Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Yesterday I visited the grounds of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. Obviously I took a number of photographs outside but sadly photography was not permitted inside the castle itself. Due to the weather being very overcast I thought it better to wait for a nicer day to get an image of the castle with better light (see above). Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Gardens are both on the same site, in the grounds of the castle, they share a lot of the facilities including restaurants, cafes, car parks etc but they have separate entry fees.

To get into the Castle it costs £9 for an adult or £8 for a student like myself. In my opinion this is way over priced for what you get, unless you have a great interest in the Percy family, the history of Northumberland or castles in general. I feel it was worth looking at but would not go again, whereas the garden is well worth it. I felt that if they had a joint ticket for castle and garden at say £10 or £12 it would be better as you could see the castle in the morning and enjoy the gardens and treehouse in the afternoon. If an adult wanted to see both today it would cost £16 which is a lot by the time you have got there, taken a friend and feed yourselves. *End of rant*

So the photo above was taken this morning on a walk along the River Aln. This is the best place to view the castle from a photographic point of view and costs nothing at all.

Red Squirrel eating nuts

Red Squirrel eating nuts

As you can see with the number of photos in the animals section, I enjoy taking pictures of various animals and a squirrel is no exception. I have always liked squirrels even if a lot of people view them as vermin. Today was the first time (as far as I remember) that I have seen a red squirrel. We were sat having afternoon tea (a touch of class) at Howick Hall Gardens and this little fella jumped up on the bird table about 2 feet from the window and posed there for about 10 minutes. This morning was spent visiting Alnwick Castle but due to the overcast weather lighting wasn’t ideal for photography. Howick Hall Gardens aren’t a patch on Alnwick Gardens but they have a very interesting bog garden with colourful flowers and as I found out a lovely population of red squirrels. In the time I was there I saw two of them on this one bird table, I am very pleased to be able to share this photograph with you.

Craster Harbor, Northumberland

Craster Harbor, Northumberland

Today I visited the sleepy fishing village of Craster and took the above photograph of it’s picturesque harbour. It reminded me a little of a smaller version of Dunbar harbour in Scotland, although there were few boats in when I took this picture due to it being low tied. Only a couple of miles up the coast from Craster is what I really came to photograph however, the very interesting Dunstanburgh Castle. It was a fantastic day weather wise and whilst walking along the coast I also got some nice photos of the rock pools and other points of interest on the beach. All of which will be shared at a later date but for now, I thought I would give you the first things first and show you where today’s journey set off from, Craster.

Treehouse at Alnwick Garden

Treehouse at Alnwick Garden

Today I was lucky enough to visit Alnwick Gardens, home to one of the world’s largest treehouses (pictured above). It’s linked to the main garden by suspended walkways and covers an area of around 6000 square feet, including a timber decked veranda. It was opened in 2004 and cost over £3 million, the feature I liked the most was the open fire in the middle of the restaurant, sadly this was fully booked but it would be a lovely place for a meal. As for the rest of the modern gardens I was amazed, you walk in and it seems very clean and modern but there is basically a shed where you pay what seemed a very large entry fee of £7 a person (the 50 pence student discount I got doesn’t make it cheap). When inside the garden I realised why it cost so much to get in.

Originally opened in 2001, Alnwick Garden has quickly become on of the countries most visited gardens and from the building work from what I can tell there is a lot more building work going on, they expect it to be fully built by the end of next year. Originally I was only expected to spend an hour or two walking around the 42 arce site but after about ten minutes of seeing the gardens I had to go back to the car to get my tripod as I knew I would be taking a full day to photograph the fantastic Alnwick Garden. As you can probably gather, the Treehouse photograph is just a taster and more Alnwick Garden photographs will feature on my blog in the coming months.