The Alnwick Gardens is a beautiful modern garden in the heart of Northumberland, and just in the shadow of The Alnwick Castle. The Gardens are made up many different features, most notable are The Blossom Trees, The Poison Garden and of course the water feature.
The Gardens were built at the turn of the millenium and opened in 2001 thanks to the idea from the Dutchess of Northumberland. Over the years the gardens have gone through many changes including the planting of the infamous Cherry Blossom Orchard which was the main reason for our visit.
Parking and Tickets for The Alnwick Gardens
There are a few car parks throughout Alnwick however, if you want ease, then parking at the gardens own car park is the easiest option. It costs £3 all day and you pay via card payment upon entry to the car park.
Postcode: NE66 1YU
Tickets (these are the prices without giftaid):
Child (5-16): £5
Child (0-4): Free
Family Ticket Availible. For more info from their website and to book click here.
Blossom Season at the Alnwick Gardens
The Cherry Blossom orchard at The Alnwick Gardens is lucky enough to be the worlds largest collection of Taihaku trees. This type of tree only blossoms for 2 weeks of the year and once they are in bloom, people come from all over to see them.
Because of its popularity, The Alnwick Gardens has its own live stream of the trees so that people can keep tabs on how they are blooming which you can see here. Blossom watch is a very big deal, and when you see the trees for yourself, you can tell why!
Timing the trees in bloom is something of a challenge. Thanks to global warming and the seasons and weather not being as easy to predict has an impact on the way flowers bloom. As I have already said they only bloom for two weeks of the year. This is usualy the end of April, begining of May. But with it snowing earlier in April, this has slowed the blossom down a little.
I have done some research on the trees and foud that these blossoms are some of the largest flowers of any blossom tree. It is for this reason, that they are regularly called ‘Great White Cherry’. These trees were native to Japan but died out there. Then in the 1930s, a man named Major Colllingwood Ingram found one in a London Garden, used a Japaneese photo from the 18th century to identify the type of tree, and was able to bring the blossom back to life! Therefore, all the trees of this veriaty in existance today, exist because of one tree.
There are still tickets availible for this week and the coming bank holiday weekend. If you can, the I highly reccomend you go and visit them while you can!
The Poison Garden at The Alnwick Gardens
If you are visitng Alnwick, then you simply must visit the Poison Garden. I mean, who doesn’t love learning about all the plants that can kill you! The gardens have over 100 types of plants in here that are toxic.
I wont spoil it for you, as I feel everyone needs to go and take from it what they wish. However, the man who was in their answering questions was so passionate about the garden and the different types of poisinous plants. It was fantastic to listen to him and you could hear that he was genuinley excited about his work.
Usually they are only accessable by a guided tour. However due to covid, you guide youself and you can scan QR codes to find out about things.
Because the visit will be self guided, then you are reminded to to touch, smell, taste, and get too close to any of the plans in there!!
The Rose Garden at The Alnwick Gardens
The gardens at the top of the waterfall is called The Rose Gardens as in June and July the 300 rose bushes come into bloom. Although, at this time of year, it is more like the tulip garden as there are so many different types of tulips all in bloom right now!
This part of the gardens is absolutely beautiful right now, and I cannot wait to go back in the summer to see all the roses in bloom too!
Eats and Drinks at The Alnwick Gardens
When it comes to food and drink at Alnwick, you have many options. There is the cafe in the pavilion which were doing pizzas and giant Yorkshire puddings when we went, althought I cannot find a full menu online.
You could also get cups of tea or coffee from in here. This menu is online here.
Another option you have is to preorder afternoon tea from the cafe. You must give them at least 48 hours notice before your visit to prebook it. This costs £17.95 pp and you do seem to get quite a bit in the box for that prive. the menu for this is here.
If you didn’t want to buy food there, you could always take your own and have a picnic infront of the fountains. There were so many people doing this and it was really lovely to see. However, just be aware that there are ducks that wander through around the grass, so you may have guests for your picnic!
However, I have saved the best till last. If you are visiting thee gardens then you need to try the ice cream from the van just besides the Poison Garden (I know, its weird placement!). There is one just outside (next to the mini golf) and we treat ourselves to the Kinder Bueno flavour. It was honestly incredible! That ice cream was worth the one hour drive up!!!!
Important things to remember while visiting The Alnwick Gardens
- They are only taking card payments throughout the site.
- Remember your mask as you will need it for the entrance, exit and any of the buildings.
- Toilets are open!
- You need to pre-book tickets as they cannot garuntee there will be tickets availible on the day.
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Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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