As the weather gets better and more sun arrives in our gardens - people will be flocking to the garden centres across the region to buy plants and garden items so they can enjoy their garden spaces.

County Durham is lucky to have so many lovely locations for garden centres, which offer fresh produce, plants, and equipment, and some even offer a tearoom or coffee shop attached to the garden centre.

We have pieced together five of the best garden centres in County Durham to visit this weekend.

Five best garden centres to visit in County Durham:

Lanchester Garden Centre

A family-owned garden centre nestled in the hills of Lanchester, this place has been rated the best choice for a garden centre in the region - with 3000 brilliant reviews on TripAdvisor and Google. 

A family visitor attraction with a Tropical Village home to fish, reptiles, and Birds of Prey.

As well as garden equipment, gravel and plants, they offer a children's play tunnel, an extensive gift shop, a deli, aquatics, outdoor and indoor furniture and buildings as well as being home to the Greenhouse Restaurant. 

One person who visited said: "Fantastic place to visit, especially if you have children. The mini zoo area inside is amazing. A lot of birds, fish, reptiles. You can feed the ducks and the fish. The birds fly freely above your head, a very exciting experience."

Poplar Tree Garden Centre & Coffee Shop

A traditional Garden Centre, which lies upon the banks of the River Wear, it offers a range of gardening goods, plants, flowers, cakes & coffee from the award-winning Brambles Coffee Shop, as well as offering exclusive and relaxing walks.

Situated just less than half a mile out of the City of Durham, Poplar Tree Garden Centre in Shincliffe has been helping people from all over the UK to get the best from their gardens for over 45 years.

One impressed customer said: "Came here last week for the first time after being recommended. Such a beautiful place selling plants, garden ornaments, a great variety of seeds, gifts, lots of unique little things."

Horns Garden Centre

A family-run garden centre that includes a restaurant, flower shop and aquatic department - this place has over 1000 positive reviews on both TripAdvisor and Google. 

One customer said online: "Absolutely fantastic garden centre and it's such a treat to see all the lovely birds on their huge pond, the café is also a real treat, staff are amazing. The flowers that are arranged are fantastic. Horns truly is the best garden centre for all your gardening needs and very reasonably priced."

Congburn Nurseries

Congburn Nurseries and Garden Centre has been a family-run business since 1990; a one-stop-shop for all your gardening needs from bedding plants to shrubs, to ceramic pots and landscaping.

As well as a local garden nursery, there is a woodland walk which extends over 15 acres, as well as the popular Woodlands Bistro & Venue and onsite gift shop.

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One impressed customer said: "Great location, plenty of choice of plants, lovely gift shop and a lovely tea room. We enjoyed the breakfast today and finished with a gentle stroll around the woodland walk."

Eggleston Hall Gardens

There have been Gardens at Eggleston Hall since the late 16th century - and this garden embodies that. As well as the varied array of plants, they offer a shop, artist studios and a cafe and food venue. 

This place has an impressive following online, both on TripAdvisor and Google.

One customer said: "Pleasant garden centre in the beautiful walled garden complete with mini Angel of The North. Little stream running through and loads of beautiful birds at the bird feeders. I can't imagine not being able to find any plant/ tree here! Very well stocked. Plants in excellent health."