Thursday, 5 July 2012

A trip to Alnwick Gardens & Castle

What an absolutely wonderful day I have had! After an extremely long night of waiting for John to get back from A&E / Urgent care I finally got some sleep. John's brother Tom had injured his wrist playing football turns out he's fractured it and torn some ligaments. Ouch. So I expected the day to be boring and spent in bed since they didn't get back until 3am. But Oh John surprised me and said we could go to the Alnwick Garden's and Castle. What a good day it was. The sun was shining it was extremely warm and humid and the place was just beautiful. All these photos are my own. We started off by the large fountain and decided to go to the poison gardens first. Oh it was really good.
In the poison garden we had to go in, in groups of 20 maximum since it was small and there was a talk given at the same time. I absolutely loved it, really enjoyed it. We learnt quite a few things, I probably sound dim but I didn't know that Rhubarb leaves were poisonous! The whole garden was so interested the guide told us about the plants and how they effected you and such and then told us little stories about that. I'd recommend a visit to the Gardens just for this if I'm honest. She showed us Wolfsbane! Like in Harry Potter, she asked if there was any fans in the group, sadly I was the only one! Boo. She also showed us a Mandrake, I never thought I'd see one in real life! Ha. She especially showed us a Mandrake because I was a Harry Potter fan! She said 'And this here is for our Harry fan, it is a Mandrake!' and then asked me to tell the group what happens when you take a Mandrake out of the ground! As you can see though it isn't the most amazing or attractive looking plant, it just looks like a rather large weed.

We wandered around the Cherry Ochards and visited the Ornamental Garden which we thought was an Oriental garden oh how wrong we were! Haha. Once we'd finished in there we took a wander down towards the Serpent garden area, which has too be one of the best bits. Beautiful water features. In fact the whole of the Gardens had beautiful fountains, I just loved this one. I love the steps.
With it being an extremely hot day me and John kept stopping for a sit down or just to absorb the beauty of the place. On the moments I decided to get some new photos of us, since we haven't had a new nice on for a while.
Oh it was just so hot, I longed for a dip in the Grand Cascade. Oh it was so beautiful. I'd like one in my garden when I buy my castle! Ha.
The Serpent Garden is one to visit with Children I think, its full of water features. As you can see I had a lot of fun.
John wasn't as impressed as I was though. He just wanted to see the Castle.
Once we'd done the water features it was the Rose Gardens. It was just breath taking, the colours and scent wow. I felt like Alice walking amongst all the roses. 

Once we'd finished in the Rose Garden John thought it would be a good opportunity to run off into the Bamboo maze, I wasn't impressed I got lost. I found John after about half an hour of panic and going round in circles. He thought it was utterly hilarious. So off to the Castle we went. I love the Castle, I remember being about 7-8 years old and visiting Alnwick Castle with my dad and Karen and being amazing. Because of course it was where Harry Potter got taught how to fly his Broom Stick! I remember being in awe thinking this place was Hogwarts and that when I turned 11 I would be coming here to stay, because obviously I wasn't no Muggle. But Of course that didn't happen. Yet Alnwick still has that magic about it, there were children dressed as Hogwarts students and then 'Dumbledore' came out and gave a flying lesson! I was told by John to stay put, I'm 18 not a child, so I wasn't allowed a go. So we went and had the best Sausage I've ever had from a burger van. It was so nice, proper sausage, Cumberland it was so nice. I'd go back to the Castle just for another Sausage!

Of course the castle was beautiful inside too, but you couldn't take any photos unfortunately. I can say that the Library was beautiful, I actually went Ooh in amazement. And the Ceilings are just so wonderfully hand crafted. Once the castle was over we went for an Icecream, if you're in the North East try a Doddington's icecream seriously, its so good. Rich and creamy. 
With the icecream eaten we made our way towards the Tree House before we headed off home.
The Tree House reminded me of somewhere a Fairy would live, it was all made of wood and had fairy lights all around. I wish we had, had the chance to try the Tree House restaurant.
The whole thing was just decorated in such a wonderful way, I'll definitely have to go back for a meal. The only thing I didn't like about the Tree house was the awful rope bridge, kids were bouncing up and down on it and swinging it. I was terrified.
Once we'd finished in the Gardens and Castle we decided to head into the town of Alnwick and go to Barter Books. Now if you like to read Barter Books is the place to go. Seriously. It is the best second hand book shop I have ever visited. It is the only place I will buy most of my Stephen King books. I'll show you a photo sometime. The cheapest book I've bought was 75p and the most expensive was £3.50. So it is well worth a visit. I love the place, it has a cosy little tea room when you first go in and an electric train set that goes around the top of the book shelves. Its brilliant. It's an old closed down and converted train station. It is well worth a visit. It is also famous for being the place that Original Keep Calm and Carry On posters were rediscovered. So they sell a selection of Keep Calm merchandise. I'd honestly give it a look in and if you see a book you want buy it cause it might not be there the next time you visit! What I do have to say about the place is it is usually rather busy but fighting over a £1.80 first edition of a Stephen King book is worth it. 
The place is easy to find to, really well sign posted in Alnwick. So I hope you have enjoyed reading about my day as much as I enjoyed it myself. Cheerio for now. 

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