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The History of Bell Plantation

Take a look back at our history and how we became The Bell Plantation Garden Centre.


About Bell Plantation

Here at Bell Plantation, we have one main passion, and that is the great outdoors. We want you to enjoy the outdoors as much as we do and we think that starts in your garden. That’s why we have a simple purpose; to help, support and supply you with everything you need to make your garden look amazing, in a relaxed and enjoyable shopping environment.

To give you an idea of what drives this passion it might be good for you to know a bit about where we started and how we got here. We are a family business, run by the family which was started by Ashley and Sheena Warren when they first moved to the site in 1987.

The Beginning

At that time, the A43 dual carriageway didn’t exist and the couple moved into what is now the Nursery school at the bottom of the car park. They quickly extended the house and Ashley started operating his landscape gardening business from the site.

More Land

In 1990, they purchased another 4 acres of land and quickly achieved planning permission to erect polytunnels to grow produce for the landscape business and sow the first seed of the future garden centre.

In 1992 the couple purchased 2 more acres with agricultural barns and converted one of the barns into offices, using 2 of them for the landscape business and letting a further 6 to other businesses.

In 1995, they purchased a further 28 acres of agricultural land which makes up the extent of the current site. Ashley has always loved cattle and kept a small herd of longhorn cattle on this land as well as some others. He also kept chickens near the garden centre car park which created a lot of interest with our customers at the time who wanted to keep chickens themselves.

The Road Begins

In 1996 the second barn was converted into a garden centre shop which was quickly superseded in 1998…

The Build

by 8,000 sq feet of glass that replaced the polytunnels that originally existed.

The continuing growth of the garden centre business meant that in 2003 Ashley built the courtyard as it stands today, operated the garden centre from the main building and let the rest of the space to tenants.

In 2007, the site achieved planning permission for a further 40,000 sq feet of retail space with only 4,000 ft currently achieved. We took over the Café business in 2009, which was originally let to another company.

The café business was a real challenge to start with but has now grown to be a valuable addition to our business and the site. In September 2014, we started operating the Farm Shop at the front of the courtyard as a way of pulling together Ashley’s passion for horticulture and agriculture with the development of the Café business.

2016 – 2018…More Retail Space

In 2016 we expanded our retail footprint with a new 4,000sq ft Shop and a 7,000 sq ft Glass House to bring all our businesses under one roof. This gave us some much-needed extra retail space and helped us to become an all-weather destination, bringing a cohesive approach to our retail offering. In October 2018 we carried out a further expansion of our retail areas! We completed a further 10,000 sq ft of covered, heated retail space.

This incorporated our existing outdoor pot area and joined up with our plant canopy. The new retail space houses more giftware, gardening ancillary products and houseplants. We have also moved our Poultry products and accessories into the space which means that you, our customers, can now shop a much wider range of products while keeping warm and dry!

Time Lapse of the 2016 Building Work

2019-2020 More Exciting Developments

In October 2019 we started the next phase of our development – follow all of the updates on this project by clicking below. Don’t forget to sign up to the Bell Plantation Loyalty Scheme to be sent all of the latest information about exclusive events and promotions direct to your inbox.


Visit Bell Plantation Garden Centre Today!

Watling Street
NN12 6GX
United Kingdom

01327 354 126


Garden Centre, Food Hall & Poultry Centre
Mon-Sat: 9am to 5:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am to 4:30pm
Mon to Sat: 9 am- 5 pm
Sun: 10:00 am-4:00 pm

My favourite place for garden and poultry
Rebekah Williams
Rebekah Williams
18:13 01 Aug 20
Rebuilt section looks much better and, despite social distancing restrictions, it's a great place to visit for the garden centre and sheds or hard landscaping requirements.
Brian Blackwell
Brian Blackwell
22:30 25 Jul 20
(Update: the new restaurant is now open.) Wow, what a transformation they've had since I last visited. It's three times the size! Due to Covid-19, new restaurant/café wasn't open when I visited, but again, wow, very impressed. Friendly staff as well. Animals (birds and goats) to look at and some for purchase. Other new, not yet open, buildings accessed through the car parking area. Will be back!!
20:20 21 Jul 20
Very plesent environment, vets, reptile and fish store, a shop selling country wares plants and chickens, also a cafe for something to eat and drink.
David Cox-rogers
David Cox-rogers
19:06 18 Jul 20
Need to go again, spend a little more time next visit. Some lovely stuff to look at, lots of chickens and ducks for sale.
Stefan Hayes
Stefan Hayes
16:24 12 Jul 20
Nice place to visit, some products are overpriced... Farm style shop is quite well stocked. Some of the plants were a little unhealthy, but overall a good garden centre shopping village..
Adam F
Adam F
14:29 12 Jul 20
Great experience and plenty of social distancing measures
madeline green
madeline green
21:32 05 Jul 20
Excellent place to visit.
Michael Fraser
Michael Fraser
14:41 28 Jun 20
Nice place. Went to look at the Hot Tub centre
craig drinnan
craig drinnan
12:33 28 Jun 20
Clean, well spaced, plenty of hygiene points well stocked and excellent staff.
Tracy Prestidge
Tracy Prestidge
14:33 27 Jun 20
So please these guys are open again, nice selection of plants, and took the home delivery option in lock donw too
Madeleine Towns
Madeleine Towns
19:37 23 Jun 20
Meant to give you 5 Stars hit the icons too quickly, sorry about that as I love your garden centre it is a delight to visit. And always happy with my purchases. Thank you
Marian Lowery
Marian Lowery
14:27 22 Jun 20
Was really looking forward to it opening again, and wasn't disappointed. There were '2 metre' notices and markers everywhere. Enjoyed my look around, and didn't miss out on coffee and cake either as it was takeaway.
Mandy Taylor
Mandy Taylor
18:02 21 Jun 20
Love the variety available and the staff were really helpful and friendly
Lee-Ann Conway
Lee-Ann Conway
08:37 14 Jun 20
Good large garden centre, we come 20 mins drive to get here. Wide variety of local produce from food to seeds and sheds as well as plants and trees. Also sell live poultry and caters for large animals like horses. Good for bird things but less so for cats. Good selection of alpines and pots. Have and will continue to return. I would bring my mum here.
Red Leicester
Red Leicester
13:14 03 Jun 20
Social distancing well established and good stock too
Andy Whiting
Andy Whiting
15:06 31 May 20

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