Why you should visit Alnwick Garden when the kids are at school

I love visiting Alnwick Garden. It doesn't matter when you visit, there's always something new to see, do and admire. The garden's hard-working team of gardeners seem to work non-stop and the garden is ever-changing with the seasons but always pristine and beautiful.

Why you should visit Alnwick Garden when the kids are at school

In the past, I've nearly always visited Alnwick Garden during the school summer holidays with Harry, Heidi and Jack and usually some of our extended friends or family too. It's such a fantastic place to visit with kids on a sunny day and the Grand Cascade makes a wonderful backdrop for your picnic. Little ones love playing with the water features in the serpent garden and the garden of fairy tales trail is always lots of fun. 

Last month, I was desperate to visit the Cherry Orchard in the garden which is only in bloom for around 2 weeks towards the end of April/beginning of May (it was truly amazing - I dedicated this entire post to photographs) and the only window of opportunity I had to visit was a Wednesday during term time when my brother was off work and could kindly drive me. We woke up to drizzle but decided to make the 30 minute trip anyway and were rewarded with a pretty decent day actually. We used this 2 for 1 offer for entry so it only set us back £13.10 for 2 adults and 1 toddler (plus £3 to park). Very good value!

As we stepped into the garden at around 10:30am, the first thing I realised was just how quiet it was compared to weekends and school holidays. Nobody was standing in front of the stunning grande cascade and I can't believe I managed to get a perfect shot with no random strangers in the way! (If only my Nephew wouldn't frown as soon as I pull my camera out - he is so cheeky and loves to wind me up!)

Being able to walk around the Grande Cascade when it was pretty much just us and the odd gardener was so peaceful and relaxing. I'd honestly urge anyone to get there early on a weekday and try it.

There are so many hidden corners in Alnwick Garden and it was lovely being able to explore (and photograph) them at my leisure.

As the gardens are a lot quieter during school hours, there are lots of pretty places to just sit and contemplate life. I can't think of many nicer places to sit than these swings.....

If you're visiting with a toddler, they'll have their pick of the tractors during term time rather than have to wait for one to come free during busier periods.

The Pavillion Cafe was a lot quieter too and there were plenty of prime seats still available which are often difficult to get your hands on during peak visiting periods. We enjoyed a gorgeous leisurely and peaceful lunch to the backdrop of the grand cascade. I can't think of a nicer spot!

Then it was onto the Treehouse. Normally this magnificent structure is super busy but again, it was so much more peaceful visiting during term time. It was just us walking along the rope bridges (normally there are loads of kids jumping up and down as they cross) and we managed to grab the perfect spot for a coffee in the Potting Shed.

I love visiting Alnwick Garden in the summer with the kids - they adore playing in the serpent water garden, taking part in the trails and enjoying a picnic on the grass with other families. But I'm also so happy I had the opportunity to visit during term time when the gardens are a lot quieter. They really had such a different vibe and we had such a lovely day. I'm super tempted to invest in an annual pass and I can see Steve and I making another trip on one of his days off with our laptops so we can enjoy the gardens, take some photos and then catch up on our work and emails in the Pavillion Cafe or Potting Shed over coffee. Freelancers are forever searching for the perfect spot to write or work and I really think The Alnwick Garden during term time may be it! Such a beautiful and inspiring place to visit.

If you enjoyed this post and are looking for more ideas for places to visit across North East England, why not join my FREE North East Days Out Facebook Group? There are almost 2000 members and it's a fun and friendly place to share recommendations for places to visit, post photos from across North East England and ask for advice from other members. You can request to join here.

Have you ever visited Alnwick Garden without the kids? Let me know if you fancy it.



  1. Oh wow! It's like you almost had the gardens to yourself! How lucky!
    Your photos are just beautiful x

  2. What a fun escape! Beautiful views.

  3. I've actually never been to Alnwick Garden during the day. I've only ever been to night time events there! It's stunning, maybe I'll have to leave the twins at home and pop up one day x


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