A colourful family fun day out in Alnwick Gardens
On the first weekend in June, I decided to make the trip to Alnwick Gardens as I really wanted to see the colourful array of tulips that I’d been informed were an amazing sight to see. Alnwick Gardens is a favourite place of mine that I love to visit with my two children.
We started of our visit to the gardens, as usual, with a sprint to the tractors! My 3 year old particularly loves playing with the water and the diggers, scooping up the water that cascades down the walls from the large water feature and then peddling to the other side to empty the water out. (Point to note, shorts and sandals are recommended, particularly on summer’s day as I can guarantee there will be wet children by the end).
The Grand Cascade has 7260 gallons of water spill down a series of 21 weirs every minute, with amazing half-hourly water displays.
After a good play on the tractors, we always like to walk up the steps to the side of the Grand Cascade, to explore the Ornamental Garden. The children love walking through the pebbled water rills in this part of the garden as there are lots of little walkways lined with lavender and fruit trees leading to beautiful water features. The Doves are always nice to see too in this part if the garden, there are two dove houses on either side of the Ornamental Garden and look out for the lovely wooden sculpture of an owl. This garden is home to one of the country’s largest collection of European plants.
When leaving the Ornamental Garden, it is always nice to have a look at the view down the Cascade, you really get a different perspective of the garden from this viewpoint – a true sight to behold!
If you decide to take a right, you will find the Cherry Orchard. If you walk to the left, as we did it will take you down through the Serpent Garden.
There are lots of fun interactive mirror-polished water features, including a tall water fountain which is on a timer and the children can run underneath and play with the water. This is great fun for all ages but prepared to be drenched!!
Just past here, you will arrive at the Bamboo Labyrinth which is lots of fun, although if you have little ones that are as excited as mine you might be running round the labyrinth to catch up with them.
A trip to the Pavilion Room is always nice to have a freshly baked scone with a cup of tea. There are lots of nice treats for the children too. We love to sit outside on a nice day and admire the view of the Grand Cascade.
A walk along to the cherry orchard is a must and depending on the time of year, this area can be particularly colourful. On our visit we were fortunate to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom and the beautiful pink tulips; this was definitely well worth seeing.
The Poison Garden is just in front of the Cherry Orchard and is well worth a look in. As this is a secure gated area with some toxic plants, you are taken round in groups by a guide who will tell you all about these deadly plants. This garden is also home to more unusual varieties such as cannabis and coca. I must say, I have not been brave enough to do part of the garden with two children but would love to have a look round myself.
From here you can see the pond which has a large sculpture over the lake and there are always lots of ducks around ready to accept any left over crusts from sandwiches.
Lastly, to get to the Treehouse, you need to walk back out of the main gates and take a right. Follow this path down and you will arrive at the magnificent Treehouse. This is one of the worlds largest and is accessible for all. There is a lovely café and restaurant here. The restaurant is highly recommended and is one of the most magical and unique restaurants to be found anywhere in the world. It certainly makes an place for celebrating a special occasion.
The children love the ‘wibbly wobbly’ rope bridges on which there is a couple that they can walk over there and back. There are woodland walks that you can get to from here if you fancy exploring the surrounding woodland area.
Alnwick Gardens is always a great day out with lots to see and do for everyone in the family.
Take a look at our Northumberland cottages short breaks and take a trip to Alnick castle soon!