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Saturday, 13 June 2015

A Garden of Fairy Tales at Alnwick Garden

Alnwick Garden is a place we like to visit every year - there is so much to offer families from a labyrinth maze, tractor rides and poison garden to water play, treehouses and magical fountains (read about our visit last Summer here). This year, a brand new attraction has opened and we couldn't wait to visit and see what 'A Garden of Fairy Tales' was all about. The attraction is ongoing and open 7 days a week (10:30am-5:30pm weekends and school holidays or 11am-4:30pm on school day). The garden, trail and crafts are all included with regular admission. Yeah to no additional charges!

Alnwick garden fountain

The magical trail starts at the Fairy Tale Attic. You can collect a map at the garden's entrance or simply follow the signs.

Alnwick Garden Fairy Tale Attic - A review

The Fairy Tale attic really is fabulous. You will meet a few real life fairy tale characters here and have the chance to raid their fantastic dressing up outfits to wear around the trail. Heidi had already prepared herself and dressed as a Fairy for the day but Harry decided to borrow a Robin Hood costume. Very smart he looked too! There are so many outfits and props to choose from and it really adds to the experience when you can spot children dressed as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming walking around the garden enjoying the trail.

Alnwick Garden - Save Beauty

Alnwick Garden dressing up

We were trusted to take part in a very important mission that involved solving clues, taking part in a little magic, meeting the big bad wolf (who is actually very friendly) and completing the trail. Our ultimate mission was to use our special fairy tale map, solve 10 clues and find the deadly poison before the Wicked Queen did and to  #SaveBeauty. 

The trail took us just over an hour and was actually enjoyable for us grown ups too. They have deliberately ensured the clues aren't too easy so grown ups are forced to get involved. It really was a real family effort.

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a review

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a review
We found secret doorways

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - The Frog Prince
A Frog Prince

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a rose
A magical Rose

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - humpty dumpty
Humpty Dumpty even made an apperance

We are Alnwick Garden veterans but the trail forced us to discover parts of the garden we had never seen before including this ancient tree that is hundreds of years old.

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a review

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - Big Bad Wolf character

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a recommended family day out

Our map also led us through the Cherry Orchard which is a breathtaking part of the garden and an absolute joy to walk through. Our children loved racing ahead to the next clue on every level.

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - orchard

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - photograph location

Alnwick Garden is very accessible and has plenty of seating areas where you can sit and take in the view. We could not resist taking a moment in the orchard for a quick family selfie.


We were delighted when we finally found the poison before the Queen did. Yeah! We saved Beauty! We needed a little assistance with a few clues from the staff and characters along the trail but they were all happy to help and point us in the right direction.

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a review

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales - a review

The trail ends at Crafty Cottage where we were all given a much coveted wrist band to reward us for our efforts - I loved how the grown ups were included too and our team effort was recognised.

Alnwick Garden, Garden of Fairy Tales wristbands

We were encouraged to make our own crowns in Crafty Cottage (at no extra cost) which for us was the perfect way to end our Fairy Tale adventure.


We have made a 3 minute video around the trail which I think really gives you a better feel for what's involved. We'd love you to take a look and let us know what you think. Just hit play below :-)



After such an active morning we had really built up an appetite and decided to pop into the Pavillion restaurant for lunch. We would normally take a picnic or treat ourselves in the Alnwick Treehouse but today decided to try something different. The Pavilion cafe really is perfectly situated with unrivalled views of the Grand Cascade. It was wonderful enjoying an alfresco lunch on the terrace as the fountains did their thing.

Alnwick Garden - lunch with a view at the pavillion

Alnwick garden - lunch menu

Alnwick garden - homemade al fresco lunch

Kinds lunch boxes at The Alnwick Garden pavillion cafe

I was really impressed with the quality and price of the food too - My pulled pork was plentiful and delicious but I can't hide the fact that I was rather jealous of Steve's sausage roll, chips and beans which were all homemade and an absolute steal at £4.95. The kids enjoyed their picnic lunch too (5 items for £4.95).

Alnwick Garden Grand Cascade fountains

Alnwick Garden Grand Cascade fountains

After lunch we spent some time exploring the rest of the garden including dodging getting wet in the serpent garden, finding our way through the bamboo labyrinth and admiring the gorgeous flowers in the Rose garden. We had such a lovely day at Alnwick Garden - it really was proper, quality family time. There are plans to keep the Garden of Fairy Tales indefinitely with seasonal changes for Halloween/Christmas which will certainly keep us going back for more.

You can save money by pre-booking day tickets to Alnwick Garden online here or learn about becoming a Friend of The Alnwick Garden to enjoy unlimited access for one year, free parking, restaurant discounts, exclusive event invites from only £20 per year here - become a friend.


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16 comments

  1. I like the idea that the trail encouraged you to find areas that you'd not explored before. Always a temptation to go around so quickly, as the children race to the next clue, that you have no time to explore. Great that it is fun for the grown-ups too. #CountryKids

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  2. That looks like such a fun day out, what an adventure. I'm sure my kids would really love that. The meals look really nice too.
    Good luck with the MADs x

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  3. The trail looks brilliant, it's great that everyone can get involved!

    So impressed you managed to get the entire family in that selfie - how many attempts did that take?

    More than anything I really need to try that sausage roll! I'll now be torn between sausage roll and the treehouse when we go!

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  4. Alnwick is somewhere I'd love to visit, my daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan. The trail looks especially good.

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  5. The fairy tale attic is such a good idea! It's great that you can borrow clothing to walk around the gardens! Thanks for sharing on #CountryKids xx

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  6. would love to visit Alnwick it looks amazing, defo on our list for this year! the food looks delicious too x

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  7. I love the way you have really got into the spirit of the day and joined in everything as a family. National Trust as really getting creative with ways to attract families and things to do together. An enchanting day in every way. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids, very best of luck in the MADS for a 2nd year and great video!

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  8. I love visiting Alnwick gardens but we have not been for a few years since having the little ones xx

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  9. This looks like so much fun! I love that it's for both grown ups and kids and that there aren't hidden charges. I think the Robin Hood outfit is great too. #TravelTales

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  10. What a wonderful place for the kids!! The food looks great, and the price is totally fair :D

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes this week!

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  11. Looks like a lovely place to visit #TravelTales

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  12. I love this sort of thing. I don't have kids, I don't care it's a family trail - this looks a bunch of fun!

    Like you say, it encourages you to explore the nooks and crannies of the gardens that you might otherwise miss and it makes for an extra little diversion while wandering. Obviously I'd skip the dressing up part though ;)

    Seen a few things about Alnwick recently - definitely on my radar. NT really seem to be trying hard to broaden the appeal of some of their properties. Have to say, I think it's working :)

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  13. Have been to Alnwick gardens a few times. Whenever we have family visiting from abroad (Hong Kong, America, India), we usually take them here. Nice to read ur post as even though i've been before, i've not seen some of the parts of the garden u visited. I have a friend's wedding coming up here so am really looking forward to that! Alnwick Garden always a pleasure :-)

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  14. Alnwick Gardens is a very special place to us and I always love seeing photos!

    The place looks absolutely incredible in full bloom and I love the kids' costumes!

    Eats x

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  15. I really must go to Alnwick Gardens, there is so much to see. I love Humpty Dumpty and the frog prince

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  16. Ah that looks like such fun. I went to a wedding at Alnwick gardens a few years back - would love to go again!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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