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The Alnwick Garden is one of the best reasons to visit Northumberland. First laid down in 1750, the garden has had several different looks over the years, from grand and showy to growing food during the Second World War. Discover the famous Alnwick Treehouse, the toxic Poison Garden, and beautiful flowers across the 12 acres. With people constantly walking around, it's a garden of life, so breathe the fresh air and explore The Alnwick Garden. If you've enjoyed the garden, you might like Kielder Water and Forest Park.
The Alnwick Garden is a collection of formal gardens opposite Alnwick Castle. They were originally the Alnwick Castle gardens themselves but due to their size became a separate attraction; they were at their grandest at the end of the 19th century. With the arrival of World War II, the gardens were turned over to provide food but then fell into disrepair, before being closed as a working garden in 1950. The redevelopment of the garden was thanks to Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, in 1997, who instigated the repair. With a reported total development cost of £42 million, this was the most ambitious new garden created after the war.
Enjoy 12 acres of beauty at The Alnwick Garden. If you're looking for plants, there's plenty to see. Plants are blooming every month of the year. In January, look out for the Helleborus, also known as the Christmas Rose; there are a variety of species available. Spot the Crab-apple blossom in May is one of the ancestors of the apple tree, and the bark is twisted to give it a crabbed appearance. In June, find the peonies, and in July, see the stunning roses. The Alnwick Garden is always a brilliant place to visit. Potentially the most famous part of The Alnwick Garden is the Poison Garden. Created by the Duchess to be a unique addition, this poison garden is full of toxic, narcotic and intoxicating plants, hidden behind huge doors. Go through the ivy-covered tunnels inside this gothic masterpiece. Inside, the most toxic plants are hidden inside giant cages; the rest are in flame-shaped beds. With around 100 plants, there's plenty to see. The gates are only open for guided tours, so get ready to discover the poison inside. Be careful and make sure you don't smell, touch, or taste any of the flowers. For one of the more classic gardens, guests might like the Rose Garden. Particularly in June and July, the blossoming flowers fill the air with their gorgeous smell; with over 300 highly scented roses, they'll waft through the air. Even when they're not at their full bloom, the gorgeous colours create a stunning effect. The garden was created by David Austin and unveiled at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2001. To discover international plants, enjoy the Taihaku Cherry Blossom Gardens. The Alnwick Garden has the largest collection of 'Taihaku' in the world. 329 trees bloom together around the end of April and the beginning of May. It's known as the 'Great White' because it has snow like clusters, but in autumn the leaves turn to copper, so they're beautiful all year round. Find the Ornamental Garden, Serpent Garden, the Bamboo Labyrinth, and even more inside the garden walls.
The Grand Cascade is the central feature of The Alnwick Garden. With curved stone walls, walk down the stone steps from the top of the hill to see the water cascading. With thousands of gallons of water rushing and spraying, it's an incredible show to see. The Alnwick Garden water fountains change direction and pattern, but it's so mesmerising it's hard to follow it properly; spend a day there, and you might not be able to follow it. The Cascade is truly grand and a highlight of any visit! If you're looking for entertainment for younger children at The Alnwick Garden, you might also enjoy The Forgotten Garden Aventure Golf course. Go through the mystical story as you try to score as many holes as possible, going past water and uphill.
For an incredible dining experience at The Alnwick Garden, go high into the treetops. You can have lunch or dinner up there, surrounded by twinkling lights and with a roaring fire in the evening on chillier nights. The food is focused on British cuisine, and a lot of local produce is used. The furniture is also handcrafted, and the beautiful interior is focused on emulating the outside trees in a beautiful, unique way.
Want to remember your day at The Alnwick Garden? The Gift Shop & Plant Centre is free to enter, and you don't need a ticket. At the main entrance to the garden, it has a selection of novelties, with the majority made in the local Northumberland area. Find souvenirs or birthday presents all year round; at Christmas, it's especially wonderful as the shop turns into a magical winter wonderland. The Christmas market inside will have everything you could think of. The Alnwick Garden has something brilliant for all families.
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