For a family with three Smalls it really has everything.
As soon as you get inside the garden you see the tractors which are such a hit it is hard to extract the Smalls to see anything else. They are pretty tricky to pedal but thankfully Tall Girl likes pushing Giant Baby about.
There was a near miss when a tractor steered by Giant Baby and propelled by a combination of Tiny Boy and gravity went careering off course towards another family. Thankfully they saw the funny side!
At this time of year the rose garden is spectacular.
Although I was not allowed to linger, because, despite it being only 11.30 Tiny Boy decided it was high time for our picnic. Picnics are a bit of a novelty in our house, mostly because I am lazy and can't be bothered to make them, and because I can't abide a sandwich that has been hanging about in a plastic wrapping.
This time there was not a sandwich in sight and I threw stuff out of the fridge and into the bag pausing only to chop the carrots, boil the eggs and purchase extra pasta salad and cookies from the shop. It was a good picnic, washed down with a takeaway tea, which I actually think is my favourite kind.
After tractors, I think the thing the Smalls like best in the world, is water - and Alnwick has lots of it.
All the fountains demonstrate different scientific phenomena, but more importantly, they are all good for splashing in and also for interesting reflections.
Everyone's favourite fountain is the one you have to wait for.
Gradually the water level rises in the central cylinder, and you wait, and wait until just when you are thinking it is never going to start...
Woosh! Of it goes, soaking everything and everyone who has dared to venture too close.
Gradually the jets get lower and the people get braver, until just as suddenly as it started...
The main cascade is truly spectacular, and every half hour the fountains start in a different formation.
There is also a wonderful walled flower garden.
lots of cool shady bowers,
and hedges with windows and doors.
What's not to like? And the Sun shone some of the time. I'll settle for that.