The Alnwick Garden is a beautiful garden next to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. The 42-acre walled garden is home to gorgeous rose gardens, a dangerous poison garden, a spectacular water feature and much more! A quick glance at a map looks as if you may just wander around the garden for an hour or so. Yet upon arrival, you realise that there is much more to do and see at Alnwick Garden!
Alnwick garden was originally designed by the famous Capability Brown, who also designed some of the gardens at Chateau de Chantilly, in 1750. Over the years it had fallen into disrepair. Then in 1996, the current Duchess of Northumberland had an idea. In 2001, the current Alnwick Garden was opened to the public.
Alnwick Garden is now one of Northern England’s most popular attractions. These gardens aim to offer something from everyone, young and old.
- Where is the Alnwick Garden?
- How much does it cost to visit the Alnwick Garden?
- Where can I park in the Alnwick Garden?
- What can I see in the Alnwick Garden?
- What can I eat at Alnwick Garden?
- When is the best time of year to visit Alnwick gardens?
- Can I bring my dog to Alnwick Gardens?
- Is Alnwick Garden suitable for those with mobility issues?
- Where can I stay near Alnwick Garden?
Where is Alnwick Garden?
The Alnwick Garden is situated in the heart of Northumberland in the North of England. If you are arriving by car, the garden is just off the A1. If you are arriving by public transport, there are fast direct trains to Alnmouth from Leeds, Edinburgh, London. From Alnmouth you can hop on either the X18 bus or the X20 bus. These buses run every half hour Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays. The journey from Alnmouth to Alnwick takes about 10 minutes. From the bus station in Alnwick, it is a 10-minute walk to the Alnwick Garden.
How much does it cost to visit Alnwick Garden?
Admission to the Alnwick Garden includes access to the walled garden, the giant treehouse and the woodland walk. The admission prices for Alnwick Garden in the summer 2020 are the following:
|Ticket Type||Admission (without gift aid)||Admission(with gift aid)|
If you would like to visit Alnwick Castle as well, there are combi tickets available. Click here to see the tickets prices for Alnwick castle. Please note that the winter prices (February – March) are lower.
Where can I park at the Alnwick Gardens?
There is a designated parking area for Alnwick Garden visitors. The postcode for The Alnwick Garden car park is NE66 1YU. Make sure you bring change for the £3.00 parking ticket.
What can I see in the Alnwick Garden?
There is much to see in the Alnwick Garden! The main attractions in Alnwick Garden are the Poison Garden, Rose Garden, Bamboo Maze, Taihaku Cherry Orchard, Grand Cascade, Serpent Garden, Crafty Cottage, Root&Shoots Garden and the Tree House. Alnwick Garden aims to be a garden for everyone meaning that children, adults and elderly will all find something they love in the gardens.
Alnwick Garden Tour
The Alnwick Garden Tour allows visitors to learn more about the history and the different features of the garden. The friendly guides enthusiastically tell tales in each part of the garden enhancing your visit as you learn these little stories.
The poison garden at Alnwick garden is one of the most popular parts of the garden.
The small but deadly poison garden at Alnwick garden is filled with over 100 narcotic and toxic plants! You may only enter the garden as part of a garden tour as people have known to have fainted from inhaling the toxic fumes whilst walking in the garden. You may not smell, touch or taste any of the plants in the garden. For to do so would be dangerous!
The tours run every 15 minutes but they are limited to 20 people per tour. This means that the line soon fills up.
Do not visit the Alnwick garden without having a tour of the poison garden. Maybe you will have a secret poisonous plant in your garden?
The Rose Garden at Alnwick Garden was one of the first parts of the garden to be completed. Enter a world of stunning rose bushes. The 300 roses climb the garden walls and stand proudly in the boxed beds. Look out for the Alnwick rose, which was specially created for Alnwick garden. This pretty pink rose was made for the duchess whose favourite colour is pink.
For rose enthusiasts, June and July are the best time to visit the Alnwick Rose garden. It is said that the scent of the roses at this time of year is so strong, you can smell it from the car park a 7-minute walk away!
The bamboo maze in Alnwick garden will be loved by young and old alike! Whilst the Alnwick garden bamboo maze may not be the largest maze in Britain, it is certainly one of the more unusual ones. The maze is constructed entirely from beautiful bamboo trees. These long bamboo shoots almost completely block the sunlight giving the maze an eerie vibe. Allow your eyes to adjust as you wonder through the maze trying to find the exit.
See if you can spot a carved stone within the maze. Upon the rock is a quote stating “only dead fish swim downstream” which was chosen by the duchess. She faced an uphill battle trying to get funding and support for her Alnwick garden vision. This rock is a nice reminder that it is worth fighting for something you believe in even if others do not.
Taihaku Cherry Orchard
The world’s largest collection of Taihaku cherry trees can be found in the Alnwick garden. There are 329 cherry blossom trees in the Taihaku cherry orchard. The blossoms bloom around the end of April and the start of May. You can sit on the tree swings whilst watching the delicate petals fall to the ground.
If your visit to Alnwick garden is not in spring, the Taihaku cherry orchard is the perfect place to relax and have a picnic. You deserve some time to sit and take in the scenery. Not to mention your feet will be glad after walking around Alnwick garden all day!
