Pete and I took the train up there last weekend as we'd heard that it had some garden centres. We were really surprised by the area, Britain's "Horticultural Mile'. I wrote an article with photos about it for Londonist which you can read in full here: http://londonist.com/2014/09/explore-the-greenhouses-and-garden-cen...

But here are some extracts.

"Turn left out of the train station and the immediate view is of a mile of garden-oriented businesses laid out on either side of the road. Mega garden centres are mixed with specialist retailers (e.g. fence panels, bonsai, mulch, fake grass) and plots where a whole range of small traders have flocked together (e.g. a pet grooming parlour, new age shop, recording studio and vintage emporium).

.....Across the road, Springtime Nurseries has a massive end of season sale on to make way for its annual Christmas Wonderland — possibly the biggest Christmas shop and largest Santa’s Grotto on the planet. Part of it is already in place.  Come through the entrance and you’re standing in a fake market town replete with stalls bearing the name of London’s famous markets proffering Christmas ales, preserves and ye olde goods. It is still September, however, and if you make it over to the far side of the huge greenhouse structure past the napkins, silk flowers, giant glassware, faded stationery, huge One Direction poster and the Christmas decoration display you’ll find their Halloween shop. If you’re lucky you’ll be in there alone and the shop assistant will [freak you out] with one of many terrifyingly unexpected gimmicks. 

You can spend a whole day at Crews Hill exploring its quirky mix of genuine good value stuff for the garden side by side with some bizarre retail efforts in acres of greenhouses that hark back to another age. There are plenty of cafes and a decent family pub too. For those willing to explore Enfield a little further, Whitewebbs Transport Museum is close by and Forty Hall Estate with its grand house and gardens is about a 20 minute walk."

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Comment by Sarah Richardson on October 17, 2014 at 20:58

Yes, Crews Hill is really interesting and the Santa's grotto is legendary! Real reindeers and a little train ride to see the great man. The pet shops are good fun and I remember the pub was pleasant with good lunches. The Whitewebbs museum is quirky and worth exploring too.

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