After the success of my recent adventures. I decided it was time to head a bit further afield. North isn’t usually a direction I go in, but a friend had told me of a magical place to visit. I love Northumberland and am often left surprised when I realise it isn’t all that far away from anywhere. Its about a 40 minute drive from Newcastle upon Tyne and 1.5 hours from Edinburgh.
As we arrived into the town of Alnwick, I spotted the castle. The castle is rather famous but I couldn’t remember where I had seen it before. My Photographer says it is the castle used when Harry Potter learns to fly his broomstick and it is also used for the Quidditch matches. Sadly, I didn’t get to fly my broomstick.
The main aim of the visit was to enjoy seeing some of the spring flowers in bloom. It is one of the best places to see the Sakura in England, but sadly I was too late to see the cherry blossom in full bloom. Though I’m not sad, tickets for Alnwick Garden last for a year, so I’ll be back to see them next year.
The entrance to the gardens leads straight to the infamous view of the fountain and it’s grand cascade. It was very busy with humans picnicking on the grass in front so I didn’t stay long. Even though the UK is starting to come out of lockdown, I for one still don’t feel comfortable in crowds. Alnwick Garden has an abundance of paths and routes to follow so I headed for a nice shady one.
As soon as I headed away from the main fountain, there were less humans around. Finally I was free from the handbag of doom and able to walk around in the sunshine. I love wandering through the fountains and across the small streams.
Heading into the woodland turned out to be a great place to go. Though the ferns and trees led me to a small patch of bluebells. I was surprised to find any in the summer. It’s just a shame none of the humans even noticed they were there.
My next stop was the Taihaku Cherry Blossom orchard. But, sadly I was a bit too late to see the blossoms. Instead I was able to experience the beautiful pink tulips amongst the trees. The best part was the swinging chairs. I know it’s not a rollercoaster but I had so much fun swinging really high!
I even made friends with a few Polish people who were excited to see an adventursaurus on a day out. Sadly, I had a full day of exploring planned so I couldn’t stay long. I headed back through the bluebell wood, which the humans still hadn’t noticed, and continued to the ornamental garden.
The ornamental garden is how I always imagined Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden would look. Sadly, the roses were not blooming, though the magnolia trees were blooming beautifully.
When I visited this part of Alnwick Gardens had a one way system in force. Personally I found it to be a great idea as it meant I actually saw everything. Rather than just wandering aimlessly and missing things. The circular route ended in the middle of the ornamental garden, allowing the two feathery residents to take centre stage. Ducks! Happily swimming about in a square pond. Until a group of humans started to annoy them and throw stones. Please stop, dinosaurs don’t like having stones thrown at them. Neither do humans. I think we now know how the ducks will feel …
I chose to leave the ducks in peace and follow a different path downhill. This led me into the rose garden, which sadly wasn’t in bloom. I think June or July is the best time to visit if you like roses. I just bypassed the greenery and headed straight for … the café. Exploring the gardens had been hungry work. A slice of lime and coconut cake and a coffee was just what I needed to continue exploring.
The next stop was possibly my favourite part of the whole garden. The Bamboo Labyrinth is a maze that transports you to Japan! It seemed really dark while I was in, though the photographs don’t show it. I’ll admit the maze itself isn’t all that hard to complete. But it is 100% worth letting yourself get lost in the sanctuary on the bamboo. Japan is number 10 on my Bucket List and after trying this maze, it has made me even more excited to visit one day (when it is safe enough to travel again).
When I left the maze I could hear a lot of happy sounds coming from nearby humans. Curiosity got the better of me so I headed towards the Serpent Garden. My Photographer initially wanted to miss out this part ass they thought it would be full of snakes. Instead it was full of water features! Perfect for a warm and sunny day. The water features are interactive and if you wish you can walk into them and get soaked. Some are on timers but others have a constant flow of water. My favourite was the tall shooting fountain because it recycles the water it releases.
After much joy watching my photographer get soaked. I’m thinking of creating a post about embarrassing things which has happened to them. I headed off in the direction of the final garden I wanted to visit.
The Poison Garden. It has strict rules and staff about to keep the humans safe. I was surprised at how many of the plants I have in my garden (I made a note to avoid eating those ones). I loved the poison ivy arch as it had tiny windows which I could jump out of and scare passing humans.
I ended my trip with a game of mini golf as wrinkly human wanted a rematch. I might have cheated when we were in Italy. How was I meant know you shouldn’t eat the golf balls.
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