Explore the best gardens in Northumberland  holiday cottages

Explore the best gardens in Northumberland

Lauren 07 March 2023

There’s nothing quite like a stroll through a beautifully tended garden on a bright spring day, and it could also be a brilliant idea if you’re looking for things to do for Mother’s Day.

It’s common knowledge that being out in nature, taking in the sights and scents, is good for you so here we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Northumberland gardens where you can do just that! 

Each garden is accompanied by a cottage from our collection that will delight garden fans, ensuring that after a day exploring the visitor gardens of Northumberland, you can relax and unwind in a garden of your own.

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The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick

The Alnwick Garden started as an idea in the mind of the Duchess of Northumberland back in 2001 and now greets millions of visitors every year, making it one of the most famous of Northumberland’s gardens. Across 12 acres, The Alnwick Garden is vast and varied, from the famous Alnwick Poison Garden where you will find some of the most toxic species known to man, to the world’s largest Tai Haku Cherry Orchard, providing a truly unique spring garden experience. 

Must see: The Bamboo Labyrinth - an enchanting tall green maze that will challenge your sense of direction!

There is also a vast rose garden, an ornamental garden filled with over 16,000 European species, a number of swinging benches, and several sculptural water jets on the Grand Cascade. The Alnwick Garden is closed briefly during January for maintenance but is open throughout the rest of the year with a number of events on key calendar dates, such as the popular Winter Light Trail which shows off the best of the garden’s structural plants. The Alnwick Garden is also home to The Treehouse Restaurant and the glass Garden Pavilion which are used as wedding venues.

The Alnwick Garden is running according to winter opening hours until 31st March 2023. It's open between 10-4pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The garden has a ‘quiet hour’ with limited capacity on Sundays between the hours of 9am and 10am.

 A typical adult ticket booked online is £11, and children go free. The Alnwick Garden is a charity putting proceeds from garden visitors towards the continued upkeep of the grounds. 

For the safety of all visitors, The Alnwick Garden only permits entry to assistance and guide dogs. 

The Alnwick Garden was designed to be as accessible as possible and has many wheelchair-accessible routes, smooth and solid surfaces throughout and multiple accessible WCs, including in The Treehouse. Wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be booked in advance, free of charge. There is a free car park for blue badge holders.

Stay near The Alnwick Garden

Clematis Cottage Escape | Sleeps 2 guests | 6 miles from The Alnwick Garden

Wallington House and Gardens, Morpeth

National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Wallington House and Gardens is part of a 13,500-acre estate including lawns, woodland and farmland. The stunning walled garden is concealed within the woods and is accessed through Neptune’s Gate, down a stone staircase and past the tranquil Mary Pool. 

National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

There is plenty to see at Wallington House and Gardens all year round, with a purple crocus lawn and snowdrops in bloom in the springtime, beautiful boughs decorating the riverside in summer, crisp leaves in the autumn woodland, and a warm and intriguing conservatory to explore in the winter. The garden is also home to the Clocktower Cafe, a great spot to grab a snack whilst surveying the courtyard. 

National Trust Images / Alex Prain

Must see: Discover the wildlife in the woodland; red squirrels, nuthatches and a number of other interesting species make Wallington’s woods their home. 

The estate, garden and woodland at Wallington are open daily between 10am and 5pm, with Wallington House closed until 27th March 2023.

A typical adult day ticket, including access to the house, is £16.00, and for children it’s £8.00. Wallington House and Gardens is a National Trust site, using proceeds from visitors towards the continued upkeep of the house and grounds. 

Dogs are allowed in any of the outdoor areas at Wallington, but not inside the house. They are also allowed in the Clocktower Cafe. 

Wallington House and Gardens?

Many of the routes around the grounds are wheelchair accessible, though some use loose gravel and are steep and uneven. There is one adapted WC in the courtyard. Mobility scooters are available for hire and there are a number of blue badge holder spaces in the car park. 

Stay near Wallington House and Gardens

Restawhile | Sleeps 4 guests and 2 dogs | 13 miles from Wallington House and Gardens

Paxton House Gardens, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Paxton House Gardens is technically in Scotland, but given that it’s a spectacular spot to visit and the River Tweed, which runs at the bottom of the estate, is the Northumberland boundary itself, we wanted to include it on this list of Northumberland gardens! 

The boundary ties are ingrained in the layout of the gardens as they were designed by Scottish landscape artist Robert Robinson, who was a keen follower of the famous Northumbrian designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Visitors will enjoy Paxton House's shady woodland gardens which showcase a huge display of rhododendrons and azaleas. 