The grandest feature of Alnwick Garden is the Grand Cascade!
The grand cascade was designed by Jacques Wirtz and his son in Belgium. The huge water fountain is surrounding by sandstone blocks and created from concrete. There are water shows every half an hour displaying jets and sprouts of water. Underneath the grand cascades are a variety of pumps helping bring the water feature to life.
Either side of the grand cascade are curling hornbeam tunnels leading up to the ornamental garden. These are wonderful in summer as the sunlight creates little sparkles in the arches. In autumn and winter, dainty fairy lights are added for light and a sprinkle of magic.
The Ornamental Garden
The Ornamental Garden in Alnwick Gardens is one of Northumberland’s best Instagram spots. This part of the garden is the closest element of the grounds that conform to what one imagines when they think of stately home gardens. These elegant formal gardens are full of organised arrangements house beautiful flowers, interesting sculptures and fantastic bird boxes. Yet, of course, there are a few quirky elements to keep children entertained! See if you can find the secret door which leads into the garden. Whilst too small for (most) adults, children will love this blue entrance. There is also an oversized coffee mug left by the giant gardener.
Upon entering Alnwick’s ornamental garden, you will be impressed by the instagrammable grand entrance. Three ornate arches welcome visitors. These arches were made from bricks which were salved from the ballasts of ships. Yet the most beautiful feature is the stunning French iron gates. It is said, that the 4th Earl of Northumberland fell in love with these gates during a trip to France and commissioned the arches to fit the iron work! The builders grumbled as this was much trickier to do that the other way around!
The serpent garden in Alnwick garden is perfect for kids! Just make sure you put your child in swim gear or have a spare change of clothes as they will get wet!
When the duchess was designing the gardens, she wanted to make sure that children enjoyed exploring. She had 4 children of her own who were all water babies. This means that water is an abundant element in Alnwick Garden.
The serpent garden has different educational water features. There are small plaques explaining what the feature is displaying. Otherwise, children will just enjoy splashing and getting wet in the serpent garden!
The Tree House
Said to be one the world’s largest treehouses, the treehouse at Alnwick garden is a magical building.
The Alnwick treehouse is built from sustainably sourced wood from Canada, Scandinavia, English and Scotland. To reach the treehouse you will need to cross a series of suspended walkways which are all accessible by buggy and wheelchair!
Inside the Alnwick treehouse is the treehouse restaurant. A large log fire adds a cosy feel to the interior as do the handcrafted wooden tables. Guests can gaze at the huge trees growing from the floor. There is a small menu full of local produce. If you would like to eat here, make sure you book in advance.
The crafty cottage at Alnwick garden is for creative little ones! There are daily craft activities for children to take part in and take their creation home with them!
Roots & Shoots Garden
Roots & Shoots is a fantastic project at Alnwick Garden. This is a working garden full of allotments for the elderberries and local school children.
There are raised beds for older members of the community who would like to continue gardening comfortably. For children there are practical sessions introducing them to gardening! The school children programme aims to be fun and help combat obesity which is on the rise in Northumberland.
Where can I eat at Alnwick Garden?
The Pavilion Cafe
The Pavilion Café offers a wonderful panorama of Alnwick Garden and its spectacular Grand Cascade. There is a wide selection of lunches, cakes and beverages on offer. There are also several vegan options such as a vegan wrap, vegan burger and even a vegan chocolate cake! Gluten-free options are also in abundance as the café, like the garden, aims to cater for all.
For a more unique dining experience book a meal at the Alnwick Treehouse. With the suspended buildings’ wobbly rope bridges, wooden walkways, twinkling lights and roaring log fire this is a quirky place to eat in Alnwick Garden.
If you fancy a little tipple, the duchess of Northumberland has helped create a fun cocktail list. There are 5 cocktails named after her such as desirable Jane and deadly Jane.
Make sure you book in advance.
When is the best time of year to visit Alnwick Garden?
There are wonderful things to see year-round at Alnwick Garden. In springtime, you can admire the snowdrops and the primroses. You can also swing amongst hundreds of cherry blossom trees and watch the petals fall like snow. In summer, the rose garden is at its best and the warm weather is perfect for children playing in the serpent garden water features. The leaves begin to fall when autumn comes. Special Halloween events are also held. Finally, in winter, Alnwick garden gets into the Christmas spirit!
Can I bring my dog to Alnwick garden?
Sadly, your furry friend is not allowed in the Alnwick garden. Guide dogs of course though are allowed in the premises.
Is Alnwick garden suitable for those with mobility difficulties?
Alnwick garden says that “Accessibility is at our heart, we have smooth solid surfaces, wheelchair accessible routes, award winning toilets and even the rope bridges of the Treehouse are fully accessible.” You can find maps of the accessible routes at reception when you purchase your ticket.
Where can I stay near Alnwick Garden?
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Alnwick. Use this booking.com tool to help you find places to stay.
if you are looking for a vegan B&B in Northumberland, check out Loaf Vegan B&B in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Would you like to visit the Alnwick garden?
Have you been inspired to visit the Alnwick garden? Do you dare to venture into the poison garden or would you prefer to get lost in the bamboo maze? Let us know in the comments below!