A botanic paradise with koi ponds, bonsai trees and a crystal garden is probably the last thing you would expect to find in the small village of North Clifton just outside of Lincoln. I was just as surprised to stumble across it myself on a day trip to the city. Budda Maitreya’s garden is a must see if you want the peaceful afternoon of your dreams or just fancy stepping into Japan for a couple of hours!
Opening times are as follows: Source – http://www.buddhamaitreya.co.uk/japanese-garden/opening-times
“Open from the last weekend in March until the last weekend in October.
Tuesday to Friday – 10:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays – 10:00am to 5:30pm
Monday – closed
Entrance fees (includes entry to the crystal garden)
£4.00 children (over 5 years)”
Once you have paid Budda Maitreya you are then free to wander around the garden undisturbed. Luckily for us when we visited the garden it was a bright summer’s day so the whole place really came to life. In corners of the site there are little shrines with stone buddas, perfect if you wanted to sit and meditate. Further back into the garden you walk through hundreds of plants and trees, it’s hard to imagine that this is someone’s back garden and a few miles down the street is a busy A-road. Words can’t describe just how breath-taking the place is, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
At the back of the garden is a koi pond. You can sit here and watch the fish meander through the waters. There’s little gold ones that zip and zoom through the reeds. There’s also much larger ones, which lazily swim around the pond, gobbling up food that lays around the edges. There are little stone bridges that cross the water and you are allowed to walk on them to move to another side of the pond and get a closer look of the fish. Just be careful and make sure you don’t fall in!
The highlight of visiting Budda Maitreya’s garden is the famous Crystal Garden. This sits at the entrance of the site. You open the door to what looks like a normal garden shed and you are instantly in the presence of a plethora of different crystals all varying in size and shapes. It’s so beautiful to look at. It’s also really cool in there compared to the outside, and on a hot day like the one when we were visiting it was just what we needed. It’s a really calming escape from the sun. We sat down, took our shoes off and sat in the quiet for a while taking in the power of the crystals. It’s a very tranquil experience
It must have taken Budda Maitreya so much time and effort to create this beautiful garden and there’s no surprise as to why it has gotten so much attention. I urge people to come and experience this beauty first hand. It’s definitely worth the trip and I would love to go back one day to see if it’s grown even more!