Last week my sister and I decided to brave the weather (there had been heavy showers every day for days so we hadn’t managed to do anything), pack up a picnic and head down the road to Alnwick Gardens. The children’s centre my cousin works at had secured us complimentary tickets which was great news as the gardens can be an expensive day out. However if we had paid I wouldn’t have been disappointed, especially with the Fairytale Trail they currently have on. We didn’t really know what to expect as we’d both only visited the castle when we were kids.. we were thinking some grass and some flowers but there was actually a lot more to see and do. Even with two toddlers. As I mentioned above, over the summer they have a Fairytale Trail to take part in. The kids get to dress up (which LM was completely thrilled about) and then you follow a trail around the garden solving clues to get an answer that will save the Beauty. We really enjoyed it although LM was a little disappointed she didn’t get to meet her favourite fairytale characters.. some of the clues were about Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella, naturally she expected it to be like Disney World where at the end she would get to play with them, so she was rather disillusioned with the band she got instead. Oh well. With it being the height of the summer the garden was in full bloom and really lovely to explore even without the trail. I was so glad I remembered my camera and could take some photos.
After completing the trail we headed out of the gardens and made our way to The Treehouse, which is a beautiful restaurant with an attached cafe called the Potting Shed where we enjoyed homemade brownies and ice cream. We did manage to have an explore of the treehouse despite the restaurant being open at the time. I really want to come back and eat here one evening as the place was decorated with twinkly fairy lights which I imagine makes a rather magical dining experience when it’s dark.
If that’s not really your thing there is a cafe selling real fish and chips, and a stand with the most fantastical flavours of ice cream. Or like we did, you could take a picnic to enjoy on the grass. You’re more than welcome to bring your own food and despite the fact it was raining when we first arrived, we were one of many families sat on the grass with a pack up. It really makes the day much cheaper and we only stopped for brownies as we were exhausted from chasing the kids around!
A Garden of Fairytales is on right up until the 1st September and is free to take part in when you pay for entry to the gardens. Entry is £11.50 for an adult, £4.18 for a child and free for children under 4, if you buy online. It’s slightly more expensive to buy at the gate but I definitely think it’s worth it as there is enough to do to fill a whole afternoon.
If you live in the North East or are visiting this summer I cannot recommend it enough, of course Little Miss and I are a sucker for anything fairytale related, but I can say hand on heart my nephew enjoyed himself too!