Monday, December 26, 2016

Alnwick Castle and Garden - Aydon Castle - Cragside House and Gardens

Happy Boxing Day!  I am trying to catch-up on my long neglected blog.  Here we go.
Loved visiting two spectacular castles and gardens in one day.  From Lindinsfarne (I reported about this visit back in May--I'm sure you weren't holding your breath for the next installment, right?) we drove straight to Alnwick Castle and the next day, on to Aydon Castle and Cragside House.

No pics allowed inside Alnwick Castle.  I would have loved to have a pic of the family living area of the castle state rooms.  The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland have found a way to make a few grand rooms feel very cozy.  One of the cozy touches included a few faux fur covered bean bag chairs in front of the large screen tv--perfect for kids watching movies.  We practically had the place to ourselves so I walked through the interior several times just to soak it all in.  Alnwick Castle is famous for several things including serving as the exterior and interior scenes for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films as well as a few Christmas scenes for Downton Abbey.

                                                       The famous Grand Cascade

The gardens have been restored by Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland.  Really spectacular.

The above path curves around the backside of the famous fountain.  So peaceful.

       This is the Poison Garden.  Must be guided through--and no smelling the plants. Seriously.

If I lived in the area of Alnwick Castle and Gardens, I would definitely buy an annual pass.  So much to see here.  Loved every minute.  Kudos for Jane Percy--she has created very interesting gardens.

The next morning we drive to Aydon Castle which is a well-fortified, pretty much intact 13th century manor house.

       Being from the dry climate of Arizona, I absolutely love moss-covered stones.  Just look at that!

Cragside House and Gardens
On to Cragside House and Gardens.  I didn't love the house (Victorian) but the grounds were fantastic--after we toured we drove a six mile route through the grounds of the estate.  Yes, six miles.

                                                One of the views from the house.

                                                                  On to the gardens

     This is why I love English gardens.  Stunning colors, pebbled pathways, abundance of good design, sometimes a water feature, and usually an interesting written sign or two.  What's not to love?

Alnwick Gardens - the Grand Cascade
Well, after a long absence from my blog, I am hoping to catch-up on my posts for this trip from last summer! As in 2015 last summer.  Because I did take some pretty great trips in 2016, too.  I am way behind....xo


  1. Love this post -- and a big thumbs up to catching up your fantastic blog in 2017! xo

  2. Stephanie N. : Gorgeous!