The Alnwick Garden
We visited The Alnwick Garden back in July 2010 when MissB was around 8 months old. It is about an hours drive north of Durham and we combined it with a visit to Alnwick town.
The Alnwick Garden costs £11 per adult to enter which is pretty expensive but only 1p for children. As it’s not the cheapest visitor attraction in the area it isn’t one we will be visiting frequently but it is definitely worth at least one visit.
There are plenty of things to keep the children entertained at Alnwick Garden. I’m not particularly a gardening fan so the rose gardens and ornamental gardens; whilst looking very pretty, weren’t our main reason for visiting. We wanted to see the fun things like:
The Grand Cascade is apparently the largest display of it’s kind in the country and there are beautiful and crazy water displays every half an hour. This will provide hours of entertainment for children (and adults) dodging the water spouts. Note to self: Must remember to pack change of clothes for children!
At the bottom of the Grand Cascade are mini tractors which children can ride and collect water in. These looked like great fun but MissB was a little too young to use them on our last visit.
We also loved the Bamboo Labyrinth , although it is a bit disorientating with all it’s twists and turns. Being a little claustrophic I tried not to panic when I got a little lost. Again, once MissB is a little older and able to run around this herself (and indeed MasterB) I can just imagine the fun we will have trying to locate our children in it.
The Serpent Garden is definitely my favourite part of the Alnwick Garden, this is basically full of metal water sculptures which show how water can move. It is absolutely fascinating and MissB absolutely loved this area. I’m sure she will love it even more now that she is a little older and I can’t wait to take her back to see it again.
Unfortunately just as were exploring the Serpent Garden we got caught in a torrential downpour (well this is the North East after all!) and had to make a mad dash to The Pavillion Cafe to see shelter from the rain. Of course every other visitor to the gardens also made the same decision and so whilst we were lucky to get a seat, it was a long queue for some food. This was however tasty when it arrived.
After the lunch the rain had cleared up long enough for us to take a quick walk up the banks and back down through the cherry orchard. Unfortunately the blossom and the tulips weren’t out during our visit but I’ve heard that during the spring they look amazing. We decided to skip a visit to the poison garden as there was a bit of a queue for the tours and MissB was starting to get a little tired by then so it was best to keep moving
We went down to check out the Treehouse and the wobbly rope bridges. I was impressed that even with a Quinny Zapp we were able to go on these, a most odd experience pushing a pushchair around the treetops
Whilst amongst the trees we checked out the Treehouse Restaurant which looked absolutely beautiful inside and we decided that at some point in the future we will return without the children for a nice romantic meal out
Overall we had a lovely, if rather wet visit to the Alnwick Garden, which was a shame as we would have liked to have spent more time exploring the gardens but I’m sure once MasterB is toddling we will be taking both the children back to see it again