Camp Penrhyn: Explorers wanted

Do you have what it takes to become a famous Victorian plant hunter? Are you brave, clever, resourceful and fearless? Then step this way...

Every sunday throughout the summer holidays, Camp Penrhyn becomes our plant hunter basecamp. It will give little explorers a chance to follow in the footsteps of the famous plant hunters that captured some of the amazing plants you see around the gardens at Penrhyn today.

Grab your equipment from the basecamp, learn the necessary skills and head out with your specimen card for a worldwide adventure - without ever leaving the garden!

Who were the plant hunters?

Plant hunters were men and women who travelled the globe bringing exotic plants back to Europe. They often travelled to unknown areas, risking starvation, disease, injury and attack from animals, soldiers, robbers, hunters, tribes and even pirates.

They needed to be skilled in route finding, horse riding, climbing, canoeing, hunting and disguise, as well as botany.  They really were the Indiana Jones's of that time!

They were often sponsored by societies and wealthy individuals who made sure their discoveries were identified, preserved and grown.

Plant hunting became really popular during the Victorian period. Owning exotic plants was very fashionable and a symbol of high status and wealth.

Penrhyn Castle’s garden has many plants grown from the seeds and specimens brought back by a variety of plant hunters. The green houses here were among the first to be offered newly grown plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. 

Camp Penrhyn - Every Sunday 23 July to 31 August, 10.30am-4pm

Activities include:

  • Plant hunter's trail
  • Bushcraft skills
  • Campfire cook out (marshmallow toasting)
  • How to use a microscope
  • Plant hunter dress up
  • Archery (£1.50)

(Normal admission prices apply)