choice of water plants and a surprisingly comprehensive
The pet section is also one of the largest in the area. They
stock small animals, reptiles, feeds, hutches, accessories -
everything a pet owner would ever want.
Interior Sales at Badshot Lea Garden Centre
There is a very large interior sales area which stocks all the normal
goods found at many modern and large garden centres including a
food hall and kitchenware department. They have specialised in
garden and conservatory furniture with a large and well
displayed choice. The houseplant section is also larger than
normal with lots of healthy and reasonably priced plants.
The layout and general appearance of the sales area is
pleasant and modern making for a good couple of hours shopping
Prices at Badshot Lea Garden Centre are something of a
surprise to us. We investigated existing reviews before we
visited them and many mention high prices, however our
observations are that prices are about average for a large
garden centre in this area.
For example, Miracle Gro 500g was
£3.49, 1 litre of Tomorite £3.99 which are good prices. However,
the cheapest clematis we could find was £13.99 (pricey), but the
cheapest rose was a reasonable £8.99. Typical shrubs start
around £9.99, 75
litres of Squires own multi-purpose is £5.99 or three for £13.
They currently have no club / reward membership scheme at this
is large with several distinct areas to it. The main seating
area is inside plus they have a very light and airy conservatory
section and a special area set aside for kids. The furniture is
solid wood and the general decor is clean and modern. It does
have a distinct style to it which is hard to identify and we
does suffer slightly from its own success because at peak times
it can get very busy although seats appear to always be
available. Queuing times for food varies, at busy times the
queue can be 10 minutes plus but at less busy times there are no
queues at all.
Prices are very competitive. The
picture on the left is of a six item breakfast (your choice of
items) which costs a mere £3.45 which is excellent value. You
could go for the nine item breakfast at a reasonable £4.99 but
you would need a large appetite for that meal!
Examples of other prices are jacket potatoes at £6, baguettes and paninis
are £5, excellent salads are around £7.25.
Food is mainly served to you at the counter and the majority is on display.
The quality of the food is good, we enjoyed our meal samples. The cafe was
awarded a five star food hygiene rating by Waverley Borough Council in June
Click here for the full report.
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