Step into the Alnwick Garden, and you'll be greeted with a strange sight: a pair of massive iron gates, marked with a skull and crossbones and a stark warning: "These Plants Can Kill." It's not just for decoration, either. This special section is truly the world's most dangerous garden. Behind those gates, you'll find over a hundred different poisonous plants, some of which can end life with a taste, a touch, or even a sniff. Even though there are other poisonous gardens in the world, the impressive variety represented in the Alnwick poison garden makes it the most toxic garden ever... and you can visit if you dare.
Although tours are limited and safety instructions are clear, visitors have felt how just how poisonous this section of the Alnwick Garden can be. People have fainted after breathing in too deeply, and certain plants are so dangerous that they are kept in cages to avoid an accidental touch. But it remains a popular destination, especially with children. In fact, the garden was designed by the Duchess of Northumberland partially with educating youngsters in mind.
Curious about how plants kill and how it feels to die after being dosed by their toxins? This beautiful but deadly garden should be your dream destination. Of course, the hope is that you won't wind up finding out about the flora's fatal effects first-hand.
The Duchess' Favorite Plant Is Angel's Trumpet
Given the Duchess of Northumberland's love of poisonous plants, you would think it would be hard for her to pick a favorite. Still, over the years, she has gained a fondness for one particular plant: Brugmansia, or angel's trumpet. This beautiful flower is fatal, but death from its poisonous pollen is apparently quite peaceful.
Even in lower doses, the toxic flower can have quite an effect, as head gardener Trevor Jones explains:
It’s supposed to give you an aphrodisiac effect before you slip into a coma and eventually die. Ladies of the night used to use this to great effect... They’d put the pollen of the flower into a drink. The client would drink and start to hallucinate, and then fall into a deep sleep and dream all sorts of wonderful dreams. The next morning he’d pay the money, thinking he had such a fantastic night, and yet he never actually touched the lady.
You Can Visit - If You're Brave Enough
Alnwick Garden is open in all seasons, including special holidays, and tours of the poison garden are available all day. Tour groups are limited to 20 people so that the guides can keep a close eye on visitors. You can't wander this garden on your own, of course, and if you have serious allergies and health problems, you should probably steer clear.
Remember, this is the world's most poisonous garden, and you enter at your own risk.