Saturday, 6 October 2012

retrospective holiday diary day 2: two gardens

Friday 21 September, and the weather was fine, so we decided to do some notable gardens.

First Alnwick Castle grounds, with several marvellous water features:

with the beautiful flower gardens (they must be even more magnificent when more of the flowers are in bloom):

planting ideas for our alien garden
with the “poison garden” (which makes me never want to touch another plant again!), and with the tree house.

just a little folly in the back garden

Since the weather was still good, we decided to save Alnwick Castle itself for later, as rain (lots of rain) was being forecast.

So instead, we went off to Cragside, near Rothbury. The weather was holding as we arrived, so again, gardens first. There was a marvellous “rock garden” – the crag side itself – which we walked through on our way down from the house to the river, itself spanned by a beautiful iron bridge.

Cragside from the valley below, complete with iron bridge
Of course, this meant we had to walk back up again, to see the house itself.

The Victorian house is famous for being the first to be lit by hydroelectric power, and has lots of other interesting gadgets. The house part of it feels as if it could really be a home; the part used for entertaining dignitaries is more “uncomfortable stately home” style.

We then had a drive around the estate, stopping every now and then to go and see various features – mostly lakes, rivers, rapids, and water races.

cloud on still water


  1. I'm particularly glad that you enjoyed Alnwick Castle, as my father made the gates for the poison garden!

    1. Wow! I did not know that.

      The gates are indeed splendid, and the guide spent a good time describing some of their details.