In September I went up to the newly opened Alnwick gardens with my folks which are attached to Alnwick castle in Northumberland, England. The gardens are a project of the Duchess of Northumberland who lives in the castle with the Duke and their family. You can read more about the gardens by clicking here. As you can see when we went there in 2004 it will still mainly under construction but there was still enough to look around. In picture 3 you can also see the original garden wall which was hollow to allow hot air to pass around the garden and warm it up. This was because there were a number of exotic plants and Northumberland isn't exactly warm in the Winter months.
Through the middle of the gardens is the cascading fountain which travels from the rose garden at the top, downwards. The display changes constantly and for the kids there's also a play area (shoveling water of course). As you can see from these photos, there was a lot of work going but you can imagine what it is and will be like in the future.
As mentioned at the top of the fountains is the Rose garden which as you might expect is set aside to all types of roses. This part of the garden is also surrounded by the original wall but here its in much better condition.
Here is a panorama of the Rose garden.
One of the highlights now - but still under construction at the time of our visit - is the tree house which you can see being built in these three photos. Its built into the middle of a number of trees and as well as a great view also houses a small restaurant.
The main centre point of the town of Alnwick if of course Alnwick castle which is the home and seat of the Percy family. Dating back to the 11th century it is now most famous for Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter films but it really is a fantastic looking castle and well worth a visit. The castle is open for both interior and exterior tours but even with those you're missing so much more that isn't shown.
Back through the town and once again you're surrounded by large stone castle like walls which were the original city walls. From here there's only one place to go and that is down the hill to Ye Olde Cross. This is the official name but its also known as "Dorty Bottles" this being Geordie for "Dirty bottles". The reason for this is the window at the front of the pub which contains a load of dirty and dusty bottles that have been there for 150 years. As the sign says the person died while putting them there and they have never been touched as its said the same fate will become any person who moves them. Spooky!
Time to head back after that and the route gives us one last look north to the Scottish border and the Cheviot hills.