Amelia's Adventures | Galavanting around The Alnwick Garden
Hello everyone! For my latest adventure I visited The Alnwick Gardens. My best friend Kathryn bought me a behind the scenes gift experience which we took advantage of while she was visiting from Norfolk. It included entrance to the garden, a tour of the pump room and afternoon tea for two. The Alnwick Gardens is one of the most popular tourist attractions in both Alnwick and Northumberland and I can see why.
Upon arrival at The Alnwick Gardens it’s difficult not to be amazed by the Grand Cascade, a magnificent water feature which dominates the entrance to the gardens. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the first sequence of the day commenced with exploding side jets and ended in a volcanic eruption of water (yes, we squealed with delight alongside the nearby 4 year olds).
We then got to start our “behind the scenes tour”. This included a history of the garden, an explanation of how the Grand Cascade operated and a visit to the pump room. Donning our hard hats and high vis jackets we then made our way down to the pump room situated beneath the Grand Cascade. I was slightly nervous to discover we were standing beside a wall which was holding back 400,000 litres of water. It only got better when we got to see the pumps in action as one of the fountain sequences began, spoiler alert, it was very loud!
Our next stop was the cherry orchard, a beautiful grove of cherry trees which were just coming into bloom. This area of the garden was extremely picturesque and emulated a Japanese garden. My favourite part of this area (and probably the whole Alnwick Garden) was a selection of wooden swings which were nestled amongst the trees, it was incredibly tranquil and one of the best parts of this adventure.
As part of our experience day, we were also served a hearty afternoon tea in the Pavilion Cafe.The Alnwick Gardens offering did not disappoint with a reserved table overlooking the Grand Cascade, the tastiest chicken and stuffing sandwich I’ve ever had and a selection of cakes, scones and pastries.
We completed our visit with a tour of the poison garden. I’m quite a fan of the dark and macabre so was quite excited to learn more about what this entailed. Every plant in the garden was poisonous including deadly nightshade, rhubarb leaves and daffodils (yes, daffodil bulbs can be fatal). These tours are free and run throughout the day, the one caveat is you cannot look around unattended due to the controlled substances the garden is permitted to grow by the home office. I’ll let you discover what they are for yourself.
If you’re thinking of booking a holiday in Northumberland, Alnwick is a great central base. My favourite Northumbria Byways properties in the town are Castle Retreat, a beautifully decorated apartment situated opposite Alnwick Castle and Thornbrae Lodge, a modern stone cottage with a touch of luxury.
Until next time, Amelia.