Alnwick Castle and Gardens (and The Treehouse Restaurant)

Opening times are seasonal, see website. Disclaimer: we went in winter and I barely took any photos of the gardens, so these are pics from the lovely world wide web.


Two of the titular subjects of this post can be thoroughly recommended, but unfortunately the third was a disappointment. Alnwick Castle and Gardens are very much worth a visit, yet The Treehouse restaurant, whose intriguing aesthetic is the main appeal, sadly doesn’t deliver with its food.


Dating from 1096, Alnwick Castle is the Gothic-style seat of the Duke of Northumberland and is the second largest inhabited castle in England, after Windsor Castle. The attached gardens are sprawling and perfectly curated to make a visit worthwhile in any season. The attractions include a wild duck pond, a poison garden, the serpent garden of water features, a bamboo labyrinth, the formal rose garden with a fairy tale attic, and the grand cascade of waterfalls topped with an ornamental garden and encircled by the extensive cherry orchard. It’s a burst of colour and beauty, and staff organise silly trails and activities around the place for those unsatisfied with just wandering along the beautiful paths.


After wandering around for an hour or so, we went to the Treehouse restaurant which is at the end of the woodland walk. The Treehouse had been somewhere I had long wanted to visit – two stories of restaurant are built into the wide branches of the lime trees it sits in. These branches curl throughout the restaurant, which serves local seasonal produce in a cosy interior with chunky wood tables and open log fires. It’s built from Canadian cedar, Scandi redwood, and English and Scots pine. A collection of lime trees hold up the restaurant, with walkways and rope bridges and walkways in the surrounding canopies.


Yet unfortunately, although magical to look at and definitely a unique venue, the food didn’t live up to the setting. It was very average, and pretty expensive for what it was. It’s a sight to see, and the gardens and castle are wonderful, so visit both and end up with a drink, rather than a meal, at the Treehouse.




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