Ever wanted to travel the world and see amazing prehistoric and historic architecture but found that you just haven't had the time or the money to visit every single nation? Well, a charming little place called Cockington Green Gardens near Gold Creek Village, Canberra can help you. After entering and paying the $18.50 admission for adults, $13.50 for seniors and $10.50 for children, visitors step into the original area of the Gardens. Cockington Green Gardens has been operating for thirty-three years, since 1979, and is a family owned business, started by Doug and Brenda Sarah Cockington. The entrance into the gardens, reminded me of Tudor architecture and the architecture common in Stratford-upon-Avon and other places in England, though with the lattices a bit more intricate.
The first area, which is the original area, is made up of architecture hailing from Great Britain. The British area has many delights within it. The start of the journey begins with a replica of the Cockington Green entrance, and is followed by a fairy garden at the start, with lots of little fairies to greet visitors as they pass, full of fairies, pixies, elves and a fairy cottage to delight even the biggest fairy love, no matter how old.
Next, enter the world of a quaint English village many of us read about in books. Complete with little villagers, thatch rooves, a cricket game and village church with its graveyard, the English village is breathtaking, and perhaps would not be complete without the English country manor standing alone, distant from the villagers yet still seemingly a part of this world that is so English to us.
Another highlight of the English section of Cockington Green is the country paddock with typically English walls built from rocks, piled up. These sorts of walls were something that I had never seen until venturing over to England and the United Kingdom, and they are so lovely, and have amazing character. This character emanates from the display as well.
Braemar Castle is another architectural wonder, this time from Scotland. The real castle was built in 1628 by the 3rd Earl of Mar, John Erskine, during the Jacobean Age. The model replicates it closely, and what I found interesting and quite liked was the men at the bottom in kilts, which indicate the Scottish setting. The castle sets off dreams of fairy tales and royalty for me, and stands quite proudly as I am sure the real Braemar Castle does in Scotland.
There are many more images of England, and another highlight is the soccer match taking place with a streaker running across the field. The policemen are shown to be escorting the naked figurine off of the pitch whilst the players continue the match. This replica is amusing and full of colour. When looking around, I enjoyed reading the plaques that tell you about the replica.
Quite possibly the most recognisable replica at Cockington Green is Stonehenge. The most intriguing and enjoyable thing about this was the druid figures in the centre of the circle, partaking in a solstice or equinox ceremony – you can use your imagination as to which one. Once you reach Stonehenge, you are coming towards the end of the English section and are about to move into the International section.
The vibrancy of the displays varies from nation to nation but each one is something significant and individual to each place. Finally, at the end of the displays, you can enter the Rose Room Indoor exhibit with dolls houses – a replica of Misrule from Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner was my favourite.
All in all, Cockington Green has something for everyone to enjoy and look for. It is an enjoyable few hours out and I highly recommend it, especially for children – big and small, old and young. Go, enjoy and come away with a smile.