Whizzing thru’ these posts now so I can give you that report on IndyMan you’re desperate for.

Today, my Dad is the cover star.  He’s not quite ready for “BRAPA Dad” level adoration, I suspect.

He still drives, mostly to the nearest golf course and garden centre, but I like to get him out of the flatlands and into a neighbouring county from time to time.

Without a Beer Guide to tick, his more modest bucket list included the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley.

Claimed by Woking, apparently

This is the place you whizz past on the A3 en-route to the honeypots of the Devil’s Punchbowl and, er, Portsmouth.  Google says 2hrs 20, but leaving at 9am we were parked up at 11.  Which shows some of our motorways are improving.


We would have been parked up at 11, anyway, but the search for the last space took a good 20 minutes, and I was glad that;

a) I drive a small Aygo

b) I don’t mind getting it scratched parking tight to trees.  Unlike this owner;

Not my car

We had literally got the last semi-legal space in the overflow to the overflow.

Why’s it so busy” said Dad.

I expect there’s a Royal visitor.” I surmised, sensibly.

At the entrance, after a walk of several miles, Dad got his wallet out to pay the £16.95 fee, having just let his RHS sub lapse.


It was free today, much to the chagrin of members.  Us Brits love a bargain.

Despite have been drafted in to work evenings and weekends on my Dad’s market garden business as a teenager, I have no knowledge of plants.  Whatsoever.

But Wisley is in a pleasingly hilly bit of Surrey, as I’ve mentioned before about places just off the M25.  And alongside the plant trials, orchards and topiary there were some great views back to London. And weird statues from the film A.I.


A wasp.  In a flower.
A view to London

I was most impressed by the bonsai trees.

If I had my way, our garden would be completely paved over, with a shed made out of old brewery sections ripped out of Beer Guides.

Dad lasted 3 hours on his feet, boosted by some reasonably priced sausage sandwiches and coffee, and remembered to buy Mum a weird plant at the exit.

He suspected I’d need a stop on the way back, and he was right.  Slim picking around the M25 on the way back, just the one newbie in tiny Sarratt, in what we tickers call “posh Watford“.


This was the point where my phone battery went from 24% to 0% in 60 seconds, just like in that Nicholas Cage film.

Anyway, you’ll just have to guess what the Cricketers was.


If I tells you the house beer was brewed in Greater Manchester, there were old adverts for bile beans in the loos, and the staff called me “Sir”, you’ll be there.

Really enjoyed the food though, and the Chiltern beer (recommended by the barmaid !) was a 3.5, so there is hope for B&P.

Next week I’ll take Dad to North Norfolk. I need protection.



  1. £16.95 ? !!! Blimey this is why we stick to National Trust -thank goodness you hit a freebie ! Parking for members were introduced at Wakehurst Place which is NT/ Kew gardens -we stopped going

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mum stayed at home, but she gave Dad pocket money and obviously thought it would be a lot more than £16.95 (less for OAPs). Our National Trust properties cost about that, and to be fair the food and drink was cheaper than the average NT place.


      1. The National Trust never charged me to get into the George at Southwark, Fleece at Bretforton or Hardwick Inn near Chesterfield.
        I did though contribute to their funds by buying a pint or two.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Call that topiary?

    That’s nothing, compared to my twenty-foot representation of Michael Gove’s head, complete with bottle-bottom glasses and swivelly, beady eyes, and in yew.

    My neighbour’s paltry, privet parrot was no match. He’s suicidal with envy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad is teetotal, but he’s aware that Wetherspoons is the major pub company ! (They have less than 2% of pubs by number). Mum and Dad occasionally go to our local for a meal. He has seen my blog but is totally bemused but he’s glad I get out and about. Thanks for asking that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My parents only used pubs for a meal and that wasn’t very often.
        My wife and daughter usually don’t touch alcohol from one year to another.
        Those sort of people mean that there’s a lot left for a few of us to do !

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post RM and to say you don’t know what a plant is – some very nice photos of them here…

    Before you start building your shed using torn out GBG brewery sections could I recommend that you read ‘The Dark Night of the Shed’ by Nick Page….a journey of self discovery for mid-life men, if ever there was one….:)

    Liked by 1 person

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