Dinosaur Crazy Golf & Dobbies Garden Centre Morpeth

Like many people during lockdown, we have taken to gardening this summer. We have visited Dobbies Morpeth (aka Heighley Gate) a few times over the years but it had been well over a year since our last visit. 

Dinosaur Crazy Golf & Dobbies Garden Centre Morpeth

The garden centre is just off the A1 - exit onto the A697 towards Coldstream and it is less than half a mile up the road on your left (use postcode NE61 3DA). There is a huge free car park for customers. 

Please note, this post was based on a visit in 2020. For the most up-to-date prices, please visit the Dinosaur Encounter Golf website here. 

Dobbies Morpeth entrance

5 Reasons to Visit Dinosaur Encounter Golf 

  1. No need to book - just turn up 
  2. 12 golf holes with 10 life size dinosaurs 
  3. Live size moving Brachiosaurus 
  4. Free parking 
  5. Lots to do inside Dobbies including a cheap soft play and restaurant where kids eat free after 12noon (see their website for info)

We visited on a Friday in June 2020, mainly to take advantage of their £10 crazy golf deal which at the moment is valid until 30 June but check out their FB page here as they often run deals. 

I remember the last time we played golf here, there was a dinosaur figure at the main garden centre entrance and dinosaur footprints for you to follow to find the golf.

This has all been removed now and the golf course is not signposted at all which is frustrating. Head towards the back of the garden centre following the signs for the restaurant or ask a member of staff if you are not sure. 

Dinosaur Golf Morpeth

You cannot book this particular golf course in advance, simply turn up (opening hours are on their FB page linked above). Payment is contactless. We took advantage of the £10 family deal which is for a family of 4 (check to see this deal is still running before you head out - at the moment it is valid until 30 June). 

Current Prices and Opening Hours 

These prices were checked in May 2022: 

  • Under 4s £3 
  • Under 12s £4.50 
  • Ages 12+ £5.40 
  • Explorer group £18 
  • Half price second round if booked on the same day 
Spring and Summer Opening Hours: 

Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm 
Sunday and Bank Holidays  10:30am - 4:30pm 

Last entance is 30 minutes before closing. 

Check their Facebook page for updates here. 

The procedures were really simple yet effective. We paid via contactless payment, then the attendant asked us to sanitise our hands using the sanitiser provided as he watched then he asked us to each pick a different coloured ball from the pot. 

He then re-sanitised 4 golf clubs with a wipe and handed them to us. At the end, we put the clubs and ball in a separate pot ready for cleaning. 

Dinosaur Golf Dobbies Entrance

Paper and pencils to keep score are not provided so either play for fun or keep track yourselves. We simplified it and decided if you won a course, you scored 1 point. 

There are 12 holes to play. They aren't the most difficult or elaborate and there are no tricks like somewhere such as Angry Birds Golf  but its a canny little course and we had fun - definitely worth £2.50 each! It is especially fun if your kids love dinosaurs as there are lots of models and signs to read. 

In terms of accessibility, there are a couple of steps half way around but it is mostly flat. I think you could take a small pushchair around but would be better off with a baby carrier. It is difficult for me to say whether a wheelchair would be able to get around the course as some parts are narrow (plus there are the two steps to consider) and I cannot see any advice on their website - apologies. 

Crazy Golf is so easy to naturally socially distance with their winding paths and one group per hole rule. Other families were playing at the same time as us but they were a couple of holes ahead and we would never play the same hole at the same time anyway. There are signs reminding you to socially distance but this honestly happens naturally anyway. 

I was well jel of another mam playing with her toddler. She had bought herself a takeaway coffee from the cafe and walked around with her toddler as she practised. They looked like they were having a brilliant time.   

There is an extra hand sanitiser station halfway around the course too. Steve ended up winning our game but we all really enjoyed it. I think it lasted around 30 minutes with four of us playing. 

Just as an FYI I am 100% classing this as a home school activity - it includes golf, precision and learning about dinosaurs. 

The tub where you put your used clubs is at the end of the course. The whole process is contact free. 

After golf, we had a walk around the garden centre. I was after a new plant pot to house our sweetpeas. I forgot how large Dobbies Morpeth was - it is huge with loads of different plants. I was in heaven. I said to Steve that once the kids are back to school, we will be having regular date days here from now on. He is a lucky guy! 

The only downside is the price, Dobbies is expensive and I spotted a Lily plant for £12.99 at Dobbies which I had paid just £4.99 for at our local centre Azure. 

There were some inexpensive plants though and Steve bought a sunflower plant for £5.99 and I bought a pea plant for £2.99. I am not confident about growing my own peas - I keep starting and failing so I hope that having a little helping hand at the beginning and buying a starter plant will help. 

The toilets were still signposted and I assume open although we did not visit ourselves. 

There is loads of space to socially distance and this is the first place I have felt fully relaxed and able to browse as much as I like (well as much as I can with the kids being there who were moaning they were tired and thirsty the whole time). 

As well as plants, Dobbies is home to a large selection of outdoor furniture, homeware and gifts. There is also a couple of internal shops including a large aquatic centre - they are open but we did not visit on this occasion. 

Dobbies Morpeth Herbs For Sale

The main restaurant and soft play are currently closed (June 2020) however there is a lovely food hall in the centre, a delicatessen and butchers counter, fridges with drinks by the tills and the coffee shop is open and serving takeaway drinks and sandwiches. 

We bought the boys some sausage rolls from the deli which they very much enjoyed. 

Dobbies has an excellent fruit and veg stall at the entrance / exit too. Packed with fresh fruit and veg and loads of choice. We love it. 

Dobbies Morpeth Fruit Shop

I noticed quite a few older people really had their head screwed on. They parked towards the rear of the garden centre, bought a takeaway coffee after their shopping trip and set up their camping chairs and tables in the car park (they were well out of the way and not doing anyone any harm). Some were catching up with friends this way. Love it! 

A few families were on the grass towards the very back of the car park enjoying a picnic and a kick around too. The views across Northumberland are lovely. 

We spent around 90 minutes at Dobbies. Most of our time was outside, we were able to fully socially distance and were able to regularly hand sanitise our hands. It felt really safe and dare I say it, normal. 

Please remember to take your rubbish home. 

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Dinosaur Crazy Golf & Dobbies Garden Centre Morpeth


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