Instagram has been awash with beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom over the last week or so. It’s all down to The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland. Although I live a mere 15-minute drive from The Alnwick Garden, it’s been around four years since I visited. Shocking, I know! Here’s a fun fact for you. When The Alnwick Garden was opened by Prince Charles back in 2002 I was there to greet him with cadets. He stopped to chat with me. I think it was because I was the smallest of the bunch, to be honest.
As I mentioned on Instagram, I put off visiting for so long as I think it is fairly expensive. £13.20 per person (including gift aid) isn’t exactly a cheap day out, is it? Well – thanks to the power of bloggers – I’ve found a fab deal. If you buy Gardener’s World magazine you get a card to get into hundreds of different gardens across the country 2for1. The card is valid for a whole year, so well worth grabbing a copy. So if you fancy a staycation in the North East, rather than hopping on a plane, here are the three reasons I think you should visit The Alnwick Garden this Spring.
1. The Seasonal Cherry Blossom Orchard at The Alnwick Garden
The main reason I hot-footed it over to The Alnwick Garden in the first place was to see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom. It is the biggest orchard outside of Japan and I just had to pay a visit this year. Unfortunately, they only bloom for approximately two weeks, and they were falling when I visited on bank holiday Monday, so they’re probably all gone now. If you are interested in visiting then you need to follow the live stream next year and make sure you get yourself down as quickly as possible.
Within the orchard, there are lots of swings to sit on. It’s a lovely place to sit and relax, taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Getting a few pics for Instagram is a must too, of course!
2. The Poison Garden
A tour of the poison garden is an absolute must at The Alnwick Garden. The tours run very regularly and you just need to head over to the gate of the poison garden and queue up. The guides are very knowledgeable and humorous, and the groups are fairly small so you can actually hear what is being said. What’s more, it actually is a poison garden. You are warned before you enter not to touch anything, not to sniff anything, and definitely not to eat anything! There are plants in the garden that can make you extremely ill, and even kill you! Don’t miss this fab tour when you visit The Alnwick Gardens.
3. The Grand Cascade at The Alnwick Garden
The icing on the cake has to be the Grand Cascade. It really is a stunning centrepiece to The Alnwick Garden. As you first enter the gardens, the imposing cascades are the first thing you see.
As you wander around The Alnwick Garden you’ll catch glimpses of the fountains in action. I recommend heading to the highest point and making your way down the side of the cascade. Watch out though, there’s a section where you can get wet if you’re not careful! I managed to jump out of the way and only my toes and hair got a sprinkle. Pack the kids swimming cossies and let them run around on a hot day, looked like lots of fun.
Have you visited The Alnwick Gardens? I’m planning another visit at the weekend but unfortunately I think most (or all) of the Cherry Blossoms will have fallen. Fingers crossed it will be a lovely day like my last visit.