Being back in England has been peculiar this time around. With all the news and constant social media debates on the topic of the EU Referendum it’s been hard to chill out! I was so happy to be able to vote whilst I was home however. I decided to wait a few days to post this blog, I wanted to take the time to go through the photos we took on the day and write up the blog portion. But also I didn’t want to be editing etc. heavily this week. Initially I had set out to do a blog per day however with me currently en route to London I figured I might have too many blogs and too little time!
On Tuesday myself, Jenny and Charlotte decided to visit Alnwick Gardens. We know. Most 21 year olds are probably drunk on some “exotic” island right now but we wanted to be at one with nature. Stupid idea on reflection when both Jenny and myself have the worst Hayfever in the world and both coincidentally forgot to take our Hayfever tablets…ANYWAY. Alnwick Garden is a local tourist attraction alongside Alnwick Castle (where they filmed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), and we had all visited the gardens around 10 years ago when it was all brand new. Relatively boring for a 10/11 year old but a goddamn hoot and a half for 21 year olds. Alnwick Gardens is full of water features, a bamboo maze, different walks and a poison garden where you can score a tour of some of the most dangerous plants. I mean were sold at bamboo maze. Living near Durham Cathedral meant we all weren't really game for looking around the castle so opted for the gardens instead. For a Student it was £10.45 for the Gardens but you can buy a combo ticket for Alnwick Gardens and Castle for around £21. Outside both attractions and also free of charge is the treehouse. I remember when I was younger that this was the thing I wanted to see the most, and I had heard since that the restaurant had managed to bag quite a bit of acclaim! Little did we know that you had to RESERVE a lunch spot, however the lady manning reservations, after turning us away for lunch told us that also up in the tree house was a less formal cafe where sandwiches etc are available. GUTTED! However it was nice to sit up in the trees with the girls and catch up!
As well as two great eatery's in the treehouse there is also two different places to explore. If you head up towards the bathrooms in the restaurant there is also a secret viewing deck where you can get a sky-view of the Gardens and the treehouse itself. Makes for a great photo opportunity!! Also if you head out into the trees, the tree house expands into a little adventurous section where there is look-out spots and rope bridges swinging through the trees, such a great laugh.
We then headed straight into the Gardens. We were advised to head to the Poison Garden and get a time slot for the tour, so we went straight there and got our tickets for an hour later and went for a wander around the north part of the gardens. The fountain is huge and every 5 minute there is a water jet show, but watch out as you may be in the splash zone. I don't know why we thought it would be a good idea for the three of us to go to a wide open space like a garden, we literally spent the day running around like idiots and talking about our demise from cocktails bars to flower patches.
The Poison Garden was so freakin' interesting. The gated part of Alnwick Gardens houses all poisonous and dangerous plants. You can only access this part of the gardens through the guided tour. The tour was great and lasted around 20 minutes. Of course within that time you don't get to see every plant that they have but there is interesting tales of mandrakes (Harry Potter fans will love that one) and growing Cannabis. The garden itself does a lot of work with Drug Awareness within the local schools and although the tour guide explained its danger's with some tongue in cheek comments, it was so informative and great to hear about the origins of the different plants.
The rest of the gardens were great, we absolutely slayed the maze. Completing it in around 3 minutes. Not sure if it was just a particularly easy maze, or we are experts from watching too much Mazerunner and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (R.I.P Cedric). There was also a water feature section where round each bush was a different art installation including water. I think we waited around 20 minutes for one of them to fill up and squirt everywhere...(careful). I would highly recommend going to Alnwick Gardens on a nice day. Definitely take a hayfever tablet if you are prone to itchy eyes and a runny nose!
After the gardens we headed along to Amble seafront as the sun was setting. We all said we were dying for a portion of proper Fish and Chip chips. And to you American's these are not Lay's, but almost like skinless potato wedges and they are to die for when they are done properly. We parked up the car and stumbled upon "The Fish Shack" not only did they offer traditional Fish & Chips but also many other fish dishes and they looked incredible. Still quite full off of our lunch we settled for some portions of chips and a chin-wag by the sea.
Spending a full day with the girls was so so great. We've been friends for years now and it's just absolutely effortless every time we get back together. We may be in three different cities but its so reassuring that no matter how busy we are it's not an issue as it's going to be the same every time. True friends. Even if they do bully me.... ;)
Love you both lots and cannot wait for our next adventures.
Happy Friday Everyone!
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