Alnwick Gardens....A serendipity!
A wonderful surprise discovering Alnwick Gardens which I never expected to visit and I never knew that it existed. One would find inside different gardens such as the rose garden, ornamental garden, poison garden and the lovely tree house with a restaurant inside. The Grand Cascade highlights the place that showcases water fountain for the children to enjoy.
- Discovering Alnwick Gardens
- The Pavillion and Visitor's Center
- The Grand Cascade
- The Ornamental Garden
- The Rose Garden
- The Poison Garden
- The Tree House
Discovering Alnwick Gardens
Following my previous post on Alnwick Castle, I came to Alnwick for the purpose of visiting Alnwick Castle alone. As I was exploring the vast estate, I could see some people from a distant heading to one direction. Driven by curiosity, I went to that direction and I saw a signage directing me to Alnwick Garden. I was surprised to know that there is more attraction to see. I followed the flow and it brought me to the ticket booth. I paid the entrance fee and went inside.
The Pavillion and Visitor's Center
Upon entering, visitors will pass through the Visitor’s Center. Here one would find a café should you want to take lunch or just simply enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the water showcase at the Grand Cascade. It has the capacity to accommodate up to 1000 people and has been used for exhibitions, conferences, events and weddings.
The Grand Cascade
The first thing that caught my attention was the Grand Cascade. Standing from the Visitor’s Center, it looked like a staircase or a terrace with shallow water pools in the middle. I could see children enjoying playing with the water. As I walked near, the water fountains were switched on and the water rockets up high to the air and like broken crystals crashing down the ground which makes the children get excited and thrilled , screaming as they get wet. Water shoots up in opposite directions, like being caught up in the middle of crossfire of bullets of water.
The Ornamental Garden
On top of the Grand Cascade one will find a walled garden which is called Ornamental Garden. Leaving behind the rambling waters and excited children from the Grand Cascade, the Ornamental Garden is a peaceful area. It housed around 16,500 varieties of plants and features a dovecot which is a home to several doves inside the walled garden.
The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden has a pergola walkway and in the middle is a sitting area where visitors can relax and enjoy the scent of the roses. Unfortunately there was no bloom that time I came to visit hence I did not see the roses and no scent to sniff. What caught my attention is an old sculpture with a fox sitting on top and monkeys are holding the base. I am always amazed with anything old looking hence I took a shot. However, being an amateur photographer, I wasn’t able to take the whole subject. Afterwards, I came to know that this is a valuable piece of sculpture which is an 18th century work. The duchess has decided to put it in the garden for everyone to see.
The Poison Garden
My curiosity was aroused by the name of the garden “The Poison Garden” so I located it in the visitor’s guide map and hurriedly went to find it. When I reached the place, the black iron gate is closed. I looked inside and saw that there were groups of visitors being guided inside. So I waited for the next batch to go inside.
When our turn came, the guide gave us a short briefing. He emphasized that no one should touch or smell any of the plants inside as the plants are dangerous and could kill. I find this tour really educational. We all know that some plants are used to cure different kinds of diseases and there are patients who claims that they were not cured by the modern medicine and herbal medicines cured them instead. But these plants inside this garden kills life. Some of the plants require a special license from Home Office to grow which they put inside a cage like cannabis and coca which is a main source of cocaine.
The Tree House
After my visit in the Poison Garden, I saw from afar a tree house and headed to that direction. As I came nearer, I could see how beautiful it is, it is a huge tree house crafted in wood. Outside the tree house is a rope bridge and wooden bridge that leads to the restaurant. The restaurant is located at the center of the tree house. It has an open log fire that warms the place and the branches of the trees are growing through the floor. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and very ideal to sit and relax after the long walk in the gardens.
Other attractions in the garden are the Cherry Orchard, the Serpent Garden and the Woodland Walk which I wasn’t able to visit anymore as my legs and feet already gave up.