Paxton House is also a delightful spring garden; be sure to see the daffodils and other spring bulbs that furnish the entrance to the house, as well as the full spring colours on display in the Well Garden, which is home to an old well and a number of ferns. Explore the grounds further and you’ll encounter the brick-lined circular lily pond to the south of the house. It was added to the garden at the start of the Second World War and is a tranquil spot to take it all in. 

Must see: The waterwheel - one of the oldest of its kind in Scotland, this waterwheel was used to bring water up from 100 metres below the house! The waterwheel runs most days during the season between 1pm and 2 pm, but please check with the shop before you arrive to ensure you can see it in action.

Paxton House is also a great place to visit if you are interested in fishing in Northumberland, as it is host to a museum dedicated to the world’s oldest fishing club founded in 1829. Paxton Fishery is now working with the Tweed Foundation on a project to release salmon back into the River Tweed following a centuries-long tradition of netting in this area. You can make the most of the water with a boat trip, or why not try out canoeing or paddleboarding instead?

The grounds are open daily between 10am and 5pm, with the house open between April and October for guided tours. 

A day grounds pass for an adult is £7.00, with those under 16 going free. An annual pass is £20, and a tour of the house which includes a day grounds pass is £14. Paxton House and Gardens is a charity using proceeds from visitors towards the continued upkeep of the house and grounds. 

With over 80 acres to explore, your canine companion is sure to love a visit to the grounds of Paxton, but please keep them on leads and be aware that they are not allowed in the house. Please also make sure you use the regular dog poo bins provided. 

Many areas of the grounds at Paxton House are wheelchair and pushchair accessible, as are the courtyard, stables tearoom and gift shop. However, the paths down to the River Tweed are less accessible because they are rough and steep. There is lift access to the first floor of the house.  

Stay near Paxton House Gardens

Endar | Sleeps 3 guests | 5 miles from Paxton House Gardens

Chillingham Castle, Wooler

Darren Chapman Photography

Chillingham Castle boasts a spectacular garden, particularly good for visitors keen to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife as there are several deer, red squirrels, foxes, rabbits and badgers that make the woods their home. They can be elusive so the best time to spot them is at quieter times. There are lakes and woodland to explore, and wild cattle can often be seen in the distance too. Being on the edge of the Northumberland National Park, it’s a great place to start if you are keen to explore Northumberland’s forests as well.

Chillingham Castle’s landscaped garden has remained largely unchanged since 1828 when it was created by the designer responsible for the reconstruction of Windsor Castle. While the urns and statues you see in the garden today are replicas, they capture the same regal atmosphere of the original design.  

Must see: Weave your way around the topiaries in Chillingham's stunning knot garden 

Those keen on a spot of fishing in Northumberland, may already know that brown trout are local to the area, with fishing permits for the River Till available from Chillingham Castle between mid-February and December.

The castle and gardens are open daily between 11am and 5pm, April to November. A typical adult ticket costs £11, £7 for those under 16s. 

For the safety of all visitors, Chillingham Castle only permits entry to assistance and guide dogs

Unfortunately, Chillingham Castle has many uneven floors and steep staircases, including those used to access the WCs and tearoom. There are some sections of the grounds that may be wheelchair accessible but please check before visiting.

Stay near Chillingham Castle

The Fisherman’s Hut - Bamburgh | Sleeps 2 guests and 1 dog | 9 miles from Chillingham Castle

The Garden Station, Hexham

The Garden Station is a delightfully quaint Northumberland garden, set in enchanting woodland. Based around an old railway station, it makes use of the line running through Langley Wood that was built to serve the local smelt works and later operated as a passenger line. The old station served as the local post office for some time after the railway was decommissioned but has since been painted green and showcases this integral part of the area’s history. It also serves an important purpose in setting off the stunning Victorian stonework, several sculptures and an array of plants that grow in the garden, including hellebores, hostas, tiarella and erythroniums.

Must see: Follow the old tracks down the line to one of the old railway bridges, surrounded on all sides by trees and shrubs

The Garden Station has a tea room ideal for unwinding in after time exploring the grounds. The old station can also be hired as a wedding venue.

Entry to the garden is free and open daily, unless closed for a private event.  

Yes! There are no limits to dogs in the garden, please check before taking your dog into the tearooms though. 

Some parts of the garden may be wheelchair accessible, but there are some uneven surfaces and steps so please check before visiting. 

Stay near The Garden Station

Duck House at Devil’s Water | Sleeps 4 guests and 1 dog | 9 miles from The Garden Station

Explore Northumberland's gardens this spring

The gardens in Northumberland have something to offer every type of visitor and are the perfect way to unwind on your holiday. Why not stay in one of our hot tub cottages for added relaxation, or perhaps a log cabin or lodge to make even more of the region’s great outdoors? Whether you are planning to explore these Northumberland gardens with your canine companion or with the whole family in tow, we’re sure to have the ideal cottage for you. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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