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Background

This garden centre and café is located just off the A167 Pity Me roundabout and around the corner from the Arnison Centre in County Durham. Out of all garden centres in County Durham, the Pity Me Nursery & Tea Barn is one of the most popular and frequently visited.

What makes this garden centre stand out from all others in County Durham, is there recent expansion in adding their Bake House bakery which now attracts a lot more visitors from the local area of Framwellgate Moor and Chester-Le-Street.

The expansion has also brought a lot more jobs to the area.

The garden centre itself is big and spacious selling lots of plants and trees of all species. Whether you’re a green-fingered amateur or a professional landscaper, the nursery has always got plenty of healthy plants in stock all year round.

But you don’t even have to be a gardening enthusiast to come and visit, as they have a lovely welcoming café and restaurant serving delicious homemade food of all kinds.

Reasons to visit Pity Me Nursery in Durham

We will look in more depth at this garden centre’s facilities and why we recommend paying it a visit.

Tea Barn

The Tea Barn is probably the main attraction that gets most of the visitors coming to the garden centre. It is a perfect environment for having a chilled-out cuppa or treating yourself to a nice lunch out. There’s always people coming into the café and the environment is always relaxing to eat and drink in.

Café at Pity Me Nursery garden centre in Durham

Image taken by Aiden Dawson

The menu is very extensive and includes light meals and snacks like paninis, toasties and sandwiches served with salad and chips, and jacket potatoes and homemade soups. Bigger meals served here include battered fish and chips, full English all-day breakfasts, and burgers.

You can also pop by for a coffee or tea, they serve all kinds of coffee varieties including lattes, Americanos, flat whites and cappuccinos. If you’re more of a tea drinker, you can get different flavoured herbal teas served to your table in a teapot.

The café also allows people to buy food and drink to take away. Perfect for people coming to shop at the nursery who fancy a quick refreshment.

There is also plenty of places to sit down in the café and restaurant. You have the main seating area by the till and serving counter with plenty of tables for up to 6 people. There is a lovely seating area that you pass through as you walk inside, all under a sheltered gazebo with ambient lighting, decorative greenery and a little wood-burning stove adding warmth and more relaxation to the area.

The Tea Barn are always changing their menu and doing weekly specials- follow their Facebook page to check it out!

Bake house

The garden centre has recently expanded and opened a new bakery that was built as an extension onto the sheltered seating space. It is a very modern looking building with floor-ceiling windows. Inside they have a massive counter selling a massive selection of homemade baked food. This includes cakes, pastries, doughnuts, quiches, pasties and bread.

The food made in the Bake House is all from locally-sourced providers and is all baked on site. The food brought here must however, be consumed off the premises so is only available to buy to take away.

It’s the perfect bakery to go to to buy your baked essentials and to treat yourself to a delicious snack.

Farm shop

Their farm shop is built within a small warehouse building adjacent to the Tea Barn building. This is where they sell fresh food including butchers meat, dairy food and fruit & veg. All the food brought here is locally-sourced.

It’s ideal for people looking to buy their weekly essentials whilst they’re there to browse the nursey or eat at the café.

Garden Centre

The nursery is the main reason why people come out of their way to visit this garden centre in County Durham. This is because of the choice of plants, flowers, trees and even herbs all freshly-grown from local sources. They also sell a variety of garden decorations including wooden ornaments and furniture.

The nursery provides big trolleys that are all available around the site.

At Halloween you can pop down to buy pumpkins all grown on site. They also always sell Christmas trees every year of different species.

There is always staff around to assist you whilst you’re browsing. They will also help look after your plants while you go to have a break in the café.

Location

The garden centre is located just off the A167, it is easy to get to from the Arnison Centre or if you’re travelling from Chester-Le-Street or Durham City.

It is very close to all the shops and supermarkets at the Arnison Centre retail park which includes Sainsbury’s, Lidl and other shops like Next, and Marks & Spencer’s. This is ideal for you to drop by and visit if you’re out shopping.

It’s near to other places where you can go and buy food, including McDonald’s, KFC, Costa Coffee and Greggs. All of these are located in the retail park which is just a 5 minute drive to the garden centre.

Other nearby attractions include the Adventure Valley down in Finchale and Finchale Priory (this is the nearest residential and touring park in the area).

So it is very conveniently located, and it’s not a long drive from Durham City Centre.

Accessibility

This garden centre in Framwellgate Moor, County Durham has decent points of accessibility and we recommend it for you if your or someone else you know has a physical or mental disability.

Wheelchair access

There is decent wheelchair access around the café and garden centre. The car park is on rough terrain however, but it is mostly flat and level. The pathway from the car park to the café entrance is on solid stone paving and there are no steps to get over. The doorway is reasonably wide enough to get a wheelchair in and out. The same applies for the entrance to the Bake House which is directly opposite the café entrance.

Inside the café, there is just enough space between the tables/chairs to move a wheelchair around easily.

Toilet facilities

The toilets are located inside the café passed the service counter in the main seating area. There is a single toilet for male and female users and a separate accessible toilet in the same area. The toilet also includes baby-changing facilities.

These are the only toilets onsite.

Inclusive menu

If you’re visiting the café and have any dietary requirements, the café menu does offer meals suitable for the following:

  • Gluten-free diets
  • Vegan/vegetarians
  • Low-calorie diets

Allergy information is available by asking members of staff.

Child-friendly

If you plan on bringing kids or babies, the café does provide high chairs for babies. They also serve child-friendly meals including chips and fish fingers. Outside, there’s lots of space for kids to go and run about and play around the garden centre.

Atmosphere

The environment is a family-friendly space, no loud music and no alcohol served on the premises either. The main seating area also has divider panels to make some of the tables feel a bit more private which might be beneficial for your family and children.

There is also plenty of outdoor space including an outdoor seating area that’s all sheltered. This is ideal for people who may feel uncomfortable indoors if it gets busy. It can get busy at the café at lunch times every day especially on weekends.

The staff are all friendly and willing to assist you. For people who may struggle to walk and/or carry things, they do provide big trolleys to carry heavy items. You can also ask members of staff to assist in lifting/carrying heavy items such as bags of compost.

Dog-friendly

The garden centre is also dog-friendly so you can walk your dog around the nursery and bring it into the café. Dogs must be well-behaved and on a lead inside the café.

Public transport

The nearest bus stops is in Pity Me on Front Street. Your best option of getting to the garden centre from here is walking around the main roundabout, down Potterhouse Lane through the woods, passed the chicken farm and turn right and continue walking until you eventually get to the garden centre, this would take you a good 20-25 minutes.

It is recommended that you arrive in your own transport as there is no bus stop nearer and there is no footpath on the dual carriageway.

Parking

Parking is available on site, most of the parking is on loose gravel and there are plenty of spaces available. There are spaces for disabled people closest to the front of the Tea Barn.

Conclusion

Hopefully you found this listing helpful in finding more places to eat and drink and shop that are accessible. We have found other cafes and garden centres in County Durham including:

Q Can I book a table in the café?

Q Is the garden centre indoors?

Q Is there seating available outside?

Q Is the café table service?

Q What time does the café open and close?

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