Alnwick Water Gardens...

5 August 2013, Arts, events and places, Would you like to leave a comment?

This is a bit different to my usual blog posts, but too good not to mention! I didn’t expect to be greeted by such amazing sights, when I arrived at Alnwick on Sunday.

Set in the grounds of Alnwick castle, the gardens really are an inspiring landsacape, displaying unique features, imaginative sculptures, a maze, tree house and more – all brought to life with water. What’s more impressive though, is that the whole site was derelict land only ten years ago!

On arrival, my first port of call was the tree house café - what an amazing place! It is supported from the ground, but still gives you the impression of being up in the trees. There’s a walkway leading you up from ground level and you enter through a wooden gate house. There’s a fantastic tower to your right and rope bridges leading to different places. I would say it looks almost like a rustic medieval village...


Oh yes - the café does do a fantastic bacon buttie and large mugs of tea!


The water gardens are built on a natural slope and this really works a treat. The main walled garden is entered through some archways, with paths and steps leading down to the different features. These are followed by a myriad of waterfalls and streams, which feed the fountains lower down.

The walled garden is quite high up and this is where the water starts…


The main cascade is where it all happens. The water drops down a whole series of steps, with jets and fountains spraying up, whenever you least expect it.

Looking down the main cascade – a photo will never do it justice…


The ornamental garden is beautifully designed, with symmetrical box edge borders filled with European plants. I had a guided tour of the ‘poison garden’, where many of the toxic plants known to man are growing. Funnily enough, they had a yew tree on display and commented on its toxicity – luckily though, it’s only the leaves which are poisonous, so I’m good for a few more years!

This is the oldest tree in the gardens, a 200 year old sycamore…


Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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