To celebrate our first anniversary John and I decided to go back to one of our favourite places, Northumberland. Northumberland has a special place in our hearts as we’ve visited it throughout our relationship and we can’t get enough of the white sandy beaches, fishing villages and outstanding scenery. Having camped around the Bamburgh area on our last few trips we decided to try something a little different and explore in land. We booked a stay at Clennell Hall Hotel on the edge of Northumberland National Park but decided to stop off in Alnwick first for a long overdue visit to The Alnwick Garden.
We had both visited The Alnwick Garden years before so we were excited to see what was new. Tickets for the garden are £12.10 per adult which is quite pricey but there is plenty to see and do. The Treehouse was closing early for a function so we headed there first.
The Treehouse is one of the largest in Europe and we loved bouncing around on the rope bridges and exploring the wooden structure. As well as the restaurant there is now a bar called The Potting Shed which serves cocktails and light bites. We had already eaten but it looked well worth a visit.
The view that greeted us as we entered the garden certainly hadn’t changed. The fountain, the Grand Cascade, is an impressive center piece and mini tractors line the base of the water feature for kids to play on.
Armed with a map we were determined to explore every part of the gardens and started with the labyrinth. Lined with bamboo it twists and turns until you reach the center stone.
We wandered around the rose garden then got a little bit damp in the serpent garden! The serpent garden is full of interactive water features and I just couldn’t help myself..
… I got soaked all down my back!
The ornamental garden sits at the top of the Grand Cascade inside 16th century Venetian gates and is filled with one of the countries largest collections of European plants.
We also took a tour of the Poison Garden and discovered that our garden houses quite a few plants we didn’t know were poisonous! We really enjoyed the tour which was very interesting but if you decide to go on it remember to heed the warning..
After stocking up on snacks and wine we headed off to find our hotel. Clennell Hall Hotel is in a remote location near Alwinton at the foot of the Cheviot Hills, 18 miles west of Alnwick. The historic manor house and it’s grounds are beautiful but the hotel itself is a little faulty towers. We had the oldest room in the house which was pleasant enough, breakfast was nice and we spotted a red squirrel which really made our day.
By happy coincidence my Mum was also in Northumberland for the weekend so we made plans to meet her for lunch on Sunday. We had a couple of hours free beforehand and the sun was shining so we couldn’t think of anything better than to head to Bamburgh for a walk on the beach.
We always seem to be drawn to Bamburgh and it’s beautiful stretch of coastline. I’m not sure how anyone could visit the Northumberland coast and not fall in love with it.
We rounded off our trip with lunch and a walk by the river in Warkworth with Mum before dropping her off at the train station and heading home.