World-famous Northumberland cherry blossom orchard in full bloom at Alnwick Garden - here's when's best to see it
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The Alnwick Garden’s famous cherry blossom orchard, the largest Tai Haku orchard in the world with 329 trees, is now in full bloom and you’ll need to catch it while you can.
Due to weather changes, the blossom season changes annually at the garden, but the flowers came out in all their glory just as the Easter weekend finished and should be there for another week or so until early May.
Although the gardens are beautiful all year round, seeing the orchard at its flowering finest makes the carefully-cared-for garden look particularly spectacular.
As the blossom season has this year fallen in the Easter holidays, Daniel Russell, head of commercial operations at The Alnwick Garden, said it’s been great to see kids running amongst the trees and having a go on the swings which interlink the trees.
"We really advocate that people bring a picnic to enjoy under the blossom, and for kids to run around and really enjoy it,” he said. “This year is the most full I’ve seen the blossoms in a while so it really is a spectacular sight.
"Nature is unpredictable, but we can get anywhere from a week to three weeks out of the blossoms depending on the weather and winds. Try as we might, you just can’t predict it.”
This year, for the first time since the pandemic, The Alnwick Garden has been able to host its cherry blossom dedication ceremony, complete with lantern release, taking place on April 22, for people who have sponsored a tree in memory of a loved one.
"As well as being a place for families to enjoy, the cherry blossom orchard is also a place for remembrance,” said Daniel. “People travel from across the country for the dedication ceremony and it’s a really special event. One gentleman from London comes each year for a tree in memory of his wife, because it was her favourite place to come.”
He added: “During the pandemic, we also had a lot of Japanese visitors who couldn’t get home because of the travel restrictions, so they came here instead. It gets a lot of attention nationally, as well as internationally.”
Visitor numbers are getting back to what they were pre-pandemic at the major tourist attraction and there’s a full calendar of events lined up for the year, including lawn games over the summer, water fight events for the kids, immersive theatre, a bumper Halloween event and the popular festive light show.
Meanwhile, construction work is forging ahead on Lilidorei, a £15.5million play village being built next to the Treehouse restaurant.
Billed as the largest play structure of its type in the world, the attraction is forecast to pull in a total of 253,000 visitors a year to this ever-evolving garden.
When it reopened after Lockdown, The Alnwick Garden introduced a kids go free offer to make family days out more affordable. Any adult can bring up to four children under the age of 16 for free.
The introduction of a season pass means people can visit as many times as they want in 12 months. The price for an adult ticket is £14.85. Once on site you can upgrade to a season pass for an extra £5.