Monday, 4 August 2014

A trip to Alnwick Garden

We had a lovely visit to Alnwick Garden

My folks caravan is in Rothbury and every time we visit we drive through and also stop in Alnwick but we've never been to the Garden. 

You can park in Alnwick, spaces can be sparse due to the fact it's free or there is parking specifically for the venue which costs £3 for the day

We weren't really sure what to expect.  We decided just to go to the Garden however you can also get a joint ticket to visit Alnwick Castle too.  As a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan I was really tempted as the castle was used in the films for many scenes set at Hogwarts but the tickets were a little pricey (£26.25 per adult) so we decided to go to the Gardens this visit and do the castle another time.

A ticket for the garden costs £13.75 per adult (£13.06 if you buy online before you go).  We used English Heritage membership cards which gave us a 20% discount so our tickets cost £11.  Baby M was free although he got his own ticket which I loved.

You get a map of the garden (which we gave to Baby M and it ended up lost) but we decided to walk in an clockwise direction around the garden.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the garden is the impressive water feature.  It's beautiful.  we were also surprised at how big the garden was.

We started our walk around the garden and first we came to the Poison Garden.  This section is behind a gate and you can only enter with a guide.  This is included in your ticket price. 

We went on a really hot day so were informed that it gets hot in the garden so to take shade when we could during the tour.  We were surprised how many plants that they had in the garden that we have in our own garden!! It made us even more aware that you need to watch kids in the garden to make sure they aren't eating things they shouldn't.  They also had a cannabis plant which they have a special license for and is in a cage.  Most surprisingly the guide told us that they had a group of children in the garden recently who didn't know what stinging nettles were, or that if you are stung you should use a dock leaf.  I found this slightly depressing.



We then continued our walk round and went through the cherry tree grove.


Next we came to the Oriental Garden, which was stunningly beautiful



We then stopped for lunch.  There is a cafe in the garden and ice cream and fish and chips eateries just at the entrance but we took a picnic.  We found a shaded area in one of the ornamental gardens. 

We had great views down the water feature


We then went down the other side of the garden visiting the Bamboo Maze and Serpent Garden.  No snakes in sight but lots of little water features.  There is a big one that shoots up water and due to the hot day there were lots of children running around in this feature enjoying a chance to cool off.

The garden was so much bigger than we expected and we had a wonderful day. 




This post has been added to Coombe Mill's #CountryKids and Red Rose Mummy's #WHWH, check out both blogs for other great days out and see what others have been up to