Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids

I am showing my age here but these days I absolutely love strolling around a garden. I am going to be brutally honest here and say I actually prefer visiting gardens without the kids so I can actually spend time admiring the plants, flowers and wildlife but I do still like to bring the kids along to these kinds of days out too as gardens are always a nice place for a family walk with plenty to look at. My top tip would be to bring the kids there own camera and set them a specific challenge (eg take a photo of flowers from every colour in the rainbow). This will keep them out of mischief. We're super lucky in Northumberland to have many beautiful gardens on our doorstep and today I'm sharing some of my favourites with you. Let me know if you have any other recommendations for us to visit over in my North East Days Out Reviews and Recommendations Facebook group.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids


Belsay Hall & Gardens

I think Belsay Hall is home to my favourite garden in the whole of the North East. It's gorgeous -, especially in Spring/Summer. It's around a 1 mile walk from the Hall to the Castle and you'll walk through formal gardens, walled gardens, quarry gardens, ancient woodlands, snowdrops (in February) then Daffodils, rose gardens and more. It really is a feast for the senses. My kids love it here as they feel like they are walking through Jurassic Park when they walk through the quarry gardens. There's also a castle to explore, cracking tea room and generally some kind of family trail to join in with. Belsay Hall is managed by English Heritage and free for members to visit (if you're not a member, check out their website for admission costs).

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Belsay Hall Gardens

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Alnwick Garden 

I bought an annual pass to Alnwick Garden this year as I love walking around their gardens in Spring and Summer and think it's such a fab place to take the kids. We love splashing in the water garden, watching the fountains, visiting the treehouse and taking part in the various trails. I'm not so keen on the garden in autumn/winter but in summer, you just can't beat a day out here. I'd highly recommend visiting at the end of April/beginning of May to see the stunning Cherry Blossom - it's a sight to behold! Find out more about admission and opening times here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Alnwick Garden Cherry Blossom

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Carlisle Park

Carlisle Park in Morpeth is the only garden on my list which is free to visit all year round. The pretty William Turner formal are gardens on one side - filled with flowers and an aviary, it's a lovely spot for a wonder or a seat. Then you can walk along the river to the busier side where you'll find two children's playgrounds, an outdoor paddling pool, rowing boats to hire, sports courts and more. You can find out more here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Carlisle Park

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Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens 

Kirkley Hall is probably best known for its Zoo or outdoor activity centre but their gardens are actually pretty stunning too and if you're in the area or are visiting the zoo, are worth a stroll. Visitors can enjoy a walled garden, woodland garden and there's a hidden fairy door to find and giant musical instruments to play too. Find out more here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Kirkley Hall Gardens

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Wallington Hall's Walled Garden 

Wallington Hall is one of my kids' favourite National Trust properties to visit. They just love the play parks here and I've posted before about how tricky it is for me to tear them away from here. There is a beautiful walled garden hidden in the woods though - definitely worth making a detour for and don't forget to visit the beautiful snowdrop garden in February. Wallington Hall is a National Trust property. Find out more about opening times and admission here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Wallington Hall Gardens

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Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens 

Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens are pretty special as they're only open on selected dates. The gardens are super interesting for all ages and filled with lots of sculptures to enjoy. In 2019 there is going to be a set of three curated sculpture trails to enjoy. The toddler in our party managed the walk just fine. Check out my video below to discover more.


The gardens are free to visit but as a charity, they rely on donations (recommended £5 per adult). Make sure you take cash for the cafe. See here for 2019's opening dates and further information.

Cragside Rock Gardens 

Cragside is home to some of the best landscaping in Northumberland and it's done on such a grand scale. We love climbing down the rock gardens and enjoying the formal gardens too. There is so much to see and do at Cragside from the play park to the beautiful lake and labyrinth maze and house too. It really is one of the best days out in the North East for families who enjoy the great outdoors I think. Cragside is managed by the National Trust. Find out more about admission costs and opening times here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Cragside Gardens


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Howick Hall Gardens 

Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum are the ancestral seat of the Earl Greys. Families can stroll through the gardens and pond, check out the Arboretum, discover the history of Earl Grey in the visitor centre and enjoy a bite to eat and a cup of tea in the Earl Grey Tea Rooms. There's also a free family explorer challenge to try and extra activities during half term. Find out more about opening times and admission here.

Northumberland in Bloom | My favourite gardens to visit with kids  - Howick Hall Gardens
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Where's your favourite garden to visit in Northumberland?

Looking for more outdoor places to explore in Northumberland? Check out these posts: 

Looking for more days out ideas? Why not follow North East Family Fun on Instagram here. I post a new idea every morning at 7am each day and my stories share real-time and an un-edited look at some of the things we get up to. 




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4 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. I have to agree Belsay is our number one too. I'm looking forward to trying Cheeseburn Sculpture and Howick Hall Gardens later in the year (I'd not heard of these). Another of our favourites is Durham University Botanic Gardens.

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  2. I have yet to visit Alnwick Gardens, its on my must visit list. I hadn't heard of Cheeseburn Sculpture. Totally love Cragside and Wallington

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  3. I've well and truly embraced Nan Life too ... LOVE a stroll round some beautiful gardens followed by some tea and cake - a weekend well spent!

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